This article was first published in the Sept 6, 2010 edition of the Nikkei Electronics magazine. It was written based on the information available at that time.
In consideration of upgrading processor, DRAM
The shape, dimensions and weight of the M003, which was developed by China-based Eken Electronics Co Ltd, are closer to those of the iPad, compared with the other two iPad look-alikes we disassembled this time.
Even the box for the product is a clone of the iPad's box. The picture printed on the M003's box is not the M003 but the iPad itself. This is a problem. Considering that the box is well made (its lid can be attached to the box with a magnet), we hope that Eken Electronics will correct it as soon as possible.
Equipped with a 30-pin connector port, the M003 can exchange data with an external device via USB connection by using a provided cable. However, there is a USB port next to the 30-pin connector port. We could not help but think that only the shape of the M003 is similar to the iPad. It has a microSD card slot, which the iPad does not have as a standard feature.
To tear down the M003, we had to remove a silver sticker attached to its entire front surface and found it difficult to reassemble it after the teardown. Because there is some extra space inside, it uses a single-sided printed circuit board to reduce costs.
It is particularly worth noting that a sub board equipped with a processor and DRAM is detachable. It probably is a measure to make it easier to manufacture a product with a higher-performance processor and higher-capacity DRAM in the future.
A connector is used to connect a lithium polymer rechargeable battery and a board. This method makes it easy to change batteries.