After disassembling the base 13-inch MacBook Pro model without the Touch Bar, teardown wizards over at iFixit have now taken apart Apple’s Touch Bar-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro. From the inside, it’s an entirely different computer with a totally different design that has more in common with its 15-inch brethren. Among other things, the teardown analysis has found that the external speaker grilles in the top half of the case exist mostly for “cosmetic” purposes.

That’s because the improved sound is being projected from a pair of air vents on the sides of the case. By comparison, the base 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar does push sound through the speaker grilles as it lacks the air vents.

Two weeks ago, we tore down the new entry-level 13″ MacBook Pro to discover it was thinner, lighter, faster, and (sad face) less repairable than most any other pro-level laptop. Today, we turn our tools on its Touch Bar-equipped launch mate. Will this machine surprise us with some upgrade-friendly features, or will it be as disposable as the box it comes in? There’s only one way to find out: it’s teardown time!

In other words, the speaker grilles are mostly cosmetic dimples with a few tiny holes reserved for a pair of tweeters that produce high frequency audio. As evidenced by the photograph embedded below, orange boxes show where the internal speakers are located. Faux speaker grilles are indicated in red.

iFixit chalks up the weight difference to the the Touch Bar-equipped laptop’s smaller 49.2 Wh battery (197 grams) vs. a 54.5 Wh battery in the non-Touch Bar notebook (235 grams). “The weight disparity helps account for a lighter Touch Bar edition, but the battery seems to rate more watt-hours than the decrease in weight would suggest,” says iFixit.


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