Apple isn't known for having easily upgradable notebooks, and the new Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro models aren't helping. According to a new report, those who pry open the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar will discover that its SSD storage is soldered onto the logic board, making it impossible to replace.
This news comes to us from 9to5Mac, which yesterday (Nov. 15) reported "Owners who have opened them up are finding that the SSD chips in the Touch Bar machines are permanently soldered to the logic board." This stands in stark contrast with the 13-inch MacBook Pro (without Touch Bar), which includes removable SSDs.
The design of Apple's recent notebooks never made it easy to swap out the hard drive, but it was possible with a little know-how and a helpful how-to. The change feels inevitable, though, as laptop makers' quest to make the thinnest devices ever typically makes it harder for users to open those machines.
Apple offers MacBook Pro SSD drives in capacities of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB, though you'll need to pay extra to customize to either of the latter two sizes. While the lack of end-user upgradability may be annoying for those who may fill their hard drive up some day, it should be noted that the SSDs on the Touch Bar MacBooks are quite speedy.
In our testing, the 15-inch MacBook Pro's 512GB SSD copied data with a transfer rate of 727.04 megabytes per second, a speed that obliterates the 170 MBps mainstream laptop average. Similarly, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar showed a transfer rate of 636.16 MBps, which beats the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro (508.9 MBps), and it beats the Surface Book (363.5 MBps),
So, how should this news affect prospective MacBook Pro owners?
- Buy a MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar if you want more control over its future.
- If you want the Touch Bar, buy the largest capacity storage option possible at checkout. You're gonna be stuck with whatever you order, and without an SD memory reader, you won't be able to expand your storage unless you buy an adapter.