Apple Will Know If You've Tampered With Its New Macbooks

By Chris Mills on at

Apple’s MacBooks are known to be difficult (if not impossible) to repair, but there’s always been the option if you’re stubborn enough. But in a teardown of the latest extra-pink MacBook, iFixit discovered something more worrying: screws that change if you tamper with them.

While conducting their usual teardown of the slightly-new MacBook, iFixit spotted something odd with the heads of the screws holding the hinge in place: they’re filled with a material that disintegrates if you put a screwdriver in, providing a very telltale sign if someone’s tried to mess with them.

It’s a different compound to the threadlocker commonly found on small-diameter screws: the only likely explanation is to tell Apple if someone has opened up their laptop, and thus make them ineligible for warranty.

These kind of anti-tamper mechanisms are unfortunately common with consumer tech products, although normally in the form of a tamper-evident sticker. It’s a shame to find it on the new MacBooks, because previous Apple laptops have kept the ability to do some light mods, without completely voiding your warranty.

Apart from the sneaky new screws, there’s not much noteworthy about the extra-pink Macbook. The battery is ever so slightly larger and the processor a little newer, but otherwise it’s the same one-port Macbook that we’ve all come to love and hate. In iFixit’s case, it’s very firmly hate: the small chassis, proprietary components and tamper-evident screws combine to give it a 1 out of 10 on the repairability scale. [iFixit]