The 'miserable experience' of iFixit's new MacBook Air teardown has me yearning for the hot-swappable future of gaming laptops

You might not be surprised to learn that taking a MacBook Air apart is a pain in the butt. iFixit makes that abundantly clear in a recent teardown of the new 15-inch MacBook Air. In checking to see just how reparable the thing is, as is iFixit's main calling, they dub it a "miserable experience". Listening to the presenter's pain makes me so glad to be a PC gamer.

This new MacBook Air has a "summer bod" to show off, as they call it. And with it being so light and portable, "you're ready for a day at the beach." One sneaky Star Wars sand reference later, the presenter is elbows deep in the machine.

And he wasn't off to a good start. Immediately, he notices that taking out the battery continues a trend the company has been seeing, with it once again delivering the same "miserable battery replacement experience" as last year's model.

The next step was getting to the logic board, though that proved more difficult than anticipated.

"The new force cancelling woofers appear to be trapping the logic board," he laments, "and are in turn trapped by the hinge cover screws, and the antenna assembly cover, and some tiny connector brackets, right speaker connector, coax connectors, left speaker connector and more—that’s one heck of a maze."

The "miserable experience continues to logic board removal," the presenter goes on. With "another scattering of connectors, display cables, ports, some more brackets, even more screws—good luck keeping track of these—and finally, finally, pry the heat shield up gingerly."

iFixit's 15-inch MacBook Air teardown.

(Image credit: iFixit)
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That should have been the end of it. But wait, there's more. "There are even more connectors underneath a final bracket."

Among all the pain and suffering this poor man had to endure, he does get to have a little nerd out around the clip-securing screws, calling them "pretty neat."

That's about the extent of the rejoicing for this one, though, and while the battery—"the single component  guaranteed to fail in any tech"—is accessible, the main question for Apple is: "What's the point of these neato pull tabs if you need to remove nearly everything in the laptop to get there?"

It's stories like this that make us glad that Framework is spearheading the modular future of gaming laptops with essentially hot-swappable everything. 

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.