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Teardown: There’s no place like Google’s Home

Google Home is up against some stiff competition. There’s no denying that Amazon built a technological marvel: They made a fancy smooth volume dial, invented a new kind of saxophone for a speaker chamber, and put in seven microphones to listen to your commands (Seriously? Seven?). How can Google defeat the home assistant heavyweight that is the Echo?

How does Google’s Home stack up against Amazon’s Echo? Well, for one: it’s smaller.

Don’t fight harder, fight smarter. Google took some fairly standard, proven tech, put it in a nicely designed container, and didn’t strain themselves to reinvent the wheel. A sober two microphones. A simple, single-speaker setup. Solid-state, capacitive touch volume control. The result? A consumer-friendly price point, and a great platform for the real star—Google Assistant.

Anyone Home in there?

Google Home Teardown Highlights:

  • Why is an audio-only device like this powered by an HD video processor? Maybe because Google saved some R&D dough and reused the CPU, RAM, and flash storage from last year’s Chromecast update.
  • The touch control board has an array of capacitors that can track the movement of your finger through the plastic top, allowing you to control the volume and other functions.
  • The Home contains not only a secret micro-USB port, but also a secret four-contact cable array, presumably for internal testing purposes.
  • Modular components, standard fasteners, and a solid-state design earned this smart hub an 8 out of 10.

This is just the highlights from our teardown, see the full Google Home disassembly at iFixit.com.