APPLE'S MACBOOK PRO seems to be blighted by uneven backlighting at the bottom of the display which cases a 'stage light' effect, and iFixit has found the source of the so-called 'flexgate' problem.
There teardown folks at iFixit found that thinner ribbon wires used in the new MacBook Pros compared to their predecessors means they are more likely to fail over time.
"The issue is fairly simple: the current generation of MacBook Pro laptops (2016-present) uses flexible ribbon cables to connect the display to a display controller board beneath the Touch Bar," said iFixit's Taylor Dixon.
"These cables wrap over the board, where they're secured by a pair of spring-loaded covers—and they're subjected to the stress of bending with every opening and closure of the laptop. Within a seemingly short time, those cables are starting to fatigue and tear. The backlight cable is generally the first to go, producing the infamous 'stage light' symptoms, and eventually giving out entirely when the laptop is opened more than about 40 degrees.
"When it first debuted, the design seemed fine. But as always, the devil is in the details. Apple opted for thin, fragile flex cables as opposed to the beefier wire cables used in previous designs that could be routed through the hinge instead of wrapped around it, helping mitigate the stress of repeated openings and closings."
This, according to iFixit turns a fix for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from a cheap repair job into a $600 task as the entire screen needs to be replaced to fix the stage light problem as opposed to a few wires.
Not every MacBook Pro seems to suffer from the stage light problem, but there are enough murmurings on the internet to make it an issue Apple will probably need to address with future MacBook Pros.
We can imagine that a few people who've blown a wad of cash on a slick new MacBook Pro won't be too pleased to hear this; perhaps consider the excellent Surface Laptop 2 as an alternative if you want an ultraportable with enough performance for most tasks. µ
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