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iFixit tears down the 11-inch MacBook Air

Less than a day after the new 11-inch MacBook Air hit shelves, iFixit's already dissected it. The repair site gave the new MacBook Air a repairability rating of 4/10, with 10 being easiest to repair. Two major obstacles face any user trying to do their own repairs on the MacBook Air. First, the screws involved in a MacBook Air teardown are T5 Torx screws for the internals and five-point security Torx on the outside, so you'd better either have those types of screwdrivers or be prepared to file down a flatblade like iFixit did. iFixit notes that once you get those screws out, servicing the MacBook Air is relatively easy, but the second obstacle is more insidious to DIY repairers: the MacBook Air takes the phrase "no user-serviceable parts inside" to a new level. Nothing inside the MacBook Air is "off the shelf." RAM is integrated into the logic board, the six-cell battery is in a weirdly customized configuration, and the flash memory the MacBook Air uses in place of a hard drive is proprietary.

Aside from the serviceability issues, the MacBook Air's internals are pretty impressively put together. Once dismantled, there's barely over a dozen major parts to the entire computer, and it's clear that not one cubic centimeter of space was wasted. However, the multiple-cell design of the battery looks a bit odd compared to the integrated batteries of the MacBook Pro line, and it'll be interesting to see what impact, if any, this has on battery reliability.