/>
X

Join or Sign In

Register for your free ZDNet membership or if you are already a member, sign in using your preferred method below.

Use your email Use Linkedin Use Facebook

$100 LY-706 MID Android tablet teardown

Bill Detwiler cracks open the $100 LY-706 MID Android tablet. This low-price tablet has chips from Samsung, Hynix, Wolfson Micro, and VIA.

|
bill-detwiler.png
|
Topic: Processors
6192329.jpg
1 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Want a tablet, but don't want to spend $500 for an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab? Then you might be tempted to purchase one of the many $100 Android tablets that are floating around the Web. These low-priced devices offer features similar to their higher-end cousins (touchscreen, built-in camera, and Wi-Fi). But, what's really inside a $100 tablet? We wanted to find out. So, we bought one from a site called FocalPrice.com -- the LY-706 MID Tablet Pad Netbook. Follow along as we take a peak at the hardware inside this low-cost tablet.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192330.jpg
2 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

As of this writing, FocalPrice lists the LY-706 tablet at $97.99 (US) with free shipping. The device has a 7-inch TFT-LCD (800x480 resolution) with resistive touchscreen, built-in speakers and microphone, and a 1.3MB front-facing camera. Inside the LY-706, you'll find a VIA MW8505 CPU, 2GB of NAND flash storage, and 256MB system memory. It also supports Wi-Fi.

The LY-706 comes with Android 1.6 installed.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192331.jpg
3 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192332.jpg
4 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Inside the box are the LY-706 tablet, power adapter, USB/Ethernet port extender, stylus, and documentation.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192333.jpg
5 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 weighs 805g (~1.77 lbs.) and measures 24.8 x 17 x 6.2 cm.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192334.jpg
6 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 is a bit thincker than the iPad, but still feels comfortable in the hand.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192335.jpg
7 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Along the bottom of the LY-706 are the speaker grills, 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector, microSD card slot, and power connector.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192336.jpg
8 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Along the right side of the LY-706 are the power button, volume buttons, and hole that doubles as the mic and reset button.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192337.jpg
9 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

I've seen LY-706 devices with black and white back covers. Our unit has a shiny black one.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192338.jpg
10 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

One of the strange things about the LY-706 tablet is the lack of identifying marks. Other than model number and input power voltage, there are no other markings that identify the device. And despite looking, I was never able to determine who actually assembled the LY-706.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192339.jpg
11 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The back case cover is held in place with two Phillips #0 screws located along the bottom edge. The first is clearly visible.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192340.jpg
12 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The second external case screw is hidden behind a small white sticker with the markings QC.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192341.jpg
13 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Once I removed the external screws, the display assembly immediately popped up from the back cover. This was one of several occurances that illustrated the LY-706's poor assembly.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192342.jpg
14 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Using a thin metal blade, I was able to pop the back cover away from the display assembly.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192343.jpg
15 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

As I popped off the back cover, the speaker grils (thin pieces of plastic) began to come loose from the display assembly.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192344.jpg
16 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Instead of having metal or even plastic speaker grills attached to the back cover or integrated with the speakers, the LY-706 uses extremely thin pieces of pliable plastic. This was the second indication that the device's construction wasn't on the same level as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy tab.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192345.jpg
17 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

With the back cover removed, we get our first look inside the LY-706 tablet. The batteries, main PCB, and a few secondary PCBs are clearly visible.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192346.jpg
18 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

As I removed the LY-706's back cover, I heard something rattling inside. The culprit was a small Phillips screw that should have been helping hold the main PCB in place.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192347.jpg
19 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Inside the LY-706, we find the main PCB (right side), a small PCB the holds the camera (left side), a small PCB that holds the right side buttons and microphone, a small PCB that holds the wireless chip, battery pack, and display.

Unfortunately, many of the internal components are soldered to the main PCB. We'll need to remove them and the main PCB as a single unit.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192348.jpg
20 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

We'll start dissecting the LY-706's internal components, by removing the small PCB that houses the right-side buttons and microphone. It is held to the front half of the plastic case with two Phillips screws.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192349.jpg
21 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Once the screws are removed, you can release the catch on the ribbon cable connector and lift the small PCB away from the LY-706 tablet.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192350.jpg
22 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Each of the buttons on this small PCB are labled. From left to right are the reset, volume down, volume up, and power buttons.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192351.jpg
23 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Flipping the right-side button PCB over, we see the actual buttons and the microphone.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192352.jpg
24 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Another small PCB contains the LY-706's front-facing 1.3MP camera. Unfortunately, the PCB is permanently attached to the front case. I could remove the board, but it would require breaking the connections that hold it to the case.

I'm going to leave this PCB in place, but disconnect it from the main PCB.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192353.jpg
25 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Luckily the wires that connect the main PCB and camera PCB are not soldered to the small board.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192354.jpg
26 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Next, I'll disconnect the other end of the thin ribbon cable the connects the right-side button PCB to the motherboard.

We've already removed the right-side button PCB, but this ribbon cable is also attached to the underside of the battery pack. Disconnecting this end may make it eaiser to remove the main PCB later.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192355.jpg
27 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Next to the battery wires, which are soldered to the main PCB, is a connector with red and black wires that run to the LCD. There are likely wires for the backlight on the LCD.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192356.jpg
28 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192357.jpg
29 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The last two cables to disconnect are for the LCD (wided, gray ribbon cable) and resistive touchscreen (narrower, yellow ribbon cable).

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192358.jpg
30 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192359.jpg
31 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

After disconnecting the ribbon cables, I bent them back slightly to make the main PCB easier to remove.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192360.jpg
32 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

With all the cables disconnected, I removed the three remaining screws that hold the main PCB in place. A fourth screw had was loose in the case when I opened the LY-706.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192361.jpg
33 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

I'll also need to remove the tape that holds the LCD backlight wires to the battery pack.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192362.jpg
34 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192363.jpg
35 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706's two internal speakers are soldered to the motherboard. We'll need to separate them from the the plastic case before removing the main PCB.

Using a thin metal blade, you can gently pry them loose from the adhesive tape that holds them in place.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192364.jpg
36 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

With all the internal cables, screws, and stuck components free, we can begin to lift the LCD, main PCB, and attached components away from the front half of the LY-706's case.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192365.jpg
37 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192366.jpg
38 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

A smaller, green PCB is attached to the front case panel and located under the main PCB. It's wires are soldered to the main PCB, so we'll need to remove it from the front case panel.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192367.jpg
39 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192368.jpg
40 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192369.jpg
41 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

With most of the internal components removed, we can see the LY-706's resistive touchscreen.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192370.jpg
42 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Unlike nearly all the smartphones and tablets I've cracked open, the LY-706 use a touchscreen made from layers of thin, flexible plastic instead of glass. Here you can see me peeling a corner of the top layer away from the front case's hard plastic edge.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192371.jpg
43 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

I'm not really sure what this wad of glue was designed to hold in place.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192372.jpg
44 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706's battery back is attached to the back of the LCD with adhesive. Next, we'll need to separate the two.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192373.jpg
45 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Using a thin blade, I was able to slice through the adhesive that holds the battery pack to the back of the LCD.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192374.jpg
46 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192375.jpg
47 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

As previously noted, the LY-706 has a 7-inch (diagonally) screen which delivers a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192376.jpg
48 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

There are no markings on the LCD that indicate who made it. (At least none that I could find.) But, there are a few markings on the ribbon cable and a sticker attached to the cable.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192377.jpg
49 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

A sticker on the back of the LCD unit reads:

EB

HSD7.0-LED12

D043-16-101029-0023311

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192378.jpg
50 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The wireless PCB, battery pack, and speakers are soldered to the main PCB.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192379.jpg
51 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192380.jpg
52 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 has a battery pack with two 3.7V 5.55Wh batteries. I've read several complaints about the device having extremely poor battery life. And, TechRepublic's own Mark Kaelin reported getting only two hours of battery life under normal use.

For the record, neither the FocalPrice site nor the documentation included with the LY-706 lists an average battery life.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192381.jpg
53 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 provides Wi-Fi support through a Ralink RT2070L 802.11n Wireless LAN USB Adapter. The RT2070L appears to be one of Ralink's older, discontinued chips.

Oddly enough, the small PCB to which the IC is mounted has the markings for the Ralink RT3070--one of the company's newer Wi-Fi ICs.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192382.jpg
54 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

There don't appear to be any antenna wires mounted inside the LY-706.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192383.jpg
55 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 has a single Samsung 2GB NAND Flash chip (K9GAG08U0M) for storage.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192384.jpg
56 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 is powered by VIA Technolgoy's WonderMedia WM8505 ARM-based CPU. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a clock speed for the specific chip used in this device. I've read reports of number ranging between 300MHz and 600MHz.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192385.jpg
57 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 has two Hynix DDR SDRAM modules (HY5PS1G831C). According to the product specs, the device has 256MB of system memory. But according to Hynix's online documentation, these modules only come in 1GB and 2GB configurations.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192386.jpg
58 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Chips with markings:

25040T

E40911

AE1036

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192387.jpg
59 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Genesys Logic GL850G USB hub controller

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192388.jpg
60 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Chip with markings:

S16011G

1036

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192389.jpg
61 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Wolfson Micro WM9715 CODEC with touchpanel controller 

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192390.jpg
62 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

VIA VT6113 10/100 Ethernet controller

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192391.jpg
63 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

I looked all over the PCB for a marking that would indicate who assembled the LY-706, or at least manufactured the motherboard, but I only found two markings of note.

The one show in this photo is the device's model number: LY-706(IO)

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192392.jpg
64 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Second main PCB markings: WMS8096A1

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6192393.jpg
65 of 65 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The LY-706 or MID 706 tablet was a cinch to crack open. It has standard Phillips screws and an easy-open case.

So how does the $100 tablet compare to the likes of the Apple iPad or an Android device, such as the Samsung Galaxy tab? Honestly, it doesn't.

It has an underpowered processor (even for Android 1.6), the flimsy plastic touchscreen feels cheap, and overall build quality is just poor.

But then again, comparing the LY-706 to the iPad is like comparing apples and oranges. They really are two completely different animals.

Perhaps a better question is whether the LY-706 is worth $100. Unfortunately, I don't think it is. I think it's worth about $50. At that price, it actually makes a decent ebook reader or MP3 player.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

Related Galleries

First look: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event [pictures]
apple420-01.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event [pictures]

AMD Ryzen PRO 5000 Series Mobile Processors
AMD Ryzen PRO 5000 Series

Related Galleries

AMD Ryzen PRO 5000 Series Mobile Processors

Apple M1 questions
More questions than answers

Related Galleries

Apple M1 questions

Apple Silicon M1 chip -- in pictures
Apple Silicon M1 chip

Related Galleries

Apple Silicon M1 chip -- in pictures

Silicon Mac first look: Everything unveiled at Apple's 'One More Thing' event [pictures]
nov10-apple-silicon-event-01.jpg

Related Galleries

Silicon Mac first look: Everything unveiled at Apple's 'One More Thing' event [pictures]

AMD Athlon and Ryzen 3000 C-series processors for Chromebooks
Athlon and Ryzen 3000 C-series

Related Galleries

AMD Athlon and Ryzen 3000 C-series processors for Chromebooks

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000WX series processors
Threadripper PRO 3000WX

Related Galleries

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000WX series processors