MacBook Pro Retina 13-Inch Teardown : Redesigned battery, Samsung flash, Soldered RAM
The $1,699 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has a reconfigured battery that is much easier to remove, an iFixit teardown reveals.
Now that Apple has taken the wraps off its latest MacBook Pro, a 13-inch notebook updated with the company’s high-definition Retina display, the teardown team over at iFixit has taken the screws to it—or out of it, as the case may be. During the analysis, the company noted the most striking change was the redesign of the device’s battery—which has been changed in a few ways.
The flash storage in the 13-inch MacBook Pro taken apart by iFixit is a Samsung MZ-DPC2560/0A2 unit rated at 3.3 volts and 2.39 amps with 256 gigabytes of storage.
The disassembly discovered that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has the same AirPort card as its 15-inch counterpart, while the heat sink has been slightly scaled down to fit into the smaller notebook. Apple has also once again used fans with asymmetrical blade spacing to reduce fan noise.
And like the 15-inch model, the RAM is surface-mount soldered to the logic board, meaning no upgrades are possible. Apple does not offer any more than 8 gigabytes of RAM on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Another strange inclusion found in the notebook is a flash memory chip on the trackpad board. The same feature is also found in the 15-inch model, but iFixit doesn’t know why a trackpad would require flash memory.
“The 13in MacBook Retina is slightly more recyclable than the 15in Retina,” the Ifixit team said on its Macbook teardown page. “Once inside, it took us ‘only’ 15 minutes of prying to remove the battery, and we didn’t puncture the battery cells.”
Ifixit also found that the battery fitted inside is glued into the laptop’s top case, but is slightly less difficult to remove compared to the 15in model.
One of the biggest worries for the Ifixit crew is the display assembly, which it says is almost impossible to take apart. “If anything ever fails inside the display, you’ll need to replace the display as a whole,” it said.
As a device repair site, iFixit rates the repairability of the electronics it disassembles. They found that the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a slight improvement over the 15-inch model in terms of recyclability and repairability, specifically with relation to the removal of the device’s batteries. Still, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display could only earn a repairability score of 2 out of 10.