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dealnews Exclusive: iFixit's 10 Easiest-to-Repair Electronic Gadgets

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By , dealnews contributor

It's no secret that we're pretty big fans of the repair mavens at iFixit.com. Kyle Wiens and his crew have done much to empower consumers to do DIY repairs on smartphones, computers, and other electronic gadgetry, and in the process, they've liberated the nation's landfills from taking on more trash, all while saving folks lots of cash.

When we asked the iFixit team to name the 10 most and least repairable objects they've taken apart, they obliged with two comprehensive lists to share with our readers. If you see an item you own on this list, take heart: It means you can attempt a repair on it and likely succeed, even if you're an electronics novice!

10. Apple TV Media Receiver (2nd Generation)
Category: Digital media receiver
iFixit Verdict: "The design is incredibly simple, with only six total pieces that are easily disassembled and reassembled, with common fasteners and an easy to open case."
Fixability Score: 8


9. Sony PlayStation Move
Category: Motion sensor platform for the PlayStation 3
iFixit Verdict: "This is a relatively simple device to repair: It's easily opened with a replaceable battery and modular switches for easy replacement."
Fixability Score: 8


dell streak

8. Dell Streak 7" 16GB WiFi Google Android Tablet
Category: Smartphone/tablet hybrid
iFixit Verdict: "The battery is easy to replace with minimal effort or skill. Screws and plastic clips are all that seal the device — no adhesive here."
Fixability Score: 8


7. OUYA Android Game Console
Category: Android-powered game console
iFixit Verdict: "Standard AA batteries in the controller are easy to replace. A simple and modular design in the console base means easy repairs and little to go wrong."
Fixability Score: 9


6. Nest Learning Thermostat (2nd Generation)
Category: Programmable thermostat
iFixit Verdict: "The battery is clearly intended to be user-replaceable (with built-in directions), and can be removed with the included Phillips screwdriver. Solid construction and modularity improve durability and repairability."
Fixability Score: 9


5. Oculus Rift Gaming Headset
Category: 3D, virtual reality gaming headset
iFixit Verdict: "The only fasteners are standard Phillips #1 screws and easily located plastic clips. The entire device is incredibly simple, and can be disassembled in less than 10 minutes."
Fixability Score: 9


4. Motorola DROID BIONIC 4G LTE Google Android Smartphone
Category: Android-based, 4G LTE smartphone
iFixit Verdict: "Many components can be replaced individually, including the LCD and glass panel. A limited number of screws and clips hold the phone together."
Fixability Score: 9


3. Motorola Atrix 4G Smartphone
Category: Dual-core Android smartphone
iFixit Verdict: "Few screws hold this phone together, and the battery and SIM and microSD cards can be removed in seconds without tools. Additionally, the LCD is not fused to the front glass."
Fixability Score: 9


2. Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter
Category: Smartphone-controlled quadicopter
iFixit Verdict: "The battery and upper case can be removed without any screws, and a wide variety of modular replacement parts (and repair videos) are available from Parrot."
Fixability Score: 10


1. HP Z1 Intel Xeon 3.3GHz 27" Workstation
Category: Workstation PC
iFixit verdict: "Modular construction allows the user to replace most major components in five minutes or less, and HP offers a set of PDF manuals on how to service the machine."
Fixability Score: 10

Now it's your turn, readers. Do you have any repair stories (either nightmares or triumphs) that involve DIY efforts to fix the gadgets you love? Share them with us, and remember that iFixit offers lots of information, along with tools for fixing the machines we use to make our schedules, place our calls, and run our lives.

And be sure to tune in next week for iFixit's repair-unfriendly rogues gallery. Special thanks to Weins, Miroslav Djuric, and Brett Hartt of iFixit for preparing and sharing this list.



Lou Carlozo is a dealnews contributing writer. He covers personal finance for Reuters Wealth. Prior to that he was the managing editor of WalletPop.com, and a veteran columnist at the Chicago Tribune.

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Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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1 comment
Vision_From_Afar
Pretty sure the Bionic photo is the promo shots before the phone actually came out (or the European version). My Bionic looks more like this: http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/...droidbionic34fs.jpg
Thanks for the tip, tho! :)
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