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The assessment that the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the “least repairable laptop ever” is holding true. The repair experts at iFixit have torn down the Retina display and found it ridiculously fragile.
Despite calling the Retina display an “engineering marvel,” the iFixit team actually broke the display when trying to take it apart. Instead of putting a LCD panel between a back case and a front piece of glass, Apple has used the MacBook’s aluminum case as the frame for the Retina panel and the LCD as the front glass. Impressively, Apple has packed in four times as many pixels into a slightly thinner display, but you better be careful not to drop it.
“What happens when you hand over a groundbreaking notebook display to a group of careful, highly trained technicians?” iFixit writes. “They break it. We were as careful as we could possibly be, but the glass on the Retina display is just too fragile.”
The assessment means that if you ever crack the Retina display on your crazy-expensive MacBook Pro, no outside help will be able to fix it; only the folks at Apple will be able to help you. More than ever, if you get a MacBook Pro with Retina display, you’re going to want to get an AppleCare warranty plan too.
Here’s a photo of what iFixit did to the Retina display:
iFixit also notes the following highlights:
• The Retina display is a hair over 7mm at its thickest point and just over 3mm at its thinnest, only a fraction of a millimeter thinner than the regular MacBook Pro.
• The display hinges have cables routed through them, without any means to remove the cables. So instead of routing cables underneath cable retainers (as in the non-Retina MacBook Pro), you just have to replace the cables and hinges together.
• The FaceTime HD camera interfaces with the rest of the computer via a Vimicro VC0358 USB camera interface IC.
• Underneath the top layer we find a series of films and sheets that manipulate light before sending it to the user’s eye.
• A strip of 48 LEDs at the bottom of the display assembly provides all the light your Retina display needs.
• The bottom edge of the case has two features that we found pretty neat: a laser engraved internal use code and a nifty arrangement of round indentations.