2016 13″ MacBook Pro Touch Bar Teardown: ‘Nearly Impossible To Repair’

After Apple launched the much-awaited MacBook Pro, teardown and repair site iFixit first got its hands on the 13-inch MacBook Pro With Function Keys. Now, the website has been able to get its hands on a MacBook Pro With Touch Bar in order to figure how difficult it is to pull apart and repair – and it appears to be a tedious task.

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iFixit had this to say about the teardown:

Two weeks ago, we tore down the new entry-level 13″ MacBook Pro to discover it was thinner, lighter, faster, and (sad face) less repairable than most any other pro-level laptop. Today, we turn our tools on its Touch Bar-equipped launch mate. Will this machine surprise us with some upgrade-friendly features, or will it be as disposable as the box it comes in? There’s only one way to find out: it’s teardown time!

The teardown reveals that the MacBook Pro With Touch Bar is strongly glued together, making it difficult to remove certain components like the battery, SSD, and RAM. The internals are re-organized to make way for the Mac’s newest and most exciting feature, the Touch Bar. The thin OLED strip that replaces the function keys is very difficult to replace and scores just 1/10 from iFixit in repairability.

The sapphire-covered Touch ID on the Touch Bar will prevent scratches but fixing it will be tough as it pairs with the Apple T1 chip on the logic board. Interestingly, the speakers are present in the lower half of the Mac while the grilles are present on the top. This means that the grilles are merely cosmetic, and sound doesn’t actually come through them.

iFixit’s experiment also uncovered vibration-dampening rubber gaskets around the speakers’ screws that keep them from vibrating as the new speakers are larger and more powerful compared to the ones found in older MacBooks.

While the most part of the laptop is solidly stuck together, the trackpad was easily removed and replaceable. The trackpad comes out after removing ten accessible screws. iFixit also reveals that the despite the larger trackpad the component is identical to the 13-inch 2016 laptops, which means finding a replacement should be pretty easy.

After thoroughly disassembling the new MacBook Pro, iFixit found that the main issues lie with the SSD, RAM and processor being soldered to the motherboard – making them all non-upgradeable. The 5-cell battery is glued down as well, which makes replacing it a task. This, along with a very fragile Touch Bar, led to iFixit giving the lowest possible score for the new MacBook Pro – 1/10.

  • RickysCV

    That’s why I’m loathe to switch from my 2012 MBP. I can and have opened it up many times and have upgraded just about everything. It’s a very versatile machine and I want to get that same versatility when I finally get a new laptop.

  • iHeartYEG

    It is absolutely remarkable how for every pro there are 10 cons, with the new MacBook Pro.