The most distinctive feature of the iPad mini, which Apple Inc released Nov 2, 2012, is that it is small and light enough to be held in one hand. Its dimensions are 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm. And the weights of the "Wi-Fi" and "WiFi + Cellular" models are 308g and 312g, respectively. It is one size smaller than the third-generation iPad, which is equipped with the Retina Display.
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad, which favors Apple's gadgets, obtained the Wi-Fi model of the iPad mini with a storage capacity of 16 Gbytes to dig into Apple's design philosophy.
The most difficult point in the teardown of Apple's products is the removal of their front covers. In fact, we struggled with them when we were disassembling the iPhone and iPad series.
However, when we were tearing down the third-generation iPad, we found strong weapons: a heat gun (hot-air heating machine for industrial use) and a spatula made of carbon plastic (See related article). With the two weapons, we started to remove the cover glass that was integrated with a touch panel and attached with a double-sided tape.
As in the case of the teardown of the iPad, we made a small gap by using a flat-blade screwdriver while heating the four corners of the iPad mini with the heat gun. Then, we inserted the spatula into the gap to remove the tape while heating the cover glass.
We detached the glass without difficulty and started to examine the inside of the iPad mini.