Entry-level late 2016 MacBook Pro not so easy to repair

The new MacBook Pro, with its "hi-tech" Touch Bar, is undoubtedly the highlight of Apple's closing months in 2016. But as if to balance out the injustice, the entry-level, 13-inch, late 2016 MacBook Pro, yes the one without that Touch Bar, is also being lavished some attention. A preliminary teardown by OWC already revealed some slightly good news, but now iFixit is giving it the full treatment to see exactly what's in store for both users as well as repair shops. Suffice it to say, it's not all peaches and cream.

Getting to anything inside the MacBook Pro of course requires removing the backplate. In addition to using the proprietary pentalobe screws, the plate itself is difficult to pry off the rest of the frame. The batteries too, are glued so well that it takes no small amount of heating and coaxing to get them off. The one ray of hope is that one can remove the touchpad without removing those batteries, making repair of that particular component a bit easier.

As earlier reported, the SSD is removable, the first time Apple put its SSD controller in a removable module. The downside is that the SSD module itself is proprietary and custom, which means it won't be easy to upgrade after all.

iFixit also notes, with equal bemusement and disappointment, that the "advanced thermal architecture" that Apple was bragging about simply meant relocating heat sink screws to the opposite side of the logic board. Then again, if that actually works better, so be it.

All in all, the late 2016 entry-level MacBook Pro gets a repairability score of 2 out of 10, which isn't exactly surprising, given most MacBooks score very low on iFixit's index. Pieces are hard to remove or prorprietary, making repairs harder and replacements near impossible. The only saving grace is that the trackpad can be easily removed without removing anything but the back cover.

SOURCE: iFixit