What would the announcement of new Apple equipment be without an iFixit teardown a few days later? Don’t even think about it, because it will never happen. This week, iFixit eagerly tore into the newly introduced MacBook Pros.
Both the 13- and 15-inch models of the Retina display MacBook Pro (late 2013) were given the pentalobe screwdriver, spudger and heat gun treatment to take them down to the component parts. We’ll cut to the chase — there are a lot of nice new components inside each of the boxes, but they’re even less repairable than last year’s kitten-infused models. iFixit scores repairability on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the best. Both new MacBook Pros ended up with a score of 1.
Why such a low repairability score? Well, the battery is glued into place to cover screws that may need to be removed to access other components; the Retina display is one big unit; RAM is soldered into place; and the devices use non-standard SSD drives. One interesting fact: the battery size has been reduced in both of the new models, and the MacBook Pros rely on the power-sipping Intel Haswell processors and the power management capabilities of OS X Mavericks to improve battery life.
In a few years, when advances in both the size and complexity of applications and files make these portable speedsters seem like slowpokes, you won’t be able to extend their lives by popping open the hood and upgrading the SSD and RAM. Hopefully by that point we may not need notebook computers.