iFixit completes first Touch Bar-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro teardown, finds interesting new changes in hardware

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Date: Thursday, November 17th, 2016, 05:23
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Touch Bar, Touch ID

The cool cats at iFixit have finished their teardown of the new 13-inch Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro and discovered some neat differences when compared with the MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. First, both 13-inch models have the exact same dimensions, but the Touch Bar machine weighs 20 grams less, which iFixit puts down to the laptop’s smaller battery.

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The new MacBook Pro is not designed to be user-serviceable, which iFixit commented on by giving it a repairability rating of 1/10. During the teardown, the firm found that the internal layout of the components has been redesigned to make space for the new Touch Bar, which broke as it was removed from the chassis and was deemed difficult to replace. The flex cable connecting the Touch Bar to the mainboard also wraps underneath it, making removal even more difficult.


iFixit also noted that the new improved speakers are located in the lower portion of the case, while the external speaker grilles are positioned in the top half of the case and don’t even go clear through to the internals, making them extremely unlikely to provide any outlet for audio. As a result, the sound is thought to be routed through the air vents on the side of the case for the Touch Bar-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Over the course of the teardown, iFixit reporting that fixing a faulty power switch will probably involve replacing the entire logic board, because the button doubles up as a sapphire-topped Touch ID sensor which pairs with the Apple’s soldered down T1 chip. Elsewhere, ten accessible screws hold down the new larger trackpad, which is identical to the one found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys, suggesting a replacement part would be cross-compatible.

The SSD for the 13-inch MacBook Pro is not designed to be removable on the Touch Bar-eqipped 13-inch MacBook Pro, as the unit has been soldered onto the logic board along with the RAM modules and the processor. The 5-cell 49.2Wh battery is also attached with adhesive, making it particularly hard to remove when it comes to replacing.

So, the new notebook is designed to be worked on by Apple Certified techs with very few upgrades designed to be user friendly.

If you’ve gotten your hands on one of the new MacBook Pro units, please let us know about your experience in the comments.

Via MacRumors and iFixit

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