When Apple unveiled its new line of MacBook Pro models, perhaps the most head-turning feature that has been added to the laptops is the Touch Bar.
The Touch Bar is an OLED strip located at the top of the keyboard, replacing the physical function keys found in traditional keyboards. It provides users with a variety of commands depending on what they are doing on the MacBook Pro and the app that they have open.
There has been much debate on whether the Touch Bar will actually prove to be a useful addition to the MacBook Pro in the long run. However, one thing is for sure — with Apple adding a “multitouch-enabled strip of glass” to the laptop, there becomes a new way for the MacBook Pro to receive damage.
According to iFixit lead teardown engineer Andrew Goldberg, in an email to Mashable, adding a Retina display to the MacBook Pro’s keyboard adds to the fragility of the laptop. The glass of the Touch Bar is susceptible to cracking, which is a problem that was previously not an issue on keyboards.
In addition to the vulnerability of cracking, the Touch Bar is also said by Goldberg to be within the splash zone of any drinks that would be spilled, though the issues with that will depend on how well the Touch Bar is sealed.
Another possible way for the new MacBook Pro to get damaged is the embedded Touch ID sensor, also a new feature for the laptop line. The Touch Bar and the T1 chip, which powers the Touch ID are paired, and if the Touch Bar breaks, both will need to be replaced.
If you are interested in acquiring one of the new MacBook Pro models with the Touch Bar, keep in mind the damage that can happen on the OLED strip. According to a Mac Support Store employee Raymond Gonzalez, the cost of repair for the MacBook Pro keyboard is already at $199 including labor costs. Repairing the Touch Bar will likely come with a higher price tag than that, Gonzalez said.
Customers purchasing the MacBook Pro can opt to sign up for an AppleCare+ warranty, as that will cover accidental damage. However, the cost of such a plan ranges from $249 to $349, and perhaps even more for the new models.
If it is any consolation, the Touch Bar might not be getting that many creative uses anyway, which should help reduce the wear and tear on the new feature. Apple’s developer guidelines for the Touch Bar are very limited, and might prevent developers from tapping into numerous possibilities for the feature.