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Tear down of Macbook Pro Retina display woos iFixit team

The teardown specialists at iFixit ripped apart Apple's new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display last week and now they've turned their attention to the super-duper display itself.

The iFixit gang gave the MacBook Pro high marks for solid components but panned it for its unease-of-use from a repair and upgrade perspective. Apple's new laptop scored a one on a scale of 10 for iFixit's lowest repairability score ever.

Looking only at the Retina display this week, iFixit discovered a very cleverly crafted laptop display assembly that unfortunately is about as repairable as the machine that houses it.

IFixit managed to get the clutch cover off the display without much problem. The MacBook Pro's display hinges, however, have cables fed through them, making them "a real bear to work on," the team noted. The teardown crew got the rubber display gasket off, but that's where the trouble started. IFixit didn't give Apple's Retina display a repairability score since it's part of another system they've already reviewed, and it's probably a good thing they didn't. The site's veteran technicians couldn't manage to disassemble the display without cracking the glass-so it seems unlikely the average DIYer would have better luck.

Still, Apple's Retina display is a nifty little marvel of engineering. It's only a fraction of a millimeter slimmer than the previous-generation 15in MacBook Pro's non-Retina display assembly, but it is about 25 per cent lighter at just 1.48 pounds, according to iFixit.

The display iFixit worked with was built by LG Electronics going by markings on the inverter board. Apple reportedly has several suppliers who build these displays, however.

With the Retina display out in the open, the iFixit team gushed that Apple did "something exceptional with the design of this display: rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a front glass, they used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass."

If any part of the display breaks down, however, you'll probably have to replace the whole assembly because it really is that tough to work with, iFixit warned.