iFixit gave the next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display a 1 on a 10-point scale, finding Apple's heavy hand on the glue bottle makes the laptop nearly impossible to fix or upgrade.
Apple's next-generation MacBook with Retina display is thin, light,
gorgeous, increasingly hard to find, seriously pricey and "virtually nonupgradeable,"
according to repair site iFixit.
Not exactly what a person shelling out $2,799 for a laptop wants to hear.
Tearing down the next-generation MacBook, on the heels of a teardown
of Apple's updated MacBook Air
, the iFixit team found the iPad-meets-MacBook-like
wonder to be the least repairable laptop they have ever taken apart.
"Apple has packed all the things we hate into one beautiful little
package," iFixit's Kyle Wiens wrote in a June 13 blog
On a 10-point scale, with 10 being the most repairable, iFixit gave the
next-gen MacBook Pro a repairability score of 1.
"Laptops are expensive. It's critical that consumers have the option to
repair things that go wrong, as well as upgrade their own hardware to keep it
relevant as new technologies roll out," wrote Wiens. "On top of being
glued together, the new MacBook Pro is virtually nonupgradeablemaking it the
first MacBook Pro that will be unable to adapt to future advances in memory and
Not making things easy on the repair front, the iFixit team found:
¢ Apple used the proprietary pentalobe screws that it developed to keep
owners of its devices from opening them up. iFixit sells screwdrivers, as well
as whole toolkits, for getting inside and making repairs or upgrades (in most
¢ The laptop's RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB, iFixit
advises; there'll be no upgrading.
¢ The solid-state drive (SSD) isn't upgradeable, though the team has
hopes that in the future they'll be able to offer a fix for this.
¢ Apple glues, rather than screws, the lithium-polymer battery into the
case, which increases the chances of the battery breaking during a disassembly.
¢ The glued-in battery covers the trackpad cable, "tremendously"
increasing one's chances of shearing it while removing the battery.
¢ The display assembly is fused, with no glass to protect it. Apple figured
out how to do without the glass to make the laptop lighter. "If anything
fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire (extremely
expensive) assembly," notes Wiens.
Still, the team was exited about the Retina displayWiens calls it
"stunning"the two Thunderbolt and High-Definition Multimedia Interface
(HDMI) ports and the Samsung flash memory SSD.
Other good stuff: The team discovered a Broadcom AirPort card different from
the one in the upgraded MacBook Air. They also found the widely cited
asymmetrical fan to be more a testament to Apple's marketing department than
A number of Apple fans are apparently undeterred by the price of such a nonupgradeable
or fixable machine. While, when introducing the next-generation MacBook during
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote June 11, Apple's Phil Schiller
said it would start shipping immediately, by June 12, the 15-inch models had
been flagged on the Apple site as shipping in "2-3 weeks." As of June
13, the shipping window reads "3-4 weeks."
Schiller also said the next-generation MacBook Pros are a breakthrough in
engineering and the "most beautiful computer we have ever made."
This may help to convince plenty of people that they're worth paying, and
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