Teardown Shows Rugged ASUS Chromebook C202 For Students Is Head Of Class In DIY Repair
The Chromebook C202's friendly serviceability isn't by accident. ASUS intentionally designed the C202 to be both "classroom-rugged" and easy to disassemble and repair, should the need arise. Both are touted as features of the C202, and to prove it, ASUS happily volunteered one of its units for a teardown.
Things got off to a stellar start. One of the first things you'll notice when flipping the C202 on its back is a warning label, though it says nothing about trashing your warranty if you decide to open this sucker up. That's quite the refreshing change of pace, though it's not the only highlight. While you're required to remove a couple of rubber covers to crack open the C202, you'll find standard Phillips screws holding the chassis in place, not adhesive or proprietary screws. It's like ASUS read the manual on how to design an electronic gadget as written by Apple and then did the complete opposite.
From there, getting inside the C202 is just a matter of prying open the spill-proof upper case, which is secured to the base with a series of plastic clips. Once you've freed the top portion, you'll find that the keyboard and trackpad are tethered to the motherboard via ribbon cables, but "with plenty of slack to flip the upper case over and safely disconnect the ZIF connectors."
There are a lot of modular parts to the Chromebook C202, including the power jack on the I/O board, a common point of failure. The only real inconvenience—and it's a minor one—is a hefty heatsink bracket that ASUS slapped on top of the battery. However, it's held in place with Phillips screws, so getting to the 38 Wh lithium ion battery isn't all that difficult.
Beyond those two quibbles, ASUS impressed by equipping its Chromebook C202 with standard Phillips screws and avoiding the use of adhesive. It also won praise for the laptop's simplistic design and modular construction.