The crew at iFixit is at it again: the site, which opens up devices and more to see exactly how they work inside, decided to dissect the inner workings of the hoverboard, one of the most controversial devices of the year.
The team picked a Swagway model for its project after consulting the Wirecutter for its recommended number one model, as well as its UL-certification for its components. Referring to the two-wheeler as a "smartboard" ("two-wheel hands-free self-balancing scooter is too hard to say, and this thing definitely does not hover, so we're going to be calling this a 'smartboard,'" the team explained), iFixit systematically took apart the charger, the "smart bits" that control its motion, the potentially-hazardous Lithium-ion battery that powers it and (obviously) the board itself to see exactly how the two-wheeler ticks.
The team found that, despite some misleading appearances (more specifically, blobs of insulatory material that made up the charger, which more or less looked like NYC post-Marshmallow Man explosion in Ghostbusters), the board was more or less good to go.
Here's what the iFixit team wrote upon opening the Swagboard and taking a peek inside:
"Given the reputation these boards have garnered, we were expecting to find some serious jank. Instead, at first glance things seem pretty tidy and safe, without any obvious cut corners. Wires and connectors are all safely insulated, the battery and main board are on opposite sides (for balance and to keep them away from each other). Wires passed through the central rotating joint are covered in plastic sleeves to protect them from rubbing."
The take-apart was more laudatory than not of the board, giving it props for proper insulation, protection from potentially fire-inducing friction on the wires and good connectors, but criticized the Swag's "poor solder on [the] battery protection board" and stated that the motor leads "need some extra support on the control board."
Most interestingly enough, the iFixit crew concluded that the board was "completely reparable" — then again, it might be not such a great idea to go DIY on it if you're not an expert, so if you decide to conduct a similar teardown, proceed with caution. As the iFixit people said, despite their overall positive review they "[couldn't] recommend it as better than the rest without seeing the inside of every other smartboard."