Teardown of Mid-2012 MacBook Air Reveals Tweaked SSD Connector

The teardown experts at iFixit are currently in the process of taking apart the new 13-inch MacBook Air released yesterday, and while the machine appears to be only a minor update to the previous model, there are undoubtedly some changes that are worth noting.

The most notable change so far is with the solid-state storage. Apple has tweaked the connector design on the MacBook Air's integrated flash storage, making current replacement and upgrade modules from third parties incompatible with the latest models. Other World Computing has also noted this difference and indicated that they are working "full steam ahead" on launching new Aura Pro Express SSDs compatible with the 2012 MacBook Air. Apple announced at WWDC that it was using new 500 MBps SSDs in its MacBook Air, and the new connector design is likely to accommodate the faster data transfer capabilities.

macbook air 2012 ssd
Toshiba SSD in Mid-2012 MacBook Air

Beyond the SSD, iFixit has found very few changes to the MacBook Air. The new models incorporate Apple's thinner Magsafe 2 standard that the company developed as it has sought to find ways to continue reducing the thickness of its notebooks. The new MacBook Air obviously also incorporates Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processors and new 1600 MHz RAM, as well as USB 3.0 support, but these upgrades have yielded very little in terms of changes to the machine's internal layout.

macbook air 2012 magsafe 2
Left I/O board from Mid-2012 MacBook Air, with MagSafe 2 connector at left

iFixit's teardown is still underway, so there may yet be more news to come, and we will update this story with any additional discoveries of note.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Caution)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

Stetrain Avatar
125 months ago
Over the years I've built up quite a collection of MacBook power cords all throughout the house, so I can have power where ever I may be sitting. I wonder how much the MagSafe2 => MagSafe adapters are going to be.

$10: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD504ZM/A

Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smithrh Avatar
125 months ago
Eagerly anticipating the Retina MBP teardown...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dokujaryu Avatar
125 months ago
I'm so jelly of the guys that get to do this for a living.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8CoreWhore Avatar
125 months ago
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.

It might have to do with the fact that the "barrel type" acts like a hook when yanked from behind.

Secondly, by going shallower, it releases easier - so less likely to have a fall. The lighter the laptop, the lighter the grip the connector should have.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheMacBookPro Avatar
125 months ago
Can't afford those $3,000 a day hand models.

But can they afford George Costanza? :p
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lindono Avatar
125 months ago
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.

It actually was slightly thicker than a USB port, at least it is on my 2011 MBA. They probably just wanted to make it a little thinner and be done with it. 5 years from now, nobody will care.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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