If you don’t need Apple’s fancy new Touch Bar, the entry-level 2016 MacBook Pro will save you a small fortune — and that’s not the only thing it has going for it. A new teardown has found that the machine also has replaceable storage, allowing for user upgrades.
Starting at $1,499, the entry-level MacBook Pro, which features traditional function keys, is $300 cheaper than the most affordable model with a Touch Bar. However, the Touch Bar isn’t the only thing you have to sacrifice when you choose this model.
It packs a slower Intel Core i5 processor, slower memory, and less powerful graphics. It’s also equipped with just two Thunderbolt 3 ports as opposed to four. It’s not all bad news, though. This could be the only model in the lineup that you can upgrade later.
The entry-level MacBook Pro comes with 256GB of storage as standard. That’s not bad, but most users are going to run out of space pretty quickly. Fortunately, OWC found that it’s possibly to upgrade that SSD to a larger model.
Apple doesn’t make it easy, though. OWC also notes that it’s harder to get into the new MacBook Pro, and before you can remove its SSD, you have to take out its speaker. This increases the risk that you’ll break something in the process.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that storage for this machine will be incredibly expensive for the foreseeable future, so it might be easier to just pay for a 512GB or 1TB model when you order yours from Apple. In years to come, when storage is cheaper, that won’t be the case.
It’s still unclear whether the more expensive MacBook Pro options with the Touch Bar will also have replaceable storage since those aren’t available to pull apart yet. We’re hoping they will have, but Apple has been soldering its components to the logic board in recent years.