New MacBook Pro Considered a Repair Nightmare by Experts

The tech teardown geeks over at iFixit got their hands on one of those nifty new MacBook Pros announced at this years WWDC. Overall repairability score? 1 out of 10. Here’s why.

The tech tear-down geeks over at iFixit got their hands on one of those nifty new MacBook Pros announced at this years WWDC. It turns out, these new MacBook’s aren’t user upgrade or repair friendly — at all. After some extensive technical digging through the innards of the device, they gave the new MacBook Pro an overall score of 1 out of 10 in regards to repairability.

Between glue and solder, there was no easy way to remove the battery or ram. The solid state disk is non-standard dimensions. Opening the case requires a proprietary screwdriver thanks to pentalobe screws. The display assembly is also stuck.

2012 macbook pro most difficult to fix yet

Conclusion? For a $2,200 device, don’t expect to be doing any of the repair work yourself. With this iteration of the MacBook Pro, Apple will require you to take it in to them to handle any of the dirty work.

For most, this won’t be a problem until the warranty runs out. However, with RAM upgrades not being feasible, it makes that optional 16GB of ram much more necessary at the time you buy the unit vs. a future upgrade.

via iFixit



  1. Gregg L. DesElms

    June 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I’m not being an apologist for Apple… lordknows I’d sooner see it go out of business and all its users forced to use REAL computers and phones…

    …however, an inescapable fact of electronic devices is that with miniaturization often comes repair and/or upgrade unfriendliness.

    Remember that there are two forms of miniaturization: One is the type which Apple is using, for the moment, with its MacBook Pro wherein many of the very same parts used in larger computers are merely crammed into a smaller space. The other type is where the components, themselves, are improved and made more compact so that when they’re put into the very same smaller space as in the first method, suddenly there’s more repair and/or upgrade friendliness.

    The first (former) method is usually what happens in the early life of a product like the MacBook Pro, when the maker of the product is just trying to blaze a trail and get it out there; then, in time, the component miniaturization happens so that second and successive generations of the product begin to exhibit the aforementioned repair and/or upgrade friendliness.

    This is the nature cycle of things. Its never been quite so apparent with desktop computers; and decent component miniaturization in normal-sized notebook/laptop machines has existed for long enough, now, that most people have forgotten what the cycle looked like for them. Now, though, the era of the ultrabook is upon us…

    …and so the cycle begins, anew. Fear not, further component miniaturization will make future versions of the MacBook Pro more repair and/or upgrade friendly. Just give it a minute.

    Hope the helps.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    • Steve Krause

      June 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      And honestly, 9 times out of 10, this will be fine for the end user. For me at least, I just want a device that works and doesn’t require the need to tinker with it. My last desktop for example, this was the first desktop EVERY I purchased, pre-built. Not only did it save me hours of time researching every little component, I’ve found that this is the first PC I’ve not had to constantly open and repair whether it be a bad Hard Drive or Power Supply.

      Give me a computer that works well for 3-4 years and I’ll be happy. I just don’t have time to fiddle anymore. I just need something that works and I’ll bet this MacBook Pro will do just fine out-of-the-box.

  2. Nerdy Woman

    June 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @Gregg: I’d agree with your assessment but for one thing…. a nonstandard solid state drive? That’s made-to-order. That’s single source replacement.

    That’s Apollo 13 air filters.

    • Vadim

      June 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm


  3. TampaBri

    June 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    …this unit would never have been released if Steve Jobs were still alive.

  4. Brian Burgess

    June 17, 2012 at 7:10 am

    This type of stuff is the biggest problem with everything moving to small factor size.

    Call me old fashioned, but I still dig my desktop towers that I can easily upgrade as I please, add new cards…etc…

    At least one main tower will always be in my computing arsenal — but I am looking to downsize a lot of what I currently have.

  5. Gordon Jones

    June 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

    This is not particularly a surprise, and as some others have commented, not that important to most Apple end-users, but it does illustrate why Apple is not an enterprise solution to your computing needs. I need machines that work economically over 6000 users. That includes ease of repar as a significant criterion. No wonder Apple has such a small business clientele.

    • Vadim

      June 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      They don’t need to sell the most, they just need to sell enough. And Apple has proven there’s a market for them which is why they are the largest company in the world (from a revenue standpoint anyway).

      But yeah — I don’t think they belong in the Corp. world yet.

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