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MacBook Air 2018 Teardown (ifixit.com)
131 points by nnx 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 124 comments





Wait, does the Air actually have more ports than the MacBook? What's going on? I thought the MacBook replaced the air, an the MacBook pro is a merger of the MacBook and MacBook pro?

Have the MacBook and MacBook air "switched"?


Yes.

The MacBook has one USB-C port, has a smaller 12" screen, and is lighter (2 lbs).

The MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, has a 13" screen, is heavier (2.75 lbs), and has more CPU power than the MacBook.

The MBP w/o touch bar has two Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, a 13" screen, is heavier (3 lbs), and more CPU power than the Air

The MBP w/ touch bar has four Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, a 13" screen and has more CPU power (options) than the MBP w/o touch bar (same weight).

(I intentionally left out the 15" MBP)


And the MacBook and MacBook Pro w/o touch bar still have the older butterfly keyboard without membrane.

Their line-up is quite a mess. I don't see why they haven't updated the MacBook Pro without touch bar or the MacBook 12". If you want a MacBook Pro without a touch bar, you are basically screwed, unless you can accept a potentially unreliable keyboard.


I don't recall reading of this. (I'm not a Mac guy, but friends...) The current, "lesser" MacBook Pro that retains the function keys, does not share the keyboard technology of the current, trouble-prone (dust, failed keystrokes, etc.) "premium" models having the touch bar?

Nope, they didnt revise the non-touchbar 13" MacBook Pro the last time they bumped the touchbar models. it didnt get updated CPU or the keyboard membrane. I am expecting themt o ditch it, now that the Air is cheaper, newer, and has touchID and a newer keyboard.

The MacBook Pro with function keys does have the trouble prone keyboard design.

The MacBook Pro with touchbar received a slightly updated keyboard that is supposed to fix some of the issues people had with the old one.


Also, as opposed to MBA, MacBook is fanless.

It needs air.

I think we’ve solved the mystery here

I can confirm -- mine was caught in a rainstorm and drowned.

This is a great point that a lot of people seem to miss (or just don't care). I do care because I don't like to worry about dust accumulating internally, noisy/malfunctioning fans, etc.

Additionally regarding the Air vs Pro w/o touch bar:

The Air is 100$ cheaper, and has the TouchId scanner and the newer-gen keyboard.

The Pro has a 15W TDP vs 7W TDP CPU with slightly higher performance, and a TrueTone display with higher brightness.

I would probably pay the 8% extra, but overall those things are very close.


I think the Pro w/o touch bar will probably get dropped sometime soon. I don't think the slightly higher performance of that MBP model will sell enough to warrant the SKU. Especially considering the keyboard differences. If the Touchbar-less MBP didn't warrant a model update with the newer gen keyboard, I could easily see Apple selling through their stock and dropping it.

Totally possible. That again would have the result that they increased all their prices by a whole class, without most people recognizing it. The MacBook Air is then at the level of old 13" Pros, and the Pro is much higher (at the previous Pro+Touchbar level). That approach would match what they did with the new iPhones, where the X also moved the price range for an iPhone by a big amount.

Yup. The Macbook Air is heavier (and has more ports) than the Macbook.

I suspect this is because Apple gives so little attention to Mac now and updates products two or three times a decade. So when one product is updated, the rest of the lineup seems incongruous.


> updates products two or three times a decade

Just the overall design — there are substantial internal updates (silicon, battery, etc.) every 12-18 months for most lines. Air had been waiting a while, though.

> heavier (and has more ports) ... I suspect this is because Apple gives so little attention to Mac now

A simpler explanation: There's a market for a laptop somewhere between MB and MBP.


And it has function keys!

Function keys _and_ TouchID? How is that possible? ;)

Yes, TouchID is a keeper!

Any chance Apple will back out on the touch bar for MBP's — "We've learned from that experience."? I have one and am not thrilled with the touch bar, but I really prefer fingerprint unlocking over typing a password.


It's great for quick access to emoji's though - my #1 usage, sadly :)

Touch ID is temporary. FaceID is the future.

Apple Watch unlock is even better - especially when I'm at work and my mac is off to the side with my focus on my 2 external monitors.

I just walk up to my desk, tap the space bar and the watch and mac do their thing and I'm logged in. It's awesome.


There's Unlox, where you can lock/unlock based on phone proximity. It was wonky last time I used it, but that functionality with the watch is too good.

https://unlox.it/


MacID works better it also locks more reliably when you step away from your desk.

Are they not the same?

> MacID 2.0 is now available has been renamed to Unlox.


Maybe I'm old fashioned but I just don't understand what's so difficult about typing in a password that warrants the facial recognition system.

Oh, it's totally just convenience, no other reason.

I suppose you could argue that if you then forced people to use longer, more complex passwords, they would have fewer issues.


Get BetterTouchTool.

It allows you to fully customise the buttons making it infinitely more useful.


Even with this, the Touchbar is gimmicky garbage. Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't want this even if I can customize it.

Function keys _and_ TouchID _and_ an Escape Key. That’s like Kinder Surprise... three wishes at once!

> The Macbook Air is heavier (and has more ports) than the Macbook.

We could call the latter "Macbook (void)" - void is lighter than air ...


The avoided the MacBook Helium that would have disabled modern iPhones...

Anyone know if one of those lines will be discontinued? Seems odd to maintain both the macbook and macbook air

No one outside Apple (and maybe inside too) knows for certain. They don't share information like that in advance.

The 12" MacBook is popular in Asia where that screen format is allegedly more popular.

I can say that having traveled for months with a 12" MacBook it was a great little machine for what I wanted (collecting photos, checking mail and the web, and writing lots of code in Emacs). I plan to get another and make my 15" MBP behemoth a desktop.


Potentially all of them within a few years depending on how aggressively they migrate to their own CPUs.

It's been speculated that next year the MacBook won't have an Intel processor. Instead it'll have the A{n+1}x chip and my guess is that the Air will be the cheapest and smallest Mac with Intel still inside.

The naming is confusing. The new "air" should have really been called a "Macbook Max" or XL or whatever the current nomenclature is, because well, that's what it is. It uses the Y series CPU so I wouldn't expect the performance levels to be anywhere near as good as those on past-generation Airs when compared to their Pro brethren at the time.

No. The MacBook(12”) took the place of the old 11”(11.6”) MacBook Air, which did not have as many ports as the 13” model so nothing’s really changed other than the name.

Ironically, that old 11" air is better than the Macbook

What gave you the impression that the MacBook replaced the Air? The Air has never been discontinued.

Yeah I don't understand it - both of these models should not exist together.

> Soldered, non-serviceable, non-upgradeable storage and RAM is a serious bummer on a $1,200+ laptop.

I don't mind the RAM. There's only two options upfront: 8GB and 16GB and I know what I need. The non-serviceable storage however, even with the Thunderbolt 3 ports for external storage (because who wants external storage on a laptop), is a bummer.

I just recently upgraded an 11" Air from 128 GB SSD to 1 TB SSD. It seems that storage demands only go up over time; that's much less so the case with RAM or CPU these days.


Also, after the fans the storage is the most random (not from abuse) failure prone part on most laptops. Well, I guess the keyboard on the MBPs might edge it out if you don't count "not only using it in a cleanroom" as abuse.

It has been getting better as people work the bugs out of their SSD controllers, but it does mean the whole laptop is garbage if the MLC flash chip craps out.


Someone will realize they can create a business around hot-airing MLC flash chips from otherwise working logic boards.

If you don't mind me asking, can you share the 1TB SSD you chose?

I have an 11" that I would be interested in upgrading, but was unaware there were compatible parts like that.


I used the Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C adapter[0] which I think I ordered from eBay and a Samsung 970 EVO 1TB[1]. I have a MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015). I used this tool kit[2].

You _must_ upgrade the Mac to High Sierra or Mojave before doing this. The upgrade to High Sierra upgrades the boot firmware adding NVMe support. I made sure my Mac was upgraded and had a time machine backup. I then installed the new SSD, booted from a USB flash drive with the Mojave installer, formatted the drive with Disk Utility, then restored from the Time Machine backup. More details here[3].

I've had it installed a couple weeks and don't have any issues with it. Sleep, hibernate, everything works perfectly. No crashes. It may be a little warmer when in heavy use, but I'm not sure. I can't say if it's affected battery life because I'm not mindful about how long the batter lasts. I also didn't run any performance testing on the old drive or new, but I didn't notice any changes.

[0] http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2...

[1] https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BN217QG/

[2] https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0743CK4SF/

[3] https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/287644/do-macbooks...


The only third part SSD vendor I’m aware of is OWC: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-air/2013-201...

Sintech makes an adapter that allows you to use a variety of NVMe drives. They have a few versions of the adapter. I used this one:

http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2...


The soldered RAM is really bad, making adding RAM impossible. I get it. They want you to buy a new Mac every couple years. It's really annoying.

I've considered adding SDXC 512GB card to the SDXC slot to expand storage, less thing to lug around than an external Thunderbolt drive.


I'm pretty ambivalent about the RAM thing. The CPUs they're using don't support more than 16GB of RAM, anyway, and I'd guess that nobody who both cares and has the tech knowledge to be likely to upgrade RAM is going to be buying the 8GB model in the first place. For me, the deeper problem there is, why should I be feeling anguish about being able to upgrade them memory in a (non desktop replacement) latpop in the first place?

20 years ago, when we were collectively trying to squeeze more and more out of personal computers at a fairly decent clip, it made some sense. At this point, though, things have tapered off outside of a few special cases like large-scale data crunching and serious gaming, neither of which was ever really a primary use case for Macs in the first place.

What's left for reasons why you might need ever more RAM are things that feel kind of silly. On my personal computer, the big RAM suckers in recent memory have been ad-heavy news websites and (bafflingly) the Slack desktop app. In both cases, I'm pretty sure the reason why they get away with sucking more and more RAM is that we're rolling over and buying more RAM instead of putting some more pressure on software developers about being wasteful.

I rather wish Grace Hopper were still around to give a memory consumption version of her "nanoseconds" lecture.


Not always the case - my 2014 MBP Retina has an i7-4870HQ CPU. According to Intel's ARK, the CPU supports 32GB RAM. However, the maximum you could spec until this year was 16GB on any model. Even worse, I got my hands on a 2012 MacBook Air with an i7-3667U CPU. The maximum those models ever went to was 8GB. This i7 also supports 32GB. Finally, the latest range-topper 15" MBP has an i9-8950HK chip that supports 64GB, double the amount Apple will solder permanently to the board for you.

Part of this is due to increasing DRAM densities, and used to be a good thing with Macs - frequently the device's practical maximum RAM would be twice what Apple listed as possible, since the DRAM density doubles between the time the machine is released and you actually need to upgrade the machine. However, with the RAM now soldered, we can't benefit from the increasing densities right as we start needing more RAM.

When I upgraded, I bought a Skylake laptop with 16GB of socketed RAM and the option with the CPU to increase that to 64GB down the line. 32GB SO-DIMMs only became possible this year.

I've read that Apple's limits of 16GB were usually down to power draw, that adding more RAM would require more power, thus bigger batteries to keep up the marketing battery life, and it was easier to just limit the RAM to '16GB is enough'.

That all said, I cannot deny that modern applications are RAM guzzlers and developers seem to revel in the glut of available memory. Still, there are situations where you need all that RAM (e.g. multi-k video production... perhaps that's where the 'Pro' in MacBook Pro came from?!), and you just can't get around that requirement.


Well Slack is an electronjs app.

I think developers are still chasing the ‘write once run anywhere’ Holy Grail. This time it’s JavaScript.


Running in Electron accounts for a few tens of megabytes, tops. I'm not convinced it's really all that much worse than the runtime environments for popular interpreted and managed languages.

The other 2-3GB (I'm not even kidding) seemed to be a result of keeping a copy every single attachment and Giphy image that anyone posts in memory, indefinitely. Like with any good memory leak, the solution was to bounce the application.

I use vscode quite a bit, and it doesn't eat RAM in a way that seems reminiscent of what people like to blame on Electron apps. Perhaps what we like to lay at the feet of Electron is more appropriately blamed on there being a lot of JavaScript developers who haven't been sufficiently educated in how to manage memory.


RAM I mind less than SSD as SSDs wear and have a habit of failing. A mobo swap at 4 years is going to be a hellishly expensive way of fixing a failed SSD. Clearly they want to make it too expensive to be worthwhile.

At least RAM is likely to be good as long as the rest of the system.


So can I just use the card reader slot (mid 2012 MBA) to boot it on one that has a faulty storage (died after 4 yrs) instead of going for the costly flash drive replacement?

Not sure whether booting work. Might need to check the boss bios.

I know people use it to store VM images and run them off the flash disk.


FYI: there’s some handy form-fitting microSD-SD adapters that install flush or with a small tab.

Just don’t insert them into a non-Mac, you’ll have a fun time pulling them out.

Just a couple dollars from Asia from your favourite online auction house.


Ain't no SD card slot on the 2018 Air.

Boo-urns.

I wonder…

I can kind of understand, at least when space is at such a premium as it is in a MacBook Air, soldering everything onto a single logic board. But why not allow that logic board to be upgraded?

While it would be very un-Apple to offer upgrade kits to end users, I could very easily see the company offering upgrades as a Genius service (maybe also selling the parts to authorized service providers). You’d go to an Apple store, pay the upgrade price for a logic board with more storage or RAM (or a faster CPU), come back in an hour or two, and your MacBook would be waiting for you with the upgrade.

It could be a huge green PR coup for Apple, as well as a way to drive post-sale revenue.


Labor is expensive. Even just standard non-upgrade repairs are extremely expensive for Apple products, if you don't have some type of warranty (extended or otherwise).

For the previous MacBook airs, logic boards were usually interchangeable.

One could change their 2gb logic board for a 4gb.

3rd parties should be able to do it.


There’s only one logic board design fir the Airs, in two configurations just fur storage. They’d have to design and manufacture new board configurations just for upgraders. No way that could ever be economical.

Another reason for the big song and dance about how environmentally friendly they are with recycled aluminium and so on. It stops Greenpeace and other groups shaming them for the environmentally unfriendly practice of creating products that are not repairable or upgradable which obviously shortens its usable lifespan causing more co2 emissions from people going through more devices.

Under Cooks leadership they are doing everything they can to squeeze every last dollar from their customer base in a masterclass of price, strategy and product positioning and the supposed value proposition (touchbar, etc) is often dubious at best.


According to their latest report their maintenance costs are declining quite quickly. This implies the lifespan of their devices is lengthening.

Lifespan isn't just about repairability, if something doesn't fail then you don't need to take it apart.


Or it could mean that the average maintenance cost is so high the customers are opting not to repair but to buy a new device.

I wonder if it's due to the trend that the sales and new user acquisition are stagnating so they are just locking the "loyal" user-base so tight that they should keep paying regular amounts in the form of costly repairs and extremely costly upgrades as some kind of ecosystem rent. Because I all I see is dwindling value, more so if compared to increasing prices.

I thought the aluminum had more to do with being conductive to heat, and allowing for thinner devices.

The “non-repairability” does mean old units get harvested for parts instead of scrapped for aluminum.

When I’m ready to upgrade, i’ve Sold the still-usable parts and funded a substantial cost of buying the new version.


What matters from an environmental point of view is average device longevity, and for that Apple devices are through the roof. Only a tiny minority of computers are ever upgraded, us geeks are a slim demographic.

The fact that we are still seeing 128GB non-upgradeable SSD’s on a base-level Mac is insanity.

For any poor soul who has had to do mobile development work on one of these, the ‘you are low on risk space’ notification is like a spectre that haunts dreams.

The environmental impact alone of non-upgradeable units is a serious issue in my eyes. Previous Macs have lasted me up to 8 years or so with nice and consistent upgrades over the years.

The small amount of thinness or whatever it is has been the trade off is not worth it.

We’ve lost the exterior battery button, we’ve lost MagSafe, the butterfly keyboards have had scathing reviews at best, and, in what seems like the most open statement of ‘we’re not even the same company any more’, they’ve even removed lost the trademark glowing Apple on the back.

It has moved beyond the point where I need to draw the line and will be building the most compatible hackintosh I can as my next laptop.


It's not exactly a development machine, with a 7W processor. But if you want to do dev on one, you can buy one with a 256GB (or more?) SDD.

I think you’re missing my point that as time goes by, the need for storage space has a tendency to increase, and thusly, without the ability to upgrade, and with asinine prices from Apple for their SSD’s instead of about half that for a very nice quality SSD of the same capacity, I’d prefer to buy a baseline 8GB/128GB unit and upgrade it myself for 1/3rd of the price like I have for every other single Mac I’ve bought in my 15+ years of purchasing them.

Furthermore, a MacBook Pro, which one could certainly call a development machine, still starts with a baseline, non-upgradeable 128GB unit.

Virtually no ‘pro’ task, Image Editing, Software Develoment, Video Editing, Audio Editing, that Macs have typically and historically been used for, are suited to these 128GB drives and create machines that need to be thrown out and add to e-waste instead of having any meaningful longevity.

I know this because I do these types of tasks all the time, and was forced into a 2017 13” MBP with a 128GB SSD and paltry 8GB of RAM earlier this year due to having it given to me as a work machine. Using it was an unpleasant experience unlike any computer I’d used, much less a Mac.

And why? For aesthetic purposes? For greed/profit? What’s the use of their ‘all-aluminum’ eco-friendly goals, if they create machines that intentionally have a 3-4 year shelf life baked into them? It’s mind-boggling.

We pay a premium for Apple devices, and more and more, especially as the prices seem to constantly be creeping upwards at this point, the conscessions we need to make to use them have become far greater than the benefits.

RIP Apple computers. Hello, Apple, Inc.


>I think you’re missing my point that as time goes by, the need for storage space has a tendency to increase

Hahaha, my Acer laptop from 2008 had 160GB storage space, and it was not much by the standards of the time.

So no, we're still not back to 2008-level storage space needs on a laptop.


But that Acer laptop from 2008 would no doubt let you upgrade the RAM and HDD, which is my overall point.

Apple has turned their products from some of the most high-class computers and devices on the planet, to, it seems, greed and drivel.


It's amazing. Everyone I spoke to, everyone who reviews Macs for a living and everyone who comments on it seems to agree: Apple makes a long, confusing list of Macbooks that all seem to compromise on the features that made them popular in the past. There's not a single Macbook that's universally loved by its target audience and that's quite a feat.

This just shows just how much has changed in the last few years.

Their push to increase revenues on a per-unit basis as opposed to reaching more customers will leave them incredibly exposed when someone else finally comes along and builds a laptop that developers are happy with at a fraction of the cost of whatever the next gen-MBPs are priced at. It might not be next year, but they're not gonna be beloved forever if they keep this up.


I recently purchased my first non-Mac laptop, after owning a few MacBook Pros since 2007. My most recent MBP fried its discrete graphics chip, and it just didn't really make sense to pay what Apple wants for the current confused lineup. I ended up with a Dell XPS 9370, which has turned out to be a really nice little machine. Windows takes a bit of getting used to, but even Windows isn't nearly as awful as it used to be.

Looking at the competition nobody is even close to the "fraction of the cost" unless we are talking 9/10 or 4/5 as fractions.

You can get a lighter and much more powerful Lenovo or Dell laptop but not for what you would normally call a fraction.

And despite their good build quality, neither the masses nor the Mac complainers are buying XPS's or X1's. The reason is of course that they are neither universally better not significantly cheaper.

Apple is still by far the best at things that are hard to put on a spec sheet, while Lenovo and Dells spec sheets are kicking Apples ass.

And you are not going to see things change or a new player come in and take this market, because the market for laptops is shrinking. This is why apple is trying to increase revenue per unit and unit churn rate. Us premium laptop users are becoming a niche.


Until a team with resources comparable to the OS X team puts in the effort to polish some Ubuntu derivative and make it work flawlessly with one or a few particular hardware configurations, Apple will still have an advantage that many are willing to pay a premium for.

I have a T470P (the i7-7700HQ with 2560x1440@14" came in about half of a Macbook Pro in my country), I've genuinely had to do nothing to make Fedora 26 (then 27) work on it perfectly since I got it.

It of course came with Windows 10 and that's the rub, it's a crap shoot since I knew I'd be able to get Linux to work fine I just didn't know how much work (if any) would be required.

I was pleasantly surprised.


Windows subsystem for linux has pretty much achieved this.

...and here I am with my 2010 13' core2duo. 16gigs of ram, an SSD a variety of ports and flying along nicely. Still on the original battery and getting about 5-6 hours on a full charge.

I had a 2012 model I just replaced with a new MacBook Pro for a variety of reasons. Mine only had 8gb of RAM. I replaced the battery once (very easy job) and it was hands down my favorite computer of all time. The laser thin bezel on the front is perfect for typing.

Happy with the new MacBook Pro (32gb of ram!) but part of me regrets not waiting a few weeks and grabbing the new Air.


Surely that speaks to the build quality of the devices?

Yes, but also the upgradability!

If I was stuck with the original 120gb HDD and the stock 4gb of RAM it would be in no way 'usable' as it is now.


i have one of those i should upgrade and give away. can you recommend your ram and ssd?

I went to Crucial.com, downloaded and ran their little spec checking tool and then maxed out what I could.

I was lucky in that the model I had allowed an EFI upgrade (I think?) a few years ago which enabled the 16gb ram.

I use a new 15' Macbook in the office and I have with-drawl symptoms with that new keyboard. Nice machines though, just a pity they are not serviceable.


Macbook aside, I always wondered how many laptops it takes IFIXIT to determine how to take the laptop apart. Is there always a sacrifice laptop where they dissemble regardless of breaking stuff? Then they take what they learned on the "real" laptop?

Exactly none. I think you’re overestimating the difficulty of taking things apart.

Welp. There goes the last laptop Apple makes without a garbage keyboard.

I actually like the new keyboard... :( My fingers feel a lot less fatigued over time vs using a traditional mechanical keyboard. And even compared to the 2015 MBP, the newer keyboards feel more comfortable to relax my fingers on. While I never bothered doing a speed comparison between the two, I feel like I type slightly faster, albeit with slightly more mistakes. For example, reaching for the y key will occasionally cause my pinky to accidentally press the semi-colon key.

Mechanical keyboards should provide much less fatigue if you avoid "bottoming out", which is much easier to do when a key has lots of travel and a dampening force curve. Most people suffer fatigue from these very low travel Apple keyboards as fingers will come to an abrupt hard stop. It's almost like typing on a hard surface.

The Apple keyboards were designed to be thin at the expense of everything else, reliability, maintainence, longevity, and comfort.


The keyboards seem to be very divisive. I know a lot of people who like them or don't mind them. I flat out cannot use them, and not for lack of trying.

I like the clickiness, and initial feel is very positive, but after a few minutes I find it really frustrating to type on them.

I'm weirdly ashamed to say I don't hate the new keyboard...

I'm just not a keyboard connoisseur, it seems.


I guess the way it feels is subjective — and I certainly have strong opinions about that.

The two class action lawsuits against Apple for the butterfly switches however is some objective proof that something has gone terribly wrong.


Filing class action lawsuits is not proof of legitimacy, for example https://www.keytlaw.com/blog/2010/07/apple-sued-because-ipad...

That was for the previous Butterfly design, the new one (on the Air and now most Pros) purports to solve the problems.

As far as I know, there is no new design. They just now stick a plastic film under the keys to stop dust getting in and destroying your entire machine.

Does it work?

also no traditional USB and no MagSafe. My next laptop will be a non-Apple one. (luckily my McBook Air serves me well, recently extended its lifespan with new battery)

Interesting that the keys now have a little skirt to apparently stop particles.

Though I had to use my 2013 Air recently while my 2017 MBP was in the shop (keyboard aka whole front panel + battery replacement) and wished they'd just kept the high-action keyboard that could weather the grime between cleanings.


This has been the case with all the new 2018 MacBook Pro. Its called 3rd Generation Butterfly Keyboard.

It is new so we are still waiting to see if there are reports of Key malfunctioning after some longer period of use.


thats a 3/10? That seems like a low score given the rest of the article

This is mostly due to the keyboard still being part of the chassis. If the keyboard fails, everything needs to be dismantled, and most of the laptop case needs to be replaced.

It sounds like the new keyboard is more reliable, but IMO this is an unacceptably bad design. I say that as a person who really likes the "feel" of the new keys, incidentally.

I've been harping on about this for years now: If it's true that Apple sees Macs as "like trucks" (and thus iOS devices as the cars that most people need), they need to make Macs… like trucks!

[edit] these "pull-able glue strips" are a big step back in the right direction, at least


This is mostly due to the keyboard still being part of the chassis.

And they mention having to remove the logic board to replace the battery as a downside.


It's actually a step up: the 2016-2018 MacBook Pro series scores 1/10.

Think a 10/10 would be a computer with every part (including RAM, SSD, CPU) user-replaceable with no specialized equipment.

No need to guess. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg97ovaD-b4 What Does it Take to get a 10 out of 10 iFixit Repairability Score?

They've even issued a few. This one is for a phone. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/ifixit-gives-modular...


And no consumable components that need to be replaced in the process of a repair (i.e. the adhesive strips holding down the batteries and speakers).

Easily repairable Thunderbolt ports is great news. My 2013 MacBook Air's is busted now and that means no external display output, and a knock to resale value or hope of donating this machine to a friend when done with it (I wouldn't want to give them a computer broken in this way).

I recently had to swap out the screen in my mother’s much abused 2015 12” MacBook. That machine was a nightmare to work on with many components attached to the bottom cover and flimsy ribbons connecting top to bottom making basic access challenging.

It’s nice to see this machine have a more sane design.


It's good to see that the battery isn't glued to the top case. I'm not sure if the airs have ever had it glued, but the pros sure did.

It was always a bummer to tell people that a bad battery meant replacing the entire upper case.


They used epoxy?

Usually when companies glue parts together inside electronics they use rubber cement, which can usually be peeled off without damaging the component or the housing. It's an inconvenience, not a roadblock to repair.


When my retina-display macbook pro battery swelled, they replaced the entire top case. It appears to be policy that the top case and battery are one piece.

Probably the difference between having Apple replace it and doing it yourself with a $20 battery you bought off of the Internet. Well, that and a few hundred bucks.

I can see why they wouldn't want the techs doing that in the store, one of the failure modes if you screw it up is a lithium fire. Also, if the battery had started to swell up it may have bent the case. Apple doesn't leave much room for expansion with their batteries anymore.


I think it’s the default policy. My rMBP from 2012 started to have battery issues and I got a $300 quote for replacement that included a new top car.

Got the $80 battery from ifixit and replaced the battery relatively easily. It did have me pour generous amounts for aceton (nail polish remover) into my MacBook to unglue the battery though, was happy that everything still worked after.


Yes, they replace the battery and the top case together during the battery replacement.

I always like getting a new battery when something else fails in the top case.

So the air have tons of ports, function keys, escape key, touch ID, a fan not connected to anything thermal! and is heavier.

while the "PRO" macbook have a single usbC on 12", no fans, no f-keys, no escape key.

Apple is now a true Mainstream Consumer PC manufacturer! The models means nothing! Now you have to dive in model numbers and specific production runs to get what you want, just like buying Asus et al.


You’re mixing up the “MacBook” with the MBP. Pro is 13”, has four USB-C ports and fan cooling. Function keys optional on the (quite crappy) base models.

The 13" MBP has two USB-C's, not four. The 15" has four.

You and parent are mixing up the 2 lines of 13" MBP.

Non-touch bar has two ports. Touch bar has four.

https://support.apple.com/kb/SP775?locale=en_US




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