iFixit’s MacBook Air teardown is here, and there’s good and bad news

When Apple announced its long-awaited 2018 MacBook Air, it proudly called the refresh its “greenest Mac ever” thanks to its shell which is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. Now, a teardown from iFixit suggests it’s also a much easier laptop to repair than Apple’s other recent models — even if it doesn’t manage to score as well as the 2015 MacBook Air.

In particular, the teardown notes that the new model relies much more on adhesive strips rather than the “gooey solvents” of previous models. These strips can be easily pulled off to take apart the laptop, whereas the solvents “booby-trapped” the process previously. The teardown also confirms recent reports that the 2018 MacBook Air’s battery is much easier to replace.

Four screws and six adhesive strips attach the battery to the laptop.
Image: iFixit

Other design tweaks, like including the Touch ID sensor and Thunderbolt ports on separate logic boards, bring more good news. These will mean that the main logic board won’t have to be entirely replaced just because one port develops a fault.

All the laptop’s ports have separate logic boards, making them easily replaceable.
Image: iFixit

However, all of these changes couldn’t stop the MacBook Air from achieving a total repairability score of just three out of 10. Removable adhesive strips might be better than glue, but iFixit still prefers reusable screws, and the report is also critical about the lack of upgradeable RAM or storage. Nevertheless, it reverses Apple’s recent trend towards MacBooks that are close to unrepairable.


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