Teardown of 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar reveals fake speaker grills, fragile Touch Bar

By Shawn Knight ยท 12 replies
Nov 16, 2016
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  1. Apple hardware is notorious for being difficult to repair and the company’s latest addition, the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, is no exception as the team over at iFixit recently discovered.

    In its teardown of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, iFixit had little trouble getting into the notebook and even removing the trackpad. Moving past the twin heatpipe cooler, the mainboard reveals that both flash storage and RAM is soldered in place meaning you’re stuck with the configuration you initially purchase.

    This is the first MacBook to ship with a Touch ID fingerprint reader (located just above the Delete key and to the right of the Touch Bar). It's coated in sapphire crystal which, while a boon for security (the sensor, not the sapphire), is a pain to replace as it is linked to a chip on the motherboard. Replacing it could require help from Apple or even a new logic board.

    Elsewhere, the teardown specialists found that the MacBook Pro’s speaker grills on either side of the keyboard are largely cosmetic.

    Gimmicky or not, the real star of the show is the Touch Bar and as you may have guessed, it’s not exactly easy to get to or remove. In fact, after breaking out (no pun intended) the iOpener heat tool, the team accidentally broke the Touch Bar as the digitizer separated from the display while trying to remove it. These guys are pros and if they couldn’t get it out with damaging it, odds are you won’t be able to either.

    All things considered, iFixit awards the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar a paltry repairability score of one out of 10 (the higher the number, the easier it is to repair). Apple’s latest earned red marks for its proprietary pentalobe screws, a battery that’s solidly glued in place, the fact that the processor, RAM and memory are all soldered to the logic board, the difficult-to-replace-without-breaking Touch Bar and a Touch ID sensor that doubles as the power button.

    On the bright side, one can remove the trackpad without first removing the battery.

    Images courtesy iFixit

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    Fake speaker grills? That's a new low for Apple.
  3. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 390   +668

    The real speakers were making it too thick. Next year they'll be getting rid of the screen, motherboard, keyboard, trackpad, drives & battery, and just selling a 1mm thin empty case. Pre-orders are rolling in already...
    Odium, p51d007, Reehahs and 11 others like this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    I believe you are the first user on TechSpot ever to have more likes than posts, which in the context of your reply tells me you must be a real comedian :) Keep it up, but don't bury your talent here! :) This is for geeks :)
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
    Reehahs and wastedkill like this.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 860   +874

    But what about the revolutionary macbook wheel !?!

    Apple's thinness obsession is getting far too out of hand. How long until even the hardcore fans refuse to buy their products?
    wastedkill likes this.
  6. hopgop1

    hopgop1 TS Booster Posts: 167   +34

    Surely RAM and memory are the same thing, do you mean the SSD/HDD?
  7. enemys

    enemys TS Addict Posts: 123   +110

    RAM is just one kind of memory - primary working set. But secondary storage like SSD/HDD etc. also technically count as memories, though they are usually referred to as storage or something like that.
  8. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    Doesnt surprise me. I have to wonder if they are trying to get a low score. Next time around they should shoot for a 0/10.
  9. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    Apple products are so delicate that unless you have the gentle, soft, moisturized hands of a 13 year old girl from Shen Zhen, you will damage it just by touching it in an unintended manner.
    wastedkill and trgz like this.
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    It's not difficult to get a lot of likes - more than posts.

    Just make a pro-Harambe quip and the likes roll in.
    wastedkill, ScubaRhys and tuxbugy like this.
  11. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    The "fake speaker grills" are for the tweeters.
    wastedkill likes this.
  12. Jamlad

    Jamlad TS Booster Posts: 113   +93

    Nobody's commenting on the soldered HDD? That is a design choice of monumental short-sightedness. Mainboard dies? Whelp, can't throw the drive into a caddy.

    What are you going to do when the disk fails? Throw the mainboard away? Pay a 3rd party to resolder a new drive? SSDs have a limited amount of read-writes.

    Pure money-grabbing ignorance.
    Odium likes this.
  13. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    Since the era of Steve Jobs is over, BEAN counters control apple.
    Make it cheap, sell it EXPENSIVE. $$$$
    Innovation with Apple, along with a majority of the PC, phone market
    is lacking. All they can do it make it faster, thinner and more expensive.

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