Desktops and Notebooks: New MacBook Air Is Frustratingly Hard to Crack: iFixit Teardown
Apple showed off updated 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops during its June 11 Worldwide Developer Conference keynote. Apple executives talked up the machines' Intel Ivy Bridge processors, discrete graphics from Nvidia that are now 60 percent faster, flash storage that's four times faster than traditional hard drives, by Apple's count, and a display that does without the protective front glass on the LCD of previous models. However, the engineering team at repair site iFixit.com, wanting very literally to see it all for themselves, immediately purchased a 128GB model. Using a toolkit they designed and sell for just such occasions, the engineers removed Apple's proprietary pentalobe screwsdesigned to dissuade non-Apple employees from exactly such activitiesand got to work pulling it apart. Ultimately, the team gave the MacBook Air a repairability score of 4 out of 10 (10 being the most repair-friendly), criticizing its "lack of upgradeability." While Apple's use of the funky screws is helping iFixit's booming tool sales business, the teardown specialist added, "It's a bad thing for consumers."