MacBook Air

The Teardown: Macbook Air

The physical engineering of the second generation Macbook Air design is as important as the shift to a near fully solid state laptop.

With its 13.3in screen, 1.32kg weight and sleek aluminium body, the Macbook Air combines the capability to meet the demands of all but the most onerous tasks while barely adding to your carry-on luggage.

The model (MC503LL/A) here'is the second generation Air released late last year but which was recently replaced by'a'configuration featuring Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU design'and super-fast Thunderbolt I/O. Nevertheless, the versions share much in common. The second generation Air was configured with 2GB of'DDR3 memory and 128GB of'SSD storage.

'The design that has all but gone solid state,' notes Wayne Lam, principal analyst with IHS'iSuppli. 'Gone are the spinning hard-disk drives and optical drives and in their place, we see a solid state drive (SSD) and reliance on wireless networking. This change in laptop DNA shifts the use-case towards a truly mobile experience.'

An aggressive approach to form factor has been maintained. 'For this model, we still saw an Intel ultra-mobile Core 2 Duo processor as in its predecessor, although there has now been a move to Sandy Bridge. However, the entire physical all-aluminum unibody construction had been'updated to reflect know-how Apple gathered in three years of producing the MacBook Air's'original enclosures,' says'Lam.

There are still some technological innovations led by that blade-type SSD module. The new format eliminates the physical constraints imposed by more conventional 1.8in drives or mSATA variants. It has allowed Apple to pack in a SSD on a 24mm-wide daughter board configuration on top of the main PCB within the ultra-thin constraints inherent in a product like this.

Further equipped with a 13.3in Samsung display and 6850mAh four-cell Li-Ion Polymer battery, the second generation MacBook Air sets the'new standard in an all solid'state ultra mobile computing platform. *

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