Magic Trackpad Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Have you ever wondered what makes a trackpad magical? Well wonder no more. Join us as we delve into the deep abyss of Apple's ocean of magical peripherals to explore the mysterious Magic Trackpad.

Also check out the magical Vimeo video slideshow of the teardown!

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Edit Step 1 Magic Trackpad Teardown  ¶ 

  • The Magic Trackpad is the first full desktop trackpad that supports a full set of gestures, including click, scroll, swipe, and rotate, all available at the tip of your fingers.

  • Requirements:

    • Mac desktop or laptop.

    • Bluetooth connectivity.

    • Mac OS X 10.6.4 or later.

    • And of course, batteries! (Apple Battery Charger not included).

  • As the rumors confirmed, the Magic Trackpad is designated Model A1339.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The Magic Trackpad is 80% larger than the trackpad included in current MacBook Pro models.

  • It features the same aluminum design as its wireless keyboard counterpart, allowing for the perfect union of typing and gestures.

  • Let us not forget the main attraction, which is the 0.5 mm thick, capacitive touch, wear-resistant glass surface.

  • That's all good, but what lies inside?

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Removing the batteries is about as straightforward as it can get. Give a twist to the battery door and the two AA batteries slide right out.

    • Check out those square threads! While square threads have the highest mechanical efficiency of all lead screws, their difficulty of manufacturing makes them prohibitive for most applications.

    • Kudos, Apple, for sweating the details.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Time to get our hands dirty!

  • Use a plastic opening tool to pry the lower panel away from the adhesive securing around its left, right, and top edges.

    • Don't pry up along the bottom. There are a bunch of retaining clips.

  • After slicing through most of the adhesive, the lower panel lifts right off.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • And there's......not really that much to this thing.

  • After a good amount of quasi-non-destructive prying, the inner spacer can be removed from the trackpad.

    • This spacer prevents the highly unlikely event of squeezing the lower panel against the logic board hard enough to damage it.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Next, disconnect the two ribbon cables connecting the capacitive touch pad to the logic board.

    • These things are ridiculously thin and are stuck to the underside of the touch pad. If you plan to remove them, proceed with caution.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • We've noticed a trend about Apple's newer products: thin and pretty = not user serviceable. The Magic Trackpad is no exception.

  • After using a heat gun to warm up the adhesive, the touch pad can be carefully pried off the aluminum chassis.

    • This is not for the faint of heart. A copious amount of heat, guitar picks, and plastic opening tools were required to make this thing budge.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • After being freed from the adhesive securing it to the chassis, the touch pad can be easily removed.

    • The Magic Trackpad has a unique way of triggering the mouse button. As you press down on the top surface of the Trackpad, the two rubber feet near its front edge push up on the hinged plate and set screw (shown in orange) attached to the chassis. This squeezes the electronic mouse button switch (shown in red), producing the characteristic "click".

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • To completely remove the logic board, you must first de-solder the four wires leading to the battery connector/status LED.

  • After removing two Phillips screws, the logic board can be separated from the chassis.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • At the heart of the Magic Trackpad's logic board lies a Broadcom BCM2042 for Bluetooth connectivity.

    • This is the same chip used by the Magic Mouse for data transmission.

  • We found a Broadcom BCM5974 touch screen controller chip that provides Multi-touch functionality.

    • This is the same chip you'll find in the iPhone, iPod Touch, and MacBook Air.

  • Also, an SST 25WF020 provides 2 Mbit of serial flash memory.

  • This appears to be a TI CD3238, which has been identified by Hearst as a RS232 line driver/receiver. It was also in the original iPhone with a BCM5973A.

  • The back of the logic board features nothing but blackness and glue.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • And there it lies: the Magic Trackpad in nine difficult-to-disassemble pieces.

  • Keep an eye on our teardown page for an inside look at the latest gadgets!

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Soldering Station

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Heat Gun

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

A great tear down. One question: Where is the bluetooth antenna? Is it just etched into the circuit board?

Doug, · Reply

Good question. It looks like the curved traces along the top of the board seen on step 10 could be the antenna, and they lead to a small metal pressure contact that mates into the aluminum chassis. My guess is that the chassis of the trackpad and/or those curved traces serve as the antenna.

Andrew Bookholt,

Step 3c, I was expecting to see an Apple-branded battery instead of a bunny-battery. When you get the Apple batteries, is there any reason to tear one of those apart to see if Apple is merely re-labeling someone else's battery or if they actually are building AA batteries?

plink53, · Reply

Step 10, "2Mbit of serial flash memory" This means this device might be capable of storing/receiving data from the attached computer. It will be something we get to investigate to see what type of data it holds to see how it has to be treated in a government setting.

plink53, · Reply

This is a cool post! I think that the Magic Trackpad is worth owning, and it makes it a pleasure to use the Mac. Unfortunately, it can bug out sometimes. Usually, this is because the battery is running low. It starts to happen after a few hours of continuous use, when the battery life approaches 50%. I wrote up a how-to guide on my site, Appledystopia, for troubleshooting and fixing it. There are some neat tips, like adding it as a Bluetooth Favorite, so if it loses the connection or you toggle the power, it will connect much faster.

Apple Dystopia, · Reply

I have just destroyed my trackpad by opening it as described. The top of the Bluetooth chip (Broadcom BCM2042) was firmly glued to the plastic cover and when I took the cover off, the chip was ripped off the logic board. Time to buy a new one.. :-(

apollinairemoreno, · Reply

My batteries leaked inside and to remove them I had to open the screw cap on the battery compartment and sharply hit the trackpad edge on the edge of a table (Preferably wood) with the compartment facing down. The batteries eventually came out and to clean ouit the residue, acid, white crud, I used the handyman's secret weapon, WD40. It works great now !

capone99, · Reply

The Apple Bluetooth keyboard also uses this same Square thread. So it makes sense for them to reuse the same technique they have already invested in. It's these details that makes being an Apple user so fun. Who ever gushes over a screw on a Dell?

thecreative, · Reply

Unlike the big photo of someone jamming a tool along the bottom edge, follow the written word and do not pry along the bottom edge.

Mitchell, · Reply

Hi! I was wondering if you had a temperature scale to give us.

There is lot of plastic on these pretty things, I'd prefer not to deform any part of it with too many heat.

Maxime Gratiot, · Reply

It looks like there are 4 more contact points, possibly for serial data transmission. Maybe they use these during debugging? They're labeled GND, UPRX, UPTX, and PP1V8. I have no idea what that last one is for...

Maybe you guys should try hooking up something to them and post your results!

WillyDavidK, · Reply

I wonder if the power, GND, UPRX, UPTX points could be used to turn one of these into a wired USB trackpad...

Jonathan Hendry, · Reply

Is it possible to buy this piece only ?

Pierre, · Reply

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