iFixit dissects the $2,299 Magic Leap One so you don’t have to

Every time a new, expensive gadget becomes commercially available, you can expect the glue-and-screw crew at iFixit to quickly pounce. This month’s Magic Leap One headset, now available for a cool $2,299, is no exception, and iFixit has now posted a treasure trove of photos and thoughts on the “mixed reality” device’s tech, performance, and repairability.

“This device is unlike anything we’ve torn down in the past,” the site’s authors write in their lengthy ML1 article. This teardown includes an unusually lengthy explanation of how Magic Leap’s first commercially available headset renders virtual images, à la Microsoft’s Hololens.

Among their discoveries: a four-LED array of infrared sensors is built into each of the headset’s lenses, and the sensors are aimed at users’ eyeballs to track their movement. The headset’s lenses are each equipped with six layers, and each layer is dedicated to one color wavelength (red, blue, or green). Three of those lens layers render near-focused visuals, and the other three render far-focused content—which doubles Microsoft’s own take on the concept. (iFixit is careful to point out existing Magic Leap patents regarding how these function.)

The teardown confirms specs that have been previously revealed, including 8GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage, and an Nvidia Tegra X2 SoC. But this teardown, unsurprisingly, reveals a few more important processors and construction elements. Just on the headset alone, iFixit found a separate video-processing unit with 512MB GDDR4 RAM and a 4K-resolution, 60fps video receiver. The ML1’s “Lightpack,” which must be worn in a pocket and connected to the headset, includes a massive fan (made by CoolerMaster, of all companies), a 36.77Wh battery, and a bunch of other chips.