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Inside Apple's new unibody polycarbonate MacBook (teardown photos)

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Released Tuesday, Apple's refreshed MacBook has already been dissected, revealing similarities to the Macbook Pro and Air lines.

The mad geniuses over at iFixit have already thoroughly disassembled and examined the new MacBook, less than 24 hours since the product hit the Apple store.

The new model replaced the existing MacBook line, and kept the same $999 price point. The price point is one of the only aspects that has remained from the previous generation. The new MacBook instead borrows heavily from both the MacBook Pro and Air models.

Some of the major changes include:

Polycarbonate unibody construction

Display featuring LED backlighting

A multi-touch glass trackpad

Integrated battery



No more FireWire or IR port

No external battery indicator

No Mini-DVI port, replaced by a Mini DisplayPort


iFixit has highlighted several interesting aspects of the new design:

The new battery is only 5 more watt-hours than the previous version's yet it adds two hours of run time, meaning the machine is markedly more efficient

The battery is actually lighter than the older model

Unlike the earlier model, AirPort and Bluetooth share the same board, and all three antenna cables route into the display, meaning a possible improvement in Bluetooth range

The MacBook has exactly the same GPU and CPU as the baseline 13" MacBook Pro


iFixit plans on creating detailed repair guides for the MacBook in the future, updates can be monitored by following the Twitter feed @ifixit.

post #2 of 79
that is pretty impressive..
post #3 of 79
It actually looks like the battery, RAM and Hard Drive are technically user serviceable. Woo Hoo

Also impressive the amount of efficiency put into the machine.

On the down side, if the internals are same as the MBP13 it is sad that firewire was omitted would have been nice port for a backup drive.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #4 of 79
Similarities? Like their FireWire and SD slot?
post #5 of 79
The rest of the day's annoucements look at least sort of interesting, but the new mac book fails badly. No FW?! Seriously, didn't they learn their lesson the last time they tried to remove FW?
They should have implemented FW3200 across the board in all new macs for the past year anyway. Maybe Light Peak can take it's place, but until then removing FW is just dumb. I was going to be in the market for a low end mac laptop soon, but I will most certainly not be getting one of these. Without FW3200 or some obvious way to add Light Peak in the future, I think I'll just hold out a bit longer.
post #6 of 79
I'm so dissapointed in the omission of Firewire. I was going to get the previous model white macbook because of it's lower price and Firewire. I then heard about this upgrade so I decided to wait a few days. Now this! I don't get it..

My video camera outputs Firewire. I was so looking forward to this purchase. I use both Macs and PCs. I understood why I was going to pay a little more and was Okay with it. Now, I just don't know. I'm going to investigate my options and one thing is for certain; I'm going to wait!
post #7 of 79
Didn't think a unibody plastic laptop was feasible, I'll have to see one in person...
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by zekesax View Post

I'm so dissapointed in the omission of Firewire. I was going to get the previous model white macbook because of it's lower price and Firewire. I then heard about this upgrade so I decided to wait a few days. Now this! I don't get it..

My video camera outputs Firewire. I was so looking forward to this purchase. I use both Macs and PCs. I understood why I was going to pay a little more and was Okay with it. Now, I just don't know. I'm going to investigate my options and one thing is for certain; I'm going to wait!

Didn't Apple say something like 'Firewire is for the Pro' a while back? Anyway, I think the new MB looks pretty (except the underside), and when my MBP dies I think I would buy the new MB. I do miss a cardreader though. Every laptop has one these days, even my friend's tiny Samsung netbook!
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by X38 View Post

The rest of the day's annoucements look at least sort of interesting, but the new mac book fails badly. No FW?! Seriously, didn't they learn their lesson the last time they tried to remove FW? ...

Your right. FireWire should be in *all* computers and it should stay in there forever regardless of whether the target market really has any FireWire devices to attach to it.

So what that pretty much all video cameras and removable hard drives are USB now? If one guy somewhere with a FireWire hard drive wants Firewire 400 ports, they should be there dammit! Because they are not making that thing for the majority, they are making it for me, and people like me who still have some FireWire devices and just don't want to switch or buy new gear.

I know that FireWire is on all the MacBook Pros, but even though I like the superiority that comes with using expensive FireWire devices, I'm cheap. I want to be able to buy the lowest-end, cheapest, entry-level MacBook and have it come with all the ports that a professional user would expect.

Apple is supposed to be building consumer products and I'm a consumer so I should always get exactly what I want. In fact if they don't give me everything I think I want, they aren't doing their job right, and it's probably evidence that the company itself is going to fail. This is because my experience is basically the yardstick by which everything must be decided.

post #10 of 79
This Macbook occupies an entirely new price point, so the ommission of FireWire makes sense since most new consumer video cameras don't use FireWire anymore. What you get over other notbooks in this range and the previous white MacBook is improved battery life, portability, and durability. Why include FireWire if almost nobody is going to use it?
post #11 of 79
Woah woah woah. No IR port? How am I going to use my shiny new Apple Remote with it then?
post #12 of 79
It took them almost 10 years to finally release a laptop that doesn't require you to spend much time at replacing parts.

It's been this slow incremental movement to a position they could have started with back in 1998.
post #13 of 79
Hahah trust ifixit to do one of these within hours of it comin out
post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Sililarities? Like their FireWire and SD slot?

You know my beliefs about FW. Gone tomorrow, but I still think they've jumped the gun. End of next year, ok.
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by X38 View Post

The rest of the day's annoucements look at least sort of interesting, but the new mac book fails badly. No FW?! Seriously, didn't they learn their lesson the last time they tried to remove FW?
They should have implemented FW3200 across the board in all new macs for the past year anyway. Maybe Light Peak can take it's place, but until then removing FW is just dumb. I was going to be in the market for a low end mac laptop soon, but I will most certainly not be getting one of these. Without FW3200 or some obvious way to add Light Peak in the future, I think I'll just hold out a bit longer.

How could they implement something that isn't available yet?
FW 3200 will become available sometime in 2010. When in 2010, who knows?

You should at least read up on this stuff first.
post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmarleypeople View Post

Woah woah woah. No IR port? How am I going to use my shiny new Apple Remote with it then?

Bluetooth?
post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Apple is supposed to be building consumer products and I'm a consumer so I should always get exactly what I want.

That made me LOL!
post #18 of 79
Very clean looking design.
post #19 of 79
With such small main board Apple should make a pocketable Mac with video-out and USB2 ports. The ultimate Keynote and PowerPoint presentation (pocketable) tool. Take away the superdrive and even the hard drive. Use flash memory insted. We need thousands for our University. 400 g or so. Because even the MacBook Air is too heavy and too large.
post #20 of 79
I think Apple are making the right compromises here. A bit of glass and an aluminium block on its own is not going to make a 13" MacBook significantly cheaper than a 13" MBP.

For consumers like my sister (already has an old white MacBook), my wife (has a Vaio CR that's very similar to a MacBook -- hates it and wishes she had a Mac now), and my friend Jules (old PC broke, is looking to get a new laptop for web/email/photos/iPod sync), this seems perfect.

They're not interested in Firewire -- I doubt they've even heard of it. They want a small, light, good looking, well built laptop with a good screen, and a good battery life. And that's very easy to use, and doesn't require constant fettling. A card reader might be useful, but on the basis they've all got various Sony cameras, an SD slot is pretty useless! They want a good quality laptop that will last, so are willing to spend a bit extra to get it.

Me? Well, I want Firewire (although I found it very hard recently to buy a portable Firewire HD -- I could only find one at a large online electronics retailer. It was a special Iomega Mac model, with FW400, FW800, and USB -- so it'll still work in a new MacBook) to use for video storage and editing of the HD video from the Lumix GH1 I have on order (and an SD slot would be useful -- shame my MBP is too old). But then, I'm a bit of a geek, not a mid-level consumer.

So, before you decry the lack of features that you want, try and think what the vast majority of consumers actually want. And if you do really need that Firewire port, stop buying lattes for a month, and save up the extra cash for a Pro.
post #21 of 79
no infrared port!? no battery strength indicator? no firewire port? not good ;-(

and why is the board inside so dark? weird!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgril_j5EIc
post #22 of 79
Sad, sad. Now it has more appeal in portability and lacks connectivity features. I'm completely lost with the question whether I should spend one more G on this one and abandon the brand-new white MB, having been bought just months ago...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmarleypeople View Post

Woah woah woah. No IR port? How am I going to use my shiny new Apple Remote with it then?

Yup, seems they left it out. I use the remote a lot to control movie playback on my 2-year old white macbook connected to the external monitor.

Also, they removed FW (don't really care), but why didn't they add an SD slot?

And lastly, it appears that the plastic on the keyboard panel is glossy? That would be nasty for resting my hands on.
So, if I want to upgrade, I must go for the 13" 'pro', which is OK i guess. But I have to wonder - who is the macbook for now?
post #24 of 79
Entry level buyers. People who are shy to spend a lot on a mac. Also, it's an inexpensive avenue for developers. Apple's strategy for a while has been to encourage development. What's an iPhone without apps?
post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by zekesax;

I'm so dissapointed in the omission of Firewire. I was going to get the previous model white macbook because of it's lower price and Firewire. I then heard about this upgrade so I decided to wait a few days. Now this! I don't get it..

My video camera outputs Firewire. I was so looking forward to this purchase. I use both Macs and PCs. I understood why I was going to pay a little more and was Okay with it. Now, I just don't know. I'm going to investigate my options and one thing is for certain; I'm going to wait!

When they took away Firewire last year I panicked into buying the last Black Book running @ 2.4GHz. Now a year later with this non-Firewire model and the continuation of the stupidest ONE-Audio Port idea, I still feel like I made the right decision.

While the LED screen is cool, it's still only glossy. And the longer life lithpolymer battery is better too. But, to me, a Mac without Firewire is insanely NOT great no matter what else it may have going for it. I love the design I have where changing hard drives is a very quick and easy job. They put FW 800 on the first and current 13" MBP. I see no reason they couldn't have kept FW 400 or even put the smaller FW 800 port on this model other to save a dollar some bean counter decided would be a good idea. NOT! How did this decision get past Steve?

Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

Reply
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

When they took away Firewire last year I panicked into buying the last Black Book running @ 2.4GHz. Now a year later with this non-Firewire model and the continuation of the stupidest ONE-Audio Port idea, I still feel like I made the right decision.

While the LED screen is cool, it's still only glossy. And the longer life lithpolymer battery is better too. But, to me, a Mac without Firewire is insanely NOT great no matter what else it may have going for it. I love the design I have where changing hard drives is a very quick and easy job. They put FW 800 on the first and current 13" MBP. I see no reason they couldn't have kept FW 400 or even put the smaller FW 800 port on this model other to save a dollar some bean counter decided would be a good idea. NOT! How did this decision get past Steve?

What's even further mindboggling is why they are still skimping out on processors, the black MacBook 4,1 has a 2.4 GHz and that was over a year ago. It's now a year past, and the newest update has a 2.26 GHz processor that still doesn't match that. Seriously Apple, Intel Penryn processors are dirt cheap, why the hell are you skimping out on function for form when it costs practically cents?
post #27 of 79
This whole Firewire for Pros thing is BS. Apple itself on numerous occasions has touted the benefits of Firewire. I have an original iPod that uses it. For what is worth, I can boot my Firewire equipped Macs with a boot copy of the OS I have installed on the iPod. If it were a "Pro" feature, Apple wouldn't have it installed on every Mac produced in the last ten years. When Apple removed Firewire last time, so many people complained that Shiller made a point of mentioning it's return on the very next version of the Macbook. There were lots of cheers. I do not think Apple has ever referred to Firewire as a "Pro" feature. Jobs mentioned that Firewire was removed last time because there aren't a lot of devices that use it. He obviously doesn't troubleshoot problems on other Macs or try to bring over user information when Migration System fails.

Future, everybody has a Firewire device to attach to it. Namely, the old Mac you are replacing it with. The main benefit of Firewire is Target Disk mode. Both USB and Ethernet do not replace that valuable troubleshooting/back up tool. This is the first omission of a Mac feature where Apple doesn't replace it with something more valuable. The $999 buys you a faster more energy efficient computer, as usually is the case when a new model comes out. This one, however, removes a truly Mac feature.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Your right. FireWire should be in *all* computers and it should stay in there forever regardless of whether the target market really has any FireWire devices to attach to it.

So what that pretty much all video cameras and removable hard drives are USB now? If one guy somewhere with a FireWire hard drive wants Firewire 400 ports, they should be there dammit! Because they are not making that thing for the majority, they are making it for me, and people like me who still have some FireWire devices and just don't want to switch or buy new gear.

I know that FireWire is on all the MacBook Pros, but even though I like the superiority that comes with using expensive FireWire devices, I'm cheap. I want to be able to buy the lowest-end, cheapest, entry-level MacBook and have it come with all the ports that a professional user would expect.

Apple is supposed to be building consumer products and I'm a consumer so I should always get exactly what I want. In fact if they don't give me everything I think I want, they aren't doing their job right, and it's probably evidence that the company itself is going to fail. This is because my experience is basically the yardstick by which everything must be decided.

post #28 of 79
A 13" MacBook Pro, with Firewire, card reader, backlit keyboard and up to 8GB of RAM capability is ONLY $200 more instead of $700 more like it used to be. While you are "holding out," you can save up $200 more and get what you really want.
post #29 of 79
My step father has never heard of it either. Yet, when his Mac wouldn't boot because of a corrupted OS system file he certainly benefited from it. I hooked my Mac up to his using Firewire. I booted his in Target Disk mode. I replaced his corrupted system file in less then a minute.

Without Firewire, I would have to have reinstalled the OS. That would have taken hours. SInce he doesn't bak up files like he should (he is old), he probably would have lost docs. I've impressed many people fixing troubled Macs using Firewire.

Further, try moving your user file over from another Mac using Ethernet. With Firewire it takes less than a minute. With Ethernet you are going to spend quite a while dealing with user permissions issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

They're not interested in Firewire -- I doubt they've even heard of it. They want a small, light, good looking, well built laptop with a good screen, and a good battery life. And that's very easy to use, and doesn't require constant fettling. A card reader might be useful, but on the basis they've all got various Sony cameras, an SD slot is pretty useless! They want a good quality laptop that will last, so are willing to spend a bit extra to get it.
post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahmanc View Post

A 13" MacBook Pro, with Firewire, card reader, backlit keyboard and up to 8GB of RAM capability is ONLY $200 more instead of $700 more like it used to be. While you are "holding out," you can save up $200 more and get what you really want.

I'm right with you there! Horses for courses; the Macbook is not intended for the geek or the pro user. They'll prob sell a motza to the school sector with educ. discounts, etc..
post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

Didn't Apple say something like 'Firewire is for the Pro' a while back? Anyway, I think the new MB looks pretty (except the underside), and when my MBP dies I think I would buy the new MB. I do miss a cardreader though. Every laptop has one these days, even my friend's tiny Samsung netbook!

Except for having FW in every iMac and Mini, yeah, it's a pro feature. This was dumb. So was losing IR. Hope both will be back, but for now it will be the first refurb previous gen MacBook for me. I can buy a spare power adapter and live with the 5 hours. Or for the same $999 a refurb 13" pro at 7 hours. I have easily a thousand dollars of FW equipment that gets used regularly for backup and video. And specs may be nice, but USB 2.0 can't hold a candle to FW400 in real external drive use.
post #32 of 79
Umm... OK, I got it. It was, in fact, for a young schoolgirl, that I bought that Mac Book of previous generation. She liked it white, not aluminum.
It's turned to be not portable, hence useless. So, MBP is indeed very viable competing option.
It's thus valuable input, thanks.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #33 of 79
I wanna see a new imac teardown
post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzos View Post

I'm right with you there! Horses for courses; the Macbook is not intended for the geek or the pro user. They'll prob sell a motza to the school sector with educ. discounts, etc..


This happens at every refresh. Endless complaints, ranting and raving. Then it sells like crazy. Apple's notebooks are #1 in the industry. They're at the very core of record Mac sales, and people are lining up to buy them *in a recession.*

Remember: Apple fansites have no basis in reality. They're populated in large part by people who love Apple (love to complain?), but want a Windows-like hardware experience with an OS X interface. Except you can't have it both ways. In other words, they want hackintoshes with nicer cases.
post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Your right. FireWire should be in *all* computers and it should stay in there forever regardless of whether the target market really has any FireWire devices to attach to it.

So what that pretty much all video cameras and removable hard drives are USB now? If one guy somewhere with a FireWire hard drive wants Firewire 400 ports, they should be there dammit! Because they are not making that thing for the majority, they are making it for me, and people like me who still have some FireWire devices and just don't want to switch or buy new gear.

I know that FireWire is on all the MacBook Pros, but even though I like the superiority that comes with using expensive FireWire devices, I'm cheap. I want to be able to buy the lowest-end, cheapest, entry-level MacBook and have it come with all the ports that a professional user would expect.

Apple is supposed to be building consumer products and I'm a consumer so I should always get exactly what I want. In fact if they don't give me everything I think I want, they aren't doing their job right, and it's probably evidence that the company itself is going to fail. This is because my experience is basically the yardstick by which everything must be decided.


post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Umm... OK, I got it. It was, in fact, for a young schoolgirl, that I bought that Mac Book of previous generation. She liked it white, not aluminum.
It's turned to be not portable, hence useless. So, MBP is indeed very viable competing option.
It's thus valuable input, thanks.

baking powder?
post #37 of 79
this new macbook is so pretty i almost want to cry

i want one so badly

i wonder if the keys will turn yellow like in the older model? i'm happy with my mbp, and it will be a while before i replace it

they should add a 15" option for macbooks
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

baking powder?

And this one is even more valuable! Personally, I'm far worse in baking realm, than I am in Apple machines' that, but demoiselle's mom may hopefully offer some assistance...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #39 of 79
I can't believe the new MacBook doesn't have a floppy drive! That's a huge deal breaker for me! How could they do that?! I'm outraged.
post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Your right. FireWire should be in *all* computers and it should stay in there forever regardless of whether the target market really has any FireWire devices to attach to it.

So what that pretty much all video cameras and removable hard drives are USB now? If one guy somewhere with a FireWire hard drive wants Firewire 400 ports, they should be there dammit! Because they are not making that thing for the majority, they are making it for me, and people like me who still have some FireWire devices and just don't want to switch or buy new gear.

I know that FireWire is on all the MacBook Pros, but even though I like the superiority that comes with using expensive FireWire devices, I'm cheap. I want to be able to buy the lowest-end, cheapest, entry-level MacBook and have it come with all the ports that a professional user would expect.

Apple is supposed to be building consumer products and I'm a consumer so I should always get exactly what I want. In fact if they don't give me everything I think I want, they aren't doing their job right, and it's probably evidence that the company itself is going to fail. This is because my experience is basically the yardstick by which everything must be decided.


I must say this is one of the funnier posts I've seen on these forums
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