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iFixit teardown reveals the inside of the MacBook Air M2

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The new MacBook Air M2 has finally arrived. And while some customers won’t receive it for another month, those who bought it during pre-order have already received their new laptop. iFixit also got their hands on an M2 MacBook Air to show us a complete teardown of what’s inside the new machine.

Macbook Air M2 disassembly

Thanks to iFixit, we’ve already seen 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 has already shared some photos showing the internals of the M2 MacBook Air, but the iFixit teardown revealed a few surprises.

In the x-ray, iFixit shows one of the major changes to this new MacBook Air: the speakers. Previously, the speakers were located on the left and right sides of the laptop. Now they are placed above the keyboard, hidden between the case and the display.

Removing the bottom cover of the MacBook Air M2 is even easier, as it now has only four screws instead of ten. While this results in a much more minimalistic design, it doesn’t mean that this machine is easier to repair. Most of the motherboard and battery connectors are hidden and protected, but it’s not that hard to unplug them.

The logic board is also protected by a metal shield and, not surprisingly, extremely compact. It’s almost as if there was an iPad inside that Mac, which is partly true since Macs and iOS devices now use the same architecture with Apple’s Silicon chips. It is also not surprising that the components are soldered to the logic board and cannot be easily replaced.

Slower SSD and…accelerometer

This has already been confirmed by Apple as well as several tech reviewers, but the MacBook Air M2 comes with a single 256GB SSD NAND chip in an entry-level configuration. As with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, this results in reduced SSD performance compared to models with two combined NAND chips.

In comparison, while the SSD read speeds in the MacBook M1 reach almost 3 GB/s, the 256 GB SSD in the new MacBook M2 barely reaches 1.5 GB/s. That’s half that of previous generation MacBooks and more expensive models with more internal storage.

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 movement. It’s not clear why Apple put one of these sensors in the Mac. This could be due to an unreleased feature, or something to determine if the user accidentally dropped the laptop.

iFixit also notes that the MacBook Air M2 lacks a heat spreader, so it exclusively uses thermal paste and graphite tape to draw heat away from internal components. Some recent tests have shown that the MacBook Pro M2 gets hotter than the M1 in some situations, and it looks like this could be an issue for MacBook Air M2 users too – at least when doing super-demanding tasks.

The 52.6 Wh battery is glued to the case with sticky stickers, and the Force Touch trackpad is easily removed. Here’s what’s inside the new MacBook Air: a giant battery, a trackpad, and an ultra-compact logic board that’s all soldered on.

Can a MacBook Air M2 be repaired?

While you can replace some of the components on the new MacBook Air M2, it’s not entirely accurate and requires the right tools. Of course, you can’t replace things like a processor or an SSD, which is why we’re talking about the battery, trackpad, speakers, and keyboard.

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

Prices for the new MacBook Air in the US start at $1,199. Be sure to check Amazon for special deals on MacBooks.

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