New 13-inch MacBook Pro has bigger battery but SSD can't be swapped

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 12
While it's never been simple to upgrade a 13-inch MacBook Pro's SSD, it is now no longer possible, according to a teardown of the latest model.

Tearing down the new 13-inch MacBook Pro
Tearing down the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, photo courtesy iFixit


Mac repair firm iFixit has taken the new 13-inch MacBook Pro apart and found that Apple has made only small, but also significant, changes to the previous model. The changes in design and engineering mean that certain key components are smaller and also the SSD can no longer be replaced or upgraded.

"Where the 2016 model's modular SSD used to live," notes iFixit, "we peel back a sticker -- only to find a soldered-down shield."

"Unsurprising, perhaps," continues iFixit, "but still disappointing -- one of the last upgradeable components on the MacBook Pro line is totally gone."

Butterfly keyboard in the new MacBook Pro
Butterfly keyboard in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, photo courtesy iFixit


Amongst other changes since the last model, there is a slightly larger battery, and there are some that affect cooling on the machine.

"To make room for the Touch ID sensor alongside the Touch Bar," notes iFixit, "Apple appears to have trimmed a little mass off the heat pipe. Should we be worried? Cooling already seemed like it was getting short shrift on these ultra-thin Pro laptops."

The company also notes that one of the speakers "looks emaciated compared to its 2016 predecessor." However, in the case of the speakers, repair and replacement is actually straightforward and "almost couldn't be easier."

The addition of Touch ID also gets praised by the company, which says the 13-inch MacBook Pro contains a "modular masterpiece."

"It includes the headphone jack, microphone, and Touch ID connector, and can be easily replaced without dragging along an expensive logic board."

Overrall, iFixit again ranks the MacBook Pro with a score of 2 out of 10 for independent repairability. In regards to iFixit's concerns about the thermal condition, AppleInsider will be examining that in the days to come.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member
    The elitists over in Macrumors & other tech sites are hilarious. They never stop to amuse me. Only 1-3% of Mac owners in the mid 2000s ever touched the machines' insides. The data was collected by Appleinsider. Majority of people want machines to be more integrated, as this allows for machines to be less error prone & more robust.This goes for MacBooks as well. MacBook batteries last 3-4 times longer than 2009, their motherboards have gotten more efficient, and native SSD storage is much faster. I get it some elitist geeks want to touch the insides, and move things around, but that wont happen with Apple. Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.
    edited July 12 Latkopscooter63p-dog
  • Reply 2 of 54
    "Unsurprising, perhaps," continues iFixit, "but still disappointing —one of the last upgradeable components on the MacBook Pro line is totally gone."

    Don't get it. How can I upgrade my 13" MBP from 2016? 
    I always thought the components were soldered to the motherboard. TIA! Cheers, Jo
  • Reply 3 of 54
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member
    sugarfree said:
    "Unsurprising, perhaps," continues iFixit, "but still disappointing —one of the last upgradeable components on the MacBook Pro line is totally gone."

    Don't get it. How can I upgrade my 13" MBP from 2016? I always thought the components were soldered to the motherboard. TIA! Cheers, Jo
    On the base 13’ that was $1300 it was upgradable.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 54
    wandersowanderso Posts: 104member
    So: no option to ever replace or upgrade the memory or SSD and the battery is glued in place.  Keyboard is still questionable for longevity. 

    Extending the useable life of these will not be what Macs were once known for. (Speaking as a Mac owner since 1992). 

    If one’s expectation is to replace your laptop every 3-4 years, I guess that is ok, but a distinctive of the Macs of the past was their usable life. 
    boboliciousGeorgeBMacchemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 54
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    The elitists over in Macrumors & other tech sites are hilarious. They never stop to amuse me. Only 1-3% of Mac owners in the mid 2000s ever touched the machines' insides. The data was collected by Appleinsider. Majority of people want machines to be more integrated, as this allows for machines to be less error prone & more robust.This goes for MacBooks as well. MacBook batteries last 3-4 times longer than 2009, their motherboards have gotten more efficient, and native SSD storage is much faster. I get it some elitist geeks want to touch the insides, and move things around, but that wont happen with Apple. Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.
    Most customers who invested every penny in Apple that Cook et al. can and will ever touch, know better than the current Board what they want in a laptop based on the state of the art - instead of your meagre reflections of that in 2009. And they don’t need arrogant and spurious instructions that are just as nonsensical as shortsighted: Your blatter lacks the faintest insight how many at some point will want to upgrade their measly or malfunctioning 128Gb SSD
    edited July 12 ednl1STnTENDERBITS80s_Apple_GuyboboliciouscaladanianSanctum1972
  • Reply 6 of 54
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member
    Latko said:
    “Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.”
    Most that invested every penny in Apple that Cook et al. can ever touch, know better than the current Board what they want in a laptop based on the state of the art.
    And don’t need arrogant and spurious  instructions that are just as nonsensical as shortsighted. You don’t even have the faintest idea how many at some point will want to upgrade their measly or malfunctioning 128Gb SSD
    Apple is not making commodity priced things. There are plenty of external storage options & 3rd party companies that you can get commodity priced computers from. 
    macplusplusp-dog
  • Reply 7 of 54
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,181member
    The “Pro” designation no longer applies to the MacBook line. They’re all student computers now.
    ednl1STnTENDERBITSdonjuanboboliciouskestralktappeGeorgeBMacchemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 54
    flydogflydog Posts: 298member
    wanderso said:
    So: no option to ever replace or upgrade the memory or SSD and the battery is glued in place.  Keyboard is still questionable for longevity. 

    Extending the useable life of these will not be what Macs were once known for. (Speaking as a Mac owner since 1992). 

    If one’s expectation is to replace your laptop every 3-4 years, I guess that is ok, but a distinctive of the Macs of the past was their usable life. 
    The fact that you've been using Macs since 1992 doesn't mean you are representative of the user base.  As someone has already pointed out, the percentage of people who open up their Macs is microscopic.  The 99% of users who couldn't care less about upgrading  should not compromise for the sake of upgradability for a few users.  Apple is simply listening to its customers.

    Banging away furiously at your keyboard on forums won't change anything. If you don't like, there's always the plastic Windows alternatives from Dell et al. 
    racerhomie3chiamacplusplusp-dogmwhite
  • Reply 9 of 54
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 86member
    You can always buy a Dell XPS 15 and put Mac OS on it if non-upgradeable hardware bothers you.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7mR6tLvbpc
  • Reply 10 of 54
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    Latko said:
    “Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.”
    Most that invested every penny in Apple that Cook et al. can ever touch, know better than the current Board what they want in a laptop based on the state of the art.
    And don’t need arrogant and spurious  instructions that are just as nonsensical as shortsighted. You don’t even have the faintest idea how many at some point will want to upgrade their measly or malfunctioning 128Gb SSD
    Apple is not making commodity priced things. There are plenty of external storage options & 3rd party companies that you can get commodity priced computers from. 
    Derailing someone who expects premium functionality from an over-premium priced laptop to a commodity brand is just hilarious. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Contrary to what Tim Dongle and yourself seem to think, the whole concept of mobility is NOT carrying around bags with dongles, external disks, accessoiries and crap
    edited July 12 boboliciousmajorslgatorguykestralMplsPSanctum1972GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 54
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member
    bigtds said:
    You can always buy a Dell XPS 15 and put Mac OS on it if non-upgradeable hardware bothers you.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7mR6tLvbpc
    Yeah. Good solution. 1 update bricks it & then what.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member

    Latko said:
    Latko said:
    “Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.”
    Most that invested every penny in Apple that Cook et al. can ever touch, know better than the current Board what they want in a laptop based on the state of the art.
    And don’t need arrogant and spurious  instructions that are just as nonsensical as shortsighted. You don’t even have the faintest idea how many at some point will want to upgrade their measly or malfunctioning 128Gb SSD
    Apple is not making commodity priced things. There are plenty of external storage options & 3rd party companies that you can get commodity priced computers from. 
    Derailing someone who expects premium functionality from an over-premium priced laptop to a commodity brand is just hilarious. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Contrary to what Tim Dongle and yourself seem to think, the whole concept of mobility is NOT carrying around bags with dongles, external disks, accessoiries and crap
    Yeah carrying 100s of gigs of non system data on an internal drive isn’t smart either. If you want total mobility with the base storage you have iCloud storage, Google drive & other solutions as well.External hdds are the cheapest & expandable .
    edited July 12
  • Reply 13 of 54
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 86member
    bigtds said:
    You can always buy a Dell XPS 15 and put Mac OS on it if non-upgradeable hardware bothers you.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7mR6tLvbpc
    Yeah. Good solution. 1 update bricks it & then what.
    Isn't it obvious that this solution isn't for everyone? People that hack will always find solutions to problems that arise.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 14 of 54
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member

    Latko said:
    Latko said:
    “Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.”
    Most that invested every penny in Apple that Cook et al. can ever touch, know better than the current Board what they want in a laptop based on the state of the art.
    And don’t need arrogant and spurious  instructions that are just as nonsensical as shortsighted. You don’t even have the faintest idea how many at some point will want to upgrade their measly or malfunctioning 128Gb SSD
    Apple is not making commodity priced things. There are plenty of external storage options & 3rd party companies that you can get commodity priced computers from. 
    Derailing someone who expects premium functionality from an over-premium priced laptop to a commodity brand is just hilarious. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Contrary to what Tim Dongle and yourself seem to think, the whole concept of mobility is NOT carrying around bags with dongles, external disks, accessoiries and crap
    Yeah carrying 100s of gigs of non system data on an internal drive isn’t smart either. If you want total mobility with the base storage you have iCloud storage, Google drive & other solutions as well.External hdds are the cheapest & expandable .
    That’s exactly the Cookette lightweight interpretation of usage patterns of customers he otherwise qualifies as Pro’s (when it comes to pricing)
    Why not derail to iPad Pro (or fully network-operated netbooks) when MacBook Pro upgradeability doesn’t work (...the typical Cupertino way to deal with crtiticism)
    edited July 12
  • Reply 15 of 54
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member
    Latko said:

    Latko said:
    Latko said:
    “Please make your own laptops or desktops or go to another brand.”
    Most that invested every penny in Apple that Cook et al. can ever touch, know better than the current Board what they want in a laptop based on the state of the art.
    And don’t need arrogant and spurious  instructions that are just as nonsensical as shortsighted. You don’t even have the faintest idea how many at some point will want to upgrade their measly or malfunctioning 128Gb SSD
    Apple is not making commodity priced things. There are plenty of external storage options & 3rd party companies that you can get commodity priced computers from. 
    Derailing someone who expects premium functionality from an over-premium priced laptop to a commodity brand is just hilarious. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Contrary to what Tim Dongle and yourself seem to think, the whole concept of mobility is NOT carrying around bags with dongles, external disks, accessoiries and crap
    Yeah carrying 100s of gigs of non system data on an internal drive isn’t smart either. If you want total mobility with the base storage you have iCloud storage, Google drive & other solutions as well.External hdds are the cheapest & expandable .
    That’s exactly the Cookette lightweight interpretation of usage patterns of customers he otherwise qualifies as Pro’s (when it comes to pricing)
    Why not derail to iPad Pro (or fully network-operated netbooks) when MacBook Pro upgradeability doesn’t work (...the typical Cupertino way to deal with crtiticism)
    All criticisms shouldn’t be addressed. You become dell by doing that. Apple has reasons behind their choices. You can not like them. That’s fine too. But don’t expect Apple to make choices for the 1% elitist geeks.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 16 of 54
    nhtnht Posts: 4,487member
    flydog said:
    wanderso said:
    So: no option to ever replace or upgrade the memory or SSD and the battery is glued in place.  Keyboard is still questionable for longevity. 

    Extending the useable life of these will not be what Macs were once known for. (Speaking as a Mac owner since 1992). 

    If one’s expectation is to replace your laptop every 3-4 years, I guess that is ok, but a distinctive of the Macs of the past was their usable life. 
    The fact that you've been using Macs since 1992 doesn't mean you are representative of the user base.  As someone has already pointed out, the percentage of people who open up their Macs is microscopic.  The 99% of users who couldn't care less about upgrading  should not compromise for the sake of upgradability for a few users.  Apple is simply listening to its customers.

    Banging away furiously at your keyboard on forums won't change anything. If you don't like, there's always the plastic Windows alternatives from Dell et al. 
    People with 10 year computer replacement cycles are barely in the ecosystem.  They certainly aren't a demographic worth worrying about.  

    In the 27 years since 1992 that's two maybe three units. 
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 17 of 54
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,949member
    The “Pro” designation no longer applies to the MacBook line. They’re all student computers now.
    If you'r talking about the entry-level 13" MBP with the 1.4Ghz processors, I would tend to agree.  Not so with the rest of the MBP lineup.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    donjuandonjuan Posts: 33member
    Weak.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 19 of 54
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 352member
    sugarfree said:
    "Unsurprising, perhaps," continues iFixit, "but still disappointing —one of the last upgradeable components on the MacBook Pro line is totally gone."

    Don't get it. How can I upgrade my 13" MBP from 2016? I always thought the components were soldered to the motherboard. TIA! Cheers, Jo
    The Function Key model still used a card for the Flash Storage, but it is a proprietary card. I don't think there is an aftermarket part.

    I can understand why they aren't making it a card any more - that would be one way to bypass the security of the T2 chip.

    T2: can't boot to single user mode? Can't use target disk mode (unless it's for a migration via another T2 Mac? Blargh! Ok, that's a rant for a different article…
  • Reply 20 of 54
    ...I've been using pro higher end macs since System 7 and I have upgraded pretty much every one of them over the years... These comments about 'onboard' being OK are ridiculous to me. I stopped buying macs when The Appliance King™ took over...  Business needs change, assuming we are talking 'pro' - paying for a touch bar (which I have tried) and locked on storage at 4x the price of retail and losing port convenience are all of no interest. The berated $700 OEM MBP keyboard repair isn't something I'd look forward to either.

    If Apple released a desktop touchbar keyboard to span all macs would it sell ?  Would a touchbar & fixed T2 security drive sell if buyers had a MBP BTO choices vs a proportionate cost savings ?  Is it easier to click 'I do' in a free survey than pony up for who knows how much for 'upgrades' essentially forced on customers with debatable efficacy ? 
    edited July 12 GeorgeBMac
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