Taking a Peek Inside the MacBook Pro's Retina Display

It's been a little over a week since Apple first introduced the world to its Retina Display MacBook Pro. In that time, repair blog iFixit has already dubbed the laptop the least repairable notebook to date. One of the bigger problems iFixit encountered in its initial teardown was the display assembly, which is is completely fused with no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, the user would need to replace the entire (costly) assembly.

This week, iFixit decided to take on the Retina Display to see what was inside. At its thickest point, the Retina Display is 7mm thick. At its thinnest, it's 3mm. This is just a fraction of a mm thinner than the regular MacBook Pro. This thinnest is achieved by using the aluminum case as the frame for the LCD panel and the LCD as the front glass. While this contributes to the slim form-factor for the display assembly, it's also what makes it so difficult to repair should anything go wrong. You've also got the fact that the display hinges actually have cables routed through them as opposed to underneath cable retainers. This means you have to replace the cables and hinges together.

Other discoveries of the Retina Display teardown include a FaceTime HD camera, a series of films and sheets for manipulating light before sending it out to the viewer's eyes, a strip of 48 LEDs along the bottom to provide light for the display, and a laser engraved internal use code on the bottom edge of the case.

Click through to iFixit for the full gallery of pictures and info on just how they got inside Apple's 2880×1800, 5,184,000-pixel display.

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  • back_by_demand
    I like the idea of such a high res screen in principle, as it could show media in all it's intended glory, but this is assuming that such high res media is actively available
    Until such time as 4K video is widely distributed I think this is a bit of a waste, but it's good to know that when it is then this screen will be ready for it
    Unfortunately I think that by the time that happens a display of this resolution may well be standard on the majority of machines and the high premium paid to get it early will have been wasted
  • Anonymous
    NOT MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE - ifixit referred to the display as an "engineering marvel". Good job misreporting the story and focusing on only the things that will further fuel the anti-Apple crowd!

    By the way, Android sucks, and Surface will flop.
  • The_Trutherizer
    @back_by_demand: You have a camera?