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iFixit teardown shows there’s not much inside the new M2 MacBook Air

The new M2 MacBook Air is finally here. And while some customers won’t get their hands on it for another month, those who bought it during pre-order have now received their new laptop. iFixit also got its 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 had 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.

Through an x-ray image, iFixit shows one of the main changes in this new MacBook Air: the speakers. Previously, the speakers were positioned on the left and right side of the laptop. Now they are placed above the keyboard, hidden between the case and the display.

Removing the bottom cover of the M2 MacBook Air just got simpler as it now has only four screws instead of ten. While this results in a much more minimalist design, it doesn’t mean that this machine is any easier to repair. Most of the logic board and battery connectors are hidden and protected, but disconnecting them is not exactly difficult.

The logic board is also protected by a metal shield and, unsurprisingly, it is extremely compact. Almost as if there were an iPad inside this Mac, which is kind of true since Macs and iOS devices share the same architecture now with Apple Silicon chips. Also unsurprisingly, the components are soldered to the logic board and can’t be easily replaced.

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A slower SSD and… an accelerometer

This had already been 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. Just as with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, this results in slower SSD performance compared to models that have two NAND chips combined.

For comparison, while the read speeds of the SSD found in the M1 MacBooks reach nearly 3GB/s, the 256GB SSD in the new M2 MacBooks barely reaches 1.5GB/s. That’s half the speed of the previous generation MacBooks and the more expensive models with larger internal storage.

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Other tidbits include a new Thunderbolt 3 driver made by Apple instead of Intel, a USI chip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (and no 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 inside a Mac. It could be related to an unreleased feature or something to detect if the user has accidentally dropped the laptop.

iFixit also notes that the M2 MacBook Air lacks a heat spreader, so it relies exclusively on thermal paste and graphite tape to dissipate heat from internal components. Some recent testing has revealed that the M2 MacBook Pro gets hotter than the M1 model in some situations, and it seems that this could be a problem for M2 MacBook Air users as well – at least when running super-demanding tasks.

The 52.6 Wh battery is glued to the case with adhesive stickers and the Force Touch trackpad can be easily removed. So that’s what’s inside the new MacBook Air: a giant battery, a trackpad, and a super-compact logic board with everything soldered onto it.

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Is the M2 MacBook Air repairable?

While you can replace some of the components on the new M2 MacBook Air, doing so is not exactly certain and requires the right tools. Of course, you can’t replace things like the CPU or SSD, so we’re talking about battery, trackpad, speakers, and the keyboard.

Be sure to watch the full teardown below or on YouTube:

Prices for the new MacBook Air start at $1,199 in the US. Be sure to take a look at Amazon for special offers on MacBooks.

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