Video Overview

Introduction

Fall is a magical time, marked by harvest festivals, warm sweaters, and pumpkin-spiced everything. Apple decided to celebrate by releasing a new trackpad, the Magic Trackpad 2, bringing their Force Touch technology to desktops. We're wondering what's inside the magical new trackpad and if it's repairable. There's only one way to find out—with a teardown!

Looking for the rest of the 2015 Maccessory lineup? Check out the Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard teardowns!

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Magic Trackpad 2, use our service manual.

Image 1/2: Dimensions: 0.43" × 6.3" × 4.52" Image 2/2: Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • The jury's still out on just how magical this Trackpad really is, but here's what we know so far:

    • Dimensions: 0.43" × 6.3" × 4.52"

    • Bluetooth wireless connectivity

    • Internal lithium-ion battery

    • Lightning port (for charging and pairing)

    • Force Touch and Multi-Touch

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Image 1/2: The Lightning port serves a dual purpose—pairing with your Mac via USB, and charging the trackpad's integrated battery. Image 2/2: On the bottom of the device we find the new model number: A1535.
  • The rear of the new Magic Trackpad boasts a power switch, Lightning port, and a mysterious plastic bar. We're speculating this might be a break in the metal for an antenna, but we'll have to get inside to see!

    • The Lightning port serves a dual purpose—pairing with your Mac via USB, and charging the trackpad's integrated battery.

  • On the bottom of the device we find the new model number: A1535.

So what does that mysterious plastic bar do?

Philip S - Reply

Image 1/3: Just like the new [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Magic+Keyboard+Teardown/50995|Magic Keyboard] , the Magic Trackpad 2 takes full advantage of ditching those AAs to slim down the design—and to make the entire top surface trackpad-able. Image 2/3: This new "Magic" gen, like the old before it, has uniform styling for a coordinated desk. Image 3/3: At about an inch wider and a quarter inch deeper, the new device has around 6 square inches of additional tracking surface.
  • Let's compare notes and see what Apple has thought up for the Magic Trackpad 2.

    • Just like the new Magic Keyboard , the Magic Trackpad 2 takes full advantage of ditching those AAs to slim down the design—and to make the entire top surface trackpad-able.

      • This new "Magic" gen, like the old before it, has uniform styling for a coordinated desk.

    • At about an inch wider and a quarter inch deeper, the new device has around 6 square inches of additional tracking surface.

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Image 1/3: We know this drill. With our ~~scimitar~~ razor blade in hand, we (un)stick it to the intense adhesive holding the rear cover in place. Image 2/3: We slice, pry, and wiggle our way through the adhesive bit-by-bit. Image 3/3: Many ~~[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bothan|Bothans|new_window=true]~~ opening picks died in the making of this teardown.
  • There's no easy way into the Magic Trackpad 2, so we set our iOpener to Stun to weaken the adhesive holding the trackpad together.

  • We know this drill. With our scimitar razor blade in hand, we (un)stick it to the intense adhesive holding the rear cover in place.

  • We slice, pry, and wiggle our way through the adhesive bit-by-bit.

    • Many Bothans opening picks died in the making of this teardown.

  • Once we find our way inside, we're greeted with something resembling Shelob's lair—a terrifying, sticky mess.

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Image 1/2: We find what ''appears'' to be a big iPhone battery adhered to the rear panel. But weighing in at 3.78 V, 7.65 Whr, this 2024 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery falls short of the 2750 mAh battery in the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6s+Plus+Teardown/48171#s107895|6s Plus]. Image 2/2: [http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2015/10/13Apple-Updates-iMac-Family-with-Stunning-New-Retina-Displays.html|Apple claims|new_window=true] the integrated rechargeable battery reduces waste by eliminating the use of disposable AA's in the previous trackpad.
  • Upon opening, we realize the magic holding this trackpad together is really just oodles of tape doing what could probably be done with screws.

  • We find what appears to be a big iPhone battery adhered to the rear panel. But weighing in at 3.78 V, 7.65 Whr, this 2024 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery falls short of the 2750 mAh battery in the 6s Plus.

  • Apple claims the integrated rechargeable battery reduces waste by eliminating the use of disposable AA's in the previous trackpad.

    • While this is certainly a laudable notion, responsible owners of the Magic Trackpad v1.0 used their own rechargeable AA's—saving waste and making the device more recyclable at the end of its lifespan.

"allowing users to use their own rechargeable AA's saves waste and makes the device more recyclable at the end of its lifespan"

Because most people are totally using rechargeable and not disposable batteries. /s

olivicmic - Reply

True, I haven't used batteries in years. Everything I have is either AA or AAA or other type of rechargeable.

Nice try Apple... welcome to 21st century.

crus - Reply

It's clear that the real reason of irreplacable batteries is to reduce lifespan of Magic Trackpad 2, the same true for irreplaceble parts of latest MacMini's. We all loved Apple for customizability, but their greediness with latest products, will slowly make majority of user to prefer another products, when they realize it, it will be too late...

ifr33t - Reply

This is an old post but this is clear BS. If we assume 300 charging cycles (a very conservative guess) and assume Apple's claims are true that one charge will last you about a month (probably true considering Apple usually doesn't lie about battery life) this leads to an assumed battery life of 300/12 = 25 freaking years. In 25 years you probably won't even remember that you ever owned this trackpad and you surely won't be using it anymore.

Do some math before posting such accusations. Considering that tons of people use disposable batteries and that rechargeable batteries also have a certain life span before they need to be replaced this included battery is with 100% certainty going to be better for the environment. Also Apple will replace your Magic Trackpad 2 for $29 if your battery isn't holding a charge anymore. Yeah, totally greedy!

Zunivolo -

I think the non-replaceable battery problem in the Magic Trackpad is blown out of proportion. I’ve had mine for a year and I’ve charged it maybe 6 times. The battery is going to last forever anyway. It uses roughly 2-3% a day with my usage pattern.

r_jones - Reply

Image 1/3: Be still, our hearts—this Lighting connector cable looks suspiciously unsoldered and removable. Image 2/3: Sure enough, we flip the ZIF latch, remove the T3 screws, and ''voilà''—the Lightning connector springs free! Image 3/3: That's good news for repair—a combined charging and data port suffers frequent use and can be a common point of failure.
  • Casting the battery and rear panel aside, we turn our attention to the front panel and all of its goodies.

  • Be still, our hearts—this Lighting connector cable looks suspiciously unsoldered and removable.

  • Sure enough, we flip the ZIF latch, remove the T3 screws, and voilà—the Lightning connector springs free!

  • That's good news for repair—a combined charging and data port suffers frequent use and can be a common point of failure.

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Image 1/3: Broadcom [https://www.broadcom.com/products/wireless-connectivity/bluetooth/bcm20733|BCM20733|new_window=true] Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution Image 2/3: ST Microelectronics [http://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/mmc/FM141/SC1169/SS1031/LN1565/PF164493|STM32F103VB|new_window=true] 72 MHz 32-bit RISC [http://www.arm.com/products/processors/cortex-m/cortex-m3.php|ARM Cortex-M3|new_window=true] Image 3/3: NXP [https://chipworks.secure.force.com/catalog/ProductDetails?sku=NXP-1608A1|1608A1|new_window=true]  Charging IC
  • We pluck out the slender logic board to get a better view of its silicon. Here's what we find:

    • Broadcom BCM20733 Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution

    • ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB 72 MHz 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex-M3

    • NXP 1608A1 Charging IC

    • Texas Instruments BQ24250C Single Input I2C/Standalone Switch-Mode Li-Ion Battery Charger

    • Intersil ISL656A Two-Phase PWM Controller

    • International Rectifier IRFH3702 Single N-Channel HEXFET Power MOSFET

I'm kind of surpised that the Bluetooth chip is v3.0: Apple's specs say the Magic Trackpad is compatible only with Macs supporting v4.0.

Dominic Dunlop - Reply

There weren't any Apple devices with Bluetooth 3.0; they went from 2.1 + EDR to 4.0.

David Ebert -

Yeah this has the same BCM20733 Bluetooth chip as the mouse and keyboard but yet Apple says it requires a Mac with BT 4.0?

rgarjr - Reply

Yeah, so how are we supposed to take this? Is it only using Bluetooth 3? What about the FCC filings that suggest it's BT 4.2? It would be nice to know because I want to know if it's going to be a significant improvement over the Magic Trackpad 1, which I have lots of connectivity and signal interference issues with.

Tevya Washburn - Reply

Image 1/3: Resembling the Taptic Engines in both the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Retina+Macbook+2015+Teardown/39841#s89855|Retina MacBook|new_window=true] and [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Early+2015+Teardown/38300#s86947|MacBook Pro|new_window=true], this new Taptic Engine should bring a similar Force Touch experience to the Magic Trackpad 2. Image 2/3: These coils of copper wire form powerful electromagnets that push and pull against the steel bar mounted to the underside of the trackpad surface, causing the entire surface to rapidly and shortly buzz, simulating the sound and feel of a click. Image 3/3: These coils of copper wire form powerful electromagnets that push and pull against the steel bar mounted to the underside of the trackpad surface, causing the entire surface to rapidly and shortly buzz, simulating the sound and feel of a click.
  • Prying out the Taptic Engine, we're disappointed that the only haptic feedback we get is the force of our spudger on the aluminum frame of the trackpad.

  • Resembling the Taptic Engines in both the Retina MacBook and MacBook Pro, this new Taptic Engine should bring a similar Force Touch experience to the Magic Trackpad 2.

    • These coils of copper wire form powerful electromagnets that push and pull against the steel bar mounted to the underside of the trackpad surface, causing the entire surface to rapidly and shortly buzz, simulating the sound and feel of a click.

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Image 1/2: The only way to separate the trackpad and get a closer look is to cut through the adhesive. Unfortunately, that's also the only way to replace a damaged trackpad surface. Image 2/2: With the glue cut, let's get a look at what was hiding between the aluminum trackpad frame and the trackpad surface.
  • Just like other Force Touch implementations we've seen, the trackpad rests on four springy metal tabs, secured with clear adhesive pads.

  • The only way to separate the trackpad and get a closer look is to cut through the adhesive. Unfortunately, that's also the only way to replace a damaged trackpad surface.

  • With the glue cut, let's get a look at what was hiding between the aluminum trackpad frame and the trackpad surface.

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Image 1/3: Broadcom BCM5976 Touch Controller (part of the same series of Broadcom touch controller chips used in many Apple devices) Image 2/3: The [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_gauge|strain gauges], mounted on each of the four spring tabs, are used to measure the force applied to the trackpad surface. Image 3/3: As you press down on the trackpad, the springs deflect, stretching the strain gauges and increasing their resistance. A microcontroller measures that resistance and determines the appropriate level of ~~haptic~~ Taptic feedback to deliver.
  • A single, elegant chip resides on the touchpad.

    • Broadcom BCM5976 Touch Controller (part of the same series of Broadcom touch controller chips used in many Apple devices)

  • The strain gauges, mounted on each of the four spring tabs, are used to measure the force applied to the trackpad surface.

    • As you press down on the trackpad, the springs deflect, stretching the strain gauges and increasing their resistance. A microcontroller measures that resistance and determines the appropriate level of haptic Taptic feedback to deliver.

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Image 1/2: The Lightning port and battery can be replaced independently of the logic board—if you can get the device open. Image 2/2: Replacing a damaged trackpad surface means cutting and reapplying the adhesive on the spring tabs.
  • The Magic Trackpad 2 Repairability Score: 3 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • The Lightning port and battery can be replaced independently of the logic board—if you can get the device open.

    • Replacing a damaged trackpad surface means cutting and reapplying the adhesive on the spring tabs.

    • Excessive use of strong adhesive makes it very difficult to remove the rear panel, hindering access to every internal component.

    • Without a service manual, it is difficult to open the trackpad without damaging internal components such as the battery and Taptic Engine.

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10 Comments

Will it work at all with my mid 2010 iMac?

cohenyarin - Reply

iMacs had BT 4.0 since the Late 2012 model. Mac mini and MacBook Air: Mid 2011. MacBook Pro (incl. rMBP): Mid 2012.

David Ebert -

I love the design - much more elegant... but it would have been nicer if it could use the apple pencil and be used similar to a wacom tablet device

pauldixon1986 - Reply

It works with my iMac 27" 2011, which has no bluetooth 4.0

matthias - Reply

Too expensive

clbreeze - Reply

DO you think/know if it works with batteries removed ??

Felix Bauer - Reply

Can someone please tell me what that translucent strip next to the lightning port? Also here's a tip it can be used as a USB touchpad.

gabrielcm - Reply

My guess is that's where the Bluetooth signal comes/goes, due to everything else being aluminium…?

antixsuperstar -

Shallow, dissapoining tear down. No mention of where the Bluetooth antenna actually is, which you teased in the intro. Hello! Beuller? The power switch also looks interesting, if not fiddly to reassemble. And it looks like there are pads on the board for a micro USB or USB-C connector. That would be nice to mention! This tear down really was below average.

ignored - Reply

Can I replace my broken 2015 MacBook Pro 13” trackpad with the guts of a Magic Trackpad?

Josh Mckee - Reply

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