The gang at iFixIt, which tears apart new products and looks at their innards so you don't have to, got their hands on the refreshed Retina MacBook 2017 and the MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar 2017, and found that not too much has changed, hardware-wise.
The only real change, beyond fan coloration, seems to address the lackluster keyboard action from last year’s MacBook, notes the iFixit-ers. Users now inherit the more-responsive, second-gen butterfly key switches already found in last year’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
- The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor. The keystroke and travel feel about the same, so perhaps the real change is reinforcement for repeated use.
- While not really a mechanical change, the control and option keys got some new ink. They now mark keyboard shortcuts rather than translating for PC users.
- The Touch Bar continues to add a second screen to damage, and “we still haven’t figured out a way to remove it safely.”
Both Macs scored a 1 out of 10 on iFixIt’s repairability scale (10 is the easiest to repair). In both units, the processor, RAM, and flash memory are still soldered to the logic board. The battery assemblies are still entirely, and very solidly, glued into the case, complicating replacement.