Hardware disassembly and repair guide iFixit set its sights on Microsoft’s Xbox One S in its latest teardown feature, detailing the process involved in cracking the unit open and examining its innards for the sake of science.
iFixit’s findings peg the system as fairly easy to open, though replacing some of its key components may put users at risk of voiding Microsoft’s warranty.
Grading the console at an 8 out of 10 on its Repairability scale, iFixit claims that the Xbox One S can be fully disassembled using a set of Torx screwdrivers and bits, with tweezers and an additional flathead screwdriver further required for delicate repair work.
Evaluating the ability of Xbox One S owners to swap out components, iFixit found that the console’s disc drive, fan, PSU, heat sink, wireless board, and front daughterboard are “easily replaced.” Reassembly is also fairly painless, assuming that users can follow simple instructions and diagrams.
iFixit additionally revealed other rarely discussed facets of the Xbox One S’s design, including the unit’s new mechanical buttons that replace the capacitative touch panels featured on original Xbox One hardware. Noting that “Gamers with a toddler or wet-nosed pet know the pain of the ultra-sensitive power button on the original Xbox One,” iFixit assures that the new Xbox One S will suffer fewer ill-timed shutdowns with the new design.
Gamers looking to replace the console’s internal hard drive with an alternate storage solution should use caution, however. iFixit warns that removing the Xbox One S’s pre-installed hard drive will automatically void its warranty, and replacement drives will need to be specially formatted. Fortunately, Microsoft allows users to expand their Xbox One storage space via external hard drives, eliminating the need to replace the unit’s stock drive.
Controller repair could also prove troublesome, as iFixit discovered that new Xbox One controllers use a different set of Torx security screws in difficult-to-reach positions, demanding a separate set of screw bits and a pair of steady hands. Soldering skills are also necessary for replacing specific controller components.
Overall, iFixit describes the Xbox One S as being easier to open and repair than previously issued Xbox One consoles. Naturally, we don’t recommend tearing open a fully functional unit, but it’s comforting to know that many Xbox One S components are easily replaced in the event of a gaming disaster.