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Portables (Apple) Power Hardware

MacBook's "Unremovable" Battery Easy To Remove 476

Posted by timothy
from the just-unscrew-16-handy-screws dept.
Slatterz writes "Going just a bit further than your average unboxing, someone has stripped a new 17-inch Apple Macbook Pro to its component parts revealing one or two little surprises. The biggest of which is that the built-in battery is easily accessible, requiring the tinkerer to remove just the 13 Philips screws which hold the bottom cover in place, and the three tri-wing security screws which hold the battery in place."
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MacBook's "Unremovable" Battery Easy To Remove

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  • /sarcasm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:19PM (#26909407)

    Someone for forgot the <sarcasm> tag in the article summary.

    • Re:/sarcasm (Score:5, Informative)

      by zobier (585066) <{ten.reiboz} {ta} {reiboz}> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:34PM (#26909637)

      Well, PC Authority is dead after just 15 minutes.
      Why don't they link to the actual disassembly over at iFixit [ifixit.com]!?

    • Re:/sarcasm (Score:5, Funny)

      by DrLang21 (900992) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:43PM (#26909783)
      16 screws is a hell of a lot easier than it was for me to replace my old iBook hard drive! 54 screws! I only had one left over when I was done.
      • Re:/sarcasm (Score:5, Funny)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:59PM (#26910001)

        I got about halfway into it after a couple of beers and in the end decided to just live with the 40GB that it came with :)

        • Excellent (Score:5, Funny)

          by RMH101 (636144) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:34AM (#26914293)
          Things I Have Done To My 2000UKP MacBook Pro Computer That I Couldn't Afford To Replace Anymore Whilst Drunk:
          Replaced the stock hard disk with a larger one
          Taken the screen apart and fitted a sheet of overhead transparency paper with the old Apple rainbow colours to make the Apple logo light up like an old Powerbook's

          I'm also a big fan of flashing the firmware of anything you can get your hands on whilst under the influence of a 4 pack of beer. Nothing beats the buzz of half-assed hardware hacking!
      • Re:/sarcasm (Score:4, Informative)

        by MrLint (519792) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @10:57PM (#26912289) Journal

        While there are a number of hints when dealing with any laptop tear down, however this is what I learned from more than one iBook (g3) teardown.

        Each step, put all the screws in that set up a separate area (not unusual). However with the g3, many steps had a *lot* of multi sized screws. What I did was did a rough sketch of their relative positions and sizes; (xs,s,m,l, etc). You can find tear down instructions with screw sizes, but really, can you tell a 3mm from a 3.5mm?

        Also, if you aren't going for immediate reassembly, you can lay out a strip of clear packing tape, and stick them down, separating them by step. Seal them over when disassembly is done, roll-up and store. You can slice them open one step at a time when putting it back together.

        • Re:/sarcasm (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:32AM (#26913333) Journal

          I did that whole drawing thing with an iBook. Somehow, I still ended up with extra screws. :-D

          As for the question of easily removable vs. unremovable, I don't think anybody expected it to be hard to replace in terms of servicing. I know they say that these batteries should last an order of magnitude longer than what's in other laptops, but they'd have to be crazy not to hedge their bets on something like that. In terms of failure rate over the years, I've had more battery failures in laptops than all other parts put together with the exception of the wire leading to the power supply brick. Most computer manufacturers tend to put parts with higher failure rates in easy-to-reach places to minimize service time. It's just common sense.

          That still doesn't cover the question of removability. That mostly affects people who expect to use a laptop while traveling, however, and the set of people who use laptops on long airplane flights and the set of people who use 17" laptops are pretty much disjoint sets, making this something of a moot point, IMHO. Just my $0.02. That said, I do hope that this is not part of a trend towards making batteries unremovable in other laptops. Having multiple batteries when flying is a life saver.

        • Re:/sarcasm (Score:5, Funny)

          by Col Bat Guano (633857) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @08:18AM (#26915323)
          Someone posted a story about them using tape to secure the screws of his Apple laptop, only to have his cat walk across him, collecting the tape, getting frantic and running around the house.

          When he first noticed he did the big leap (in slow motion of course) yelling "Nooooooooo!!!!!!!"

      • Re:/sarcasm (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:47AM (#26914375) Journal

        As much as that sucked, it at least made it understandable when Apple claimed that only service centres should replace the drives (not that I ever understood why they designed it that way in the first place...).

        What I find odd is that this battery is still classed as non-user-serviceable, even though the (user serviceable) hard drive and RAM require the exact same procedure. Apple are quite happy for you to take off the back casing, pop out the memory and remove a further couple of screws to pull the hard drive, but if you dare touch the three screws to remove the battery while you're at it you lose your warranty.

    • Re:/sarcasm (Score:5, Funny)

      by telchine (719345) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:28PM (#26910381)

      I never have problems removing components from Macs. I take great pleasure it taking a sledgehammer to them after they die 2 days after the warranty expires!

  • WOW (Score:5, Funny)

    by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:21PM (#26909435)
    Just 16 screws? How does Jobs do it? That shouldn't take more than 20 minutes or so during my flight to Australia.
    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

      by essinger (781940) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:28PM (#26909537)

      Just 16 screws? How does Jobs do it?

      You know some people don't realize how easy it can be to change to a generic power adapter by just soldering a new power connector attachment to the motherboard. Ahh, convenience!

      • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

        by markov_chain (202465) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:51PM (#26910665) Homepage

        Do what I do. Forget about changing the internal battery. Instead, take a deep-cycle lead-acid unit with desired capacity, put in a voltage regulator, and solder on a black and red pigtail with a DC plug matching your laptop on the other side. Secure everything with lots of duct tape, leaving a bit of the pigtail to stick out. Make as many of these as you need.

        p.s. these are a real hit on airplanes!

    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

      by Laser_iCE (1125271) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:30PM (#26909565)
      Just 16 screws? And it should only take you 20 minutes? I wish I was lucky enough to join the Mile High Club in such style!
    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Informative)

      by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:30PM (#26909567)
      If you fly to Australia (presumably from the U.S. and not from NZ or something) and need your laptop the whole time, invest in an airline power adaptor and check to see if your airline has connectors here [seatguru.com]. Or you know... buy a different laptop.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, because those laptop power points on planes are 100% guaranteed to be working all the time, especially when a flight is full.

      • Re:WOW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:43PM (#26909777)

        Well, obviously, but I think it's still a valid design criticism given that battery swapping was trivially easy before - all you needed was a coin or a strong fingernail - and now you need to do all this.

        • Re:WOW (Score:5, Interesting)

          by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @08:36PM (#26911171)
          For me, I think the whole swapping battery thing is overblown. I'm typing this on a macbook pro that, when I bought it 3 years ago, I decided to do the pro-active thing and bought two batteries for the purpose of swapping them out. In that three years, I can count on one hand the number of occasions where I've been stuck without access to power and had to use my laptop for an extended period of time. It's just about as much trouble to find a power outlet and plug my laptop in as it is to shut it down and swap batteries. So, for my lifestyle and uses, I'm not crying any tears over the lack of a swappable battery, maybe you might, but this is not your laptop then. The fact that the battery is relatively easy to replace should it fail or if reaches its end of life is a relief (and ifixit rocks btw, I have repaied two old laptops using their instructions, I love it!).
      • Re:WOW (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:47PM (#26909833)

        Or you know... buy a different laptop.

        I think you're on to something there.

        I've never owned a laptop without buying spare batteries for it sooner or later. With a battery in the docking bay, you can swap the main battery without shutting down. (Too bad they don't build in a capacitor to run the laptop for 30 seconds while swapping batteries).

        Plus, the batteries go bad after a couple years.

        I would understand if there something to gain by not having a removable battery. But really, does it save any space at all? Usually the bottom of the battery is the exterior of the laptop, so it doesn't have to fit "inside."

        I guess you can't make any compromises if you're dead set on being the very thinnest or lightest. But count me in for something a little thicker with a lot more functionality.

        • Re:WOW (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:29PM (#26910403)

          But really, does it save any space at all?

          Almost certainly. It saves both size and weight, since you no longer need to reinforce the walls of the laptop to handle the battery connection, and you of course eliminate any casing around the battery itself. You also get rid of the fairly heavy-duty external connector, and at least the iBook batteries were fairly complicated - they had a button and lights to indicate charge.

          Now, is it a worthwhile tradeoff? I suppose the market will decide. Personally, I've never removed the battery from any of my laptops (except to replace) so it doesn't affect me. But if I routinely swapped out batteries, I'd have to consider another laptop. Or, more likely, I wouldn't waste money on a new OEM battery and instead I'd get one of those universal external batteries - if only because then you could charge both at the same time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RedBear (207369)

          I've never owned a laptop without buying spare batteries for it sooner or later. With a battery in the docking bay, you can swap the main battery without shutting down. (Too bad they don't build in a capacitor to run the laptop for 30 seconds while swapping batteries).

          They don't need to do that anymore. They've implemented something called "Safe Sleep", i.e. hibernation. When the laptop goes to sleep it writes out the contents of RAM to the hard drive. If it loses power completely while it's asleep, like during a battery replacement, it will boot up just fine and reload the RAM contents from disk. And it actually works reliably.

          You can download a preference pane called Hibernate to choose whether the system will just do sleep, sleep + safe sleep (hibernate), or just hibe

        • I've never owned a laptop without buying spare batteries for it sooner or later.

          But because the batteries needed to be replaced, or because you needed more power?

          In the case of replacement, as this article shows a user can easily do this after the three or four year battery life is up. Or you can have the Apple store do it for free (just the cost of the battery).

          If it's for more power, there are external battery packs not much larger than the extra battery you'd buy.

          I bought an external battery for my Macb

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @12:23AM (#26912897)

        So for the 1% of the population who take plane trips long enough that the Macbook Pro 17" 8 hour life is not quite enough computing time for you, you have these options:

        1) You don't use the laptop at all - basically true of anyone not flying business class. I gave up working on even a 15" laptop in economy a long time ago. Plane seats are simply too close together to work much at all, let alone eight hours. Get a netbook or something and sync it to a larger laptop (or just use that if it's enough), would be one solution...

        2) you use in-flight power, which you have if you sprung for business, which you did if you are in fact so very busy you simply must compute in-transit

        3) For those of us on the fringes who simply WANT to compute in-transit as long as possible even if we really don't have a need, there are external battery packs [geardiary.com]. For the life of me I've never seen why people consider any sealed device unable to run longer than just the internal battery will allow, since these external packs are not much larger than the equivalent extra battery would be and thus are no more trouble to carry. Same goes for the iPhone, or the Air. People who have an issue with sealed batteries are people who really have a grudge to bear against the company they are complaining about (see: Apple Hater).

    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

      by nmosfet (770062) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:36PM (#26909665)
      And I thought it was hard to use a two button mouse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by wjh31 (1372867)
      you think you can take a screwdriver on a plane?
    • by Malc (1751)

      I know you're being funny, but isn't it possible to run a MBP off the power socket in the seat? What airline do you go on? I haven't flown Qantas on that route, but I'd imagine United are too shit for the sockets, but Air Canada's planes are beautiful. My work laptops though... my Dell M6300 has a 130W power adapter that immediately overloads those 65W sockets. My older Dell M60 (90W adapter) didn't overload it if the battery was already charged, or I removed it.

      • by tepples (727027)

        isn't it possible to run a MBP off the power socket in the seat?

        Yes, but only if you pay extra for a seat with a power socket at the correct voltage.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Lars T. (470328)

          isn't it possible to run a MBP off the power socket in the seat?

          Yes, but only if you pay extra for a seat with a power socket at the correct voltage.

          Yeah, you could be in big trouble if they put you on a 390V socket.

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:23PM (#26910325)

      Just 16 screws?

      Hell yes. Ever removed the hard drive from an iBook?

      I have, about a dozen times. It requires nearly complete dis-assembly. I had about sixteen PILES of different screws. When I took one apart that was for parts, the screws could have filled about a third of a shot glass. You need a large table, mostly to hold sheets of paper with areas marked out for keeping track of where the screws came from (not terribly hard to remember, but better safe than sorry.)

      Total time to disassemble, swap drives, and re-assemble, after you've had practice? I think the fastest I ever did it was a little under an hour. Add extra if you refresh the loctite coatings on the screws that have it (recommended for machines which are young and will be kept for a while; the screws loosen up quite a bit with age.)

      I don't know which was worse: the numerous (and continued, throughout the life of the series) major defects, or how badly it was designed WRT servicing. It's almost like they intentionally designed it to be a bitch to service to make up for thinner sales margins so they could nail people (mostly students and teachers) on labor after the glorious one-year warranty expires.

  • "Easy"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:21PM (#26909437) Homepage

    A total of sixteen screws. To change the battery. And that's "easy"?

    My laptops require zero screws to remove. What does that make them?

    • Re:"Easy"? (Score:5, Funny)

      by djupedal (584558) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:25PM (#26909487)

      > What does that make them?

      Over designed...?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      My laptops require zero screws to remove. What does that make them?

      Idiot^WZombie-proof.

    • Re:"Easy"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anti_Climax (447121) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:26PM (#26909509)

      My laptop [batteries?] require zero screws to remove. What does that make them?

      Removeable

    • Re:"Easy"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:28PM (#26909547)

      A total of sixteen screws. To change the battery. And that's "easy"?

      To change a battery that is not designed to be removed by the end user? Yes. That's easy. Especially compared to the effort required to change the hard drive in an original clamshell ibook, for example.

      My laptops require zero screws to remove. What does that make them?

      It makes them laptops designed to have the battery removed by the user.

      Hint: Glibly comparing the difficulty of removing parts 'designed for end user removal' and removing parts 'not designed for end user removal' leads to a FAIL. What do they teach kids in school these days?

      • Re:"Easy"? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:30PM (#26909575)

        >Especially compared to the effort required to change the hard drive in an original clamshell ibook, for example.

        Yes, two wrongs make a right. Apple still hasnt learned. Dont compliment them by saying "Oh its not as bad as it used to be!"

        • Re:"Easy"? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:38PM (#26909701)

          Yes, two wrongs make a right. Apple still hasnt learned. Dont compliment them by saying "Oh its not as bad as it used to be!"

          Quite frankly, most people don't change their laptop battery EVER. After 2+ years when the original one dies, most people STILL don't even do a one time replacement... they just use it plugged in or buy a new one.

          Yes, there are road warriors out there that do buy 2 or 3 batteries and rotate them daily. They aren't most people, they are a niche. And they won't buy a MacBook now.

          So it doesn't really matter, those of us who never change the battery will be unaffected by the fact that they now can't; and they benefit from a smaller lighter laptop.

          Those of us who do actually buy a new battery after 2+ years to replace the old one that no longer holds its charge well, will find the process for changing the mac battery un-daunting. Spinning 16 screws once every couple years simply isn't an issue.

          So, why exactly should Apple go out of their way to make batteries more user removable?

          Most of their customers are quite happy to give up the option of switching them on the fly, in exchange for a battery that's smaller, lighter, and lasts a bit longer.

          • Re:"Easy"? (Score:5, Informative)

            by el americano (799629) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:00PM (#26910011) Homepage

            So, why exactly should Apple go out of their way to make batteries more user removable?

            Because MacBook batteries have a history of dying? An alarming number of the MacBook and MacBook Pros in our office needed replacing around the 1-year mark. Yes, we did the MacBookPro battery recall. Yes, we installed the OS update that fixed what was killing some batteries. Several needed replacing anyway, most of them just out of warranty.

            I'm sure nothing will go wrong this time though. Good call!

            • Re:"Easy"? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by ktappe (747125) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:53PM (#26910685)

              just out of warranty

              I'm sorry you got burned. Cases like this are why I always recommend extended warranties (such as AppleCare) for any brand of portable computer. Desktops rarely need it, but portables take enough jostles and have such tight manufacturing and operating tolerances that the extra cost often ends up paying off.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by gad_zuki! (70830)

                >I always recommend extended warranties (such as AppleCare)

                Wait. So they are already paying a premium (2800+ dollars) for Apple quality. Now "Apple Quality" turns out to be a myth so they now have to spend even more for an extended warranty? Wow.

                Thats like buying a new car and being told "Well, you need the rust undercoating for this. It'll fall apart in a week!" Its a borderline scam.

          • Not to mention that the new battery in the 17" MBP is supposed to last 8 hours on one charge, and takes several times as many charging cycles as most Li-Ons do before it drops to 80% capacity.
        • You seem to be confusing "making a product I don't want" with "a wrong".

      • The point is that making it not designed for end user removal is stupid, as is using the world fai; in grammatically incorrect ways.
    • Re:"Easy"? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:31PM (#26909587)

      No, that's different. Think different, remember?

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:24PM (#26909471) Homepage Journal

    the mounting hardware for clip-in hardware uses up a fair amount of space that you could use for a larger battery. While Apple's decision is inconvenient for travelers that like to switch to spare batteries. It is probably a useful change for most customers who would rather have 10% more battery capacity, and to Apple who probably saves a little money on build costs. The third party battery market probably won't even hiccup at the difference, eventually providing users the ability to buy a battery (and throw in a couple of screw drivers as a "kit"). How often do you replace a weak/broken battery? Once every couple of years and hopefully not more often than that.

    Given that Apple assumes you need to take it to a certified apple tech to replace the battery, they will either have to eat the cost of replacement or bundle the price in with the battery part cost. But overall it is probably a net savings for Apple.

    • In a Macbook Pro? Once, so far, but it wasn't because it wasn't holding a charge... it was because it was visibly swelling in it case. If I'd had to wait until it had distorted the laptop case before I noticed it was swelling and replaced it... well, replacing that battery would have taken a week or more while I waited for Apple to repair or replace my laptop and ship it back to me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Trailer Trash (60756)

      It's not a 10% difference, the battery life is at least double what it would have been.

      I think it's obvious that the battery isn't "non-removable", just that it requires removing a few screws rather than a simple sliding latch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by petermgreen (876956)

        According to TFA (but I can't see any mention of it on the ifixit site) the screws are tri-wing. If so that seems like a deliberate attempt to make things more awkward for those who want to swap it themselves.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ColaMan (37550)

          If so that seems like a deliberate attempt to make things more awkward for those who want to swap it themselves.

          "It was pretty easy to get into with just philips head screws and I was just trying to prise the connector out with a pair of scissors, and they kinda got stuck across the wires and started glowing and it looked really cool so I got my camera and tried to take a picture but the flash was too bright so I turned it off and turned the macro on and got reeeeeal close to it and it went BANG and my eyeb

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      Do you actually want to do business with a company that uses tactics designed to get you to use their tech and their battery simply to replace a battery? I sure don't!

    • by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:45PM (#26909799) Journal
      The mounting hardware for a removeable battery does not need to take significantly more room than a non-removeable battery, and certainly nowhere near 10%. It's just Apple trying to be "cool".

      My guess is that Apple is banking on the fact that when it comes time to replace the battery, they can:
      • charge more for it
      • make it expensive enough that people would just get a new machine rather than upgrade the ol' clunker.

      Either way, Profit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by samkass (174571)

        The cost is $179. [apple.com]

        As for whether it's 10% or not, [citation needed]. My previous-generation MacBook Pro has quite a bit of plastic and latches and such to make a quality battery compartment. In addition, it's a big block out of the bottom of the case that undoubtedly weakens the torsional rigidity. Considering the new one's core is made out of a solid block of aluminum, I think it's pretty cool they made the decision not to cut it up for a battery.

        Count me as one of the ones for whom this decision is perf

  • That'll show 'em! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by straponego (521991) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:25PM (#26909491)

    Now all you have to do is make your own replacement battery.

  • What a relief... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:26PM (#26909511) Homepage Journal

    If your Macbook Pro battery starts swelling to the point where it's likely to damage the laptop, as mine did, you'll be able to pop out the battery as soon as you notice it, and get an advance replacement from Apple overnighted to you the way I did, and run your laptop off AC in the meantime.

    Right?

  • by Rix (54095) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:27PM (#26909515)
    I don't have a screwdriver that will fit those, and I doubt many of you do either.
  • Non Removable Again? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:30PM (#26909577) Homepage Journal

    I thought Apple learned the lesson with the IPOD with how it pisses people off.

    Guess not.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:39PM (#26909725)

      What lesson would that be? The one where they corner the portable music market and become a pop culture icon? Oh...

    • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:45PM (#26909803) Homepage Journal

      the ipods are a little different story. Apple would like you to occasionally buy a new product from them. They make very little on upgrades, if anything at all. iPods are meant to be replaced every 2-3 years, and computers every 3-5 years. We replace batteries for iPods here all the time. Or you can go to one of several web sites and buy replacement battery kits. FastMac and iFixIt are our two biggest suppliers for ipod batteries, screens, etc.

      As previously mentioned several times, Apple is installing a battery with very long runtime and is adding a little capacity by not installing a latch. There's extra space savings by not having a hinged latch or cover too. Not a lot, but every bit helps.

      If your battery does get used a lot and wears out (high cycle count) Apple will replace it for a reasonable cost. Or you will soon be able to get replacement battery kits same as the iPods.

      My wristwatch requires a special tool to open up because it's a diving watch. I can't change the battery myself. I've been in twice since I bought it to get a replacement battery. At wal-mart of all places. I don't want to sacrifice what it takes to make my battery replaceable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Is it still used as a diving watch after walmart changes the battery? I've done that before with my water proof watch, only to have it die in the shower, post change.
      • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:06PM (#26910107) Homepage Journal

        1 - They want you to upgrade your laptop too.
        2 - You can easily purchase the tool to open your watch. its designed to be water proof, not replacement proof. Nor is it designed to be 'obsolete' once the battery dies.

        Sure, you can find replacement batteries for ipods and 'break the seal' to do it yourself, its all about intent.

    • Maybe the average consumer isn't a poweruser like you and me?

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:13PM (#26910191) Homepage Journal

      but honestly what are we losing? While I won't purchase one on the simple grounds is that it is hilariously overpriced. I mean, people on Apple forums deride gamers who buy silly cases or pay extra for AW yet turn around and go all ga-ga over the new macbook cases. Hell they feel honored to pay $50 extra for a matte screen surface!

      No, in this case there is no net loss for consumer or Apple. Face it, the majority of those who might take one on a long flight are going to be in the class that allows them to plug it in. Even then most who do fly usually are well prepared enough to not need to do extensive work in flight. Short hops on trains don't even raise an eye with a battery that can last as long as this one is. Let us also toss out the fact most travelers don't use 17" laptops in the first place, the size is annoying.

      So, comparing it to the iPod issue. The iPod is something you could likely keep and not need or want to replace after killing the battery. Early ones had streaks of bad batteries but for the most part that isn't an issue now.

      Last point, how could they or anyone have learned? Who else has made a laptop that the battery isn't easily removable? Let alone one as capable? Time will tell if the decision is bad. From what I read on the forums the biggest issues that come up is the obnoxious cost, not the battery.

      Can you imagine the hell that would be raised if it didn't support fire wire? Now that would get the masses in an uproar :P

  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:37PM (#26909679)

    How about a working link [ifixit.com] to the tear down instead of a slashdotted page that just links to it anyway.

  • by ireallylovelinux (589360) <brianherman@bria n j h e r man.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:38PM (#26909705) Homepage
    Scotty I need more power to the aft engines. I am working on it captain but I am having trouble getting the 13 screws removed from the dilithium battery.
  • If only.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:48PM (#26909843)
    Now if only someone could design a laptop battery that is removable without opening the case. I know, I know, this is WAY too futuristic in this day and age, even for a company like Apple with the appropriate vision.

    I've been up all night trying to find a way to design such a battery, but so far all I've been able to do is marvel at the shear ease of the Apple battery removal. My designs required 20 screws be removed!
    • Re:If only.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by m.ducharme (1082683) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:13PM (#26910183)

      Now if only someone could design a laptop battery that is removable without opening the case. I know, I know, this is WAY too futuristic in this day and age, even for a company like Apple with the appropriate vision.

      You mean, like the battery on the bottom of my macbook, that pops out with the turn of a coin? Apple is more than capab^w^w^w^w has already designed laptops with removable batteries. If they didn't on the new macbook pros, then they made that choice for a reason. You may not like that reason, but that's fine.

      I, for one, am glad I didn't wait for the new macbooks to come out before I bought mine.

  • You can remove the engine from an original beetle by removing only 6 bolts, IIRC. The water pump on my slightly newer vehicle was held in by 13 bolts, for that matter. I can pull the motherboard out of my thinkpad with less than 13 screws, for that matter...
  • Huh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Falconhell (1289630) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:58PM (#26909979) Journal

    Ah, this is obviously some strange new meaning of the phrase easy to replace.

  • only 13 screws TOTAL (Score:5, Informative)

    by tyme (6621) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:13PM (#26910185) Homepage Journal

    it appears that nobody, including the submitter, read the actual source article (I know: I must be new here).

    In fact, there are 10 screws that hold the bottom plate on the machine, not 13 as indicated in the summary, then three screws that hold hold the battery in place.

    Yes, the three screws that hold the battery in place are weird, tamper-resistant screws, but you can easily make a driver for them by filing down three points on a torx driver of the appropriate size (I did this about 15 years ago in order to open my first Gameboy, which used similar tamper resistant screws).

    If you're not up for filing down a few points on a torx driver, you have no business fiddling around inside a laptop anyhow.

  • by Bandman (86149) <bandman@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:16PM (#26910219) Homepage

    Cross the chasm of doom, fight the dragon, and then just pick up the crystal of enchantment.

    Simple.

  • Best news ever... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RedBear (207369) <redbear&redbearnet,com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:29PM (#26910397) Homepage

    Best news ever...

    Why? Because there are just 13 screws to remove and they're all on the outside! Sounds like a lot but it's dead simple compared to every model that came before!

    All previous generations of MacBook Pros, PowerBooks and iBooks required major surgery internally and the removal of dozens of different screws from different areas just to do something simple like a hard drive upgrade. MacBooks and the newest 15" MacBook Pro models have FINALLY changed that and made the hard drive accessible just by removing the battery. I was afraid that this new unibody 17" model was the last holdout and would still be a major pain to upgrade, but this changes everything.

    Now I'm going to go buy one, whereas before seeing this I would have bought the 15" model just for the ability to easily upgrade the hard drive. This is truly major news, but it should have been all about the hard drive, not the battery that almost nobody will ever need to replace. The hard drive is something that almost everyone will eventually want to upgrade on this machine.

    Simply awesome news. This really makes my day. I can't believe it's so easy to get inside it and upgrade everything. It's amazing how few items are in the breakout photo at the top of the page. A child could put it back together.

  • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:03PM (#26911407)

    To those of you saying that an irremovable battery is OK, what do you do if the laptop freezes up and the power button doesn't work? On my laptop I just slide out the battery (assuming no AC). I once had my mom's Thinkpad do that, and I just had to wait for the battery to die, as I did not wish to break a seal (the battery is external).

  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @10:14PM (#26911997)

    What about the hard drive? I will not turn over a laptop for service without removing the disk. On my ThinkPad, that takes removing one screw. Apparently it takes 13 on the new 17" MBP.

    Things I can replace on the ThinkPad with 6 screws or less:

    - Keyboard
    - Memory
    - Touchpad
    - Hard drive
    - Optical drive
    - WLAN card
    - WWAN card
    - Modem
    - Clock battery
    - DC power connector (it's on a separate PCB, not soldered to the system board)
    - Battery

    Keyboards break when you dump Diet Coke on them. Hard drives crash. Clock batteries die. Batteries get recalled.

    What do you do when your ThinkPad is out of warranty and something breaks? You buy the part for cheap on eBay, download the service manual for free, and spend 20 minutes replacing the part. Or, if you're not savvy, you pay someone to do it for you - and it's relatively cheap.

    What about when your MacBook breaks and isn't under warranty?

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