iFixIt: The Retina MacBook Pro Is One Of The Least Repairable Laptops Ever

Above, you'll find Apple's gorgeous new MacBook Pro in all its retina display, big batteried glory, compliments of iFixIt. But look a little closer, and you'll find that Apple's made it virtually impossible to tinker with your brand new shiny.

So, uh, let's hope it doesn't break.

While iFixIt was rightly effusive in its praise of the retina MacBook Pro -- all those pixels, that big ol' battery! -- its team couldn't help but notice that Apple had gone out of its way to make sure its guts stay strictly within the confines of its unibody fortress.

Want to open the bottom cover? Sorry, there are proprietary Pentalobe screws there with which iPhone 4/4S and MacBook Air owners might be familiar. Pick up some extra third-party RAM on the cheap? Not this time; that memory's soldered to the logic board. Oh, and don't even think about stuffing a bigger SSD in there on your own; it's proprietary, different even from he ones found in the MacBook Air.

And there's more! Remember that the display is part of the lid now, which means that you'll need to replace the whole thing if anything breaks there. And the battery is glued on, not screwed, which makes taking it out nearly impossible. Well, without breaking something, anyway.

The lockup is so severe that iFixIt has granted the new retina MacBook Pro the title of "least repairable laptop" ever, at least that they've disassembled. And while the argument could be made that such strong security helps keep inexperienced people from breaking their pretty new machines, a stronger one is this: Apple would like your repair needs -- and dollars -- to go through the Apple Store. So hands off.

Go read the full, step-by-step teardown over at iFixIt for all the hardware porn you can handle. And when your new MacBook Pro finally arrives in the mail, be sure to take it very gently from its box, and then maybe don't touch it again. Ever. [iFixIt]



    Why is it a 'lockup'? That term is only being used because as a general rule computers have been made by geeks for geeks for too long. The amount of people who care about opening up their computers is an incredibly small percentage

      True, but unfortunately there is a vocal minority today seems to have a mentality that companies should design products for them specifically and if they don't then the product is bad and the company is evil.
      If I was designing these products I wouldn't want average people getting their sticky jam fingers all over the internals and trying to return a product they fucked up.

      Anyone who's ever had their computer break greatly appreciates the ability for someone to fix it without proprietary parts and tools. My mother couldn't care less about SSD's not being replaceable, but she will care if it breaks 2 years down the track only to find it's now out of warranty the the proprietary SSD used will cost 3 times as much as an off the shelf version.

        if it breaks two years later on one of Apple's most expensive laptops, you're gonna have a pretty good chance of claiming it under statutory warranty.

    Not being able to upgrade the RAM.... ouch. Apple charge such a premium on memory upgrades....

      But it is not really about that, To be honest I am not much of a laptop man, but I am a PC person. I wont buy a mac (not that I dislike apple in any way) I just like to be picky with my pieces which go into my PC and if needs be I would rather try do the repairs myself, the world is becomming more "user willing to pay for repairs friendly" but the people who wish to do things for themselves are getting less and less options so now they are just starting to voice their opinion, its not about vocal minority its about an individual making sure a company knows what they prefer so they might consider them next time.

        Oops wrong person, Meant for paragon.

    I didnt think that people who went for Apple wanted to do this stuff anyway - or at least, they are not intelligent enough to do it :P

    My Macbook is running 8Gb of 3rd party RAM and an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD, if I can't do these mods on the next one then I simply won't buy one.

      thanks for letting us know, ace!

        Well he has a point, if he can't improve on what is for sale and that is not to his liking he won't buy it.

        If apple don't make the config to his liking then it is not worth it or get a Dell

        What are you? The comment police? At least my comment was on topic and not just some random criticism. If you wish to discuss the topic with me then please include that in the comment, otherwise I will be forced to assume that you are a brainless 12 year old with nothing better to do than troll people.

          come on mate, you come in here and basically go 'oh my computer has this and this and if I can't I just won't buy one so THERE!'

          sounded like a whinge to me. But what do I know, I'm 12.

    I remember the first time I tried to replace the RAMs on my Acer laptop. I thought I did a good job, but the machine didn't want to boot up. I panicked, went to a PC repair store and all they did was remove and the RAM and put it back again with a 'click' sound.
    On topic, I think the standard config of the macbook will suit me fine, I'm not going to try and upgrade it.

    Apple really care about the planet don't they. I guess anyone who manages to break it just blame themselves and go buy a new one! You don't get the option of built in obsolescence with a Macbook, it's just included :-
    Proprietry screws and even ssd HD's. Apple's control issues have hit a new high.

      "I guess anyone who manages to break it just blame themselves and go buy a new one!"
      HAA haaa haa haa..
      I do laptop repairs for a living. Trust me, very very few people who break their laptops will accept the responsibility.
      They almost always try to blame "bad design" or worse, "it just broke by itself, so warranty should cover it"
      Laptops have never been user friendly when it comes to repairing them. They're simply not designed to be repaired by the home handy man. They're very precisely designed to fit as much computing capacity as possible into the smaller and thinner devices everyone insists on buying.
      This will inevitably result in devices that are simply beyond the abilities of the average punter.
      Please note that I said AVERAGE.

    Ahhh... people are strange creatures. They want the lightest, thinnest laptops but then they also bitch and moan when a high level of integration is needed to achieve it. Well then just shut up and buy the bulkiest ugliest laptop with user-serviceable parts! Gosh!!

    If you want a kit computer, head to MSY. Stop reading. And complaining.

    Planned obsolescence!!! Apple got sued for this over the ipod battery, gotta be careful soldering things down that have limited lifespans...

    I am not mac fan boy but there are reasons for some of these changes. I agree that it is bull shit to use proprietary screws and to glue in the battery etc, but most of the other changes (hardwired ram, different SSD, screen setup) can be easily justified with the aim of saving every cc of space.

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