Apple’s new MacBook Pro: a shining light in the murky world of high-end laptops or a US$2200 pile of unrepairable tosh? The Gear goes for the latter. The new MacBook Pro sucks because:
- The RAM cannot be upgraded, chiefly because it’s soldered onto the logic board. Sure, 16GB RAM is fine for now, but when 32GB becomes the standard, are we expected to chuck everything out and start again?
- The proprietary solid-state drive memory was supplied by Samsung. Not so much a problem, more of a slap in the face. Samsung is one of Apple’s direct competitors who is more than willing to seed hardware to the Cupertino giant. We think there was a mix-up at Foxconn.
- The web can never keep up with Apple. All web resolutions now need to be upgraded so that it looks decent on the Retina display. This is a knockdown effect. Higher res website equals more bandwidth requirements. In developing countries with shitty internet, this will be a heavy bandwidth blow. This isn’t good news for websites either — higher res images cost more to buy and to host. Again, this is progression, but Apple is forcing us to adapt and most of us can’t keep up.
- The battery is not screwed but instead is glued into place. So here’s the rub: replacing the battery means possibly damaging the motherboard when it’s yanked out.
- The trackpad’s cable goes under the battery, making it very difficult to fix. There was also an issue of the trackpad not detecting input. Thankfully, it’s been repaired.
- The display assembly is completely fused: it’s a one piece unit with no glass protecting it. Any failure in the Retina display would probably need a full replacement.
- Because the battery covers the trackpad cable, it increases the chances of shearing the cable if the battery is removed.
- The display assembly hosts the iSight camera, WiFi and Bluetooth antenna. If one goes, they all go.
- Legendary tear-down site iFixit gave it 1 out of 10 for repairability. iFixit said, “This is, to date, the least repairable laptop we’ve taken apart.”
Granted, it’s one of the best looking laptops Apple’s ever made. But woe betide the user who wants to fiddle in its delicate innards.
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