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Ifixit tears down 13in Macbook Pro with Retina display

Says it's hard to repair
Thu Oct 25 2012, 16:40

IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG for the crew at Ifixit to get their hands on the latest devices, and the 13in Macbook Pro laptop with Retina display that Apple announced on Tuesday is no exception.

Comparing it to what it calls the "nearly impossible" to open 15in Macbook Pro model, Ifixit opened up and took a look inside Apple's 13in Macbook Pro laptop, saying it "is a step in the right direction", albeit a "very small step" for the Cupertino firm that is notorious for its hard-to-open Idevices.

ifixit macbook pro retina 13in tear down

"This is because the RAM is still not upgradeable, the exterior screws are still proprietary, and replacing the display will still cost an arm and a leg," Ifixit said.

As a result, it earned a repairability score of just two out of 10, a measly one point higher than its 15in sibling.

"The 13in MacBook Retina is slightly more recyclable than the 15in Retina," the Ifixit team said on its Macbook teardown page. "Once inside, it took us 'only' 15 minutes of prying to remove the battery, and we didn't puncture the battery cells."

Once they got inside, Ifixit said there appeared to be enough space to fit a regular 5mm or 7mm 2.5in laptop drive, but a custom cable would need to be developed in order to make use of it.

Ifixit also found that the battery fitted inside is glued into the laptop's top case, but is slightly less difficult to remove compared to the 15in model.

"The RAM is surface-mount soldered to the logic board, so no upgrade is possible. It will forever have 8GB of RAM," the step-by-step teardown explained.

One of the biggest worries for the Ifixit crew is the display assembly, which it says is almost impossible to take apart. "If anything ever fails inside the display, you'll need to replace the display as a whole," it said.

In conclusion, Ifixit said that tearing down the 13in Macbook Pro with Retina display was "a doable feat" compared to nearly impossible for the 15in Retina, but still "a far cry" from the repairability of the older no-adhesive, non-Retina display Macbook Pro laptops.

You have been warned. µ

 

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