Skip to main content

Apple Doesn't Want You Opening the MacBook Air

On Wednesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed two new MacBook Airs and gave us a little peek inside the 13-inch version to show how well they'd used the space. Apple used what looks to be more than 50 percent of it just for the battery. So what else is inside? We know Apple offers a max of 4GB of RAM, up to 256GB (128GB for the 11-inch) in SSD storage, an Intel Core 2 Duo and Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics. But there are still things we don't know – like how easy would it be to upgrade the machine at home? We know that to save space, Apple has omitted the SSD enclosure, instead preferring to attach the flash storage directly to the board, so adding more storage is out. But could you upgrade your RAM from 2GB to 4GB yourself? Well, Apple definitely doesn't want you to, that's for sure.

The company has made it especially difficult to get inside these notebooks. iFixit reports that the designers opted for 5-point Security Torx screws to keep the fairy dust and unicorn tears (that's what these things run on, right?) locked up nice and tight. The six battery cells (a total of 35W) and the Toshiba SSD are held in place by, you guessed it, more of those pesky 5-point screws. These 5-point screws show up time and time again throughout the disassembly, each one making self-repair even more unlikely than the last. Still, if you do purchase one, at least you'll be able to send it to the iFixit gadget hospital if it breaks. They sacrificed one of their Phillips head screwdrivers, filing it until it did the trick.

Peep the full gallery (and teardown instructions if you're feeling brave) over on iFixit.

  • tacoslave
    to keep the fairy dust and unicorn tears (that's what these things run on, right?)

    Well thats what they're paring for right?
    Reply
  • Randomacts
    Why pay that much for a laptop...


    Oh why do I even bother anymore...
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    you know you can get those screwdriver tips from most hardware stores to fit those screws...... It actually looks very easy to take apart, very basic design.
    Reply
  • theshonen8899
    I think it's ironic that they try to keep people from opening it when it's so beautiful on the inside.

    Still a waste of money.
    Reply
  • Why are the "high res" images in this article so bloody small?
    Reply
  • onyx_64
    RandomactsWhy pay that much for a laptop...Oh why do I even bother anymore...
    For their looks! i think almost half the price is being charged for its design. One day when i am rich and want to spend all my money on my showcase, i'd consider one.
    Reply
  • Benihana
    iam2thecroweyou know you can get those screwdriver tips from most hardware stores to fit those screws...... It actually looks very easy to take apart, very basic design.Good point! Yeah, definitely owning all these special bits has made my life disassembling things easier. :) They beat my jury-rigged tools anyday!
    Reply
  • jskilnyk
    I don't think its worth paying that much for outdated hardware. However... I love seeing new electronics apart. Its amazing to me how compact everything is.
    Reply
  • theroguex
    onyx_64For their looks! i think almost half the price is being charged for its design. One day when i am rich and want to spend all my money on my showcase, i'd consider one.
    What looks? The "here's my piece of metal" look? Buy a real laptop, and then have someone machine you a brushed aluminum case for it. It'll be $1000 cheaper.
    Reply
  • onetwo3
    BenihanaGood point! Yeah, definitely owning all these special bits has made my life disassembling things easier. They beat my jury-rigged tools anyday!
    Maybe not. iFix-it claims that Apple ordered new special design security screws from Torx and ask them to make patent on it and only sell the screwdriver to Apple service partners and sue everybody who try to make similar head screw driver. So maybe Apple REALLY doesn’t want you to be able to open up / service your own device.
    Reply