While no one can get their hands on a 12-inch Retina display MacBook at the moment, iFixit did grab a refreshed 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and gives us the first look at the Force Touch trackpad the device shares with the soon to be released 12-inch MacBook.
Apple’s “Taptic Engine” is powered by an array of electromagnets that rapidly push and pull against a metal rail mounted beneath the trackpad, to create a tiny “buzz” of feedback with each click (and a second buzz for a “force click”)… Based on the wiggly pattern of traces stuck to the metal tabs, we’re pretty sure the magic pressure sensors in the new Force Touch trackpad are tiny strain gauges. Mounted on flexing metal supports, they detect the amount of flex on each—and based on that, the force from above.
The teardown revealed two chips being used to operate the Force Touch trackpad, the ST Microelectronics 32F103 ARM Cortex-M based microcontroller and the Broadcom BCM5976 touch digitizer.
Other internal components in the Early 2015 Retina 13-in MacBook Pro include:
- Intel SR26K Dual-Core i5-5257U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 6100
- SK Hynix H9CCNNNBLTALAR LPDDR-SDRAM
- Cirrus 4208-CRZ HD audio codec
- Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 controller
- Texas Instruments TI 58872D
- Fairchild Semiconductor DE46SY
- SK Hynix H5TC4G63AFR 4 Gb (512 MB) DDR3 SDRAM
- Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC controller
- Broadcom BCM15700A2
- Texas Instruments HD3SS213 DisplayPort differential switch
- Samsung S4LN058A01 PCIe 3.0 x4 AHCI flash controller
- Samsung K4E4E324ED 512 MB LPDDR3 DRAM
- Samsung K9LDGY8S1D-XCK0 16 GB flash storage
- Parade Technology PS8401A HDMI jitter cleaning repeater
- Genesys Logic GL3219 SDXC card reader controller
- NXP Semiconductors PCA9501 8-bit I/O expander
As usual, iFixit applied a repairability score to the new MacBook Pro, giving it a lowly 1 out of 10 score, (10 being the easiest to repair), due to:
- Proprietary pentalobe screws continue to make opening the device unnecessarily difficult.
- The battery assembly is entirely, and very solidly, glued into the case, thus complicating replacement. Additionally, the battery covers the screws holding the trackpad in place, meaning it’s impossible to replace the trackpad without first removing the battery.
- The Retina display is a fused unit with no separate, protective glass. If anything ever fails inside the display, the entire ($$$) assembly will need to be replaced.
- The RAM is soldered to the logic board. Pay for the upgrade now, or be stuck with 8 GB forever. There is no chance of upgrade.
- The proprietary PCIe SSD still isn’t a standard drive. Cross your fingers for future compatible drives; for now, you’re stuck with what you’ve got.