Teardown finds shared chips among Apple's Magic Trackpad 2, Magic Mouse 2 & Magic Keyboard

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2015
A teardown of Apple's latest Mac peripherals shows that the devices have many things in common with each other -- including difficulty of repair -- while borrowing some technologies from other Apple products.




The devices share many of the same chips, and use similar lithium-ion batteries, repair firm iFixit commented on Friday. All of them for instance sport the Broadcom BCM20733 Bluetooth 3.0 chip, even though the Trackpad 2 officially requires a Bluetooth 4.0-capable Mac.

The Magic Trackpad 2 is said to rely on the same Force Touch technology in current MacBooks, including four strain gauges for measuring pressure, and a similar Taptic Engine. The Trackpad largely only scales the technology up to a bigger size.




The Magic Mouse 2 is allegedly virtually identical to its predecessor, but with a Lightning port, and a lithium-ion battery in place of the AA slot. One oddity is that the Lightning port is on the bottom of the device, making mouse input impossible while charging.




Finally, the Magic Keyboard is descibed as borrowing the 12-inch Retina MacBook's layout and low-profile keys, but with a scissor mechanism in place of the MacBook's butterfly switches. Nevertheless the new peripheral's keys have just 1 millimeter of travel, according to iFixit, and press completely flat.

All three products scored just 3 out of 10 in iFixit's repairability ratings. The amount of adhesive used makes them difficult to open, the firm noted, and it may be possible to damage vital components in the process.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Does iFixit tear down anything other than Apple products? And while some geeks might be interested in these teardowns, who repairs their own stuff anymore, especially mice, keyboards and trackpads. I wish iFixit would do away with these stupid and meaningless repairability scores.
  • Reply 2 of 51

    Imagine buying a car with the battery welded inside the frame all but preventing the owner and many independent repairs shops from replacing it without damaging the vehicle. The manufacturer expects and hopes that when the battery goes dead in a few years, you'll just buy a new car.

     

    I'm quick to defend Apple products, I drink their "Kool-Aid", and I suppose I could be considered a "fanboy" (or "fanman"). However, I'm not feeling this "sealed for life" technology. I have a problem when a $2,300 iMac is held together with double-sided tape.

  • Reply 3 of 51
    schlackschlack Posts: 686member
    seems like
    1) a month battery life is pretty poor. should be able to do better than that...AA batteries can.
    2) lightning connector on the bottom???? total fail. so un-apple like.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by schlack View Post



    seems like

    1) a month battery life is pretty poor. should be able to do better than that...AA batteries can.

    2) lightning connector on the bottom???? total fail. so un-apple like.

    1) You don't have to toss out alkaline batteries or remember to buy them, also I never got a month of battery life from that thing.

    2) Where pray tell would they have put it. The bottom is the least visible area. Also what is so "un-apple" like about that. 

  • Reply 5 of 51
    neilmneilm Posts: 591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by schlack View Post



    seems like

    1) a month battery life is pretty poor. should be able to do better than that...AA batteries can.

    2) lightning connector on the bottom???? total fail. so un-apple like.



    1) No, because as long as a rechargeable lasts some reasonable amount of time – and a month is way more than reasonable – there's no advantage to it lasting an extra long time.

     

    2) And no, because operating a lithium battery device while float charging it at 100% shortens battery life expectancy. Putting the connector on the bottom deliberately prevents it being used in that manner. And if the mouse's ability to pick up 9 hours worth of usage with a 2 minute charge isn't good enough, then that would be an ADHD disorder beyond anyone else's scope.

  • Reply 6 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    Imagine buying a car with the battery welded inside the frame all but preventing the owner and many independent repairs shops from replacing it without damaging the vehicle. The manufacturer expects and hopes that when the battery goes dead in a few years, you'll just buy a new car.

     

    I'm quick to defend Apple products, I drink their "Kool-Aid", and I suppose I could be considered a "fanboy" (or "fanman"). However, I'm not feeling this "sealed for life" technology. I have a problem when a $2,300 iMac is held together with double-sided tape.


    I get what you are saying but I don't understand why people try and push that argument. Cars are completely different in terms of needing to be repaired. Also there are plenty of things on a car that you do not have any access to as a consumer to work on. Most people who buy this stuff don't care about do I have the ability to do my own repairs at home, most people don't want the hassle of having to do that. 

  • Reply 7 of 51
    neilmneilm Posts: 591member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    The devices share many of the same chips, and use similar lithium-ion batteries, repair firm iFixit commented on Friday.

     

    Wow, three wireless input devices released at the same time by the same manufacturer use some of the same chips.

     

    Shocker.

  • Reply 8 of 51
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    schlack wrote: »
    seems like
    1) a month battery life is pretty poor. should be able to do better than that...AA batteries can.
    2) lightning connector on the bottom???? total fail. so un-apple like.

    1) It takes 2 hours to get a month battery charge. You don't have two hours within the span of a month to charge this device?
    2) You can get 9 hours battery life with a 2 minute charge. I think Apple is pretty clear here they don't want you charging this while using it. And since OS X gives ample warning when the battery is getting low you should never need to charge and use at the same time.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

     

    2) And no, because operating a lithium battery device while float charging it at 100% shortens battery life expectancy.


    That's incorrect. Try telling that to every MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, and every other Apple and non-Apple device that uses Li-ion batteries.

  • Reply 10 of 51
    I don't care how you slice it, putting the charging port on the bottom is just terrible. You need to flip it over on it's back to charge it. Imagine doing this with the keyboard, where you lay it key-side down for a few hours. That's just odd. If you could plug the mouse directly into a wall outlet, that would justify the design. Otherwise, it literally looks like a "dead mouse" (I'm coining that)
  • Reply 11 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    Imagine buying a car with the battery welded inside the frame all but preventing the owner and many independent repairs shops from replacing it without damaging the vehicle. The manufacturer expects and hopes that when the battery goes dead in a few years, you'll just buy a new car.

     

    I'm quick to defend Apple products, I drink their "Kool-Aid", and I suppose I could be considered a "fanboy" (or "fanman"). However, I'm not feeling this "sealed for life" technology. I have a problem when a $2,300 iMac is held together with double-sided tape.


     

    Apple's products are whole widget products that last a very long time.

    Apple computers - even with glued components - last longer than PCs.

    Apple knows their products last way beyond the time they are obsolete. And this is borne out by user experience.

     

    For example, I still use a MacBook Pro 17 inch 2006.

    Obviously, it won't run the latest operating system. In regard to the latest technologies, it is obsolete.

    But it certainly is still great for web browsing use.

     

    So not buying Apple products just because they aren't repairable is being just cheap and shortsighted. 

     

    Apple targets affluent users, not cheap users.

    Apple targets users that love quality, not cheap users.

  • Reply 12 of 51
    neilm wrote: »
    Wow, three wireless input devices released at the same time by the same manufacturer use some of the same chips.

    Shocker.

    It was the most controversial thing they could find for a headline. Not "Apple overclocks Broadcom chip in new Magic Mouse!"
  • Reply 13 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    1) It takes 2 hours to get a month battery charge. You don't have two hours within the span of a month to charge this device?

    2) You can get 9 hours battery life with a 2 minute charge. I think Apple is pretty clear here they don't want you charging this while using it. And since OS X gives ample warning when the battery is getting low you should never need to charge and use at the same time.



    this double opportunity charging capability is excellent, offered on the new apple pencil. I hope to see this copied onto many other products, not just apple.

  • Reply 14 of 51
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    tommy0guns wrote: »
    I don't care how you slice it, putting the charging port on the bottom is just terrible. You need to flip it over on it's back to charge it. Imagine doing this with the keyboard, where you lay it key-side down for a few hours. That's just odd. If you could plug the mouse directly into a wall outlet, that would justify the design. Otherwise, it literally looks like a "dead mouse" (I'm coining that)

    You don't have to flip it over you can just lay it on its side. Or if you have a lightening iPhone doc you can place it there. And considering it gets a month on one 2 hour charge it's not like you'll be chairing this thing frequently. Charge it when you go to bed or top it off when you're taking a shower in the morning.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    this double opportunity charging capability is excellent, offered on the new apple pencil. I hope to see this copied onto many other products, not just apple.

    Give me fast charging for iPad and iPhone please.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tommy0guns View Post



    I don't care how you slice it, putting the charging port on the bottom is just terrible. You need to flip it over on it's back to charge it. Imagine doing this with the keyboard, where you lay it key-side down for a few hours. That's just odd. If you could plug the mouse directly into a wall outlet, that would justify the design. Otherwise, it literally looks like a "dead mouse" (I'm coining that)



    but you can do a quick charge in the time it takes for your Nespresso to make you a nice frsh coffee.

    wall outlet - sure I can see that is lovely design, along with all the little adapters apple could sell for world compatibility. 

    if you simply forgot the /s after your wall outlet suggestion- forgive me,

  • Reply 17 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Give me fast charging for iPad and iPhone please.



    dont we already have it? my iPhone certainly seems quick to get to 30% or so from flat....

  • Reply 18 of 51
    iFixit tear downs are interesting, but who gives a shit what the repair rating is. Most consumers just buy a new one when it fails. Apple stuff never fails anyway!!!
  • Reply 19 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Does iFixit tear down anything other than Apple products? 

    Apple products are generally the most popular products both in volume sold and general consumer interest. So without a doubt iFixit will tear every single one of them down.

     

    That being said, of course they tear down other products. Check out their website, there are tons of product tear downs other than Apples. I can completely understand why a website like Apple Insider would choose not to report on the iFixit tear down of a Sony camera, Samsung phone, Google On Hub or Chromecast. 

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    And while some geeks might be interested in these teardowns, who repairs their own stuff anymore, especially mice, keyboards and trackpads. I wish iFixit would do away with these stupid and meaningless repairability scores.

    I agree it is unlikely for the average person to repair their mouses, keyboards, and trackpads. But regardless if you ever attempt a repair, its fun to see what is inside.

     

    Their repairablility scores often seems to me to be less about actually repairing a device (which relatively few people do), and more of a commentary on the wasteful and disposable nature of society these days.

     

    I understand if you are not interested in a website like iFixit, but a lot of people are. Regardless if they have ever repaired a thing.  

  • Reply 20 of 51

    All this talk about repairability and it does not support Yosemite.  Lets talk about compatiblity.

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