Macbook Pro 2018 Teardown: More Than Just a New Keyboard

ICYMI, Apple’s having a midsummer’s nightmare:

  • June 22: Apple announced a free keyboard replacement program after mounting pressure from a class-action lawsuit over the faulty design of the butterfly keyboard in Macbook Pros.
  • July 12: Apple quietly discontinued the 2015 MacBook Pro after a three-year run—which means every laptop in their Pro lineup comes equipped with the controversial butterfly keyboard.
  • July 13: Apple launched the new MacBook Pro and carefully mentioned that its third-generation keyboard was re-engineered purely for quietude. We found a silicone membrane under each key cap, seemingly designed to prevent the ingress failures we keep hearing about. And then we found a patent to prove it—from 2016.

Now picking up where we left off on Friday, here are our MacBook Pro 13” Touch Bar Teardown highlights: 

MacBook Pro 2018 teardown

Thirsty chips require more power, and this 58 Wh, 232.7 gram, 6-cell battery is a marked improvement over the 49.2 Wh, 196.7 g, 5-cell unit seen previously. All without changing overall device weight.

MacBook Pro 2018 charger teardown

The 13″ MacBook Pro has a brand new power adapter: A1947. It boasts more shielding and impact-resistant foam, but unfortunately the metal USB-C port has been swapped for a plastic one.

MacBook Pro 2018 teardown

Hey, Siri! We found your T2 coprocessor. And despite all that extra power under the hood, the design of the modest heat sink system is seemingly unchanged.

MacBook Pro 2018 teardown

Unfortunately, the RAM, flash memory, and processor are still soldered down. Even the upper case—keyboard, battery, and speakers—is a single unit, making components a nightmare to replace.

All told, the 2018 MacBook Pro suffered the same dismal 1/10 repairability score earned by all Touch Bar MacBooks. You can view our full MacBook Pro 13″ Touch Bar 2018 Teardown here.

Update 7/19/18: MacRumors has leaked an internal document from Apple Authorized Service Providers confirming that the purpose of the keyboard membrane is to “prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.”