Google Home Earns Top Marks for DIY Repairs


Google Home not only makes everyday tasks easier, it also allows for relatively straightforward DIY repairs.

The teardown experts at iFixit give the smart device an above-average eight out of 10 for repairability, beating rival Amazon Echo, which earned a seven when it debuted in 2014.

Unveiled during May's I/O developer conference, Google Home streams video and audio between Cast-enabled gadgets, letting you play music, search the Web, or control smart home devices.

Standing 5.62 inches tall and 3.79 inches around, the 1.05-pound Google Home comes in white, with magnetic, swappable bases available in different colors and materials. A high-excursion speaker and micro-USB programming port are hidden underneath.

Be careful, however, when removing the LED board, which is adhered to the upper case by "oodles of glue" and "seriously serious" adhesive tape, according to iFixit, which used a bit of heat and some isopropyl alcohol to break the barrier.

Once inside, a round green grid sparkles with an array of capacitors that make up the speaker's touch-surface controls and 12 status LEDs; another set of capacitors are buried in deeper layer, the team said. On the grid's backside are the 32-bit ARM microcontroller, two LED drivers, and a pair of microphones.

The iFixit team removed the stretchy o-ring before prying open the casing, which houses the motherboard and a slew of familiar-looking chips; the CPU, flash, and RAM also made an appearance in last year's Chromecast.

Perhaps most intriguing, however, is the mystery cable, sporting four contact points, uncovered in the bottom of the case. IFixit's "totally made up" theories for its use include the possibility that it recognizes the color of the base—carbon, copper, snow, mango, marine, violet, or slate. Better yet, maybe it's a vestigial charging mechanism or an "abandoned Easter egg dungeon level for teardown engineers."

Overall, minimal moving parts, standard screws, and modular components means the Google Home is quite easy to repair. For more, see check out Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which One Should Rule Your Smart Home?

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