(Antfer) #1

It's Fun to Take


(^3) Things Apart
// BY K E VIN DUPZ Y K //


NUMBER


OF PARTS:


508


NOTES:On stage in 2008, Steve Jobs pulled an entire laptop out of
a manila envelope. It had a full-size keyboard, a screen, batteries,
ports—everything most of us would need from a laptop, all
somehow fit into a case that was 0.76 inch at the thickest point.
It was a technological triumph that would go on to dictate the
design of every portable personal computer that came after.
Apple updated the Air once in 2010, but otherwise left the basic
design alone until last year. As much as its external aesthetics,
the Air’s internal layout demonstrates the design brilliance that
helped Apple dominate the consumer technolog y market.

PRODUCED:
CHINA


TIME TO DISASSEMBLE:
4 HOURS, 56 MINUTES


How to open


and update an


older Mac.


MacBook


Air


(Mid-






10 September 2019


THE EASY UPGRADE: RAM /


The Air was Apple’s first Mac
Book with the RAM (random-
access memory) card soldered
into the Logic (mother)board,
so you can’t just plug in a new
card. You can, however, buy and
plug in a brand new Logic board
to boost the RAM to 8GB. It’ll
run you around $200 from a
reputable eBay reseller.

DON’T MESS: THE BATTERY /
Unless you’re a pro, tamper-
ing with an aging lithium-ion
battery can be dangerous. The
MacBook Air’s four cells will
bloat and expand over time,
says Computer Repair Doctor
COO Aaron Schoeffler, which
increases the risk of a puncture.
If you do attempt a battery
replacement, don’t poke or prod
at it—you could inhale fumes or
torch the entire laptop.

THIS IS BAD: SPILL FIX /
The number keys are the worst

place to spill—that’s where the
Logic board is. Your best bet is
to take it to a pro repair shop,
but here’s a pinch fix: Power it
down, use a Torx screwdriver
to remove the back cover, and
blow the moisture out and away
from the motherboard with a
compressed-air duster.

RIGHT TO REPAIR: THE SSD /
SSD stands for solid-state drive;
it’s the device that stores all
of your MacBook’s data. This
MacBook has a removable SSD,
but on newer models, Apple
soldered the SSD into the Logic
board. That made it much
more difficult to swap drives or
recover data from a damaged
computer. But on this MacBook,
your data is portable.

THE MISSING DRIVES: THE
HARD DRIVE AND OPTICAL
DRIVE / The original MacBook
Air came with the option for a
disk drive or a solid-state drive,

but the 2010 update nixed
the disk drive for a solid-state
drive that stores data on silicon
chips rather than a spinning
hard drive. That helped Apple
make the second MacBook Air
even thinner and faster than
the first.
Since its inception, the Air
shunned the optical, a.k.a.
CD-ROM (compact disc read-
only memory), drive. Maybe
Apple did it to push the Mac
App Store for software distri-
bution, but the omission also
helped it make the MacBook
Air thinner than drive-bound
competitors.

CASH IN: There’s seldom such
a thing as an unfixable computer,
but a repair might not be eco-
nomical if your MacBook Air got
run over or dropped in a pool.
But don’t toss it out: Your local
Mac repair shop might offer you
a discount or purchase credit for
the usable parts. —Dan Roe