No, Sony didn't team up with Pop-Tarts to make an edible Vita. Instead, the teardown gurus over at iFixit put the Vita in a toaster oven and baked it for 10 long minutes at 200 °F for a very specific reason. Of course, I'd be a jerk if I didn't have that very specific reason handy — read on to find out why this Vita is getting baked.
Gadget teardowns are useful for a lot of reasons, most prominently because it allows the media and hobbyists to itemize and track the hardware of a unit, and reveal tech specs that may have been hidden by the manufacturer.
The Xbox 360 you buy today doesn't have the same guts as the first-gen 360 that launched in '05. Itemizing hardware also keeps the makers of our gadgetry honest as they can't claim something is one thing if a teardown reveals it to be something else. Another benefit: if we know what's inside a machine, we can estimate its cost. (The 16GB iPhone 4S, for instance, costs an estimated $188 in parts per unit.)
Tech teardowns also reveal just how pretty the guts of some gadgets can look, like so:
(Then again, maybe I'm just a sucker for printed circuit board.)
So, back to the matter at hand: why bake a Vita? Well, it's part of the teardown process. Every device is constructed differently and has its own security measures that both make for a sturdier build and reduce tampering. In baking the Vita, iFixit was going after the unit's LCD screen:
Baking electronics: much easier than baking bread. All the ingredients are pre-mixed
We baked our Vita in order to separate the front plastic (and fused LCD) from the frame. Our quick recipe for frame removal:
Then, after wedging some guitar picks between the Vita's frame and the plastic adorning the front of the unit, the LCD panel (which is fused to the plastic, according to iFixit), can slowly be removed — a "very precarious" maneuver, according to the pros:
Guitar picks, apparently, are so useful to the teardown process that iFixit even sells their own.
No shocking revelations from the Vita teardown just yet, though solid insight is sprinkled throughout the guide, including the fact that the battery is hard to get to but not so hard that the average user couldn't manage, and that the VGA camera, while not powerful enough for your family photos, will allow the Vita to enter the same mobile augmented reality space that Nintendo plays in with the 3DS.