iFixit: the more robust keyboard in the new MacBook Air is just 0.5 mm thicker than its predecessor
16.04.2020 0 Comments
Apple recently released an updated version of the MacBook Air, which, among other changes, also received the “new” Magic Keyboard. The words “new” are in quotation marks because the company actually abandoned the butterfly-type keyboard and returned to using the time-tested scissor mechanism.
IFixit experts got at their disposal a new Apple MacBook Air laptop, disassembled it traditionally, studied the features of its design and drew attention to the keyboard. So, experts found that the “new” scissor-type keyboard has a height of about 0.5 mm more compared to the previous butterfly keyboard. After that, iFixit wondered if saving the keyboard block height of 0.5 mm was worth the whole five years of suffering for users who often faced the problem of keyboard operation with butterfly switches.
In the process of disassembling, it was also found that the keys lack the silicone barrier that was present in the keys of the MacBook Pro laptop, which had previously been disassembled. Apple originally stated that this silicone barrier is required to keep the keys quieter. But later it became known from internal documents that it is intended to prevent debris from entering the internal butterfly mechanism. Rejecting Apple butterfly switches is no longer necessary to continue to use this protective silicone barrier.
Having disassembled the device into individual components, iFixit experts assigned the new Apple MacBook Air laptop a maintainability rating of 4 out of 10. Note that a maximum score of 10 corresponds to the most easily repairable devices. Thus, the model in question is repairable, but this process cannot be called easy.
However, compared with the previous model, some improvements in terms of maintainability are noticeable. For example, the trackpad cable is no longer blocked by the motherboard. Thus, to replace the trackpad, you do not need to remove the motherboard. Similarly, improved access to the battery, which is located under the trackpad cable. Thanks to this, the repair and replacement of the trackpad and battery can be made faster and easier. Of the negative points, it is noted that the keyboard, although it has become more reliable, is still integrated into the upper part of the case, and for its maintenance it will be necessary to completely disassemble the device. In addition, the RAM and SSD are soldered to the motherboard, so you can forget about the easy upgrade.