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OWC Tear Down of New 12” MacBook Reveals SSD Not User Upgradeable

After its announcement at the Spring Forward event in March, Apple has finally made the new 12” MacBook available to the public. The ultra-slim MacBook is just 13.1mm thick and weighs only 2 pounds, however, it has only one port on its left side, a USB-C port, which is also used for charging.

But we’ve already heard the details about the exterior of the new 12” MacBook. So, what did our teardown reveal internally? Check out our unboxing and teardown photo gallery below to find out. Note: We will update as we learn more from our teardown.

Noteworthy observations from the teardown:

  • The SSD and memory are not user upgradable and the SSD is part of the logic board. OWC recommends that buyers of the new MacBook order the capacity that they think they will need to grown into because of the lack of upgradability.
  • Disassembly is challenging and not recommended as there are no user upgradable parts.
  • The MacBook makes the same sound as an iPad or iPhone when you plug it in to power.

Silver 12” 2015 MacBook8,1 with 256GB SSD


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2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display
See our unboxing of the new 13” model of the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display at:

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  • Hold on,… the battery is not “upgradable”? Does that mean that the battery cannot be replaced, or are you simply stating that there is no upgrade available?

    dead battery = trash?

  • Do you offer a service to upgrade the SSD or replace the battery when it needs it? Or is it a complete no-go, even for you guys?

  • I’ve been enjoying my test drive of the MacBook 12″ 1.2GHz.

    Super fast and enough performance for a person who wants a super portable solid machine. The tech specs don’t really tell the full story – it works near flawlessly for general computing tasks.

    I’m pushing it harder with Xcode, Logic Pro X, and Photoshop, and Sketch – still working good enough.

    It’s no Mac Pro, but it does work good enough for anyone who wants portability, battery, and performance.

  • Next time you see someone standing by the highway with their hood up but obviously clueless about what to do next, remind yourself that you’re looking at Apple’s target audience. they are those so mechanically and technically clueless that they call a tow truck to change a flat tire and an electrician when a circuit breaker flips in their home. They’re the helpless Eloi of H. G. Wells The Time Machine.

    • Actually, your analogy is completely wrong. While that may be a little bit of Apple’s target audience, a huge chunk of their customers are tinkerers and upgraders. Here’s what Apple is doing now:

      Selling you a car with the hood welded shut, the tires permanently attached and a radio soldered to the vehicle electrical system. And then telling their customers “buy the best you can now, because it’s impossible to change anything after the fact.”

    • You’re obviously clueless Michael. I can take apart and fix a PC, replace parts, heck I can even change the oil on my car, but I prefer Mac products over PC’s any day of the week because they just work. Sometimes those of us who are technical and like to tinker prefer to use products that “JUST WORK” so we don’t have to spend more time fixing our own computers.

    • Actually everyone is selling you a car that you need to change its engine, battery, transmission fluid, timing belt etc… but Apple is selling you an electric car that doesn’t have any of that and just requires tire rotation. Oh wait no that’s Tesla.

    • I moved to the Dark Side roughly ten years ago, after using PC’s since 1980. I now have an early 2009 MacPro and a 2009 MacBook Pro. My MacPro (2 x 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon) still has years of use before it will need to be replaced.

      What I discovered about the Mac is that you grow into it, as opposed to the PC, which is obsolete the day you buy it.

      I just upgraded my MacPro to a Samsung 2TB SSD on a Sonnet Tempo PCIe card. With 32GB of RAM and four – 3TB HDD’s I have plenty of power for all of my memory, processor and and storage intensive applications. I also installed the Arctic Cooling Aluminum Heatsinks on my RAM, as it makes a significant difference in the operating temperature of each of the memory modules.

      My 17” MacBook Pro works “okay,” for most of my tasks. I had upgraded the HDD to 750GB, however it only has 4GB RAM and it is comparatively very heavy to today’s laptops. It’s time to retire the 17” MacBook Pro.

      While waiting for the 2016 MacBook Pro, I have also shopped the market for alternatives to Apple. Once you equip a laptop comparatively to the Apple equivalent, the price is around 80% – 90% of the cost of the Apple product, and it will be obsolete within 18 – 24 months. The functionality and power of OS X will never be equaled by Windows, so that is also a major factor.

      After evaluating my use of a laptop / notebook, I concluded that I really don’t need the power of a MacBook Pro, since I do the majority of intense computing on the MacPro.

      I just ordered the 12” MacBook with the 1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core M7, 512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage and 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3.

      Even though I cannot upgrade the hardware, for a little over $2k (AppleCare included) this configuration will provide for my needs for many years.

      I would have to say that the Mac user is a far more sophisticated user than the Windows user. An enormous part of Apple’s audience are those who understand the power of UNIX, and why Windows is deliberately made for the low information user, most who could not explain the difference between the processor and the RAM.

    • Sorry but your observations are completely incorrect. I have been working as IT engineer for over 11 years and our programmers, network engineers use only Mac computers because of the reliable hardware. We run Windows 7 and 10 on these macs and they outperform any production PC’s in the market. Not to mention that Mac os is also used in several departments.