iFixit teardown of 2017 MacBook & MacBook Pro reveals few changes, minor keyboard improvements

Earlier today, the folks at iFixit shared their teardown of the new iMac, noting a surprising amount of user repairability. Now, the site has given the 2017 MacBook and MacBook Pro models the same treatment, noting virtually no internal changes or improvement in repairability…

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One interesting tidbit is that the 2017 12-inch MacBook has seen an upgrade to the more responsive second-gernation butterfly keyboard design. This change comes following a growing number of complaints from MacBook users concerning the original keyboard. The second-generation butterfly keyboard originally debuted with the 2016 MacBook Pro, which has also had its fair share of keyboard complaints.

iFixit notes that the keyboard trigger for both models looks “like a more classic switch” this year, though it doesn’t notice any immediate changes in travel or keystroke. This change, however, could lend itself to improved reinforcement for repeated use.

The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor. The keystroke and travel feel about the same to us, so perhaps the real change is reinforcement for repeated use.

While not really a mechanical change, the control and option keys got some new ink. They now mark keyboard shortcuts rather than translating for PC users.

There continues to be no way to remove the Touch Bar safely with the 2017 MacBook Pro revision, something that shouldn’t really come as a big surprise. All in all, iFixit gives both machines a 1 out of 10 in terms of repairability, with 10 being the easiest to repair.

Both Macs scored a 1 out of 10 on our repairability scale (10 is the easiest to repair). In both units, the processor, RAM, and flash memory are still soldered to the logic board. The battery assemblies are still entirely, and very solidly, glued into the case, thus complicating replacement.

Somewhat surprisingly, iFixit found Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMac to be slightly conducive to user repair, thanks to both removable RAM and a modular CPU. Nevertheless, the overall process is still a hassle:

Despite the upgradable RAM and CPU, we’re still giving this iMac a 3/10 for repairability. Here’s why: the iMac remains distinctly un-fun to open. Everything is buried under a finicky glass panel. It requires a speciality pizza-cutter-like tool to breach the adhesive before any repair.

You can read more on that here and view iFixit’s full 2017 MacBook teardown here.

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