iFixit Tears Down M2 MacBook Air, Finds Accelerometer and Adhesive Pull Tabs for Battery
A prior teardown already revealed the biggest potential issue with the base model 256GB M2 MacBook Air - a single storage chip, which is confirmed in iFixit's teardown. Rather than using two 128GB NAND storage chips like the prior-generation 256GB M1 MacBook Air, the new machine has a single 256GB NAND flash chip.
The 256GB NAND flash chip in the M2 MacBook Air demonstrates 30 to 50 percent slower SSD speeds in benchmark testing than the prior-generation MacBook Air with two 128GB NAND chips, but Apple has claimed that despite the benchmark results, overall real-world performance is "even faster."
Along with the 256GB NAND storage chip, iFixit's teardown revealed other logic board components that include the 64-bit 8-core M2 chip, an Apple-designed Thunderbolt 3 driver, a USI Bluetooth and WiFi chip, and curiously, an accelerometer. There's no word yet on what the accelerometer might be for.
iFixit did not find a heat spreader, and the site is unclear on the passive cooling mechanism that Apple might be using for the M2 MacBook Air.
How does this thing cool down? Sure it has a lot of thermal paste and graphite tape, and yeah the M2 is efficient, but this shield is super thin, so it's not helping much, and the case is lighter than last year. Maybe the M2 Air is secretly an iPad, or maybe Apple is just letting it run hot.
Like the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, the M2 MacBook Air features easy access adhesive pull tabs to secure the battery, making it simpler and quicker to remove. The M2 MacBook Air includes a 52.6-watt‑hour battery, up from the 49.9-watt-hour battery offered in the M1 version of the MacBook Air.
All of the ports in the MacBook Air are modular and not glued down, but the SSD and the M2 chip are soldered, as expected, and cannot be easily upgraded or replaced. iFixit's full teardown can be watched on YouTube, and includes additional details on the battery and the build of the MacBook Air.