Our friends over at iFixit took their screwdrivers to the latest MacBook Air refresh yesterday, and they found a design that is largely the same apart from adjusted SSD-related components. They are at it again today, but this time with the new Retina MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, iFixit found changes to the new MacBook Pro that makes it “the least repairable laptop” it has taken apart. They gave it a 1/10 repair score:
Apple has packed all the things we hate into one beautiful little package.
One of the altered components, when compared to previous-generation MacBooks, is the asymmetrical fan that theoretically reduces noise, while another component is the new 95 Wh battery (when compared to the 77.5Wh in earlier generations). iFixit also noticed the SSD is supplied by Samsung and bearing the “Samsung S4LJ204X01” marking, which we know is a variant of the controller Samsung is shipping in its 830 series SSDs. Also new in the Retina MacBook is Broadcom BCM4331 and BCM20702 chips for 802.11n dual-band wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.
Some of the “highlights” of the teardown are below, including details on the difficulties with repairability:
* Just like in the iPhone 4/4S (and the MacBook Air), proprietary Pentalobe screws prevent folks from accessing the machine’s internals. That means you need a special screwdriver just to remove the bottom cover.
* As in the MacBook Air, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB now, or forever hold your peace—you can’t upgrade.
* The proprietary SSD isn’t upgradeable either (yet), as it is similar but not identical to the one in the Air. It is a separate daughtercard, and we’re hopeful we can offer an upgrade in the near future.
* The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it’ll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that a user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.
* The display assembly is completely fused, and there’s no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire (extremely expensive) assembly.
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