Apple s new MacBook Pro created quite a stir for its all-new Touch Bar that replaces the traditional function-key row on the previous model. Gadget repair firm iFixit took over the task of tearing down the Touch Bar variant of the MacBook Pro, and revealed that it is next to impossible to get it repaired! The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar scores just one out of ten on iFixit s repairability scale which means repairing the uber-expensive laptop is a herculean task. Also Read - Apple rolls out Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro updates with 8K ProRes videos and more for the new MacBook ProAlso Read - Why are new MacBook Pro models so expensive in India when compared to the US?
One of the reasons why the MacBook Pro scores low on repairability is because of its strongly glued battery, which makes replacement complicated. Other than battery, which is one of the first components to face the screw, other components such as the processor, storage card, and RAM are soldered straight to the logic board. However, it is the Touch Bar which adds a second, difficult-to-replace screen to damage. According to iFixit, the only easily repairable component of the new MacBook Pro is the trackpad, which is easy to access and straightforward to replace. Also Read - From 3rd gen AirPods to MacBook Pros to macOS Monterey: Top 5 announcements from Apple event
The Apple MacBook Pro packs in a million pixels over the 13-inch version, owing to its LED-backlit Retina display with 2880 1800 resolution (220 dpi). Powering it is a 2.6 GHz Skylake quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz) with integrated Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 16 GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory, 256 GB PCIe-based onboard SSD (Configurable to 512 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB SSD), four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports supporting charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, USB 3.1 Gen 2, Touch Bar with integrated Touch ID sensor, and the Force Touch trackpad. ALSO READ: Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar launched: India price, specifications and features
Now the sticky bit with the new MacBook Pro is that the already difficult Touch Bar comes integrated with a Touch ID sensor that doubles up as the power switch. This sensor is then paired with the T1 chip on the logic board. In order to fix a broken sensor, one would either need Apple s help or a completely new logic board, which means more expenses coming your way. In its teardown, iFixit further found that Apple has again used proprietary pentalobe screws on the MacBook Pro which make servicing and repairing of the device unnecessarily difficult.
In a separate teardown of both the Touch Bar version of the MacBook Pro and the Escape Edition which features the standard function key, iFixit found that the Touch Bar version features smaller battery, has two fans, double-ended heat sink, no SSD card, and lower speakers which do not actually line up with their grilles. The speakers also likely blast sound using the side air vents.The only removable components on the MacBook Pro are limited to the trackpad and headphone jack.
In order to accommodate the new Touch Bar, Apple did tweak the innards of its MacBook Pro 15-inch version a bit. The logic board on the MacBook Pro houses plenty of chips including the Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (up to 3.5 GHz) quad-core processor, Intel JHL 6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller (one for each set of USB-C ports), Apple s T1 chip, and six more such chips on either sides of the board. This isn t the first time Apple s MacBook range has scored this low on repairability. iFixit scored both the 2013 and 2015 MacBook Pro models with Retina display a repairability score of one out of 10 over strongly glued battery and difficult to repair Retina display. ALSO READ: Apple removed the 3.5mm audio jack for nothing, iPhone 7 Plus tear down reveals
Image courtesy: iFixit