Apple has just announced its new MacBook Pro model, it has a very sharp 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution Retina Displays and a sleek thinner profile. iFixit has done a full-body tear down, and determined that when Jonathan Ive’s was talking about when he said they questioned every aspect of the new design he should have added in order to maximize profit.
Apple’s new line of laptops are beautiful, but they have the RAM soldered in, the battery glued in, use non-standard flash memory and drive formats, and even proprietary screws. This means they are effectively impossible to upgrade and if anything goes wrong you have to replace the entire assembly. The base unit of 15″ MacBook Pro costs close to $2200 and the 8 Gig upgrade you will have to buy from Apple in order to max it out at 16 gigs will cost you an additional $200. Note, you can buy 8 Gigs of quality laptop RAM for less the $50 on Newegg right now.
In spite of Apple’s wonderful work, this sort construction illustrates an aspect of bad design where financial incentives induces a company to create products that are deliberately disabled or less efficient than they could be in order to glean extra profits from a captive market. There is absolutely no reason to lock down every piece of hardware to a single manufacturer unless your motive is purely profit. And what about the unfortunate user who finds him or herself with this laptop a year later and decides that 8 gig’s isn’t enough to do video editing after all? Get a whole new machine? Really Apple?