13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Teardown Reveals Fixed SSD, Speaker Grilles Are Purely Cosmetic

MacBook Pro Touch Bar teardown

Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is soon hitting store shelves, and iFixit has already gotten its hands on the 13-inch model for a customary teardown. The teardown reveals some interesting tidbits, like a fixed SSD and speaker grilles that are purely cosmetic.

When iFixit pulled apart the more affordable 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, it found that it was possible to remove the SSD drive, which means users can upgrade it later. However, on the more expensive model with a Touch Bar, that SSD is soldered to the logic board.

As is the processor and RAM, meaning users cannot upgrade any of these components. Don’t even think about settling for skimpy storage and adding more later, then! iFixit also found the Touch Bar is incredibly difficult to remove, and so is the battery.

MacBook Pro Touch Bar teardown

As for the Touch ID sensor, that doubles as a power switch, and is connected to Apple’s new T1 chip on the logic board. If it stops working or you happen to break the sensor, iFixit believes the repair could require a whole new logic board — which won’t be cheap out of warranty.

As a result of all this, the new MacBook Pro is awarded just 1 out of 10 for repairability. About the only thing that’s not too difficult to replace is the machine’s new trackpad, which is twice the size of the trackpad on last year’s MacBook Pro.

Another interesting discovery is that the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s speaker grilles are purely cosmetic. Its speakers are not located beneath the grilles — as you might have expected — but instead sit alongside the battery towards the front of the case.

MacBook Pro Touch Bar teardown

Channels on top of each speaker direct sound towards the air vents on the sides of the MacBook Pro instead, and not towards the holes drilled into its casing. Apple obviously added the grilles just to make the 13-inch model match the design of the 15-inch model.

It’s a very interesting move from a company that’s normally so focused on simplicity and elegance. Apple wouldn’t normally drill holes into a product that serve absolutely no function whatsoever. What gives, Apple?

MacBook Pro Touch Bar teardown

Follow the link below to check out iFixit’s full teardown, which provides a nice glimpse at everything Apple has packed into its latest Pro notebook.

[via iFixit]