Popular tech repair site iFixit has completed its teardown of the 2018 MacBook Pro — and though it hinted at a new feature last week, there were quite a few more differences discovered in the new models.
Arguably the most notable finding was the presence of new thin silicon membranes protecting each key switch. iFixit reported on the new keyboard feature in a preliminary blog post last week.
While Apple said the new 2018 MacBook Pro keyboards were simply “quieter” than previous generations, iFixit stated that the membranes were pretty obviously an ingress-proofing measure meant to protect the butterfly key switches from dust and other debris.
But that isn’t the only difference that iFixit found when they tore down the new MacBook Pro devices.
Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models are using higher capacity batteries.
The smaller of the two, for example, is using a 58wh, 232.7-gram, 6-cell battery. That’s a bump up from the 5 cell 196.7-gram battery that was installed in the previous generation of notebook.
Interestingly, while the batteries are larger, the new MacBook Pros have not increased in weight. It’s not clear how Apple offset the bigger batteries, but iFixit notes that it seems Apple has “shaved some mass” from the top casing of the new notebooks.
Apple upgraded its 2018 MacBook lineup with larger batteries to make up for the higher power consumption of upgraded DDR4 memory.
The new MacBook Pro models are also equipped with a redesigned A1947 power adapter.
They reportedly will offer better shielding thanks to impact resistant foam inside.
Additionally, the metal USB-C port has been switched out with a plastic one.
iFixit confirmed that the new MacBook Pro devices sport Apple’s upgraded T2 coprocessors.
The T2 chip houses the notebooks’ secure enclave and enables always-on “Hey Siri” capability. It offers increased security and encryption features and controls system management, image signal processors, and the audio and SSD controllers.
The teardown site noted that the design of the heat sink hasn’t changed despite the new T2 addition.
Of course, for all of the features added or removed from the refreshed Apple notebooks, there are still other components and design decisions that haven’t changed.
For instance, the CPU, memory, and SSD are still soldered down. The notebooks also retain the single-unit keyboard, battery, and speaker design. Basically, that means that many of the most critical components in the new MacBook Pro models are not user replaceable, making repairs rather difficult.
Of course, since this was the case with the 2017 MacBook Pro devices, the new lineup has the same iFixit repairability score as its predecessor: 1 out of 10.
If you’re interested in more details about the inner workings of the new MacBook Pro models, be sure to check out iFixit’s full teardown article.