Teardowns carried out by self-repair firm iFixit on the refreshed 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air laptops that Apple announced earlier this week confirmed the company's statements that the 13-inch version is "up to two times faster" than the 11-inch version.
Apple said that it added Intel 6000 graphics and Broadwell chips to the MacBook Air laptops, but while both models got similar updates to their processors, the 13-inch version got an extra upgrade in the form of a new PCIe-based flash storage that the 11-inch version did not receive.
With the teardown, or the dismantling of the laptops to study their components and assess self-repair difficulties, iFixit looked to test the claim of Apple that the 13-inch MacBook Air is "two times faster" compared to its smaller 11-inch version. iFixit tested the SSD speeds of the models, and results revealed that the claims are indeed true.
The average write speed for the 11-inch MacBook Air is found to be 315MB/s and the average read speed is 668MB/s. The 13-inch model, on the other hand, saw an average write speed of 629.9MB/s and an average read speed of 1,285.4MB/s.
The teardowns conducted by iFixit also revealed that the MacBook Air laptops were the only remaining kind of MacBook that did not have a battery glued to other components. If a battery is glued to other parts, the device becomes more expensive and harder to repair, as in the case with the Retina MacBook Pro, where the battery is glued to the frame. If the Retina MacBook Pro's battery requires a replacement, owners are forced to have it replaced by Apple or an authorized service provider instead of being able to replace it by themselves.
iFixit also found that the new MacBook Air laptops feature the same model numbers, specifically A1465 and A1466, compared to their predecessors, along with no major changes to the construction of the laptop. The battery specs of the laptops also appear to have not changed compared to their previous versions.
iFixit issued a similar 4 out of 10 score for the new MacBook Air laptops compared to the previous versions, a score that shows how easy it is for users to conduct repairs by themselves on the device, with 10 being the easiest. According to iFixit, removing the exterior casing of the new MacBook Air laptops by utilizing a special screwdriver remains as one of the most noteworthy difficulties for attempting to self-repair the laptop.
The refreshed 13-inch MacBook Air is now available through Apple's retail and online stores for prices that begin at $999, going up to $1,199 for an upgrade to take its flash storage up to 512GB.