They first took apart the new Retina MacBook Pro and called it the “least repairable laptop” ever, but today our friends at iFixit took apart the device’s most impressive new component: its Retina Display. Here is what they found:
The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.
The major downside to the design noted in the report: the LCD is not replaceable. It is attached to the entire assembly, so this means you will likely have to replace the entire assembly if something goes wrong. It also noted that getting into the display is quite difficult, claiming, “Obliterating the front panel of the display was the only way to get it out.” Some highlights:
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* The Retina display is a hair over 7 mm at its thickest point and just over 3 mm at its thinnest, only a fraction of a millimeter thinner than the regular MacBook Pro.
* The display hinges have cables routed *through* them, without any means to remove the cables. So instead of routing cables underneath cable retainers (as in the non-Retina MacBook Pro), you just have to replace the cables and hinges together.
* The FaceTime HD camera interfaces with the rest of the computer via a Vimicro VC0358 USB camera interface IC.
* Underneath the top layer we find a series of films and sheets that manipulate light before sending it to the user’s eye.
* A strip of 48 LEDs at the bottom of the display assembly provides all the light your Retina display needs.
* The bottom edge of the case has two features that we found pretty neat: a laser engraved internal use code and a nifty arrangement of round indentations.