Announced at WWDC 2022, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip finally arrived in stores and in the hands of customers last week. And while the fact that the M2 MacBook Pro isn’t a huge upgrade compared to its previous generation comes as no surprise, a teardown from iFixit has now revealed that this MacBook is just a recycled laptop with a new chip inside.
Thanks to iFixit, a well-known company that specializes in independent repairs, we can now take a closer look at the internal components of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro to see what’s different compared to the 2020 model. Spoiler alert: Apart from the M2 chip, next to nothing has changed.
The M2 MacBook Pro is a recycled laptop.
It’s no surprise that Apple reused the chassis from 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 identical to the 2020 version. Both have the model number “A2338” laser engraved on them, as well as the same FCC ID, confirming that Apple hasn’t even bothered to update the labels with the new model ID – assuming there is a new ID model.
In this regard, MKBHD, in its review of the M2 MacBook Pro, showed that even the packaging is the same as the previous model, as Apple simply stuck a new spec sticker over the old one.
Returning 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 are in the exact same location as on the M1 MacBook Pro’s logic board. For some reason, the M2 MacBook Pro’s heatsink has square corners, but that doesn’t seem to affect how the component works.
Removing the logic board from the M2 MacBook Pro isn’t difficult, but the component can be easily damaged without the right tools. iFixit was able to fit the M2 MacBook Pro’s logic board into the M1 MacBook Pro – and although the laptop turns on, it doesn’t recognize the built-in keyboard and trackpad, making the upgrade useless.
YouTuber Luke Miani also tried swapping the chip between the two machines, but the laptop wouldn’t even turn on.
iFixit also confirmed the change to the base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro in terms of the SSD, since the version with 256 GB of storage now has a single NAND chip, which reduces the data transfer speed compared to the 256 GB M1 MacBook Pro memory that had two NAND chips.
Can it be repaired?
Unfortunately, Apple seems to have tried to make third-party repairs even more difficult with the new generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. According to iFixit, even the trackpad’s serial number is tied to the SoC on the new laptop, meaning you can’t replace it without swapping out the entire logic board — or at least without an Apple in-house tool.
The good news is that iFixit believes the M2 MacBook Pro will eventually be accepted into Apple’s self-repair program so consumers can purchase legitimate MacBook Pro parts to replace them.
Of course, since the M2 MacBook Pro isn’t a flagship, it’s no surprise that Apple has reused most of the components from the previous generation, especially as tech companies still struggle 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 a MagSafe connector.
You can watch the iFixit teardown below or on YouTube:
It is worth noting that the new M2 MacBook Air is not yet available for pre-order and will hit stores in July. You can buy a new Mac from Apple or check Amazon for special offers. Pricing for the new M2 MacBook Pro starts at $1,299.
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