16 inch Macbook Pro Magic KeyboardSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • iFixit has dropped its full teardown of the 16" Macbook Pro
  • The teardown focuses mostly on the new keyboard but also looks at thermals, speakers, and mics.
  • Despite new engineering, the Macbook Pro still earns a 1/10 repairability score.

iFixit has published its full teardown of Apple's new 16" Macbook Pro, and it is as unrepairable as ever. This is a surprise to virtually no one and therefore comes as no surprise that iFixit gave the laptop a 1/10 rating for repairability.

After publishing an initial teardown and look at the new Magic keyboard that replaces the long-polarized butterfly keyboard, iFixit has completed the teardown of the rest of the laptop.

The teardown reveals almost no discernable difference between the keyboard in the new Macbook Pro and the Magic keyboard that has long been a staple with Apple's desktop computers like the iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro. Apple has said that the Magic keyboard served as the core technology in building the new keyboard, and iFixit agrees, noting that there isn't even a dust-proofing membrane on it - something that was added to the butterfly keyboard after years of failures due to small debris getting underneath the keys:

"That might be understating it slightly: side by side, we're hard-pressed to spot any differences. Scissor switches, keycaps... There's slightly less space surrounding these new keys, and pundits will celebrate those reconfigured arrow keys—but everything else looks nigh identical."

Unfortunately, the new keyboard is attached the same way that the butterfly keyboards were starting in 2016, so being able to repair the new Magic keyboard on your own is a lost cause unless you really want to roll the dice:

"Once again, the keyboard assembly is riveted down. Though the switches are likely less vulnerable to crumbly assailants, the keyboard itself isn't any more repairable than the Butterfly boards...It's basically 2016 all over again: we've got a new keyboard married to a non-serviceable design, with only Apple's word that it 'won't break.'"

They also tore down the thermals, speakers, and mic array to discover newer vents push 28% more air through than the 15" model, woofers that cancel out each other's vibration, and microphones that appear "beefier" than previous models which lend to Apple's decision to call them "studio quality". While the advancements are noticeable, iFixit points out that such innovation does not always have to come at the expense of repairability:

"Despite the thumping new speakers, the podcast-quality mic array, and that giant screen, we can't help but feel that Apple can do better—especially after seeing Microsoft perform some real engineering magic to make its latest laptops more repairable. Here's hoping that the 2020 Pro lineup will really take our breath away."

You can watch the full teardown here: