back to article Battery in 2021 MacBook Pro way easier to replace, says iFixit – shame about the rest

The fearless iFixit website has taken its tools to the M1-powered 2021 MacBook Pro and come away with a repairability score that will be of no surprise to followers of Apple's pricey hardware. While taking a moment to marvel at the number of ports that have returned to the company's flagship laptop (USB-C, HDMI, headphone jack …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Ports...

    Are one of the few things that might reasonably be replaceable that don't sound like they are.

    OK - you lose trutone if you replace the display, but you *can* replace it (and it really ought to include faceID)

    Battery replacement looks good, display, touchpad, keyboard are the next level of replacements, ports are a fairly obvious replacement.

    Fans are pretty much always replaceable - but what else is replaceable - it's a SOC, so you can't exactly deduct marks for not being able to replace memory.

    Storage - feel free to deduct points there, the M2 form factor is hardly a space eater...

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Ports...

      "OK - you lose trutone if you replace the display, but you *can* replace it (and it really ought to include faceID)"

      Customer: The face recognition isn't unlocking my screen!

      Apple: You're looking at it wrong.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Ports...

      I guess a saving grace is that the failure of any one port won't render the machine unusable - it'd merely an inconvenience that may require a dongle to sidestep. i.e, should Magsafe fail then the laptop can still be charged through one of the USB C sockets, HDMI and SD card slot ditto.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Ports...

        Doubt MagSafe failure rates are very high, there is an almost perfect strain relief built in.

        The HDMI port however...

        It's one of the biggest benefits of USBc - the fact that any the the ports can do any/everything - it certainly tidies up a desk bound system.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Ports...

      All the ports except HDMI and SD are held in with screws and appear to be replaceable.

  2. Binraider Silver badge

    Lousy repairability, but at least the software walled garden is, if you accept those restrictions, is on the whole decent.

    Put it another way - I'd rather let the Missus have one of these and never have to deal with update shite than suffer Windows and it's near perpetual hour or two a week of troubleshooting.

    1. Smirnov

      Re: Windows updates

      "Put it another way - I'd rather let the Missus have one of these and never have to deal with update shite than suffer Windows and it's near perpetual hour or two a week of troubleshooting."

      I don't know, I have several Macs here and at work (including some M1 minis) and updates can (and do) break things occasionally, so it's not quite the trouble-free experience you seem to think it is.

      And considering that macOS only has a handful of strictly controlled hardware configurations (all made by Apple) to support while Windows has to deal with a gazillion of 3rd party hardware and drivers, I'd say macOS is actually worse than Windows when it comes to breakage.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: Windows updates

        We’ve owned multiple macs since 2012. The only scream of the computers bust related to a driver update for a black magic capture box being a bit behind.

        I stand by my claim that this gets me a lot of time back that would otherwise be spent troubleshooting. Admittedly, at a bit of an inflated price tag and poor repair ability.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Windows updates

          What's the value of your time?

          And how much repair have you ever wanted to do to any of them?

          I'm trying to remember the last time I had to repair a laptop, or a desktop.

          I replaced the screen on a Surface Pro last year.

          I upgraded the storage in my wife's laptop a year or so ago.

          I added some memory and an SSD to the old mac mini about a decade ago.

          I replaced the screen on a Toshiba laptop about twenty years ago.

          Basically everything else I've ever done in the last twenty years has been to a server - different kettle of fish entirely.

          I used to gut and fettle with computers constantly, but they have long since fallen down into the same category as any other tool. If I can make a tool that falls apart every year but can be put back together is that better or worse than one that doesn't fall apart but couldn't be put back together (because I welded that "weak" joint).

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Windows updates

            Regarding software, the experience of Win vs Mac is chalk and cheese. The time saving from not having to dick around is immense.

            When 60hr weeks are the norm, the value of time is spending that time doing something I want to do. Not troubleshooting Windows yet again when some BS enforced update breaks something, or whatever malware problem it is today. A colleague of mine got suckered into accepting the Win11 update earlier, 7hrs later the machine was still grinding away uselessly. Pretty pathetic all things considered - even if little user input required.

            Apple isn't immune to update blunders, but you do still have control over them. So you can let the early adopters work out the bugs then swap in a couple weeks after launch. MS, it's just whatever they feel like throwing at you today.

            Hardware wise, it's extremely rare that I've needed to do anything with the innards of a laptop. And with a tiny minority of exceptions, laptops aren't particularly workable machines full stop. I'm critical of Apple because of the nonstandard parts that you would want to change at some point. Very annoying that they didn't opt for bog standard form factors for example.

            I'd advocate using other OS on cheaper hardware if Apple is out of budget, though linux laptopland can be hit and miss. Media keys and non standard pathways for sound being common annoyances.

            Not really sure where this rant is going, but, yes, the value of time to do something you want to do is very high. This is why we like our paid holiday etc thankyouverymuch!

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Windows updates

              "Not really sure where this rant is going, but, yes, the value of time to do something you want to do is very high. This is why we like our paid holiday etc thankyouverymuch!"

              I agree - time is one thing we all have the same amount of and can't get any more.

              Hence the comment that Apple is much more expensive needs moderating based on the value of the time it saves you - if you earn £35/hour and save just an hour a week then that's a value of nearly £2k a year

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