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Vizio Co-Star Teardown

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How fast is this little box? Is there a hamster running on a miniature treadmill inside? Would it fare well against our spudgers? We knew of only one way to find out.During our journey, we found the Co-Star to be an easily-fixed device, although there’s not much inside to fix — it is, after all, a (circuit) board in a box. Even so, the little guy got a great 8 out of 10 repairability score: all screws are of the Phillips variety, it pops open with ease, and most internal components are readily accessible.Oh, and we took apart the fancy remote as well — because that’s how we roll.© iFixitHere’s the specs on the Co-Star:Marvell Armada 1500 1.2 GHz Dual-Core ProcessorMarvell 88DE2755 QDEO Video ProcessorNanya NT5CB256M8GN-DI 1 GB RAMSamsung K9GBG08U0A-SCBO 4 GB NAND FlashMarvell Avastar 88W8787 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM SoC As soon as we’re inside, we pull off what looks like an EMI shield — only to find a thermal pad sitting on top of a sea of small resistors. It’s not often that we encounter cooling for the back side of a motherboard, but Vizio took extra precautions since the Co-Star has no fans.A grand total of just five screws and two cables must be removed to free the motherboard. We’re used to device innards being dominated by a single component, but those space hogs are usually batteries or power supplies. In the Co-Star, over a third of the real estate is instead inhabited by the aluminum heat sink.Why such a honker heat sink? The answer lies in air movement. Without fans to circulate air, there is no forced convection. Therefore, the Co-Star must rely on conduction and natural convection to keep the processor cool.Modders, take note: the Co-Star’s silver bezel comes off easily and would probably look pretty slick when painted neon green.© iFixitSome fun factoids on the Co-Star’s remote:Both keyboard bezel and rubber button cover easily detach from the rest of the remote, making it a cinch to clean off grime after prolonged use.An abundance of glue secures the trackpad to the front of the Co-Star remote, but pretty much everything else comes apart with relative ease.Chips inside the remote include:Synaptics T1021A Touch ControllerRenesas R5F2133 16-bit Microcontroller Maximum MAXQ610 16-bit Microcontroller with Infrared ModuleBroadcom BCM20733 Human Interface Device Bluetooth 3.0—–The rest of the images and info can be found on iFixit.

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