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2016 MacBook Pro: the Downsides to a Soldered-on SSD

Mac wish list all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photoall 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models • all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

While the SSD in the 2016 MacBook Pro has jaw dropping performance, there are serious downsides as discussed in depth at MacSales.com. One excerpt:

Drive Failure

With the drive physically on the motherboard, if it should fail and you’re beyond the warranty/AppleCare period, any repair would likely cost as much as a new machine, or be very, very expensive. If a drive were to fail on the second year of usage, telling the customer they need to buy a new computer would leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth – especially if that computer was a $3,000 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Most interesting is this: if the SSD fails, the entire computer is 'toast', you’d have to buy an entirely new computer, unless Apple comes up with some kind or special repair program.

Well, that’s not 100% entirely correct: if the SSD failed but did not otherwise derange the MacBook Pro, the machine could still be booted and used off an external SSD. Not much joy there, but it would work.

Ditto for the CPU, GPU and memory too (which are also soldered-on), but traditionally nearly all computers have drives have been replaceable, and drives have been a key failure point. Hopefully the SSD in the MacBook Pro is highly durable. Still, it is a very disturbing thought that a $4400 laptop could be unrepairable if *any* of {CPU, GPU, memory, SSD} fail — all are soldered on.

Accordingly, it is foolish to not buy AppleCare on the 2016 MacBook Pro. BTW, if these Apple laptops are so terrific, why the miserly 1-year warranty? A 1-year warranty speaks volumes about the quality of a product*. BTW, B&H Photo has discounted AppleCare.

* A product is the sum of the hardware and software and service and support and warranty.

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