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Teardowns find Apple's 2017 MacBook & MacBook Pro models virtually unchanged in design

Apple's new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro models are essentially unchanged from their predecessors apart from performance boosts, according to teardowns published on Thursday.




The biggest design change, in fact, is that the 12-inch MacBook now uses a second-generation butterfly keyboard like the one in 2016 Pros, repair firm iFixit said. The tweak should make keys more responsive.

iFixit scored both of the test machines a 1 out of 10 on its repairability scale, noting that as before, the CPU, RAM, and flash memory are soldered to the logic board, making user replacements impossible. Batteries, meanwhile, remain glued-down, and the Pro's Touch Bar is said to "add a second screen to damage" without a way of safely removing it.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro.


The situation contrasts with a teardown of this year's new iMacs, which found they were actually easier to upgrade than previous models, if still difficult because of the steps needed to get inside.

Both the 12-inch MacBook and 13/15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro lines now use Intel's Kaby Lake processors, and/or faster AMD Radeon GPUs. Prices start at $1,299 for the basic MacBook, and $1,799 for a 13-inch Touch Bar Pro. A 15-inch Pro is at least $2,399.