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Teardowns | March 03, 2017

We tore down the Touch Bar (and the 13’’ MacBook Pro attached to it).

Let’s start off with what Apple’s Touch Bar-equipped 13" MacBook Pro isn’t: it definitely isn’t a “touched up” version of the function key’d 13" MBP we tore down last time.
Nuh-uh. It’s an entirely different computer, with a totally different design; it probably has more in common with its 15" big bro. While we wait for that teardown, here are the two 13" laptops for comparison (the Touch Bar model has two fans):
MacBook Pro 2016 comparison

So what about the touted Touch Bar? As Apple's second OLED-equipped device, the Touch Bar MBP also shares some family ties with the Apple Watch. We found two custom Apple chips right where the Touch Bar interfaces with the logic board. Presumably one of these (we’d guess the larger one) is the T1 processor powering the Touch Bar. Also in keeping with Apple Watch tradition, the Touch Bar is covered in glass, unrepairable, and we kinda broke it. So, last call, the Touch Bar is closed for the night.

Teardown highlights:
  • The MacBook’s speaker grilles don’t actually cover the speakers—and the grille holes aren’t even holes. They’re mostly cosmetic dimples (with a few tiny holes reserved for a pair of tweeters). Instead, the sound is directed through vents on the sides of the computer and into your earholes.
  • Oh hey, USB-C boards! With MagSafe AWOL, a wayward step on the power cord is more likely to damage your ports—so, it's heartening to see USB-C hardware that can be replaced separately (even if you have to remove the logic board to get to it). While these boards look identical, somewhere along the line, the left USB-C ports get Thunderbolt 3 supercharged.
  • Unlike its escape-key-containing kin, the Touch Bar-bearing MBP doesn’t have a removable SSD. In fact, the processor, RAM, and flash memory are all soldered to the logic board. You can replace your trackpad and headphone jack easily—but that’s pretty much it. Everything else requires removing the logic board. Plus, the added (fragile) glass of the Touch Bar is difficult to remove, landing this laptop a 1/10 on our repairability scale.

Some silicon:
  • Intel Core i5-6267U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 550
  • SanDisk SDRQKBDC4 064G 64 GB NAND flash memory
  • Samsung K4E6E304EB-EGCE DDR3 DRAM
  • Murata/Apple 339S00056 Wi-Fi Module
  • Intersil 95828 HRTZ X630MRD
  • Cirrus Logic CS42L83A Audio Codec
  • National Semiconductor 66A82NU 48B1-004
  • Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC86106LZ PMIC

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More information can be found - as usual - on © iFixit's website.

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May 24 2017 9:54 PM V8.2.6-1