If you’re the type of person who likes to go under the hood you’ll probably want to pass on Google’s new $200 OnHub router. That’s the big takeaway from iFixit’s latest teardown, which gave the device a measly 4 out of 10 for repairability.
The OnHub is protected on the outside by a simple plastic cowl, which slides off easily so you gain access to the ports. After that things get very difficult very fast. With no directions iFixit first unsuccessfully attempted to enter from the side before realizing that the top screws off.
Under the hood the device is packed to the brim with antennas. That doesn’t come as a big surprise considering Google’s promise of better Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t make repairs particularly easy either. Getting to the motherboard was particularly difficult, though the overall internal design seems to be pretty well thought out for the most part.
iFixit also discovered a speaker, which comes as a surprise since Google’s router doesn’t actually make any sounds. Instead it uses ultrasonic tones to configure nearby Android devices. It’s possible that the down the road this router (or more likely a future version) could play music as well, but that’s not an option for now.
If you’re still interested OnHub is available from a few different retailers, though Google’s own store is out of stock. Then again, it may be worth waiting for a follow-up version with more capabilities and a design that makes repairs a bit easier.