The most noticeable feature of the new Play Station Portable (PSP-2000), which was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE), is its lightness. Its mass is 189 g, 91 g lighter than the old PSP (PSP-1000).

What is the factor that reduced weight of the PSP by 33%? The Nikkei Electronics Disassembly Squad started on taking apart the PSP-2000 with the help of engineers. We prepared a PSP-2000 and PSP-1000 to uncover the secret of the lightness by disassembling them concurrently.

To begin with, we started to take apart the PSP-1000.

Taking out a secondary battery, removing a take-down preventive seal from the bottom of the chassis, and taking out screws one by one

"Hmm ... it's hard to take them out." The experienced engineers, who have disassembled many portable devices, often got stuck. With some difficulty, they took out the front chassis, flexible substrate used as an antenna, keypad, etc. It took us a few minutes to pull out the liquid crystal module because it was fixed by a solid metal chassis.

Removing the chassis from the front side, and pulling out and turning over the liquid crystal module

At this point, we stopped taking apart the PSP-1000 and started to disassemble the PSP-2000.

Same as before, taking out a secondary battery, removing a take-down preventive seal and taking out screws

"This one is easier to take apart." The engineers' hands were smoothly moving. Even though they disassembled the PSP-1000 first, the PSP-2000 seemed to be easy to dismantle. "The PSP-2000 probably is easy to put together, and its production efficiency may be higher than that of the old PSP." The liquid crystal module of the PSP-2000 was not fixed by a metal plate or anything and easy to pull out.

The liquid crystal module was turned over, and part of the main circuit board appeared.

"It looks like that many electromechanical parts have been changed," one of the engineers said.

In the PSP-1000, a solid metal chassis is placed under the liquid crystal module. The chassis prevents the module from being deformed or damaged when users twist the chassis and increases the strength of the entire body.

However, the weight of this metal chassis is 23 g, 8% of the mass of the PSP-1000. The PSP-2000 does not contain this metal chassis.

The strength of the PSP-1000 is increased by the metal chassis.

The metal chassis does not exist in the PSP-2000.

The PSP-2000 has less strength in the front side, too, than the PSP-1000. In the PSP-1000, conjunction molding forms a transparent resin layer on the surface. On the other hand, the chassis of the PSP-2000 is formed by monochromatic molding. Because the PSP-2000 has only one layer, not two, its thickness and strength are less than those of the PSP-1000.

A transparent resin layer is formed on the surface of the PSP-1000, protecting the LCD.

Monochromatic molding is used for the PSP-2000. To protect the LCD, a transparent resin plate is separately embedded.

So, unless the PSP-2000 contains another large metal chassis, we can say that its strength is kept only by the resin chassis in the reverse side. To test this assumption, the Disassembly Squad continued to take apart the PSPs ...