Teardowns Confirm 13-Inch and 15-Inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros Have Non-Removable SSDs

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iFixit has completed its teardown of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, confirming the notebook is equipped with a non-removable SSD just like the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Only the entry-level 13-inch model with a standard row of function keys has a removable SSD in Apple's new MacBook Pro lineup.

15-inch-touch-bar-ifixit

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The teardown confirms the processor, RAM, and flash memory are soldered to the logic board, meaning the SSD in particular cannot be removed or upgraded after the fact. If you opt for Apple's standard 256GB or 512GB configurations, for example, you will be unable to upgrade to a larger Apple or third-party SSD at a later time.

Interestingly, however, the teardown finds the new MacBook Pro has a connector that leads to "nowhere," which iFixit speculates could be for Apple to access the soldered-in SSD for data recovery. iFixit suggests there might at least be a chance of recovering data with Apple's help should the logic board experience hardware failure.

ifixit-ssd-nowhere
Apple's notebooks have become increasingly hard to repair and upgrade as their designs have become thinner and lighter. iFixit gave the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar its lowest "repairability" score of 1 out of 10, noting the Touch Bar is difficult to replace while the entire battery assembly is strongly glued into the case.

The rest of the teardown reveals the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is very similar to the 13-inch model, beyond having a different six-cell battery layout.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"

Top Rated Comments

JaySoul Avatar
53 months ago
What a coincidence, I have non-removable money from my wallet
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeyondtheTech Avatar
53 months ago
First, the new ones have a price hike for what many consider a minimal or incremental-at-best upgrade. Then, to get the new, much-hyped Touch Bar is basically another price tag all on its own. Then, they remove all the compatibility for older ports and chargers, so you need to buy dongles, cables, and chargers. Then, the guys at iFixIt tear it open and find that nothing inside is user-replaceable or even user-serviceable. Finally, and because of that, the guy at 9to5Mac says you'd better purchase AppleCare to protect it for three years, though it will likely get outdated or superseded in two.

Cupertino has been clever for years, but they're coming fast to that crossroads or tipping point where it no longer becomes worth it, competition is catching up, and users are willing to jump ship to a different platform.

On a side note, what good is that 'environment friendly' chart they always tout, when nothing is upgradable and the whole system has to be tossed when it goes bad or becomes obsolete because it can't be tweaked anymore?

Well, hey, at least it's beryllium-free, right?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
53 months ago
JokeBook Pro.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lowendlinux Avatar
53 months ago

What a coincidence, I have non-removable money from my wallet

I thought I did to then I got married and had a kid both can easily remove that money :cool:
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WBRacing Avatar
53 months ago
No ability to upgrade.
No internal SDCard slot.
No magsafe.
No thanks from me.

Not that I was ever going to be "Pro" enough to be the one using this device to create the worlds next wheel/plough/penicillin etc... :rolleyes:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ike1707 Avatar
53 months ago
Can someone please explain to me (without going on a tear about profits and greed) what the advantages of doing this are, from a design standpoint?

It seems like the end-user is only (and understandably) upset about this.

I, for one, will not purchase another Mac laptop now or in the future, and it's because of things like this. I'm just trying to understand the reasoning behind their decision- the benefits, even. Anything.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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