Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the least repairable laptop

The guys at iFixit took apart a new Macbook pro with Retina display. Their conclusion: it's the least repairable laptop ever.

  • Proprietary Pentalobe screws prevent folks from accessing the machine's internals. That means you need a special screwdriver just to remove the bottom cover.
  • The RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB now, or forever hold your peace—you can't upgrade.
  • The proprietary SSD isn't upgradeable.
  • The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it'll break during dis-assembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that a user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.
  • The display assembly is completely fused, and there's no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire assembly.

Every Apple fan I know has had at least one massive failure of some kind that has needed serious overhaul or replacement. If they buy the new Macbook Pro, I hope that whatever problem they might one day run into will be covered by Apple Care. Otherwise, it looks like they'll be out of luck... and out of one very expensive laptop.