Ask LH: Should I Upgrade The Processor In My Tablet?

Dear Lifehacker, My phone’s screen and battery are still great, but the dual-core processor is getting long in the tooth. Is there any way I can either upgrade the processor, or get it to draw on the much more powerful processor in my phone? Thanks, Tanking Tablet

Tablet picture from Shutterstock

Dear TT,

Unfortunately, swapping out a tablet’s CPU is no easy task. The motherboards aren’t supposed to be accessed by the customer and the processors tend to be soldered in place. They’re basically built to purpose. (There are exceptions, such as Lenovo’s modular Thinkpad X1, but these are few and far between.)

Even if you manage to replace it via some clever engineering hack, the process will invariably void the tablet’s warranty and the performance gains are likely to be minimal. In short, the effort probably isn’t worth it.

When it comes to improving a tablet’s performance, you’re better off looking at software solutions. Start by checking if there are any OS updates available and swapping to a faster screen launcher. You could also try employing a few kernel tweaks and ditching the widgets that you don’t use very often. As a final resort, you can always root the device and then overclock the CPU.

Alternatively, you could repurpose the device so that it fulfills one specific job. Examples include an ereader, a portable media centre or a control panel for a home automation system. For more ideas, check out our New Uses For Old Tablets guide.

We’re also going to throw this one over to our readers. If anyone has alternative suggestions, let TT know in the comments section below!


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