Apple’s 11.6-Inch MacBook Air Gets a Teardown
Every time a new Apple product is released, iFixIt is there with teardown details for the world to enjoy. With the release of new MacBook Air
models, iFixIt have once again given us a peek inside the mystery that is an Apple product. Apple continues to miniaturize integrated circuits and Macs have become less and less user serviceable as a result. These new models are no exception, iFixIt have given this new model a reparability score of 4 out of 10. The higher the score, the easier it is to repair.
Inside the new MacBook Air, there are six separate lithium-polymer battery cells that take up a large amount of room inside the aluminum unibody enclosure. The 64GB of onboard memory is made up of four, 16GB flash memory chips. Toshiba makes the solid-state controllers. The drive measures a mere 2.45 mm and only weighs 10 grams. The last MacBook Air model had a hard drive measuring 5.12 mm and weighted 45grams.
The tiny Logic board contains an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz processor (Red), NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics chips (Orange), 2GB of RAM (Yellow), and a few other controller chips as well. I find it quite amazing that the brains of a Mac can fit on such a small bit of circuit board.
MacBook Air models don’t include an optical drive, so including reinstall software on a DVD would be quite useless. Apple has instead decided to include a USB flash drive with software to reinstall Snow Leopard and iLife ’11. The 8GB USB drive is bootable as well, which is a nice touch if you run into disk troubles down the road. The drive is read-only, so installing any diagnostic software of your own is not possible. I hope USB reinstall disks become the standard on all Mac models in the future.
With the release of this new 11.6-inch MacBook Air model, Apple has chosen not to call it what it really is, an Apple netbook. The iPad was supposed to be Apple’s answer to the netbook, but I think this fits the bill much better. It’s a full-fledged Mac with a tiny footprint and Apple has lowered the price about as low as they’re going to go. With instant boot times and an attractive feature sets, I think Apple has raised the bar once again on what a compact notebook computer can be. I think my next MacBook might just be this model or the 13.3-inch one. Tough decision.