New MacBook Pro teardown reveals big internal upgrades

Macbook Pro Teardown
Macbook Pro Teardown (Image credit: iFixit)

What you need to know

  • iFixit has published its teardown of the new MacBook Pro.
  • It reveals big internal upgrades to repairability.

iFixit has published its customary teardown of the new MacBook Pro (2021), revealing some big changes internally that make the device easier to repair.

Breaking open the new MacBook Pro reveals some changes to replacing the battery and display that will make the new device much easier to repair:

You always want to start by disconnecting the battery—if you can figure out how. After a little exploratory surgery, we found the battery terminal hidden under the big trackpad cable. From there we'd normally leave the battery for last, because removing recent MacBook Pro batteries requires infinite patience, a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, and an optional bottle of human-friendly alcohol. But as we peer into the guts, we notice something unexpected. The wind carries a whisper of three words, a faint utterance that makes our hair stand on end: battery pull tabs.

iFixit notes that the flex cables that attach the display to the rest of the MacBook have been redesigned "with roughly 100% more slack", hopefully making those flexgate issues are over. The display is also easier to replace with fewer screws, springs, and cables, and no separate display boards. However, iFixit did not that using a DIY display replacement would stop True Tone from working.

Of course, Apple's system on a chip design of the M1 Pro and M1 Max means that upgrades and replacements are going to be difficult (or impossible) when it comes to things like RAM and storage but notes that Apple's performance and battery life advances are so good in its new best MacBook that "it's possible you couldn't get anything quite like this from a socketed design."

The MacBook Pro still only scores a 4/10 from iFixit for repairability, mostly because it has soldered-in, non-removable storage, but iFixit says the new design is a "major move in the right direction."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9