X102BA unboxing and disassembly

Here’s the X102BA taken from brand-new-in-box down to most of its component parts.

We start with the unboxing:

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Looking around the case, there’s a reasonable selection of ports. On the left side, VGA, HDMI, charger, and a single USB3 port.P1030912

On the right, a pair of USB2 ports, the mic/earphone socket, Kensington Lock, and ethernet – with a peculiar sprung flap to hold the RJ45 lug.

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The back and underneath are unremarkable:

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Then the disassembly, all of which was done using a PH0 (Phillips) screwdriver, and a plastic spudger. It’s easy to do if you take your time.

All of the screws are the same head, the only differences being that 2 different lengths of screw are used. The machine ships with a plastic blank in the SD card slot. This must be removed otherwise it stops the case from coming apart.

The only obstacle to getting the case open, is 3 hidden screws. The screws hiding under the rear pair of rubber feet were predictable; the one under the serial number label less so.

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Once all 6 screws are out, it’s simply a case of gently inserting the spudger at one corner (beside the LEDs seems easy) and prizing the two halves of the case apart.

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A few things are immediately apparent:

  • There’s a fan
  • The RAM is soldered, so can’t be upgraded
  • There’s only one Mini-PCIe slot, which contains the WiFi card already
  • The drive is a standard SATA disk and totally upgradeable

Before we progress, we need to remove the keyboard/trackpad assembly, so that we don’t damage the cables. There are two cables, each goes to a different type of ZIF socket on the motherboard. The wider ribbon cable goes to a socket with lugs which lever gently backwards to release the ribbon. The narrow one goes to a tiny socket which has lugs which flip upwards to release the cable. Both are easy with the spudger and require little force.

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Now the keyboard is removed, we can relax a bit and have a close look at that soldered RAM and the disk. Note that there are 4 more RAM chips on the reverse side of the motherboard (see below).

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There’s a large, silvered ribbon cable connecting the motherboard on the left, with the daughterboard on the right that holds the LEDs and right-hand set of ports. It’s also hiding the mini-PCIe wireless card. It comes out very easily by gently easing the two ZIF sockets open:

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This gives us a closer look at the wifi module; what a shame they only connected a single antenna. There’s clearly room for a larger and more capable module – but sadly no more slots:

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Removal of the disk is as easy as it looks – undo 4 screws and pull very gently:

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With the big ribbon cable removed, the daughterboard can be unscrewed:

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Giving a closer look at the sprung cat5 socket:

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We can now undo one screw and pull the battery out. There are no cables connected to it, it simply rests against connectors on the motherboard. It’s 11.25V 33Wh.

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We can now remove the last few screws and pivot the motherboard out, to see the underside. Note RAM chips and fan.

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and that’s it. Hope someone finds this useful.

 

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17 thoughts on “X102BA unboxing and disassembly

  1. Hi, I recently bought one of these ultraportables – Thank you so much for the detailed images and information. I plan to install a SSD in this laptop, and obviously, Asus doesn’t have anything close to a service manual for that purpose. I would have missed the screw under the information label.

    For the time being I’ll continue to run Windows until there is better support for a linux distro. Cheers for the help. It was hard even finding English language websites mentioning little more than Asus’ press release for this laptop.

    I would like to mention, although the laptop comes with a 7mm HDD, it is possible to install a 9.5mm SSD/HDD. Removing the two rectangular strips of rubber under the keyboard assembly gave just barely enough room. There is a very slight bulge (~1mm) on the right side of the keyboard directly over the drive bay, but it does not impact typing or closing the lid at all. It is almost imperceptible.

  2. Thanks for the great post. Now I want an ssd. My hdd on my x102ba makes a clicking noise when it is idle. Only had it about 20 days. Works okay though with no faults reported. We’ll see.

  3. I recently added another antenna behind the touchscreen and swapped out the Altheros WLAN for an Intel 6235. A lengthy process of figuring out how to remove the back of the screen. There is no whitelist in the bios so you should be able to add whatever WLAN card you wish.

    Some pics of the process, imgur.com/a/QyMsS

    • That’s brilliant! Nice work.

      Would you be willing to write a post for the blog (or even a longer comment) explaining how you remove the back of the screen and route the new cable please?

  4. Great writeup! I was considering getting one of these to replace an aging Asus Eee PC 900, but although I could replace the HDD with an SSD, I’d still like to see the fan gone for complete silence and no moving parts.

  5. Yes it’s easy. As the article says:

    “We can now undo one screw and pull the battery out. There are no cables connected to it, it simply rests against connectors on the motherboard. It’s 11.25V 33Wh.”

  6. I recently bought this in India. The Win 8 is extremely slow. I am trying to install dual boot Ubuntu 14. I have prepared the pendrive as Ubunt installer based on a youtube video. However, I am unable to boot it to install Ubuntu. Entered bios to change the boot sequence. The laptop boots to a “grub>” prompt. Tried F9 route to select boot from pendrive but that too doesn’t work. Running wubi.exe from pendrive as administrator, takes me to a screen saying install demo or full version. On doing so it ask me to reboot, and it loops back to “grub>”. Just for info, disabling secure boot option doesn’t appear in my bios menu! Any advise on how to install Ubuntu alongside Win 8.

  7. I installed Xubuntu on both my X102BA and F102BA (Fry’s version of the X102BA) without any problems. I used the ISO (which is an hybrid ISO) with Win32disk imager. I don’t think Wubi is working anymore. Try and comment back with feedback on how it went

  8. I was able to install Lubuntu without any issues at all. Just don’t change the default graphics driver to fglrx, as fglrx has broken screen brightness control.

  9. Does anyone have slow download speeds on the x102ba? Speedtest gives me no more than 15 whereas my Lenovo gets 36 consistently on my 38 connection. I have now upgraded to an intel 7260ac and 2nd antenna and got a great wireless connection rate but still no more than 15 or 16 download rate. I notice 100% CPU when running speedtest so maybe the issue is the cpu can’t keep up with homehub5 wpa2 encryption? If I use my iPhone 6 as a mobile hotspot, I can get higher speed on the x102ba however..

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