The new M2 MacBook Air is finally here. And while some customers won’t get their hands on it until a month later, those who pre-ordered it have now received their new laptop. iFixit also got their hands on the M2 MacBook Air to show us a full teardown of what’s inside the new machine.
M2 MacBook Air teardown
Thanks to iFixit, we’ve already taken a look at what’s inside the new M2 MacBook Pro – which, unlike the MacBook Air, is basically the same model as the previous generation, but with a new chip. 9to5Mac had already shared some photos showing the internal components of the M2 MacBook Air, but iFixit’s teardown revealed a few surprises.
Using an X-ray, iFixit shows one of the most significant changes in this new MacBook Air: the speakers. Previously, the speakers were on the left and right sides of the laptop. Now they are placed above the keyboard, hidden between the housing and the display.
Removing the bottom of the M2 MacBook Air just got easier as there are now just four screws instead of ten. While this results in a much more minimalist design, it doesn’t mean this machine is any easier to repair. Most circuit board and battery connectors are hidden and protected, but disconnecting them isn’t exactly difficult.
The circuit board is also protected by a metal shield and is, unsurprisingly, extremely compact. Almost like there’s an iPad in this Mac, which is kind of true because Macs and iOS devices now share the same architecture with Apple Silicon chips. It’s also not surprising that the components are soldered to the circuit board and cannot be easily replaced.
A slower SSD and… an accelerometer
This was already confirmed by Apple and also by several tech reviewers, but the M2 MacBook Air comes with a single 256GB NAND chip for the SSD in its entry-level configuration. As with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, this results in slower SSD performance compared to models with two NAND chips combined.
In comparison, while the read speeds of the SSD in the M1 MacBooks reach almost 3 GB/s, the 256 GB SSD in the new M2 MacBooks barely reaches 1.5 GB/s. That’s half the speed of the previous-generation MacBooks and the more expensive models with larger internal storage.
Other tidbits include a new Thunderbolt 3 driver made by Apple instead of Intel, a USI chip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (not ultra-wideband), and… an accelerometer. For those unfamiliar, an accelerometer is a sensor used to detect motion. It’s unclear why Apple put one of these sensors in a Mac. It could be related to an unreleased feature or something to detect if the user accidentally dropped the laptop.
iFixit also notes that the M2 MacBook Air doesn’t have a heat spreader, so it relies solely on thermal paste and graphite tape to dissipate heat from internal components. Some recent tests have shown that the M2 MacBook Pro runs hotter than the M1 model in some situations, and it seems that this could also be a problem for M2 MacBook Air users, at least when performing super-demanding tasks.
The 52.6 Wh battery is stuck to the case with self-adhesive stickers and the Force Touch trackpad can be easily removed. So that’s what’s in the new MacBook Air: a giant battery, a trackpad, and a super-compact logic board with everything soldered onto it.
Is the M2 MacBook Air repairable?
Although you can replace some components of the new M2 MacBook Air, this is not entirely certain and you need the right tools. Of course, you can’t replace things like the CPU or SSD, so we’re talking battery, trackpad, speakers, and the keyboard.
Watch the full teardown below or on YouTube:
Prices for the new MacBook Air start at $1,199 in the US. Be sure to check Amazon for special offers on MacBooks.
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