M3 MacBook Air teardown: Lots of screws, hardly any glue and room for improvement

The repair professionals at iFixit have taken a closer look at the new Apple MacBook Air with M3 chip. There were a few positive impressions about repairability, but also comments about the points that could still be improved. Among other things, a new “Right to Repair” law from the US state of Oregon was discussed. For many, however, replacing the battery will probably be the most important thing. How this is done was shown in detail so that you can theoretically do it yourself when the time comes for the replacement after a few years.

With a little patience, the new MacBook Air can be opened and unscrewed into small parts. Adhesive is only used to hold the battery in place. You can find all the details in the video. Image source: iFixit / YouTube
With a little patience, the new MacBook Air can be opened and unscrewed into small parts. Adhesive is only used to hold the battery in place. You can find all the details in the video. Image source: iFixit / YouTube

iFixit shows teardown of the Apple MacBook Air (early 2024)

The YouTube video shared by iFixit a few days ago explains how to disassemble Apple's new M3 MacBook Air step by step. Not only do the many screws of different sizes and types play a role (the trackpad alone is held in place with ten screws), but also the numerous connectors that connect individual components and cables.

The adhesive strips under the battery cells are also positively highlighted. Not only are these the only use of adhesive in the new MacBook Air. Since they are used in a horseshoe shape, i.e. two ends belong to the same adhesive strip, you still have the option of removing the rest even if one strip is torn off. This is described as simple, but it is also emphasized that the adhesive strips can become more difficult to handle over time after several years of use, including heating.

Preliminary assessment of repairability is 5/10

At iFixit, the devices examined are always classified on a repairability scale. Thanks to the economical use of adhesive and the relatively easy removal of individual modular parts (USB-C ports, power supply port, headphone jack, Touch ID sensor, battery, etc.), there was certainly praise for the new Apple laptop. However, the “parts pairing” that Apple continues to operate was criticized. This involves the need for components that are coordinated with one another on a serial number basis.

For example, a Touch ID sensor that only works with the logic board assigned to it. This approach makes it more difficult to install new components or use individual components as spare parts in other devices. The new adjustment of the parts can only be carried out at Apple or authorized workshops. That's why the repairability remains at 5 out of 10. The new "Right to Repair" law from Oregon prohibits parts pairing. Let's see if and when it will be banned across the US and in the EU, thus leading to new component combinations.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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