MacBook Pro Teardown Reveals 'Quality Concerns'

The iFixit folks have been extremely busy this week. On Wednesday, they tore apart the Motorola Atrix, while yesterday saw them perform their tricks on a Samsung Galaxy S 4G. Today, however, the repair site has turned its attention to a bigger project: the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

With the redesigned MacBook Pros now available for purchase online, it’s important that prospective buyers know exactly what’s changed. Of course, the presence of Thunderbolt is something that cannot be overlooked in this teardown, and iFixit says the port’s controller IC is quite prominent on the logic board, representing the fourth largest chip on the board after the CPU, GPU, and logic board controller.

iFixit also reports that despite Apple lowering the battery life estimation to 7 hours, the new MBP contains the same  77.5 watt-hour battery as the earlier model. Whether this is Apple being more realistic with their battery testing, or simply accounting for the new quad-core i7 being a little more power-hungry than its predecessor remains to be seen.

Other highlights (and lowlights) include upgraded RAM (to the same type that exists in last year’s iMacs), a Broadcom wireless card with four antennas instead of three, and a distinct lack of Pentalobe screws inside or outside (the lower case is secured by Phillips #00 screws, while the battery is secured by Tri-Wing screws). However, it wasn’t all roses for the iFixit crew as the screwdriver-wielding gadget freaks expressed a certain concern about Apple’s quality control.

“We found a stripped screw holding the subwoofer enclosure in place, and an unlocked ZIF socket connecting the IR sensor,” they said. “They're not huge issues, but they're not fitting for an $1800 machine.”

Not only that, but apparently someone on the assembly line was a little liberal with the old thermal paste, too.

“We uncovered gobs of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU when we removed the main heat sink. The excess paste may cause overheating issues down the road, but only time will tell.”

For more on the teardown (and the full gallery), check out iFixit’s full report.

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    Top Comments
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    My sinister hatred for all of Apple left me really happily enjoying reading this article!!
  • PudgyChicken
    I love it when you show somebody a $600 laptop with Ubuntu on it and they're amazed that it's just as fast as their $1600 MacBook. Seriously, this POS only costs $1800 because of the brand. Apple= extortion.
  • Other Comments
  • Frag Mortuus
    Ive been saying this for a while now, but, i fear Apple is going to slowly start lowering their quality standards in order to maximize their profits.

    This instance isnt one that they would benefit from, however they may start cutting corners with lower grade components in order to make more money off of each unit sold.

    Also, I think they are going to flood the market with too many products.
  • Hellbound
    Apple quality slipping?
  • jprahman
    Wow, overpriced, overhyped hardware that has quality issues. Never saw that coming.