iFixit teardown reveals complex design, low repairability of 2015 Retina MacBook


iFixit promptly obtained and disassembled Apple’s new 2015 Retina MacBook following the notebook’s release last week. Not surprisingly, Apple’s latest generation hardware is among the most difficult to service and repair.

According to iFixit, the MacBook earned a Repairability Score of 1 out of 10, where 10 is easiest to repair. Apple was criticized for its use of pentalobe screws, glue to hold down the battery and a USB-C port that is buried under the display brackets and held in tightly with tri-wing screws. iFixit also notes that, similar to earlier MacBooks Pro and Air models, the Retina display and its glass covering are a fused unit that needs to be replaced as a single entity. Also, the processor, RAM, and flash memory are soldered to the logic board.

Our take on the news: For years, Apple has been emphasizing form and design over user repairability, and its new MacBook expectedly continues this trend. When purchasing, be sure to choose the model that meets your needs and handle it carefully. If you outgrow it or it breaks, there will be no way to upgrade or repair it. If you are concerned about replacement costs, pay for a Square Trade warranty that provides accidental damage on top of extended warranty repair.