• Stripping down the RM Slate 100

    Well, the temptation was too much to bare. With a limited number of screwdrivers I dug in. Unfortunately I had left my decent electronic screwdrivers at the office and won't be able to go beyond that basics of opening up the chassis for now.

    1. Turn the slate over so the screen is facing down.

    2. Applying downward pressure, push up (gently) on the small strip at the top of the unit, and gently remove.



    3. On the exposed interior top you will see two screws. One on the left and one on the right. The one on the left will have an anti-tamper sticker on it as shown in the picture. You can either remove the sticker or punch through it with a screwdriver.



    4. Unscrew and remove both left and right hand screws and put safely to one side (as they are rather small)

    5. Gently slide the chassis and screen apart by applying pressure to the rear and sliding it slowly downwards. It should slide about 4-5mm.



    6. Open up the tablet like a book, very slowly to reveal the innards. The copper coloured plate is the back of the screen.



    Unfortuantely I cannot go any further due to lack of tools, but my first task on Monday when (if) I get in the office will be to remove some of the component covers and find out where the 3G modem is supposed to go, but given the size of the device and the limited space within I'm wondering whether it will be specialist component rather than a 'normal' mini PCI-e modem.
    It will also be interesting to see whether the RAM can be increased or not. Also note the size of the battery, which takes up almost half of the internal space.

    Comments 19 Comments
    1. andyturpie's Avatar
      andyturpie -
      I was at the RM tech seminar the week before last and the 3G has been canned in this release as to keep pricing competitive. A solid piece of kit which has apparently recieved some interest in the far east. Thats not to say that the next release will have 3G included. I am trying to get our head interested in purchasing.
    1. jpaterson's Avatar
      jpaterson -
      OK, so my slate arrived just after 2pm today. Since Dos_Box was exceptionally kind enough to potentially sacrifice his slate and crack open it and show us the creamy gooiness inside, I thought I'd stand shoulder to shoulder with him, and go the stage further by having a peek at what is beyond the EM shield.

      Before I continue, this RM Slate is an odd beast. The 3G connectivity, for me, would have been the ace in the hole for me. The O/S image even suggests that it is ready and should have the capability to go 3G...

      Attachment 8961
      Registry settings

      Attachment 8962
      Software

      And this is right outta the box.

      So, without further a doo, here's whats behind the 'iron curtain'...

      Attachment 8960
      The board

      Attachment 8959
      The SSD (soz about teh fuzziness, the macro function was warming up )

      Attachment 8958
      The Broadcom Crystal HD Card (The BT card is adjacent the fan. dunno where the wlan card is!)

      Attachment 8956
      The empty Mini PCI-e(?) slot

      Attachment 8957
      The back side of the EM shield

      So, a bit of a disappointment on teh 3G front, but I'm sure we can get a card for it somewhere, right?


      *** No RM Slate's were *seriously* harmed in the making of this post.
    1. jpaterson's Avatar
      jpaterson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
      Oh, I forgot to add, it IS the Pegatron Masterpad (I'm 99% sure at any rate), but considering Pegatron are an OEM manufacturer this comes as no surprise and as far as I can gather RM are the only people selling them. Also there is an enormous amount of positive press about the Masterpad from demo units sent out to the online press in the summer.
      Looks like zoostorm are doing them too...

      Zoostorm: PC Systems, Laptop Computers and Netbooks
    1. Dos_Box's Avatar
      Dos_Box -
      And have you seen how much they are selling them for?

      Zoostorm SL8 Tablet PC - Misco.co.uk

      That's over £50 per unit (inc VAT) more than RM! I don't think anyone can claim RM is profiteering here, which is nice to see.

      £528 vs £474
    1. allegro16's Avatar
      allegro16 -
      Got a similar Slate last month, running Meego instead of W7 called the Wetab.
      Has anyone managed to backup the bios though? I got a message: Error: BIOS is write-protected (AFUDOS tool)
      Was planning to check if i could patch anything, but because of this i couldn't.

      So, if you have any idea how to disable or circumvent this protection..

      Or maybe an official bios and tool to flash?

      I couldn't find a BIOS jumper on your pics and it's not a setting in the BIOS setup..
    1. Dos_Box's Avatar
      Dos_Box -
      There is a lot of sheilding covering most of the board components which I have not yet removed. However, I do know that they are OEM devices and RM as yet have no repair options for the slates. If it breaks it needs the wole device replacing, and my guess is that the whole production including HD image and BIOS is done in the far east before it reached RM. However, as the device is going to be used by many OEMs worldwide it may be that there will be some custom tools either leaked or developed over time.
    1. allegro16's Avatar
      allegro16 -
      Hi, was able to backup the BIOS by using the updated AFUDOS for Aption!
      Though, tools to edit it are unavailable as of yet (AMIBCP for Aptio, MMTool, DMIEdit, Change Logo, Ami Flashers), so i guess i have to wait.
      Also, i haven't found a single official bios flasher for anythe Pegatron based Slates (ExoPc, WeTab, RM Slate 100, etc)..
      An official BIOS and flasher would be best for editing, etc. So, if you or someone else has a copy: i'm interested!

      Allegro16
      --
      WeTab Meego Slate

      Bios Information:

      BIOS Vendor: American Megatrends
      Core Version: 4.6.4.0
      Compliency: UEFI 2.0
      BIOS Version: Lucid-MWE-0125
      Build Date and Time: 09/03/2010 18.17
      EC Version: 000915
    1. AD2K3's Avatar
      AD2K3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
      And have you seen how much they are selling them for?

      Zoostorm SL8 Tablet PC - Misco.co.uk

      That's over £50 per unit (inc VAT) more than RM! I don't think anyone can claim RM is profiteering here, which is nice to see.

      £528 vs £474
      But it does come with Windows 7 Professional! So i would imagine most of the £50 is made up of the licence!
    1. jpaterson's Avatar
      jpaterson -
      Some tweaks and observations...

      ## Problems with A2DP quality? (choppy output)
      The slate seems to have a combined BT/WLan card, driven in part by a unified driver. I have noticed that A2DP playback was choppy, so after much faffing, discovered that changing the "802.11 Bluetooth High Speed" setting to DISABLED, with improve audio quality on you BT Audio device. The setting can be found on the advanced tab of the WLAN NIC Properties sheet.

      ## Improve Touch response
      The laggy issues described earlier in the thread seem similar to a non-responsive system. since there's no hdd drive light to tell if there's activity, the only place to get info about current activity is the task mgr or perf monitor. these themselves can be resource intensive at times. nonetheless, i have found that the Windows Aero setvice can be intermittently demanding. Disabling Windows Aero themes via the Personalisation settings can help improve touch interface response.

      More info as i figure it out folks.
    1. TheDynamo's Avatar
      TheDynamo -
      Hi, I have just purchased the Zoostorm SL8 tablet which i presume is the same as this tablet as it pretty much opens up exactly the same. It has windows 7 installed on it and so far i am happy with the device.

      My only issue seems to be the responsiveness of they touch screen which sometimes works absolutely fine and then fails to register touches etc which can be really annoying at time.

      I have also managed to use my iphone as a wifi mouse which works very well lol.

      I ran CPU-Z on the tablet and noticed that when i selected memory it shows 2 slots (the second slot being empty) and one slot having HYMP125S64CP8-S6 (serial number for memory) I have not fully opened the device but does this mean that there is indeed another slot free in the device to add another 2 gig?

      I understand window 7 32 bit can see a maximum of 4 gig
    1. jpaterson's Avatar
      jpaterson -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDynamo View Post
      My only issue seems to be the responsiveness of they touch screen which sometimes works absolutely fine and then fails to register touches etc which can be really annoying at time.
      You have a look at my post above?
    1. Dos_Box's Avatar
      Dos_Box -
      It looks like the same beast, which is actually a rebranded Pegatron Megapad. I have not seen a second RAM slot inside, however, due to time constraints with BETT and LWF I've not removed the compnent sheilding off large parts of the motherboard. Oh, and if you are to take a look inside, be very carful sliding the chassis apart as their are 2 delicate ribbon cables inside which require disconnecting before you seperate the 2 halfs. These control wireless\bluetooth and the touchscreen interface.
      As for responsiveness, I can't say I've encountered any issues, however I can't belive that ZooStorm sell them for £510 (Ebuyer) when RM sell them for £470 (inc VAT). However it does come with W7 Pro.
    1. TheDynamo's Avatar
      TheDynamo -
      I will try when i get home.

      I am also going to attempt to install ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition and install 3rd party touch screen drivers on an SD Card when i get the opportunity. Already tested Ubuntu live to see compatability with devices on laptop and all seemed fine so fingers crossed i can get it dual booting.

      I always end up trying to install OSX Snow Leopard on most machines i build, purchase so that should be interesting....

    1. TheDynamo's Avatar
      TheDynamo -
      Well the good news is that i successfully installed ubuntu 10.10 net edition on the slate with everything working - i.e.

      wifi
      sd cards
      soundwebcam

      and best of all the touchscreen! with minimal editing of the grub file. there is an on screen keyboard but it needs to be modified so that it shows at logon etc, but i read that they will be making a decent version of one soon.

      if anyone wants instructions send me a pvt message
    1. TheDynamo's Avatar
      TheDynamo -
      oh, one last thing. I noticed that the touch responsiveness in Ubuntu is much better
    1. jpaterson's Avatar
      jpaterson -
      I'm using my Slate as fitness training computer with Windows 7. However, I quite fancy dual booting with Ubuntu. I'll give you a shout for some instructions, if you don't mind?
    1. allegro16's Avatar
      allegro16 -
      Hi,

      Managed to flash it a few times with the help of Pegatron and ExoPC.
      No problem.
      Last time i flashed though, something went wrong and now i don't get any image at boot.. (It DOES still boot, indicated by the power-button and the led on my usb flash drive.)
      They thought it would be possible to reflash, because it seems to access my usb stick.. But, even when forced, it doesn't. (I have a boot stick with recovery bios, etc)

      All what's left is trying to RMA the WeTab (losing all my data, etc) or try to hot flash it using another Pegatron tablet..
      I DO have an ExoPC available, so i could try that.. As long as i know which chip on the PCB is the actual BIOS chip. I need to be 100% sure..

      So, does anyone know? Maybe under the tape near the dock connector? Could be a BIOS chip..
      Or is it elsewhere located? Where?

      Thanks,

      Allegro16.
    1. Ranger2000's Avatar
      Ranger2000 -
      Hi

      First off thanks for the great post, it was just what i was looking for! I too am interested in the 3G connectivity as at presnt there is not a 3G version avalible in the UK!

      I have two questions that i am hoping that some one may be able to answer:-

      1. Are there any aerial connections at the spare Mini PCI-E slot? (I have a Dell 5530 card which i want to plug in)

      2. On the non 3G models is the sim card reader present? (i know the slot is present but i don't know if the electronics for it are present)

      Any help or more pictures would be great!

      Thanks

      Ranger2000

      PS: One last thing has anyone tried a single 4Gb DDR2 module?
    1. mhe010653's Avatar
      mhe010653 -
      I would love to replace the SSD with something more than 32GB. Has anyone been successful wit this?
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