Retina MacBook Pro 13 teardown reveals new battery; HDD conspiracy theory

Summary:iFixIt has torn down the rMBP13 and displayed the parts in their naked glory on its website. In addition to having soldered RAM and a new battery configuration, Apple moved the SSD under the trackpad into a space almost large enough to fit a 2.5-inch drive. Hmmm...

Retina MacBook Pro 13 teardown reveals new battery; HDD conspiracy theory - Jason O'Grady

iFixIt has completed its teardown (now with kittens!) of Apple's latest notebook - the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display. (That's a mouthful, so after its first mention, I'm going to refer to it as the rMBP13, ok?)

The rMBP13 was announced yesterday in a new-hardware-bonanza and is my current object of desire. I'm replacing my trusty MacBook Air 13 with one because of the better display and, as I noted yesterday Apple shaved a full pound off the previous MBP13. At a svelte 3.57 pounds, the Retina model is only one half pound heavier than the 13-inch MacBook Air. More on that in a future post.

The teardown reveals that the rMBP13 has soldered RAM and a new battery configuration. Perhaps the most intriguing change is that Apple moved the SSD to a location under the trackpad that's (suspiciously) large enough to hold a standard 2.5-inch HDD/SSD. Well, almost.

According to iFixIt:

Our first thought was that a standard 2.5" laptop drive might fit in this space, and it almost looks like this little nook was designed with that in mind. Our 9.5mm Crucial SSD didn't allow the bottom cover to be closed, but just by a smidge. We'll see if a 7 mm or 5 mm super-slim hard drive could be incorporated into the space.

Retina MacBook Pro 13 teardown reveals HDD conspiracy theory - Jason O'Grady

Most importantly, the OWC Aura Pro SSD works in the new 13-inch rMBP. This is a big deal because OWC only charges $580 for its 480GB SSD upgrade, whereas Apple charges $800 to upgrade to the 512GB SSD -- $200 more -- and you don't get to keep the old 128GB blade. 

Retina MacBook Pro 13 SSD upgrades are pricey - Jason O'Grady

I recommend purchasing Apple's stock 125GB configuration and getting the 480GB SSD upgrade separately from OWC, which is what I did. I also ordered the CTO 2.9GHz i7 configuration, but hey, that's me.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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