Zune Disassembled: Inside The Zune Pad

zunepad main Zune Disassembled: Inside The Zune Pad

Ever wanted to know what is inside the Zune Pad? You are in luck- my compulsion to take things apart kicked in the other day after a bout of boredom. The pics may not be for the feint hearted, but I can assure you that no functional Zunes were harmed in the making of this disassembly. This one was already on its death bed. I would also like to mention that opening up the Zune Pad will render it useless.

Please read on for some great pics and a bit about the tech behind the touchpad.

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The touchpad is the same tech as what you would find on your laptops touch pad, the Zen Vision:M’s touch strip, and the iPod’s touch wheel. The Zune’s touchpad along with most of the previously mentioned pad are made by Synaptics. What I find interesting is that even though the main functions of the Zune only use horizontal and vertical scrolling, the pad has the ability to track the full range of 2D positioning just like a typical laptop’s touchpad. This comes in handy with Zune game development where as it is behaves like the Xbox 360’s right analogue stick. According to Synaptics website, this positioning is accurate to 1/1000th of an inch.

Here is a video I made of the Zune Pad in action. It has a very cool “orgainic” feel to it- acting like a real world wheel. I will admit though, I normally have the touch sensitive controls turned off. Nice that we have that choice.




16 Comments

nikhil on October 1, 2008 9:01 AM

Cool thanks

BeautifulZune on October 1, 2008 9:54 AM

Very cool. Taking stuff apart to see what makes it tick is one of my favorite pastimes. Thanks for doing this.

MFG on October 1, 2008 11:36 AM

Cool. Reminds me of the show “How Stuff Works”

Chase on October 1, 2008 12:32 PM

Cool! I was actually wondering about this the other day. I’m never brave enough to do this kind of stuff on my own but am always curious so I love reading these types of articles. Thanks! :)

Wings on October 1, 2008 9:03 PM

Reminds me of the old Intellivision Game controller.

shenyue on October 2, 2008 2:17 AM

does that mean that its possible to be running linux on there if we can crack the firmware codes?

abc on October 2, 2008 10:23 AM

@shenyue: That has nothing to do with this.

Melay on October 7, 2008 8:32 AM

Is it possible to let the finger spin like on these white players (i dont remember its name) ?

David on October 9, 2008 11:48 AM

Melay, no. it doesn’t work if you use it like a while. just up and down motions work.

Will on October 14, 2008 7:19 PM

I dissasembled a iPod nano 1G and found something very similar to this in the clickwheel

Moranna on October 21, 2008 10:27 PM

how do you chande from clicking to scrolling with your finger?

John on October 27, 2008 10:05 PM

Well i have a 30GB and i was wondering if i could purchase a zune pad, and switch it with the plain-old-boring-blah buttons? Im not sure if i could…but i would rather purchase a part and install it, than get a completely new product and have two laying around… if its possible, let me know at baaaaaaaaaaaaaa@hotmail.com. i know, but its a completely legit email.

Molly on December 1, 2008 7:17 PM

Awesome! Thanks for showing it for us to see!

Rhcpman on December 11, 2008 4:37 PM

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ..another great way to see the touch pad in action is in the pictures menu it looks like you can almost go diagonal. nice disassemble

sars on January 23, 2009 7:47 PM

my zune pad is not like that whenever i want to click something sometimes it goes down and sometimes when i want to change the song something happens with the volume can u tell me whats wrong with my zune

Emmet on May 1, 2009 4:15 PM

Nothing is wrong with your Zune! What you are experiencing is the dreaded P.E.B.C.A.Zune problem so common among the portable music player communities.

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