When we reported earlier today that 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, unlike its brother with function keys, comes standard with non-removable SSDs, we could hardly know that this is just one of the differences – for worse – the most expensive version in relation to the most accessible. Now, the indefectible iFixit he put his hands on the new machine to take it apart until the last consequences and we already have a better idea of what awaits us.
Here’s the difference between the current 13 “MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and the one without Touch Bar. Two entirely different machines. Pic.twitter.com/qE3p4xMgaN
– iFixit (@iFixit) November 16, 2016
In the Touch Bar model, much of the internal engineering was changed to accommodate the OLED bar, which creates some inconvenience for users – in addition to the fixed SSD, the smaller battery is also a point to be considered. Strange to note that, in general, the internal organization of the model with function keys appears to be much more cohesive, with no free spaces or complicated cable routing – which may even make us think that Apple was originally not planning to launch a MacBook Pro 13 ″ with the Touch Bar, leaving the exclusive feature for the larger model, and ended up changing his mind at a later point of the route, already after the chassis was completed.
Another curious point to note is that, here, the speakers are not directly below the micro-perforations next to the keyboard; instead, they are positioned at the lower ends of the machine, close to the trackpad. The holes themselves, iFixit notes, are mostly purely aesthetic, with some sections responsible for transmitting the sound of a small tweeter secondary – most of the sound, however, comes out of the ventilation openings at the bottom.
Overall, the only point praised by the firm is the trackpad, which is easily replaceable with just the removal of a few screws. All other components are impossible or, with the forgiveness of the term, boring as hell to move / change.
The Touch Bar, in addition to having an inferior cabling that makes the task of removing it very difficult, was broken by the guys while trying to remove it from the housing – and look, we’re talking about professionals. And, since the Touch ID sensor is also the on / off button, if this switch is broken, it is very likely that the entire Touch Bar component (screen, W1 chip, Touch ID and button) needs to be replaced to make it get back to normal.
In addition, in addition to the non-removable SSD we have already discussed, processor and RAM are also attached to the logic board. The five-cell battery is very well attached to the housing with generous amounts of glue and the use of proprietary screws pentalobe, as iFixit says, makes the whole task of working on the device “unnecessarily difficult”.
IFixit gave the 13 ″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar a meager 1 out of 10 repairability index, the lowest ever achieved by a Mac (along with the MacBook with Retina display last year). Thus, we prove that, increasingly, the exercise of having a Mac is exclusive for very wealthy people or laypeople, who can change machines frequently or do not notice / care about a sharp drop in performance over time.
On my side, I’ll embrace my beloved 2012 MacBook Pro 13 ″ in a fetal position and provide him with a new battery – with the proper SSD and RAM upgrades, it’s going to run really, really well for a few more good years . Good times that we will not recover.