Magic Trackpad dissected; repair infeasible

Apple's new Magic Trackpad has few parts that can be replaced without potentially destroying the device. iFixIt tore it down to validate that claim -- all for your viewing pleasure.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

The good folks at iFixIt have taken apart the new Apple Magic Trackpad to see what makes it tick, or should I say "click?" In the process they observed that Apple's obsession with thin design doesn't translate well to "user serviceable," noting that the Magic Trackpad has few parts that can be replaced without potentially destroying the whole device.

Yes, the device was sacrificed in the name in science, but the result is a raft of photos that show the inner workings of one of Apple's most interesting accessories since the Magic Mouse. In addition to the teardown, they've also posted a video slideshow.

Some observations:

  • Repairing the components might be infeasible
  • They were impressed by everything Apple's engineers managed to stuff into the Trackpad.
  • This is one of the few Apple products where the battery is user serviceable.
  • The battery screw has square threads! While square threads have the highest mechanical efficiency of all lead screws, their difficulty of manufacturing makes them prohibitive for most applications. Kudos, Apple, for sweating the details.
  • After a good amount of quasi-non-destructive prying, the inner spacer can be removed from the trackpad. This spacer prevents the highly unlikely event of squeezing the lower panel against the logic board hard enough to damage it.
  • The ribbon cables are ridiculously thin and are stuck to the underside of the touch pad. If you plan on servicing your Trackpad, proceed with caution.
  • After using a heat gun to warm up the adhesive, the touch pad can be carefully pried off the aluminum chassis. This step is not for the faint of heart. A copious amount of heat, guitar picks, and plastic opening tools were required to make the touch pad budge.
  • The Magic Trackpad has a unique way of triggering the mouse button. As you press down on the top surface of the pad, the two rubber feet near its front edge push on a plate attached to the chassis. The plate squeezes the electronic mouse button switch, producing the characteristic "click."
  • At the heart of the Magic Trackpad's logic board lies a Broadcom BCM2042 for Bluetooth connectivity -- the same chip used by the Magic Mouse.
  • We also found a Broadcom BCM5974 touch screen controller chip that provides multi-touch functionality. This is the same chip you'll find in the iPhone, iPod Touch, and MacBook Air.

Magical images:

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