iFixit disemboweled a new Apple MacBook Air. Not liking Apple's proprietary screws or how not upgradeable the laptop is, iFixit gave the new Mac a low repairability score of 4 out of 10.
performed a teardown on the new 13-inch MacBook Air that Apple
introduced during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote June
11. What the sites engineers found was not terribly surprising: The MacBook
Air is no cinch to open or upgrade.
it a 4 out of 10, 10 being the easiest to repair.
observations the team offered from the onsetwhich is to say, from the
outsideare that the new MacBook Air is no thinner than its predecessor, a
surprise in these continually slimming-down times, though if Apple thinks it
perfected the form factor the first time around, who's to say otherwise. The
MacBook Air, closed, measures 0.68 inches at its thickest point.
notable is that Apple, ever fiddling, moved the icons beside the MagSafe
connector, USB port and headphone jack from the left of each to the right. It
was either a purely aesthetic decision or one motivated by the thinner and
wider port on the MagSafe2.
13-inch MacBook Air comes in 128GB and 256GB flash storage options, with the
latter configurable up to 512GB of flash storage. iFixit tore apart the more
modest of these, and while the solid-state drive (SSD) appeared to be almost
identical to last year's model, they ultimately found it to be different, and
made by Toshiba.
Ive, Apple's lead director, showed off the thermal system in a video during the
Apple WWDC presentation, he explained, "In most fans, the blades are
positioned symmetrically. But we positioned ours asymmetrically, which makes it
pulling out the fanwhich looks vaguely like a small, light version of a
spooled-up measuring tapeexplained that the fan's "asymmetrical"
design allows the fan's blades to "disperse sound across a wide range of
frequencies, rather than just one, making the fan's noise 'hardly
Air has stereo speakers, which popped out without issue. iFixit sniffed the
3.5mm headphone jack, however, calling it "quite plain and outdated."
They added, "How long must we wait until Apple announces 'The New
updated its jack on the iPad 2.)
reminiscent of earlier models was the thermal management system.
is truly a testament to modern processor efficiency to see such a small heat
sink on a dual-core processor that can crank out up to 2.8GHz," the team
was happy to report that the trackpad is a relatively easy fix, should anyone's
iFixit reported, all the components, down to the RAM and SSD are proprietary,
though once the bottom cover is off, all the parts are "pretty easily
there's the MacBook Air's low score. iFixit explains that it's hard for them to
recommend this thin-and-light number, given how disinclined it is to being
RAM and SSD are not currently upgradeable, although SSD options may become
available in time," iFixit wrote. "While Apple's continued use of
proprietary screws is helping our booming tool sales, it's a bad thing for
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Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.