Magic Trackpad Teardown

Opening up the Magic Trackpad for teardownWe’ve noticed an interesting trend after having dismantled so many Apple products: “thin and pretty” does not translate well to “user serviceable.” The Magic Trackpad is no exception to this trend, having few parts that can be replaced without potentially destroying the whole device.

There were no magical unicorns inside, but we did uncover a plethora of components within the Trackpad’s very thin profile. Even though repairing the components might be infeasible, we’re still impressed by everything Apple’s engineers managed to stuff into the Trackpad.

We also created a Vimeo video slideshow for an alternate teardown viewing experience!

Teardown highlights:

  • This is one of the few Apple products where the battery is user serviceable.
  • The battery screw has 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.
  • 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.
  • The ribbon cables are ridiculously thin and are stuck to the underside of the touch pad. If you plan on servicing your Trackpad, proceed with caution.
  • After using a heat gun to warm up the adhesive, the touch pad can be carefully pried off the aluminum chassis. This step is not for the faint of heart. A copious amount of heat, guitar picks, and plastic opening tools were required to make the touch pad budge.
  • The Magic Trackpad has a unique way of triggering the mouse button. As you press down on the top surface of the pad, the two rubber feet near its front edge push on a plate attached to the chassis. The plate squeezes the electronic mouse button switch, producing the characteristic “click.”
  • At the heart of the Magic Trackpad’s logic board lies a Broadcom BCM2042 for Bluetooth connectivity — the same chip used by the Magic Mouse.
  • We also 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.
Disconnecting the ribbon cable in the Magic Trackpad teardown
Disconnecting the touch pad ribbon cable
Apple Magic Trackpad teardown
Final layout