Technology

iFixit teardown shows M2 MacBook Pro is a recycled laptop

Announced at WWDC 2022, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip finally arrived in stores and in the hands of customers last week. And, while the fact that the M2 MacBook Pro is not a huge upgrade compared to its previous generation is no surprise, a teardown by iFixit has now shown that this MacBook is just a recycled laptop with a new chip inside.

Thanks to iFixit, a well-known company that specializes in independent repair, we can now take a better look at the internal components of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro to see what’s different compared to the 2020 model. Spoiler alert: pretty much nothing has changed except for the M2 chip.

M2 MacBook Pro is a recycled laptop.

It’s no surprise that Apple reused the body of the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro since the laptops are virtually identical. However, iFixit noticed that even the bottom cover of the new laptop is the same as the 2020 version. Both have the model number “A2338” laser engraved on them, as well as the same FCC ID, which confirms that Apple didn’t even bother to update the labels with the new model ID – assuming there is a new ID model.

On a related note, MKBHD showed in his review of the M2 MacBook Pro that even the box is the same as the previous model, as Apple simply put a new sticker with the technical specifications over the old one.

Back to the teardown, the screws on the bottom cover are the same as the previous one, as are most of the internal components. Apple has changed some of the chips, but they’re located in the exact same position as on the M1 MacBook Pro logic board. For some reason, the heatsink on the M2 MacBook Pro has squared off corners, but this doesn’t seem to have any impact on how the component works.

Removing the logic board from the M2 MacBook Pro is not exactly difficult, but the component can easily be damaged without the right tools. iFixit was able to put the M2 MacBook Pro’s logic board into the M1 MacBook Pro – and although the laptop turns on, it doesn’t detect the built-in keyboard and trackpad, making the upgrade useless.

YouTuber Luke Miani also tried to switch the chip between the two machines, but the laptop didn’t even turn on.

iFixit also corroborated the change in the base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro when it comes to the SSD, as the version with 256GB of storage now has a single NAND chip, which reduces data transfer speeds compared to the M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage, which had two NAND chips.

Can it be repaired?

Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has been trying to make third-party repairs even more difficult with the new generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. According to iFixit, even the serial number of the trackpad on the new laptop is tied to the SoC, which means that you can’t replace it without replacing the entire logic board – or at least without an internal Apple tool.

The good news is that iFixit believes that the M2 MacBook Pro will eventually be added to Apple’s Self Repair Program so that consumers can buy legitimate MacBook Pro parts to replace them.

Of course, since the M2 MacBook Pro is not a flagship machine, it’s no surprise that Apple has reused most of the components from the previous generation, especially as tech companies are still dealing with chip shortages. Still, the new M2 MacBook Air seems like a better deal at this point, as it has a brand new design with an edge-to-edge display and MagSafe connector.

You can watch the iFixit teardown below or on YouTube:

It’s worth noting that the new M2 MacBook Air is not yet available for pre-order and will hit the stores in July. You can buy a new Mac from Apple or look for special offers on Amazon. Prices for the new M2 MacBook Pro start at $1,299.

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