December 18, 2019

Article at The Inquirer

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Apple has gone and made some repairable hardware

Apple has gone and made some repairable hardware
Pull it apart and see what makes it tick!

IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. Usually, Apple products are designed with repairability not so much as an afterthought, but as something other companies need to do. Why repair your iPhone 11? The iPhone 12 will be along in 10 months and it'll probably be a bit better in some way.

But the professional tinkerers at iFixIt have rolled up their collective sleeves and taken apart the new Mac Pro and given it an impressive 9/10 rating. "The new Mac Pro is a Fixmas miracle: beautiful, amazingly well put together, and a masterclass in repairability," the site excitedly concludes.

In some ways, it shouldn't be surprising that the Mac Pro is easy to repair, given it's basically built like a desktop PC. Apple hasn't tried to stick everything inside a monitor (like the iMac) or pushed everything into a pedal bin (the last-gen Mac Pro).

And adopting these tried-and-tested methods sure has gotten results. It's a doddle to take apart, and most modules can be removed without the need for specialist tools. Even the connectors and screws are generally standard - meaning that in most cases you can put your own components in and still have it switch on. That's handy, should you want to hoodwink someone on eBay.

Components are even labelled with numbers and diagrams in some cases, which is handy for those that think that reading the manual is for nerds and bookworms. iFixIt speculates that this may be Apple's first move towards accepting right-to-repair legislation, should it come to pass.

But it's still not perfect: the perfect ten was attainable, but Apple made a few poor decisions for repairability fans. Firstly, the SSD is proprietary and bound to Apple's T2 security chip. On top of this, Apple's list of approved repairs is pretty short, and if it's not mentioned: "You'll likely pay a dizzying price—if you can find them at all."

Still, it's a 9/10 and a positive move in the right direction. Though you might think that's the least Apple could do on a computer that could set you back over £48,000 if you get greedy with the upgrades. µ