Apple's newly launched MacBook Air comes as a solid upgrade over the previous generation model. The 2020 edition not only gets improved internals at a cheaper price but also a more reliable keyboard.
iFixit has taken apart the premium laptop to reveal the improved Magic Keyboard setup that we saw on the 16-inch model and a fairly repair-friendly modular design.
The teardown confirms that Apple has replaced its faulty Butterfly keyboard with the new Magic Keyboard. The new setup is 0.5mm thicker and doesn't come with a silicone barrier that was used in the Butterfly keyboard to ward off dust and debris.
However, servicing the keyboard is tough given it is still integrated into the top case and requires complete disassembling.
The 2020 MacBook Air also gets a larger heatsink and a new cable configuration between the logic board and the trackpad. With this cable layout, the trackpad and battery can be taken apart without removing the logic board. Hence, repairs and battery replacements will be easier and faster.
Moreover, components like the fan, speakers, and ports are modular and easy to access.
iFixit gives devices a score based on how difficult or easy they are to repair. The new MacBook Air was awarded a score of 4 (10 is the easiest to repair), which is one point more than the 2018 MacBook Air received.
As for some of the drawbacks, iFixit noted that the soldered, non-serviceable and non-upgradeable SSD and RAM is "a real bummer."
The 2020 MacBook Air retains the slim and lightweight profile of its predecessor while packing improved internals and the reliable new scissor-switch style keyboard.
It runs on the latest 10th-generation Intel Ice Lake processors with the top model offering a 1.2GHz quad-core i7 chipset.
Lastly, the base model now starts at $999 (previously $1,099) and offers 256GB of storage instead of 128GB.
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