[Review] Teardown – Freescale IMX515 Generic Android 8″ Tablet

A quick peek inside one of the generic Freescale IMX515 8″ Android tablets (otherwise known as Herotab M802 / APad IMX515 / ePad 8003.

For my full review on this product, please visit here.

There are no screws holding the unit together from the outside. The front resistive panel is ‘clipped’ into place. To undo, pry from the volume rocker, which has an access hatch. The resistive plastic panel is thick, at least 5mm.

Keep an eye out for the ribbon cable which connects the resistive panel to the controller, it is finicky to reinstall. 4 screwed in tabs hold the main display panel in place, though you only need to remove the bottom two (as pictured) to pivot the screen upwards. There are also controllers for the volume rocker / power switch as well as the home button / universal plug at the bottom. The 3rd PCB pictured is the Wifi antenna.

The internal layout of the unit is fairly sparse, with two extremely small speakers at either end. The overall size could have been reduced around 1-2cm without impacting anything, though this would have reduced ‘hand’ space when holding the unit. Manufacturing date stamps around the unit show late August 2010.

The main display unit, fairly thin, but nothing fancy. No part information available.

The Freescale Semiconductor IMX515 processor itself (MCIMX515CJM6C data sheet). The IMX515 supplies LCD controller, network, USB and memory integration, as well as hardware acceleration for 2D/3D functions. A pair of Nanya 256MB DDR2 RAM modules (NT5TU64M16GG-AC data sheet) are present, clocked at 800mhz @ 1.8v. The chip on the top right is the Freescale MC13892 (fact sheet), designed to regulate power delivery/charging, various user interface options and driving the LCD.

A large ribbon cable supplies the display with required information. This daughterboard also regulates power from the batteries.

Here is where the ROM sits, on a 4GB Sandisk Micro SDHC card mounted internally. I haven’t yet inspected the structure of the file system, but logic would dictate the internal memory can be easily upgraded to a larger SDHC card. A faster card than Class 2 would also yield substantial performance improvements.

A pair of non-descript batteries power the show. They are rated on the spec sheet at 3900mah.

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19 thoughts on “[Review] Teardown – Freescale IMX515 Generic Android 8″ Tablet

  1. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.|
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  2. @fullbandwidth – Sorry I no longer have the device
    @Dave – Settings => Manage Applications
    @Jay – Didn’t get to upgrade parts, I no longer have the device to play around with

    For anybody else looking at a cheap tablet, I’d recommend something like the Nook Color. Very affordable and extremely ROM’able. Plus the IPS capacitive display is fantastic.

    Wrote a review up here: https://senk9.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/product-review-barnes-noble-nook-color/

  3. bought one and I pleased – except of course for the manual which at 4 pages is only slightly less then useless.

    2 questions.. I bought a 16 gig card – but I am not sure if tablet is reading it – how do I make sure that stuff is being downloaded on to it and…..
    how do I delete/get rid of apps that I don’t need/want?

    thanks

  4. wondering if u did get around to replacing the SDHC card to a larger class 10 one.. and whether it improved performance..

  5. I’ve got a newer model of this dual speaker clone. The Utopia version has the same main board but different power/charging PCB and different IO board. These dual speaker versions actually have more free space inside the case.

    Now if I can just find something interesting to do with that space…
    =)

  6. wondering if anyone upgraded there sd card to a faster one and if it did anything. was thinking about puting in a 16 gig class 10. only want to do if its worth it. dont have my tablet yet. but its in the mail

  7. Fair point, though in stating that there would be performance improvement (I didn’t specifying read performance) I’d be confident that due to database writes, app cache writes, file system writes, etc, there would be some kind of noticeable improvement.

  8. Actually higher Class Speeds only increase writing performance. Speed Ratings tell you about READ speed; but are sadly not as advertised, if tested at all. With that Sandisk I’m guessing you’re getting at least 10 MByte/s if not, 20. Although increasing would probably increase Web Cache speed… Anyway…

  9. Hello friends, I have this tablet, but unfortunately I broken it.
    If you want to buy it for take parts, processor, display and other please email me.
    Thanks

  10. Keep in mind for such a cheap price, it’s actually not too bad. The IMX515 processor is a monster, performing roughly around the same as the Snapdragon, all for around 1/4 the price of a smartphone on a bigger screen. See the Quadrant benchmark result in the review. I found apps launched quickly and scrolling was silky, it’s moreso the imprecision at times of the screen which was a bit of a hindrance to speedy usage.

    As I mentioned in my review (link at the top), the performance of the tablet is not an issue, there are no lags in loading time or smoothness, which leads me to believe that upgrading the internal SD may improve performance, but not by a huge amount.

    I will eventually try a faster SD card, and will post up a follow up review in the next couple of months, stay tuned.

  11. Thanks for the tear down and thereview ive been looking at this product and was really wondering should i bit or not. The one thing that intrested me was the fact that the SDHC card u stated was a class 2 card? If thats correct then if we upgrade to a class 6 card i think we would be able to increase the responsiveness of the OS by a pretty good margin.Can you give it a try? ie clone that 4gb class 2 card to a 4gb( or higher) class 6 card and tell us the results?

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