New teardown reveals the 2023 MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are difficult to repair

Apple’s 2023 MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips received glowing reviews for their remarkable performance, but they come with a price tag that might leave wallets gasping for breath. Starting at $2,000, these laptops offer impressive features but have raised concerns about their repairability compared to earlier generations. A new teardown suggests that these new models might be even more challenging to repair.

M3 Max- 2024 MacBook Pro

$2,000 2023 MacBook Pro models offer high performance, low repairability

Packed with cutting-edge technology, these MacBook Pros boast a starting price of $2,000, making them quite the investment. However, repair costs for these laptops might cost users an arm and a leg. With a top-tier configuration reaching a staggering $6,500 from Apple’s official store, the cost of ownership is certainly substantial.

Given the hefty price tag, consumers naturally want to have control over their devices. Yet, the introduction of Apple’s in-house processors, while promising enhanced performance, also brings the possibility of a trade-off – limited control over hardware. These processors have the potential to optimize performance but might also grant the tech giant greater control over the inner workings of the laptop.

In a recent teardown conducted by YouTuber Hugh Jeffreys, two MacBook Pros were dissected to assess their repairability. The process of accessing the internals revealed the need for specialized tools, such as a pentalobe driver, to tackle Apple’s security screws.

macbook pro

The SSD and NAND flash storage components are soldered in place, which has become a trend in Apple’s design philosophy. The glued-in 70-watt-hour battery also demands careful handling during repairs. Notably, the video shed light on potential issues with display replacements. A specific cable, vital for determining the display angle, appeared to cause sleep issues when swapped between the devices. This cable, if damaged or replaced, could prevent the MacBook from entering sleep mode when the lid is closed, which could be a source of inconvenience.

The display replacement process further underlined Apple’s stance on repairability. Display swaps revealed a peculiar phenomenon – the displays were seemingly paired with specific logic boards. When the displays were exchanged between the MacBook Pros, issues including glitches, uneven brightness, and the disappearance of True Tone were replicated, highlighting the complexity of repairing these laptops.

2023 MacBook Pro

While other replaceable components, like ports, brought some solace to those concerned about repair options, the overall sentiment leans toward diminished repairability. The laptop’s construction with rivets and soldered components, along with the need for calibration by Apple’s proprietary software, places third-party repair services at a considerable disadvantage.

The verdict on Apple’s latest MacBook Pros is a mixed one. The laptops undoubtedly deliver impressive performance, but their repairability is a major concern. With proprietary components, paired displays, and intricate design, repairs might be best left to Apple’s authorized service providers. As users, we’re left to ponder: do we truly own these high-tech machines, or are we merely leasing them from Apple’s repair ecosystem? The choice remains in the hands of the consumer, along with the inevitable trade-offs that come with it.

Check out the full video below:

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.