It’s good to see Apple finally take a few steps back. The company’s latest MacBook Pro models have ditched the Touch Bar, gained HDMI and SD Card jacks, and even resurrected MagSafe charging. But the changes aren’t just skin deep. As revealed in iFixit killer disassembleApple has made some changes to the interior of the MacBook Pro that reflect the past (and hopefully indicate future trends).
Notably, the new MacBook Pro now features tabs for draining the battery. Previous batteries were simply glued into place, forcing users to pry out both pipettes with plastic or other tools. And if that’s not enough to motivate you, this new design lets you replace MacBook Pro batteries without replacing the entire top case—keyboard, speakers, and all.
This improved battery design shows that Apple is considering the possibility of repair, even though the company is probably only trying to improve the in-store repair process (a good idea, given the Battery recall from previous MacBooks). But Apple can do much better. Replacing the battery is still tricky, and as iFixit notes, you have to remove the MacBook Pro’s trackpad to access two of the battery pull tabs.
Apple’s new premium Liquid Retina XDR display is a significant change in MacBook Pro design. Switching is much easier than the screens used on previous models, as long as you don’t mind losing True Tone. New MacBook Pros also feature improved flex cables that they shouldn’t be broken with regular use, hopefully.
There are many other small improvements here, like modular USB-C and MagSafe ports. But since this is Apple, some things are impossible to fix or replace. The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro runs on the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, so changes to RAM or storage are out of the question. Also, for whatever reason, the new MacBooks’ HDMI and SD Card jacks are soldered to the Logic Board, so they’re basically beyond repair.
Here comes the crazy part – the new MacBook Pro models got a fairly respectable repair score from iFixit. I won’t spoil it, keep reading (or Watch) iFixit’s Unpacking to know their opinion. But I will say one thing; It’s better than 2019 MacBook Pro score 0/10.