The iFixit team has done a tear down of the new $329 9.7-inch iPad to reveal all its internals. The teardown reveals that the new iPad is essentially an iPad Air with updated internals.
Externally, there are very few differences between the new 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad Air, with the former lacking a lock switch, smaller microphones holes, and only a single row of holes for the speaker.
As the team went through its teardown process, it was revealed that the new iPad utilises a lot of the components that were found on the original iPad Air.
iFixit also questions Apple’s claims of the new iPad featuring a brighter Retina Display, since the display panel does not look any different from what was found on the original Air. If Apple compared the display brightness to the iPad Air 2, the increased brightness might just be due to the display not being fused as it was the case for the original Air. The unfused display also makes it easier to replace the digitizer and the cover glass separately.
The internal placement of the hardware on both devices is similar to each other, with both tablets featuring the same capacity battery as well.
In the end, iFixit gives the new iPad a repair score of 2 out of 10. It notes that the LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is separated from the tablet and gives another brownie point to the tablet for not soldering the battery to the logic board thereby making its replacement easy. However, the excessive use of glue and sticky tape means that accessing the internals of the new iPad will be a very tough job that is not meant for the faint-hearted.