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13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar teardown shows difficult to repair computer

The first full tear-down of Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has concluded, with confirmation of a non-removable SSD, and as expected the computer has little possibility of user repairability.




The interior layout differs from the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys beyond just the SSD being surface mounted, repair guide depot iFixit noted. The Touch Bar model features a physically smaller battery rated at 49.2 Watt-hours versus the 54.5 Watt-hours in the function key model, a pair of fans, a double-ended heat-sink, and lower speakers that have no relation to the purely cosmetic speaker grills in the new unit.

Components and suppliers of note include an Intel-provided JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller, Samsung-provided LPDDR3 RAM, a STMicroelectronics Touch Bar display controller, a Broadcom touch controller, and SanDisk NAND Flash storage. The T1 Touch ID authentication chip that couples with the Touch Bar is labeled APL1023 343S00137.




iFixit also pointed out that as the Touch ID button doubles as a power button, a repair of that system may be "a more costly affair than it once was."

Repairable components include the difficult to remove Touch Bar, the motherboard, USB-C modules, fans, the display in conjunction with the screen assembly, and the trackpad. The battery is glued to the upper case, and is just as difficult to replace as previous models in the Retina MacBook Pro line.

If a keyboard replacement is necessary, it needs to be swapped out with the entire upper case. A new keyboard comes attached to the upper case and includes a new battery glued into place if a repair is needed for any of the included components with the MacBook Pro with Retina display line since 2012.