New 12-Inch MacBook Teardown Reveals Tweaked USB-C Hardware and Tamper-Evident Screws

iFixit has completed an in-depth hardware teardown of the new 12-inch Retina MacBook that reveals only minor under-the-hood changes to Apple's ultra-slim notebook compared to the 2015 model.

iFixit-2016-12-inch-MacBook-teardown
Specifically, Apple has slightly tweaked the notebook's USB-C hardware by permanently affixing the cable to the USB board. The new arrangement is not compatible with the original 12-inch MacBook.

Apple has also switched from using a tri-wing screw to a repair-friendly Phillips screw, but the notebook's Torx hinge screws are filled with a tamper-evident substance that disintegrates when you insert a screwdriver.

USB-C-new-hardware-12-inch-macbook
iFixit confirmed that the slightly-longer-lasting 41.4-watt-hour battery in the 12-inch MacBook is not visually distinguishable compared to the 39.7-watt-hour battery in the 2015 model, suggesting improved battery chemistry.

The logic board and other internal components yielded no significant surprises, while the notebook's exterior looks virtually the same beyond a new Rose Gold color finish and an updated EMC number of 2991.

iFixit lists the new 12-inch MacBook's logic board chips as follows:

- Intel SR2EN Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor (4M Cache, Up to 2.2GHz)
- Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash (x2, 256GB Total)
- Micron MT41K256M16LY-107 4Gb DDR3L SDRAM
- Universal Scientific Industrial 339S0250 Wi-Fi Module
- Broadcom BCM15700A2
- National Semiconductor 48B1-11
- F4432ACPE-GD-F
- Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash
- Samsung K3QF4F4 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM (x2, 8GB Total)
- Apple 338S00066
- Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC Controller
- SMSC 1704-2 Temperature Sensor
- Texas Instruments SN650839
- Texas Instruments TPS51980A
- Texas Instruments CD3215B01 61AHXHW
- Intersil 95828

The new 12-inch MacBook retained a repairability score of 1 out of 10, which is the lowest score possible, as the processor, RAM, and flash storage are still soldered to the logic board, and the battery remains entirely glued into the lower case.

iFixit has a dozen replacement guides for 12-inch MacBook do-it-yourself repairs.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
56 months ago
Nice, lets make it even harder to open up the computer and/or punish those who do.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
What a pathetic update. Still crappy 480p FaceTime camera, still single USB-C Gen 1 connector without Thunderbolt integration, no price cut by at least $100.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
Stop buying them and things will change quick. Supply and demand works.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

If you want this form factor, it's not going to be user serviceable or repairable in any meaningful way. That's just the way it is. You can still build PCs with big cases and card slots if you want to tinker.

"The notebook's Torx hinge screws are filled with a tamper-evident substance that disintegrates when you insert a screwdriver"

Yes, this is absolutely necessary for the laptop to function.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
Such whiners on this board. Go buy something else if you are so offended

Trying to make the Macbook serviceable would be a customer support nightmare
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

Cool, so now when one part of a laptop breaks, its time to fork out another $1,600 and give it to apple when you could just fix the single part.

:rolleyes:

Wrong. For portable Macs out of warranty, Apple offers a $280 flat rate-repair-all option.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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