updated 10:35 am EST, Thu February 16, 2012
PS VIta shown easy to look at by iFixit
iFixit on Thursday posted a teardown of the just-launched PlayStation Vita that provided a handful of surprises about its construction. The gaming handheld is unusually easy to open, with standard (if small) Philips screws throughout, few adhesives, and a battery that's relatively easy to replace. Much of the design is modular, and even the screws are color-coded in a way that helps identify which screws belong to the mainboard itself versus the parts that attach to the mainboard.
The trigger buttons share the same core design as the PSP.
Among the actual components, the Vita's most important part, the quad-core ARM processor, is at least superficially a custom-designed component. Its CXD5315GG label doesn't give away the manufacturer, although Sony is capable of manufacturing chips itself and has its own antenna switch module. PowerVR's SGX543MP4 quad-core graphics give it the near PS3-level visuals.
On the 3G version, a Qualcomm MDM6200 chipset shows that AT&T users will be capped at 14.4Mbps instead of the peak 21Mbps on the HSPA+ network.
Only a small number of obstacles keep the Vita from getting a perfect score, including some adhesive on the back and a front plastic surface that's fused to the LCD, raising the price of a replacement if one or both break.