The first of the long-awaited updates to Apple's pro-level laptops is on our teardown table, but what the heck is it? MacBook Pro Without Touch Bar? MacBook Pro With Function Keys? MacBook Pro With Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports? No one quite knows what to call it—but we know exactly what to do with it.
● New model number: A1708
● XL (extra-long) escape key
● Speaker grilles have migrated down from the upper edge of the keyboard to flank it on the left and right sides
● At 54.5 Wh, this battery doles out ~27% less power between charges than last year's edition
● The SSD itself uses a high-speed PCIe-based interface—but this form factor and pin configuration look new
● The Butterfly 2.0 keys are indeed updated. The Pro's keycaps are a little taller at the edges. The dome switch under the butterfly mechanism also appears to be heftier and better mated to the keycap.
Repairability Score: 2 out of 10
● The trackpad can be removed without first removing the battery.
● Proprietary pentalobe screws continue to make opening the device unnecessarily difficult.
● The battery assembly is entirely, and very solidly, glued into the case, thus complicating replacement.
● The RAM is soldered to the logic board. Pay for the upgrade now, or be stuck with 8 GB forever. There is no chance of upgrade.
● The proprietary PCIe SSD still isn't a standard drive. Cross your fingers for future compatible drives; for now, you're stuck with what you've got.
Take a look at a few images below or hit the link for the full teardown.