THE HANDY TECHNICIANS at iFixit have been quick to dismantle Apple's new MacBook Air, revealing it's easier to repair than its 2015 predecessor. Just.
This step-up in repairability is thanks to the laptop's modular components, including Thunderbolt ports, single fan and speakers, which all sit on their own boards and require fuss-free removal.
"This MacBook is off to a good start as far as we're concerned," iFixit swooned. "All the ports sit on their own boards and are easily replaceable."
The MacBook Air also opens up easily compared to Apple's 12in MacBooks and MacBook Pro, and its 49.9Wh battery - larger than that in Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 - is "slightly less nightmarish" to remove than on previous models.
"The battery is secured with a combination of screws and repair-friendly stretch-release adhesive—but you'll have to remove the logic board and speakers for access," iFixit notes.
iFixit's stress-free dismantling soon comes to an end, though. Replacing the trackpad, for example, requires the logic board to first be removed. Doing so exposes the laptop's guts, including its Linux-blocking T2 security chip, Thunderbolt 3 controller from Intel, 128GB of flash storage from SanDisk, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM from SK Hynix.
Keyboard repairs will involve a "full teardown" of the device too, as the 3rd-gen butterfly mechanism, which features an added membrane to address complaints about dust-related borkage, comes integrated into the Air's top case.
And it's bad news for DIYers, as iFixit confirms that neither storage nor RAM is upgradeable as Apple strives to make its devices thinner and lighter, slamming the move as "a serious bummer on a $1,200+ laptop."
Overall, the team rated the MacBook Air a three out of 10 in the repairability stakes; the 2015 model scored just one out of 10.
"Though this update seems to favour experienced technicians more than the average DIYer," iFixit concluded, "we're hoping it's the first step back toward repairable MacBooks." µ
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