Desktops and Notebooks: Apple MacBook Air Teardown: Updated, With a Lot of Familiar Parts

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-07-22 Print this article Print
The MacBook Air

The MacBook Air

Apple's updated MacBook Air offers Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, a Thunderbolt port, an HD slot, and an ultra-thin form factor.
Apple has doubled down on the idea that its customers want thin-and-light devices, chucking the entry-level white MacBook from its portfolio in favor of an updated, 11-inch MacBook Air priced at $999. Soon after Apple's July 21 switchover, teardown firm iFixit went to work on the laptop. "Although today is an exciting day for consumers, it is a sad day for consumer repair," the firm wrote in a note accompanying the teardown. Whereas the white MacBook was "simple and serviceable," the MacBook Air is apparently its total opposite: "While this means that your book bags will be significantly lighter, it will also mean that you won't be upgrading or servicing your computer anytime soon." Once iFixit penetrated its thin-and-light shell, the firm found the device's insides bore a heavy resemblance to the previous MacBook Air. In addition to a choice of 11-inch or 13-inch screens and Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, MacBook Air offers between 64GB and 256GB of flash storage (depending on the model), Thunderbolt I/O (for ultra-fast data transfers), 2GB or 4GB of memory, and Bluetooth for wireless peripherals. Combined with Apple's new Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" operating system, which takes many of its features—such as an application store—from mobile devices, the MacBook Air suggests Apple is betting more heavily than ever that ultra-portability and fast connectivity is what users truly want in a machine.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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