When Microsoft built the Surface Pro, the designers packed the power of an ultrabook in the body of a tablet. Unfortunately, they also made the device nearly impossible for a typical consumer or even an in-house tech to service and repair. On this week's episode of Cracking Open, I take you inside the Surface Pro.… Read more
Google's Nexus 4 offers a pure Android experience on an unlocked device, at a great no-contract price. It's also fairly easy to disassemble and hides a bit of a hardware secret inside.
Full TechRepublic teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Google Nexus 4
The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch IPS display (1,280x768-pixel resolution at 320 ppi), 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel main camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, and it comes in 8GB and 16GB versions.
Given its hardware specifications, the Nexus 4 can definitely hold its own against other high-end smartphones. And with its support for NFC and wireless charging, LG's handset is even a step ahead of many devices. What the Nexus 4 doesn't have is LTE support -- at least not officially.
Overall, it's well-built, feels sturdy in your hands, and is fairly easy to take apart.… Read more
As many as a quarter of iPhone owners are walking around with a broken screen, according to new figures.
Mobile-phone insurance Web site MobileInsurance.co.uk (which obviously has a vested interest here) asked iPhone owners whether their blower's display is currently broken, smashed, or cracked in any way, to which 23 percent yes.
The average length of time people have been putting up with their damaged display? Six months.
Most people said they hadn't gotten around to fixing their screen, with roughly equal numbers saying they weren't insured, couldn't afford to fix it, or were … Read more
What's likely to trigger more regret 10 years down the road -- a tattooed profile of that special someone who broke your heart and took your favorite records, or a permanent etching of an obsolete operating system that some critics thought was already bordering on irrelevance when it was brand new?
Most of us would probably just opt to skip both options, but not Brian Heffren of Middleton, N.Y. He's chosen to go all in on BlackBerry 10, which launches tomorrow, by getting the new mobile OS logo tattooed on his shoulder forever. Ladies, take note. This is a guy who understands what commitment is all about.… Read more
Social gaming has taken over Facebook profiles and mobile gadgets. Now, while you wait for your friends to take their turn in other games you're playing, you can play a round of Word Crack. It tests your creativity and vocabulary at a relaxed pace. Replay value is high, and the price of $1.99, which you need to pay for an ad-free version, is not too much. However, the game might be a little too simplistic to keep you coming back and choosing this over other digital board games.
The app requires you to either sign up through Facebook … Read more
After being lured to U.S. territory and arrested in an undercover sting, Chinese national Xiang Li pled guilty in U.S. federal court to pirating, cracking, and selling software worth more than $100 million today, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security took down Li in June 2011 after agents discovered that he was heading a pirating ring that sold stolen software on the Web. The software was mostly used by defense, space, and engineering companies and was made by Microsoft, Oracle, Rockwell Automation, Agilent Technologies, Siemens, and others.
"Li thought he was safe from … Read more
From smartphones and tablets to a $7,000 desktop, we've cracked open a lot of tech this year. And as is the tradition at the end of each year, it's time to take a look at a few of our favorites. During this special episode of Cracking Open, I'm counting down my top five teardowns of 2012.
First on our list is the Nokia Lumia 900. Released in the spring, this Windows Phone device was Nokia's attempt to recapture some of the American smartphone market.
Unfortunately, as we discovered during our teardown, the phone's hardware just wasn't up to par with the competition. I went so far as to call it mediocre. So why did I include our 900 teardown on this list? Because it's probably this year's best example of why knowing what's inside a device is an important factor in deciding whether to buy one.… Read more
A lawsuit against Apple over the durability of the iPhone 4's glass was tossed out by a federal judge in California this week.
In an order this past Tuesday (PDF), U.S. District Judge Edward Davila dismissed a case filed by Betsalel Williamson on January 2011, which sought class-action status and accused Apple of breaching its warranty by charging for broken glass.
Williamson filed the complaint after damaging his 2-day-old iPhone 4, which dropped off the arm of a chair. Williamson pointed to claims made by Apple, including its industrial design chief Sir Jonathan Ive, that the glass on … Read more
Crack the front panel on your iPhone and you have three choices: live with it, buy a new one, or get it fixed.
If you have AppleCare+ or another warranty that covers accidental damage, the choice is easy. Get your phone fixed or replaced under the warranty. If your iPhone isn't under warranty, you don't want to buy a new one, and you're ready to tackle a challenging, but satisfying, do-it-yourself fix, here's a guide for replacing the entire display assembly.
Should you try this fix? Before you jump into this DIY project, I suggest you … Read more