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iFixit Tears Down the 2012 MacBook Pro (non-Retina)

iFixit Tears Down the 2012 MacBook Pro (non-Retina)

Of all the new Macs Apple announced last week, the 2012 non-Retina MacBook Pro has gotten the least attention – and frankly, I’m puzzled. Apple laid down a significant update to the 2011 MacBook Pro, adding faster RAM, processor, and graphics, as well as USB 3.0, and it may be the last MacBook Pro made with user-serviceable parts.

So why aren’t people paying attention to the new non-Retina MacBook Pro? Fortunately, iFixit is paying attention, and posted their teardown of the 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro this morning, and comparing it to the MacBook Pro with Retina display.

iFixit found that the 2012 MacBook Pro is nearly identical to the 2011 models design-wise, and because it has user-serviceable RAM and storage, and a battery that’s not firmly glued to the casing, it gets a respectable repairability score of 7/10.

Just as interesting as the teardown itself, however, is iFixit’s commentary about how the non-Retina MacBook Pro compares to its Retina counterpart (which got a repairability score of 1/10). The site notes a number of interesting differences. For instance, the use of regular philips and torx screws rather than the proprietary screws used in the Retina MacBook Pro.

Most interesting of all are iFixit’s design observations, suggesting that Apple could easily have engineered the Retina MacBook Pro with a battery that isn’t glued down, with user-replaceable side-by-side RAM chips, and with a standard mSATA connector on the SSD (which is technically replaceable) rather than the nearly identical but slightly tweaked version they decided on (which will make it difficult or impossible to purchase an upgraded SSD in the future).

They also noted that Apple could have easily built removable LCDs into the actual Retina display to make it more repairable. As it stands, replacing the display on the Retina MacBook Pro will cost a small fortune.

You can  see the entire teardown, complete with commentary, over at iFixit. I highly recommend checking it out!