New MacBook Pro Expensive to Fix, Tough to Upgrade

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple recently unveiled its brand new MacBook Pro laptop, which comes with the same critically-acclaimed Retina display found on the company's iPad tablet.

While early reviews suggest that the new MacBook Pro is a very powerful device, industry experts are slowly discovering that it holds some dirty secrets.

Most notably, the new MacBook Pro is almost impossible for the average person to repair, and is also extremely costly to both fix and upgrade.

Performance-wise, the new MacBook Pro has a lot going for it. While it's extremely powerful (using the latest quad-core Intel i7 processors), it's almost as thin as the company's super-light, less powerful MacBook Air.

The MacBook Pro's Retina display, which boasts five million pixels, is stunning to view.

Memory options on this new powerhouse range from 8 GB to 16 GB. Even with just 8 GB, that's enough memory to run games super-fast, manipulate graphics, and smoothly display high-definition videos. (Source:

Wired: New MacBook Pro "Least Repairable Laptop" Ever

But the machine's drawbacks are considerable.

According to Wired magazine, the new Retina MacBook Pro is "the least repairable laptop we've ever taken apart." (Source:

The problems begin with the display, which Apple has attached to the protective glass. As a result, you can't just replace the LCD screen without also purchasing a complete and very expensive display assembly.

Though Apple boasts the new MacBook Pro is made of recycled aluminum parts -- ostensibly making this the laptop of choice for environmentalists -- recycling this device will be unwieldy and expensive because Apple has made the display and its protective glass practically inseparable.

Second, Apple has decided to solder the computer's RAM to its logic board. Because it's not easily removed and replaced, as is the memory in most other computers, adding more RAM later on will be tough.

Third, the design makes it nearly impossible to separate the MacBook Pro's battery from its casing. Batteries are subject to normal wear and tear, and usually just pop out of a laptop for easy replacement.

Not so with the MacBook Pro. The only way to replace this battery is to return the entire laptop to Apple for what Wired estimates to be a $200 battery replacement. How many days are involved is anybody's guess.

Consumers Face Difficult Decision

Wired's Kyle Wiens believes the new MacBook leaves consumers with a difficult decision to make. "Today, we choose," Wiens says.

"If we choose the Retina display over the existing MacBook Pro, the next generation of Mac laptops will likely be less repairable still. When that happens, we won't be able to blame Apple. We'll have to blame ourselves." (Source:

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