Apple has demonstrated repeatedly that it does not want owners of its hardware attempting to fix it themselves. That’s their right, but the 12-inch 2015 MacBook has taken that unrepairablity outside of Apple’s own tech department to a new level.
iFixit has carried out its usual teardown of the newest MacBook on the market, and the verdict is basically: don’t even bother trying to repair this laptop yourself. It scored 1 out of 10 on their scale, and is a case filled with proprietary screws and a lot of adhesive.
We’ve already seen how the MacBook is mostly batteries inside the case, but the terraced battery system isn’t just placed snugly, it is firmly glued to the lower casing. The central battery is even placed in a well and glued in place making it very difficult to remove if necessary. The result is batteries that have to be forced out and are left covered in glue.
Then we have the new butterfly mechanism keyboard. It has a backing secured with adhesive that once removed reveals two proprietary pentalobe screws per key. That’s 83 screws total just in the keyboard. iFixit also has some concerns about that butterfly mechanism as it is very thin and uses a plastic hinge. How well will that hold up over time?
Apple has been criticized for only including a single USB port to handle both power and peripheral connections. It is going to get a lot of use and abuse, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to replace if damaged. Apple has secured it underneath the display bracket, meaning a lot of disassembly will be required if it breaks.
Then finally, and as expected, the logic board has everything soldered on to it, so no RAM or flash memory upgrades, and if something goes wrong you’ll need a new board.
If you’re purchasing this MacBook and happen to be accident prone or really couldn’t handle a costly repair in the near future, then you need to do what Apple really want you to do anyway: also purchase an AppleCare Protection Plan.
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