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Ap­ple’s 2016 Retina MacBook pulled to bits for your en­joy­ment.

BACK­GROUND

Ap­ple’s first up­date to the 12-inch MacBook with Retina Dis­play is a baby up­date, so we’re match­ing it with a baby tear­down. Be­side a faster pro­ces­sor and zip­pier flash mem­ory, what’s changed? There’s only one way to find out: crack it open.

MA­JOR TECH SPECS

• 12-inch 2304x1440 (226ppi) IPS Retina Dis­play • 1.1GHz dual-core In­tel Core m3 pro­ces­sor (con­fig­urable up

to 1.3GHz dual-core In­tel Core m7)

• 8GB of 1,866MHz LPDDR3 RAM

• 256GB or 512GB PCIe-based flash stor­age

• In­tel HD Graph­ics 515

• 1802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi wire­less net­work­ing and Blue­tooth 4.0

• Sin­gle USB-C port and 3.5mm head­phone jack

KEY FIND­INGS

• If it weren’t for the rose gold fin­ish, we’d be hard-pressed to dis­tin­guish this year’s Retina MacBook from yes­ter­year’s. The ex­te­ri­ors look iden­ti­cal, from the Pen­talobe screws in the lower case, right down to the model num­ber—A1534. • The pesky tri-wing screw we saw last year grew an­other, um, wing—now it’s a re­pair-friendly Phillips. Thank­fully, all the other in­ter­nal screws are still Phillips and Torx screws. • At the other end of the MacBook, the USB-C hard­ware has also changed. The ca­ble is now perma-fixed to the USB board, con­dens­ing the two com­po­nents into a sin­gle unit. Also, the sil­i­con is new and has moved from the ca­ble it­self to the USB board. This new USB and ca­ble ar­range­ment is one thing that’s not com­pat­i­ble with pre­vi­ous Retina MacBooks. • The bat­tery’s form fac­tor seems iden­ti­cal to the multi-lobed cell in the 2015 MacBook, yet some­how Ap­ple has man­aged to squeeze in a 4 per­cent ca­pac­ity in­crease from last year’s model. Ap­ple claims the new 7.56V, 41.41Wh Li-ion power source should pro­vide 11 hours of iTunes movie play­back. We’re guess­ing this ca­pac­ity in­crease is owed to im­proved bat­tery chem­istry (though it’s also pos­si­ble that Ap­ple’s engi­neers have shaved away just enough ma­te­rial from the lower case to al­low for a thicker bat­tery). Un­for­tu­nately, they did not squeeze in any of those nifty ad­he­sive pull tabs we’ve seen in Ap­ple’s iDe­vices. Re­gard­less, our tests in­di­cate this beefier bat­tery is com­pat­i­ble with last year’s MacBook. Nice! • Re­pairabil­ity Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is the eas­i­est to re­pair). Those pesky tri-wing screws are gone, re­placed by lovely stan­dard Phillips screws—but tam­per-ev­i­dent hinge screws make you feel like a hood­lum for re­pair­ing your own ma­chine. The pro­ces­sor, RAM, and flash mem­ory are still sol­dered to the logic board. The bat­tery assem­bly re­mains en­tirely, and very solidly, glued to the lower case. The Retina dis­play is still a fused unit with no sep­a­rate, pro­tec­tive glass. If the dis­play needs re­plac­ing, it’ll cost a pretty penny.

Your me­dia de­serves to be served up by some­thing sleek and sexy like this.

Ap­ple sure does piece to­gether some pretty sys­tems.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, the 2016 Retina MacBook achieves the worst score iFixIt can award. Un­for­tu­nately, all the chips are still sol­dered to the PCB.

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