New 13-Inch MacBook Air Teardown Reveals Bigger Battery, Smaller SSD

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At a glance, Apple’s latest MacBook Air notebooks appear identical to their predecessors, but when you take a look under the hood, there are some obvious differences. Not only do they boast Intel’s latest Haswell processors, but they also have larger capacity batteries and smaller solid-state flash drives.

iFixit got its hands on the new 13.3-inch MacBook Air, which was unveiled at WWDC on Monday, and instantly began pulling it apart to get at its insides. Although the new machine is very similar to its predecessor, there are some interesting differences.

Firstly, the latest model has a better battery, with a 7,150mAh capacity up from 6,700mAh. This is what helps the new MacBook Air achieve that “all day battery life,” with promises of up to 12 hours of use on a full charge.

In addition to this, Apple has turned to frenemy Samsung for the flash storage, introducing smaller solid-state chips in the new model. In this case, smaller means better; the new drives use PCIe connections rather than SATA, which helps make them “up to 45% faster,” according to Apple.

The new MacBook Air's SSD (top) vs. the old MacBook Air's SSD.

The new MacBook Air’s SSD (top) vs. the old MacBook Air’s SSD.

iFixit notes, however, that the new connection means older MacBook Air storage won’t fit the newer model, “making it harder to find parts if you want to upgrade.” That may also mean upgrades will be more expensive for a while.

Other changes in the latest MacBook Air include a completely redesigned AirPort card, a new heat sink clamp, and some minor changes to the layout of internal components.

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About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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