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iFixit Indicates Third-Party 2018 MacBook Pro, iMac Pro Repairs Still Possible For Now

Earlier this week, MacRumors obtained an internal document from Apple stating that Macs with the Apple T2 chip, including the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro, must pass Apple diagnostics for certain repairs to be completed. The document states:For Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair. • For notebooks: Display assembly, logic board, top case, and Touch ID board • For desktops: Logic board and flash storageApple's diagnostic software is limited to internal use by Genius Bars at Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Service Providers, and qualifying institutions, suggesting that independent repair shops without Apple certification would be unable to repair certain parts on the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro going forward. Moreover, the document reignited a debate about planned obsolescence, as there were concerns that when Apple stops servicing the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro, repairs through alternative channels might not be possible. The news was quickly opposed by "Right to Repair" activists who believe that Apple and other device manufacturers should be legally required to make replacement parts, repair guides, and tools available to the public. Apple has and continues to actively oppose "Right to Repair" legislation in the United States. Those activists will be delighted to hear that, for whatever reason, what Apple said in its document isn't actually the

Apple Watch Series 4 Teardown: 20% Less Battery Capacity, Hidden Barometric Sensor, and Streamlined Internals [Updated]

iFixit has completed a teardown of the Apple Watch Series 4, providing a look inside a larger 44mm model with LTE. Image Credit: iFixit The repair experts believe that while the original Apple Watch was awkwardly layered together and used too much glue, the Series 4 lineup feels "much more thoughtfully laid out," likening it to the iPhone 5.Apple pundit John Gruber has compared this to the leap in design brought by the iPhone 4, and we might even go a bit further and call it an iPhone 5: a device that knows its priorities, and wants to look as elegant inside as out.At first glance, the internal design of Series 4 models looks more or less the same as previous models, with the battery and Taptic Engine taking up most of the space. Dig deeper, however, and the changes become evident. Image Credit: iFixit Teardown highlights:1.12Wh battery in the 44mm model, which is 20% less capacity than the 1.34Wh battery in 42mm-sized Apple Watch Series 3 models. A thinner and longer Taptic Engine, but iFixit says it still takes up a lot of space that could have gone to a larger battery. The barometric sensor may have been relocated to the speaker grille for access to the outside atmosphere. The sensor had its own dedicated hole beside the microphone on Apple Watch Series 3 models. The new Apple S4 chip is secured only with screws, whereas the processor is also "fiercely glued" in previous Apple Watch models. The golden ring is likely a streamlined antenna system, as iFixit says it has not seen the usual fiddly brackets or golden gaskets. The entire rear casing pops off more

iFixit: iPhone XS Has 'Notched' Battery and iPhone XS Max Has Apple-Designed Power Management Chip [Updated]

The repair experts at iFixit have shared teardowns of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, providing a look inside the latest models. iPhone XS on left and iPhone XS Max on right via iFixit While the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have improved IP68-rated water resistance, iFixit says it could not find any obvious evidence of increased waterproofing, with the SIM tray gasket and other seals looking more or less the same. Dutch repair website FixjeiPhone had found the iPhone XS was a bit harder to open. After removing the displays, iFixit uncovered a few differences with the iPhone XS Max compared to the iPhone XS, including a resized Taptic Engine and an extended logic board, with one of the display connectors moved to the bottom. It appears the iPhone XS Max also has a slightly louder earpiece for phone calls. The teardown corroborates that the iPhone XS has a new single-cell L-shaped battery, while the iPhone XS Max battery remains two cells. As uncovered in Chinese regulatory filings, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have battery capacities of 2,658 mAh at 3.81V and 3,174 mAh at 3.80V respectively. iPhone XS Max on left and iPhone XS on right via iFixit Since the L-shaped batteries have six sides, rather than four like a rectangle, iFixit says Apple has "notched" the internal corners of the batteries in the iPhone XS to prevent undue stress from thermal expansion. "This dramatic shift opens up a lot of design possibilities, but the large notch is responsible for the decrease in capacity relative to the X," its teardown email says. "Only time will tell how this

Inside the iPhone Repair Ecosystem: Where Do Replacement Parts Come From and Can You Trust Them?

There's a thriving market for unofficial, aftermarket iPhone parts, and in China, there are entire massive factories that are dedicated to producing these components for repair shops unable to get ahold of parts that have been produced by Apple. The entire Apple device repair ecosystem is fascinating, complex, and oftentimes confusing to consumers given the disconnect between Apple, Apple Authorized Service Providers, third-party factories, and independent repair shops, so we thought we'd delve into the complicated world of Apple repairs. The Aftermarket Factories Our exploration of the repair ecosystem was inspired by a video sent to us by a trusted source that MacRumors has worked with in the past, who captured footage inside one of the many facilities in China that are dedicated to creating aftermarket iPhone parts. This is a small scale operation where workers appear to be creating an aftermarket touch screen digitizer for the iPhone, a thin plastic component that attaches to the LCD through a flex cable and allows physical touch on the screen to be transformed into digital input, allowing the iPhone's processor to translate your touch into system commands. In addition to producing touch screen digitizers for the iPhone, given the clean room setup, the facility pictured in the video likely also attaches them to LCDs sourced from other factories to produce a full iPhone display assembly that can then be sold to iPhone repair shops around the world. While this is a small facility, our source tells us that the factory, which employs approximately 10

iFixit Tests Silicone Membrane on 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard With Dust Exposure

Following the release of the new 2018 MacBook Pro models, iFixit last week tore apart the 13-inch version and discovered the presence of a new silicone membrane underneath the keyboard's butterfly keys that Apple internal documents have since confirmed has been added to prevent dust and other small particulates from causing key failures. To give us a better look at the new third-generation butterfly keyboard included in the new 2018 machines and how it works, iFixit has done a much deeper dive, exposing the keyboard to debris to test it out. iFixit exposed the keyboard to a powdered paint additive that glows, allowing the site to track where and how dust accumulates. On the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard, the dust settled at the edges of the membrane, leaving the butterfly mechanism of the keys protected. The same test was performed on the 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard, demonstrating less protection.Lo and behold, the dust is safely sequestered at the edges of the membrane, leaving the mechanism fairly sheltered. The holes in the membrane allow the keycap clips to pass through, but are covered by the cap itself, blocking dust ingress. The previous-gen butterfly keys are far less protected, and are almost immediately flooded with our glowing granules.With a combination of a lot of dust and aggressive typing, the dust did penetrate the membrane-covered key clips, hitting the top of the switch, suggesting that there's still a small potential for failure. iFixit was indeed able to cause the keyboard to fail by adding "a few poorly placed particles" of sand. While the

2018 13-Inch MacBook Pro Teardown Finds Larger Battery, Redesigned Power Adapter, Tweaked Top Case and More

iFixit on Friday started a teardown on the new 2018 MacBook Pro, discovering a new silicone membrane underneath the keyboard keys, which the site believes is an ingress-proofing measure to prevent the keys from seizing up when exposed to small particulates. That was by far the most interesting bit of information about the new MacBook Pro models, but iFixit has now finished a teardown of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and has a few other tidbits to share. Both the new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models are using higher capacity batteries, with iFixit discovering a larger 58wh, 232.7 gram 6-cell battery in the 13-inch model, up from the 5 cell 196.7 gram battery in the 2017 model. Though the battery is heavier, the MacBook Pro has not changed in weight, nor has battery life changed. It's not entirely clear where Apple made up for the extra weight, but iFixit says Apple "shaved some mass" from the top case of the device. The speakers in the new machine are longer and narrower, bumping right up against the logic board, and an internal connector used for diagnostics has been removed. Apple added a new T2 chip in the 2018 MacBook Pro, which is the same chip first used in the iMac Pro. It houses the Secure Enclave and allows for on-the-fly encryption in addition to consolidating several controllers including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller. It also enables "Hey Siri" functionality, a feature that wasn't even added to the iMac Pro. While the T2 chip is a new addition, the design of the heat sink system

Sixth-Generation iPad Teardown Details 'Repair Nightmare' for Education-Focused Tablet

iFixit today published its teardown of Apple's sixth-generation, education-focused iPad and found that -- unsurprisingly -- the tablet shares many of the internals of the fifth-gen iPad. The teardown crew also looked at the new iPad's potential for durability and repairability in an education environment by comparing it to competitors in the field. Images via iFixit The new iPad's lack of waterproofing, non-replaceable charging port, zero upgradeability, and use of glue throughout the internals added up to a "repair nightmare." iFixit then pointed towards the HP Elite x2 1012 G1 tablet, which got a perfect repairability score of 10 out of 10, summarizing that "Apple's 'education' iPad is still a case of won't — not can't." Looking into the iPad's internals, the two major updates in the new tablet are an upgraded A10 processor and Broadcom chips for Apple Pencil support. iFixit got a peek inside the iPad using Creative Electron's X-ray imaging software, discovering "only minor differences" when compared to a similar X-ray of the previous iPad. One of the iPad's advantages in terms of repairability comes in the form of its digitizer panel easily separating from the display. iFixit pointed out that in the event that either component should break, repair will be easier for schools and educators. In the education space, Apple has some stiff competition in the form of low-cost, Google-powered laptops. How does this iPad, er, stack up against a Chromebook from HP or Asus? Given that schoolkids can be a bit rough on their electronics, here's an iFixit take on it:

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Teardown Reveals Components for Dual-Aperture Camera and 'Lower-Tech' AR Emoji

Over the weekend, iFixit shared its latest teardown, this one for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S9+ smartphone. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will both launch this Friday, March 16 for around for $720 and $840, respectively, and some initial reviews took to comparing the devices to Apple's iPhone X. iFixit did so as well in the new teardown, starting off by trying to get into the back of the S9+ to look at its rear-facing camera components. After applying heat, the iFixit team got into the smartphone and found its dual-aperture camera system, which the team described as one of the only significant hardware changes this year. Images via iFixit iFixit explained that the S9+ has a rear-facing camera that automatically adjusts its aperture for low light, and at f/1.5 it has the widest aperture of any phone. For normal photos, Samsung's new device still has a "more standard" f/2.4 aperture. In comparison, the iPhone X's dual 12 MP rear cameras include f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures. Standard camera lenses use at least five aperture blades to keep the aperture roughly circular throughout many f-stop adjustments. This Galaxy's aperture has just two rotating, ring-like blades for its single adjustment. After some trouble dislodging the rear fingerprint sensor, iFixit moved to focus on the battery within the S9+ and discovered a 3.85V, 3,500 mAh battery. As the iFixit team pointed out, the battery in the S9+ shares the same specs as those found in the S8+ last year, and in the Note7 in 2016. The iPhone X's battery teardown uncovered a 3.81V, 2,716 mAh battery in Apple's smartphone.

HomePod Teardown Reveals Hidden 14-Pin Connector, 16GB Storage, and Very Low Repairability

iFixit has completed an exhaustive teardown of the HomePod and found that, while the speaker appears to have a simple design on the outside, it will likely be extremely difficult for customers to complete do-it-yourself repairs. HomePod's mesh has a drawstring The teardown experts, who admit there might be a better way to open the HomePod that they've yet to learn, were forced to use a variety of tools to gain access to the internal components, including a heat gun, a guitar pick, a knife, and after all else failed, even a hacksaw and an ultrasonic cutter. Underneath the rubber foot, iFixit found a hidden 14-pin connector that they speculate is probably used to test or program HomePods on pogo pins during assembly in Taiwan. Given the port sits below a layer of strong adhesive, it's unclear if it will be used for any other purpose, such as diagnostic testing. HomePod's hidden 14-pin port Digging further, the team found the HomePod has an Apple A8 chip, as advertised, likely paired with 1GB of RAM layered underneath. There's also a 16GB flash storage chip from Toshiba, although users can't store songs on the speaker directly, as music must be streamed from Apple Music or an AirPlay source. HomePod also has a two-part power supply, composed of an inner block handling the AC/DC conversion, and an outer ring distributing power to all eight of the speakers. The seven tweeters each have a conductive screw post. In the end, the teardown concludes that the HomePod is very durable, but extremely difficult to open. This might explain why Apple is charging $279 to

iFixit Reduces Price of All DIY iPhone Battery Replacement Kits to $29 or Less

Yesterday, Apple responded to customer complaints about how the company handles power management features in older iPhone models and decided to reduce the price for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements from $79 to $29, beginning in late January and lasting through December 2018. In response, iFixit has decided to match that price point and lower the cost of every DIY iPhone battery fix kit to $29 or less. iFixit's kits include every tool that you need to open up an iPhone and swap out an old battery for a new one, and includes coverage for the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 6, 6 Plus, SE, 5, 5c, 5s, and 4s. Apple's lowered price covers "anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced," so iFixit's fix kits also include coverage for older iPhone models excluded from Apple's new program. The difference with iFixit is that you'll have to upgrade and swap out the battery on your own -- unlike paying Apple to do it for you -- but iFixit explained a few benefits that its DIY fix kits offer. When we ask our customers why they do the repair themselves rather than take it to Apple, they give us a few reasons: - Convenience. No need to drive anywhere or wait in line; replace your battery from your kitchen. - Availability. Many people don’t live near an Apple Store, and don’t have another option for same-day repair. - Privacy. Some people aren’t comfortable giving their device to someone else. - Fun. It’s interesting to open up your stuff, find out how it works, and make it function better. iFixit mentioned that over the last week it has

iPhone X Teardown: TrueDepth Camera System, Stacked Logic Board With 3GB RAM, and 2,716 mAh Battery

iFixit has completed an iPhone X teardown, providing a closer look inside the device, including its new TrueDepth camera system, stacked logic board, L-shaped two-cell battery pack, and Qi-based inductive charging coil. Like every other model since the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone X is a sideways-opening device. A single bracket covers every logic board connector. iFixit said the miniaturized logic board design is incredibly space efficient, with an unprecedented density of connectors and components. It noted the iPhone X logic board is about 70 percent of the size of the iPhone 8 Plus logic board. The extra room allows for a new L-shaped two-cell battery pack rated for 2,716 mAh, which is slightly larger than the iPhone 8 Plus battery. iFixit's teardown includes some high-resolution photos of the iPhone X's new TrueDepth camera system that powers Face ID and Animoji. For those unfamiliar, a flood illuminator covers your face with infrared light. Next, the front-facing camera confirms a face. Then the IR dot projector projects a grid of dots over your face to create a three-dimensional map. Last, the infrared camera reads this map and sends the data to the iPhone X for authentication. Like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the inside of the iPhone X's rear shell is affixed with an inductive charging coil based on the Qi standard. Other components in this iPhone X include Apple's custom A11 Bionic chip, 3GB of LPDDR4x RAM from SK Hynix, 64GB of flash storage supplied by Toshiba, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, and a Cirrus Logic audio amplifier.

Apple TV 4K Teardown Reveals 3GB of RAM and Larger Venting System With Replaceable Fan

iFixit has shared an Apple TV 4K teardown, providing a closer look at the device's internal design and components. We already know the Apple TV 4K is equipped with Apple's 64-bit A10X Fusion chip, and now the teardown confirms the device has a total of 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM supplied by SK Hynix. That's up from 2GB RAM in the previous Apple TV. 1GB + 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM outlined in yellow for a total of 3GB of RAM The new power supply is rated for 12V at 1.083A, a modest increase over the 12V at 0.917A power supply in the previous Apple TV. According to the teardown, Apple merged the new fan with the heat sink/EMI shield assembly from the fourth-generation Apple TV to create a larger thermal assembly for cooling and ventilation. iFixit said the bottom of the unit has been redesigned with a total of eight exhaust ports and a new, replaceable fan driven by a Nidec brushless motor. Beyond the return of a Gigabit Ethernet port and the removal of the USB-C diagnostic port, which we learned about before the teardown, the Apple TV 4K's design is largely the same as the previous Apple TV. Apple TV 4K has no USB-C port iFixit gave the Apple TV 4K a repairability score of 8 out of a possible 10 points. The device is easy to open and has modular components, but they're soldered to the logic board, so board-level soldering or full board replacements are

Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown Reveals Larger Battery and Air Vent Moved Next to Diagnostic Port

iFixit has completed a teardown of the Apple Watch Series 3, which has a virtually identical form factor as previous models. The display is unchanged from the Series 2, with one key difference being that it now functions as a multifrequency antenna for cellular. Series 3 models support LTE and UMTS, according to Apple's tech specs. The battery in the 38mm model with GPS + Cellular has a capacity of 279 mAh at 3.82V, or 1.07 watt hours, which is only a slight increase of about 3.8 percent over the 38mm Series 2 model without cellular. Apple said Series 3 models with cellular get up to 18 hours of battery life, including four hours of LTE and 14 hours of connection to an iPhone via Bluetooth. Series 2 models are also rated to last 18 hours with mixed usage. iFixit was surprised that Apple managed to increase the battery size while still leaving room for the added functionality of cellular antennas, radios, power amplifiers, the embedded SIM card, and so on in the same form factor. The embedded SIM, outlined in red, appears to be sourced from ST Microelectronics, and it is positioned next to a Wi-Fi module from Broadcom and other RF chips that enable cellular capabilities in the watch. Last, we finally know what the tiny meshed hole is next to the diagnostic port: it's an air vent, since the Apple Watch Series 3's new barometric altimeter took over the vent's previous location next to the microphone. Apple Watch Series 3's relocated air vent outlined in yellow iFixit gave the Apple Watch Series 3 a repairability score of 6 out of a possible 10

iFixit Launches New iPhone 7/7Plus Fix Kits for At-Home Battery Replacements and Screen Repairs

iFixit today released a collection of all-new Fix Kits for iPhone 7 devices that guide users through replacing batteries, cracked screens, and even the front and rear camera modules and sensors on an iPhone. The new battery Fix Kits for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus join previous kits already available for iPhones as far back as the iPhone 4s. iFixit said that these battery replacement kits help bring a dead iPhone back to life, and include all the usual tools needed for the replacement process: a collection of screwdrivers, tweezers, iFixit's own Opening Tool and Opening Pick, and more. Battery Fix Kits start at $44.95 for the iPhone 7 and increase to $49.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus (pictured below). The cracked screen Fix Kits are newly available for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as well, and include parts and tools for users to replace a broken iPhone 7 screen on their own. Contents include a custom driver, steel bits, opening tools, tweezers, and a replacement screen backed by iFixit's lifetime guarantee, but users will have to transfer their old display's home button assembly to retain Touch ID functions. Cracked screen Fix Kits cost $134.95 for the iPhone 7 and rise to $164.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus. There are also new iPhone 7 repair components in the Small Parts Kits section, aimed at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus's Lightning Connector, front camera and sensors, and rear camera. The small parts Fix Kits vary more drastically in price, with an iPhone 7 front camera and sensor cable kit costing $34.95, and an iPhone 7 Plus Dual Rear Camera kit priced at $84.95.

iFixit Debuts New Fix Kits for At-Home Retina MacBook Pro Battery Replacement

iFixit today launched six new battery repair kits for Apple's MacBook Pro with a Retina display, allowing users to replace the battery in an older-model MacBook Pro, restoring it to hold a full-day charge and extending its life for 2-3 years, according to iFixit. Each kit "offers all the tools needed" for users to perform the repair at home with a step-by-step guide taking them through the entire process. The six kits cover battery replacements for the following Retina MacBook Pro models: 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2012/early 2013), 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid 2012, early 2013), 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013/mid 2014), 15-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013/mid 2014), 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015), and 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid 2015). Tools and contents of each kit include: a replacement battery, installation adhesive, kit bit driver, iFixit 4mm screwdriver bit torx T5, iFixit 4mm screwdriver bit torx security TR6, iFixit 4mm screwdriver bit pentalobe P5, tweezers, iFixit Opening Tool, iFixit Card (2), safety glasses, opening pick, adhesive remover dispensing syringe, adhesive remover solution, cleaning wipes, and gloves. If you're experiencing bad battery life, we've got everything you need to replace it! These batteries are well adhered to the upper case of the computer so removing them isn't as straightforward as we'd like it to be. Fear not! Our kit offers all the tools needed to perform the repair and our guide shows you how to use the kit. The battery is an original OEM battery. The fix kits range in price from $89.95 to $119.95, and include battery replacements

Greenpeace Combats Planned Obsolescence in New Repairability Campaign, iPad and MacBook Score Low

A new campaign by Greenpeace today has rated the repairability of six Apple devices against the smartphone, tablet, and laptop market at large, the purpose of which is to highlight planned obsolescence in the technology industry. Greenpeace partnered with iFixit to assess over forty different devices that debuted between 2015 and 2017, with iFixit's teardown repairability scores serving as the basis for the data. Apple's products looked at in the campaign included the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad (fifth generation), 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 12-inch MacBook (refreshed in 2017). All products were rated in the following categories: battery replaceability, display replaceability, no special tools needed, and spare parts available. Scoring worst on the list were the two MacBooks, which each got a 1/10, and the two iPads didn't fare much better, both getting 2/10 marks in the campaign. The new iPhone 7 models were much higher, both receiving a 7/10 with positive check marks in display replaceability but red x's in all other categories. Microsoft had trouble in the ratings as well, with its Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book both rated at 1/10. Conversely, the brands abiding by Greenpeace's repairability mantra included Fairphone, Dell, and HP, which all had products rated at 10/10 on the campaign's scale. Ultimately, Greenpeace wants to bring awareness to the phenomenon of planned obsolescence, which the company's IT sector analyst, Gary Cook, said "adds to growing stockpiles of e-waste," due to difficult repairability shortening device lifespan.

iFixit Shares 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Teardown

iFixit has published a 10.5-inch iPad Pro teardown that provides a closer look at the tablet's internal design. For the most part, the inside of an 10.5-inch iPad Pro looks similar to the 9.7-inch model it replaced, with only a few minor differences. In the Wi-Fi version, for example, iFixit discovered some mysterious plastic blocks where the LTE antennas might be found in cellular models. It speculates the blocks are there to add support to the display assembly. In the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, Apple has affixed the display cables down the center of the device, which puts them out of harm's way when prying open the display. The display cable bracket is affixed with standard Phillips screws. The teardown confirms the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR4 RAM from Micron Technology, with flash storage supplied by Toshiba, which is currently selling its NAND memory division that produces those chips. iFixit awarded the 10.5-inch iPad Pro a very low repairability score of 2 out of 10 due to Apple's continued use of strong adhesives for the display, logic board, speakers, ribbon cables, and other

Teardowns Confirm 2nd-Gen Butterfly Keyboard on New MacBook, New MacBook Pro Designs Largely Unchanged

iFixit has posted its teardowns of Apple's new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, revealing that apart from the advertised performance boosts the models are largely unchanged from the previous models. The only really notable change comes in the 12-inch MacBook, which Apple has updated with a second-generation butterfly-mechanism keyboard, as found in the 2016 MacBook Pros, according to iFixit. As some readers will remember, Apple's 12-inch notebook debuted in 2015 with a redesigned keyboard that some users criticized for a lack of travel that they felt made it harder to type on. Apple used a tweaked version of the same keyboard design in its 2016 MacBook Pros, which most users felt was an improvement with "better give", and the same keyboard now adorns the latest MacBook. According to iFixit: The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor. The keystroke and travel feel about the same to us, so perhaps the real change is reinforcement for repeated use.Overall, iFixit gave both of Apple's new notebooks a 1 out of 10 on the repairability scale, owing to their soldered-down RAM, processor, and flash storage, along with glued-down batteries. The scores are in contrast to Apple's new 4K 21.5-inch iMac, which was awarded a surprising 3 out of 10 for repairability, thanks to Apple's use of replaceable memory modules and socketed Kaby Lake CPUs. The refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro models feature Intel's seventh-generation

Teardown of New 4K 21.5-inch iMac Reveals Removable RAM and Modular CPU

iFixit has published a teardown of the new 4K 21.5-inch iMac, which reveals that – surprisingly – Apple's smallest all-in-one desktop machine has both removable RAM and a Kaby Lake processor that's not soldered onto the logic board. iFixit made the discovery by disassembling Apple's $1,299 mid-range 3.0GHz stock option, which includes 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory, a Radeon Pro 555 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM, and a 1TB 5400-RPM hard drive. After slicing through the adhesive that secures the 4K display to the iMac's housing and removing the power supply, hard drive, and fan, iFixit discovered that the memory modules aren't soldered onto the logic board like previous models, but instead sit in two removable SO-DIMM slots. Similarly, after detaching the heatsink and removing the warranty voiding stickers on the backside of the logic board, iFixit found that the Intel SR32W Core i5-7400 Kaby Lake processor sits in a standard LGA 1151 CPU socket, making it possible to replace or upgrade the CPU without a reflow station. As iFixit notes, an upgradeable iMac is a big shift in direction from Apple. The last 21.5-inch iMac with expandable memory was the 2013 model, while the last to include a modular CPU came in 2012. iFixit speculates that the change to a socketed processor may be because Intel's desktop class Kaby Lake line-up currently lacks any permanently mountable chips, but it's conceivable Apple could have requested one if it so chose. It's important to note that Apple officially considers these parts non-user-replaceable, which is easy to see given

New 9.7-Inch iPad Teardown Confirms It's Basically an Original iPad Air

iFixit has shared a brief teardown of Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad unveiled last week, and unsurprisingly, the tablet looks just as much like an original iPad Air on the inside as it does on the outside. In the side-by-side photo above, iFixit noted the original iPad Air on the left has a slightly larger Wi-Fi module compared to the new 9.7-inch iPad on the right, but otherwise the tablets look virtually identical. iFixit said the new 9.7-inch iPad remains difficult to repair due to the front panel being glued to the device and strong adhesive holding everything in place. One plus is that the battery is not soldered to the logic board. The new 9.7-inch iPad is all about price. It's the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold, starting at $329, yet with a brighter display and a faster A9 processor compared to the now-discontinued iPad Air 2. The fifth-generation iPad, as it is officially known, is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down. The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2. The new 9.7-inch iPad can be ordered now on Apple's website in the United States and dozens of other countries. Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad is also available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized