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Mini Mini Teardown
#1  staylo 10-09-2012, 08:41 AM
Had to take a look The serial header is 2.54mm but if you want to make use of it you'll have to solder so that the pins lie flush with the PCB and don't protrude at all.

Disassembly is straightforward. Once the snap-on quilted cover is removed a thin plastic cover protects the PCB - six tiny philips screws have to be removed to remove that and access the board.

Points of interest:

1000mAH battery
Samsung K4X2G323PB-8GC3 256MB RAM
Freescale i.MX507 CPU
neonode NN1001 single chip touchscreen controller
CyberTAN WC121 network controller
TI 430G2333 (low power processor... hall effect?)
TI TPS65185 EPD power supply (TPS report here)

Serial port 3.3V (marked 'V') is unpowered when the device is shut down.

Larger images in zip.
kobo_mini_front.jpg kobo_mini_back.jpg 
[zip] kobo_mini_teardown.zip (12.50 MB, 1268 views)
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#2  digidon 10-18-2012, 04:17 PM
WHOA now, is that an SD card I see????


So can I just swap that bad boy out with the 32gb I have and be in 5" reader heaven?

Thanks either way, I love taking electronics apart, have since I was a wee lad (to my parents grief)
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#3  staylo 10-19-2012, 01:58 PM
Quote digidon
So can I just swap that bad boy out with the 32gb I have and be in 5" reader heaven?
Yes and no The Kobo's operating system is kept on the micro SD card too, so if you put in a blank SD the device will no longer boot. In theory you should be able to clone it to a larger card and resize the partitions, but it's untested.
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#4  davidfor 10-19-2012, 08:26 PM
Quote staylo
Yes and no The Kobo's operating system is kept on the micro SD card too, so if you put in a blank SD the device will no longer boot. In theory you should be able to clone it to a larger card and resize the partitions, but it's untested.
Someone has done this for one of the older devices. There is an explanation of what they did around here somewhere.
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#5  PeterT 10-19-2012, 08:33 PM
See http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=122701
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#6  jefftheworld 10-21-2012, 10:12 PM
Yes, I did that with previous models and I can almost guarantee that the same will work with this device. It's quite a simple procedure once the device has been opened.

In my case I did it on Linux, I simply ran the dd command to make an exact copy of the original card onto my target card and then used a partition editing program called gparted to enlarge the storage partition to fill the new card.

The process can be time consuming, but you're essentially only running two or three commands. I made a bit of money upgrading several Kobos to 32GB with this method and it's really rather painless.

One thing I'd be very interested to see is what speed the internal SD card is and whether you could get a significant performance increase by upgrading the card for both size and speed.


EDIT: Tomorrow I'll be performing an SD card upgrade on both a Glo and a Mini, I'll keep you updated but I'm confident that it will work flawlessly.
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#7  murg 10-22-2012, 09:21 AM
Quote jefftheworld
One thing I'd be very interested to see is what speed the internal SD card is and whether you could get a significant performance increase by upgrading the card for both size and speed.
I've been wondering this also...
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#8  jefftheworld 10-22-2012, 09:12 PM
Okay! I can confirm a success on both of those. I'll be seeing if I can't get a high speed card soon and pop that into my friend's Vox to see if r/w speeds are appreciably increased.
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#9  sysKin 10-23-2012, 10:20 PM
Quote murg
I've been wondering this also...
Me too!
But I just did some research and my conclusion is that it's not easy to buy fast microSD cards. They do advertise "class" - which is max sustained read/write speed - but in random access (which is what matters for non-camera usage) it's all over the place, which higher class often (but not always) worse.

If you look at random access 4 KB-block-sized writes, various cards can achieve anything from 2 MB/s (500 blocks written per second) to 0.006 MB/s (yes, 1.5 blocks written per second).

There exists at least one Sandisk 2 GB class 2 model which is incredibly fast, and if Kobo actually ships with that model, it's going to be hard to beat.
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#10  PeterT 10-23-2012, 10:54 PM
http://www.sakoman.com/OMAP/microsd-card-perfomance-test-results.html might be of interest
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