iFixit's teardown of the 2020 MacBook Air reveals it is easier to repair

Ifixit Macbook Air
Ifixit Macbook Air (Image credit: iFixit)

What you need to know

  • iFixit has done a teardown of the Macbook Air.
  • The outlet shows off the new scissor-switch keyboard.
  • A new cable configuration also makes the laptop easier to repair.

The new Macbook Air is just starting to show up on the doorsteps of customers, but that isn't stopping iFixit from tearing down the new laptop right away.

In a blog post on their website, the outlet describes some of the new things it has noticed when taking a look under the hood of the new generation of everyone's favorite laptop.

The first thing that they pointed out, which everyone will immediately notice, is the new scissor-switch keyboard. Apple replaced the polarizing butterfly keys from the previous generation of the Macbook Air with a new generation of its scissor-switch design. The 16-inch Macbook Pro was the first Apple laptop to get the keyboard upgrade, and now it has come to the Macbook Air.

"These "Magic" a.k.a. scissor keys have proven, so far, to be considerably more reliable than the Butterfly variety. No silicone barrier needed here!"

iFixit says that it is a relief to see the keyboard upgrade, as Apple received a lot of criticism for its insistence on iterating the butterfly design rather than abandoning it.

"Apple's insistence on reworking and re-reworking the troubled butterfly design came at such a high cost—financially, environmentally, and to the Mac's reputation—and for what? We'll probably never know all the factors that led to the creation and persistence of the butterfly keyboard, but this Magic keyboard is a reminder that sometimes the difference between usable and unusable, or repairable and unrepairable, can be as small as half a millimeter."

Outside of the keyboard, iFixit also noticed a new cable configuration between the laptop's logic board and the Magic trackpad. The new design not only makes it easier for the trackpad to be removed and replaced but also allows service providers to remove the batteries without having to mess with the logic board.

"Where last year the trackpad cables were trapped under the logic board, they are now free to be disconnected anytime—meaning trackpad removal can happen as soon as the back cover comes off. And since the battery rests under these same cables, this new configuration also greatly speeds up battery removal by leaving the logic board in place."

The new internal design decisions have earned the Macbook Air one more point higher on iFixit's repairability scale, now scoring a 4 out of 10.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.