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Apple: 13" Macbook Pro without Touchbar suprises in teardown

Apple: 13" Macbook Pro without Touchbar suprises in teardown
Apple: 13" Macbook Pro without Touchbar suprises in teardown
Component upgrading service OWC has opened up the new Macbook Pro 13 (the model without the Touchbar). They have been hit by a surprise during the teardown: Different from what Apple said, one crucial component is not soldered on.
Benjamin Herzig,
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Apple systems are moving towards integrated, non-upgradeable designs for years now. 5 years ago, the then current Macbook Pro Notebooks had a fairly maintainable design, the RAM, the 2.5" SSD/HDD and the ODD could be replaced and upgraded effortlessly, although they already were less open to the user then the non-Unibody Macbooks. One year later, when Apple launched the Retina models, things started to change fast: The RAM was soldered down now, the battery was glued down and ODDs were completely gone, of course. However, one thing the user could still change was the (now proprietary) SSD.

With the newest Macbook Pros, Apple seemed intend to kill even that last bit of upgradeability and follow the trend of the Macbook. In the specifications of the new models, the SSD was marked as "Onboard", just like the soldered RAM.

In a teardown, which was done by the component-upgrading service OWC, something surprising was revealed: The SSD in the smallest Macbook Pro 13 (without the Touchbar) is not soldered down, its still user replaceable. Before you get to excited about the possibility of upgrading the Macbook Pro however, you should keep in mind: The SSD is still in some proprietary format, which makes upgrading rather difficult and expensive.

If the newest models also have a user replaceable SSD is still unclear. The cheapest model has a vastly different component layout compared to the models with Touchbar, because it is lacking a second fan. So with this model, Apple has much more internal space available. It still seems most likely that the SSD is soldered on with the most expensive models.

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Benjamin Herzig
Benjamin Herzig - Managing Editor - 930 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I was an ardent reader of Notebookcheck’s laptop reviews even back in school. After writing reviews as a hobby, I then joined Notebookcheck in 2016 and have worked on device reviews and news articles ever since then. My personal interest lies more with laptops than smartphones, with business laptops being the most interesting category for me. Technology should make our lives and work easier and good laptops are an essential tool for that to happen. This is why laptop reviews are not just my work but are also my passion.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2016 11 > Apple: 13" Macbook Pro without Touchbar suprises in teardown
Benjamin Herzig, 2016-11- 2 (Update: 2016-11- 2)