One thing I don't think I quite realized until I looked through the the iFixit teardowns for the "Escape" MacBook Pro (has a physical escape key) and Touch Bar MacBook Pro (virtual escape; has Touch ID) is that these are two completely different boxes.

  • The battery is bigger in the Escape/less expensive
  • They have different motherboards entirely
  • For the Touch Id, "Hanging off each end of the logic board, we find a small, modular USB-C board."
    • The Escape has the USB-C ports attached to the mobo.

Here are some comparison pictures of the mobo in and out of the chassis.

MacBook Pro motherboards, escape vs. touch id, in chassis

MacBook Pro motherboards, removed, escape vs. touch id

I can't tell which would be worse, designing two completely different sets of innards for the same chassis, or simply neutering the cheaper one of two USB ports.

I mean, wouldn't've been cheaper to design one and remove one daughterboard (and whatever chips the Escape isn't using)? Guess not. Or the new MBP was a bigger design cluster than you'd've expected.