Tinkerers at iFixit subjected Apple's new MacBook Pro (no Touch Bar) to a teardown

apple macbook pro no touch bar ifixit teardown
San Lionheart/iFixit
Every time a new device is introduced, the tinkerers at iFixit tear it down and peer into its guts to see exactly what it’s made of and how it’s constructed. As the industry has progressed toward thinner and thinner gadgets, iFixit quite often finds that a product is so tightly made that user — and often manufacturer — servicing is an utter impossibility.

Apple’s products are no different, and with the introduction of a refreshed MacBook Pro line, iFixit pulled out its screwdrivers and splitters and got to work on the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. What they discovered is a machine that, as usual, is highly integrated and not terribly serviceable. As always, iFixit has published its entire report.

Overall, iFixit awarded the MacBook Pro a repairability score of 2 out of 10, which means that the machine certainly isn’t going to be fixed by anyone but the manufacturer. The score was lowered significantly based on Apple’s continued use of nonstandard pentalobe screws that make even opening the chassis a challenge. Also, the battery components are glued tightly to the case, making replacement difficult. RAM is directly soldered to the motherboard and thus won’t be upgradeable — if you think you’ll want the full 16GB at some point, buy it out the gate because it will be unattainable otherwise.

The report notes that the PCIe SSD is removable, and so that’s a positive for anyone who might one day want to grab onto more storage. For now, it’s Apple-proprietary, so users will need to wait for either Apple to release upgrades — if ever — or hope that third-party drive makers can eventually adopt the new technology and produce their own upgrades. iFixit notes that this is the first use of Apple’s proprietary controller, and so it’s not certain that third-party options will make it to market.

Sam Lionheart/iFixit
Sam Lionheart/iFixit

Other items of interest include a 54.5-watt battery that’s 27 percent smaller than the previous MacBook Air’s. However, this capacity is significantly larger than the MacBook Air with Touch Bar, which has a 49.2-watt battery. Clearly, making the new MacBook Air models so much thinner than their predecessors necessitated a real compromise in terms of battery life. Although Apple claims a similar 10 hours of wireless web browsing with the new models that’s equivalent to last year’s iterations, one can only imagine the longevity that could have been achieved if Apple had maintained a similar thickness.

Sam Lionheart/iFixit
Sam Lionheart/iFixit

Otherwise, the teardown revealed no significant surprises. The MacBook Pro’s construction would appear to be up to Apple’s usual high standards, with tight tolerances and a solid build that perhaps contributed to the machine’s low repairability score. If you decide to pick up a new 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, then you’ll be spending your money on a well-built but not terribly upgradeable thin and light notebook.


Apple may go big with a redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro, 31.6-inch 6K display

In a research note, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes that there are indications the company could be releasing a 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as a 31.6-inch 6K display in 2019.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

Microsoft's latest Surface Laptop 2 runs past the updated MacBook Air

Apple recently updated its venerably MacBook Air, giving it a sleeker and more modern design. That pits it against the Surface Laptop 2, Microsoft's update of its own traditional laptop.

Like to be brand loyal? These tech titans make some of our favorite laptops

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

With Galaxy S10e, Samsung unapologetically rips a page out of Apple’s playbook

Samsung's Galaxy S10e -- a new entry in the Galaxy S-series -- has a few things in common with Apple's lower-cost iPhone XR. From the price tag to the color, we take a look atthe similarities.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Apple brings back the iPhone SE with a $100 clearance discount included

Apple is offering the iPhone SE on their online clearance store once again. With discounts of $100, you can get a brand new unlocked iPhone SE for as little as $249. This offer is only available while supplies last.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.

Apple stomps on one FaceTime bug, only to have another one appear

Having fixed a FaceTime bug that let users eavesdrop on calls, another issue with Apple's video chat app appears to have surfaced. It concerns adding people to group calls, though there is a workaround.

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…
Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.