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9.7-inch iPad Pro uses gobs of glue, is almost impossible to repair

by Jacob Kleinman | April 4, 2016April 4, 2016 2:30 pm PST

Apple managed to pack a ton of new technology into the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but the device also comes with a big drawback. A fresh teardown from iFixit shows just how hard it is to repair the new tablet if something goes wrong.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro scored a dismal 2 out of 10 from iFixit. That’s even worse than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3 out of 10). By comparison, the iPhone SE scored a 6 out of 10, while the iPhone 6s earned an impressive 7 out of 10.

The main issue with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is all the glue Apple used to hold the device together. That makes it difficult to remove individual parts. The LCD and front glass panel are also fused together, making repairs more expensive and increasing the risk that you’ll break the LCD while trying to fix another part.

The batteries are difficult to remove as well. iFixit notes that Apple opted not to use the handy adhesive tabs featured in the larger iPad Pro and recent iPhones. The smart connector is also permanently stuck to the battery board, but it doesn’t have any moving parts and probably won’t break down anyway.

On the plus side, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is built to be durable. It features foam cushioning behind the display and extra reinforcement around the logic boards. That should keep the device safe even if you lean on it while using the Apple Pencil.

Given the low repairability score, you may want to consider Apple Care+ since it will probably require a professional to fix.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...