2018 Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro Teardown Highlights Bigger Battery, Dismal Repairability

MacBook Pro
If you have any aspirations of buying a 2018 MacBook Pro and performing repairs on your own (should the need arise) think again. As with many of Apple's products, the MacBook Pro is intentionally designed to keep users from mucking around inside. Apple is not alone in this regard, of course, but a recent teardown of the MacBook Pro highlights just how difficult it is to service one of these machines.

It's not all bad—gaining access to the guts isn't terribly difficult, though you will need a special tool to remove the six pentalope screws on the bottom. Once you've done that, the bottom cover lifts off with ease, revealing a spate of electronics that make the MacBook Pro tick. And from there, you can see and access the capacious 58Wh battery (up from 49.2Wh in the original MacBook Pro with Touch Bar) arrayed across six cells (up from five).

MacBook Pro Trackpad

The trackpad is easy to replace too, you just need to remove a few Torx screws. However, everything else is considerably more challenging. As is becoming increasingly common, the processor, RAM, and flash memory are all soldered to the motherboard. That makes repairs impractical, if not impossible for the vast majority of users—you can't just upgrade the RAM by removing and replacing the modules, for example.

Apple's MacBook Pro was also dinged for using adhesive on the top assembly, which houses the keyboard, battery, and speakers. Since they're all glued together, it's impractical to remove and replace them them as well, at least individually. That's a bummer since the battery is relatively easy to the access, and is the one part that users will most likely want to swap out at some point.

MacBook Pro

The teardown folks at iFixIt also took issue with the Touch ID sensor doubling as the power switch, noting that it is paired with the T2 chip on the logic board. "Fixing a broken power switch may require help from Apple, or a new logic board," the teardown gurus note in their analysis.

It all added up (or subtracted down) to a measly 1 out of 10 Repairability score (10 being the easiest to repair). That is the same low score the 2016 model received.

Images Sourced From iFixit