Inside the new 2016 MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro teardown offers an interesting insight into the design of Apple's new laptop, as well as a few interesting features that hint at the future of the MacBook Pro.

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Inside the new MacBook Pro

The design of the new MacBook Pro can be described as magical, especially when you consider that Apple’s most powerful laptop ever is actually thinner than its lightweight MacBook Air. How does it fit it all into such a tiny body?

Thankfully, the guys over at iFixit got their hands on the new MacBook Pro (with Function Keys and Touch Bar) and did what they did best – tore it down. The MacBook Pro tear-down offered an insight into the Apple design philosophy, along with a few interesting features that hint at the future of Apple's Pro laptop line.

Read next: Mac buying guide 2016 | Best cheap MacBook Pro deals

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Next Prev macbook pro fan

The design of the new MacBook Pro can be described as magical, especially when you consider that Apple’s most powerful laptop ever is actually thinner than its lightweight MacBook Air. How does it fit it all into such a tiny body?

Thankfully, the guys over at iFixit got their hands on the new MacBook Pro (with Function Keys and Touch Bar) and did what they did best – tore it down. The MacBook Pro tear-down offered an insight into the Apple design philosophy, along with a few interesting features that hint at the future of Apple's Pro laptop line.

Read next: Mac buying guide 2016 | Best cheap MacBook Pro deals

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: Battery

Gone are the days where you could remove the MacBook Pro battery via the bottom of the laptop, as the new MacBook Pro (and those for a few years now) are built-in and are therefore much harder to replace. It’s held firmly in place be adhesive and has to be removed using a combination of heat and plastic cards – not something we recommend users doing at home.

Funnily enough, the battery found inside the new MacBook Pro with Function Keys provides around 27 percent less power between charges when compared to the previous generation, although Apple claims it’ll still reach the 10-hour mark on a single charge. That might be down to the fact that there are only three cells in the new MacBook Pro, compared to six in older models. 

That's not all though, as iFixit discovered that the battery in the Touch Bar MacBook Pro is actually smaller than that of its Function Key-enabled brethren.

Image courtesy of iFixit

Read next: MacBook Pro 2016 not working: How to fix MacBook Pro hardware problems

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: Trackpad

While Apple has gone to extreme lengths to secure certain parts within the new MacBook Pro, the same can’t be said for the new XL trackpad. While with previous models, the trackpad has been “trapped” beneath the battery, this is no longer the case and can be easily removed. This bodes well for future repairs, and allows users a sneaky look at Apple’s embedded Taptic Engine, which provides the “clicks” you feel when you apply pressure.

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: Speakers

Interestingly, Apple has tweaked the speakers on the new MacBook Pro too. As well as being louder than previous models, the MacBook features vibration dampening screw gaskets similar to those found in the iMac. This means that the new MacBook Pro shouldn’t rattle of vibrate when playing audio at high volume – although that may depend on how bassy your Dubstep collection is.

Another fun fact: The speaker grilles that line either side of the MacBook Pro keyboard aren’t’ what they seem. Why? On the model with Function Keys, it appears that most of the holes are just posing as holes and are simply cosmetic, dented into the body of the MacBook Pro. The only through-holes are dedicated to two microphones and four speaker drivers.

It's a similar story for the Touch Bar model of MacBook Pro, with most of the speaker grille being cosmetic, with the exception of holes for the laptop's tweeters. The rest of the audio, however, is routed through the laptop's air vents, rendering the speaker grille essentially useless. 

Image courtesy of iFixit

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: Headphone jack

The omission of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus was a courageous move by Apple, and many were worried that it’d be the same story with the new MacBook Pro. Thankfully, the company decided to keep it on the MacBook Pro – even if all other ports, including the charging port, have been replaced with the new Thunderbolt 3 ports.

However, while the headphone jack is available on the 2016 MacBook Pro, a look inside reveals a single modular headphone unit taped to the bottom of the fan. This makes it extremely easy for Apple to swap it out with a Lightning or Thunderbolt 3 port in the future, so it may still be worth investing in Bluetooth-enabled headphones…

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: Keyboard

The new MacBook Pro features the same butterfly mechanism as the MacBook, a feature that gets overlooked by many but provides an extremely comfortable typing experience – even when typing at speed. However, while the mechanism is the same, the company has made tiny tweaks to the keyboard, including raising the keycaps slightly at the edges, making it easier to touch-type. It also features much more robust dome switches beneath the keycaps, which should mitigate a lot of keyboard hardware issues.

Image courtesy of iFixit

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: RAM

Despite costing an arm and a leg, the new MacBook Pro boasts a maximum of 16GB of RAM with no after-market upgrade available. While Phil Schiller originally claimed that the limitation was due to battery life concerns, a recent email from the Apple exec sheds more light on the decision.  

In response to MacDaddy's detailed breakdown of the MacBook Pro's RAM limitation, Schiller personally emailed Ben Slaney to explain the choices made. In the email, Schiller explained that in addition to the battery life concerns, using 32GB of RAM would require a different logic board design that could've affected space allotment for other components, like the battery:

"The article is nice but not entirely accurate. The MacBook Pro uses 16GB of very fast LPDDR memory, up to 2133MHz.

To support 32GB of memory would require using DDR memory that is not low power and also require a different design of the logic board which might reduce space for batteries. Both factors would reduce battery life."

 

Inside the new MacBook Pro: Fans

We know that fans aren’t the most interesting aspect of the new MacBook Pro (it probably isn’t even in the top 10) but considering that Jony Ive specifically mentioned the “thinner, variably spaced fan blades” featured in the new MacBook Pro with Function Keys, we thought it was worth mentioning. More specifically, iFixIt found that the fan tech inside the new MacBook Pro has been included in various models of MacBook Pro since 2012, and isn’t anything new.

The fans included on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are slightly different, as it uses two fans instead of one, and the logic board wraps around both. The layout is said to make space for the extra chips, like Apple's T1 chip for Touch ID and a second Thunderbolt 3 controller, making the laptop much harder to repair with iFixit giving it a repairability score of just 1 out of 10. Ouch. 

Read next: New MacBook Pro 2016 vs new Surface Book 2 with Performance Base

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