Apple's "Spring Forward" event on Monday brought tantalizing teasers of tomorrow: A revolutionary new MacBook, details on their world-changing wearable, amazing new touchpad technology, and a couple of laptops from 2013. Today we bring you our findings on the last of these. Which is not to say the least of these. The construction of the MacBook Air 11" and MacBook Air 13" stay exactly the same, and upgradability could still be better (4 of 10 on the repair scale). However, the MacBook Air has always had a redeeming feature—one we worry is an endangered species at Apple: The non-adhered battery.
After Phil Schiller’s sneak peek into the new ultra-slim MacBook, we're pretty sure the adhered battery trend is likely to continue. We're happy the MacBook Air remains glue-free—a lone survivor among Apple portables—and we’re fearful for the future. Battery adhesive means repair, replacement, and recycling are much more difficult.
We don't have much to say about the MacBook Air refreshes—and we're okay with that. But we didn't want to leave you empty-handed, so we took it upon ourselves to liven up the routine 11" teardown with some Easter egg fun. Check it out!
• The newest Airs keep their traditional model numbers, A1465 and A1466—the same digits we found on models dating as far back as mid 2012.
• Broadwell shrinks the MacBook Air's previous architecture (Haswell)—meaning not a lot has changed performance-wise, but a new manufacturing process makes the transistors smaller, and the entire chip more power efficient by up to 30%.
• We air the differences in these lightweight notebooks with a light touch.
• Chip, chip, hooray!
- MacBook Air 11" Early 2015 • 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 5250U processor, with integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 controller • SK Hynix H9CCNNN8JTALAR LPDDR3 SDRAM • SK Hynix H5TC4G63CFR 4 Gb (512 MB) low power synchronous DRAM • Broadcom BCM15700A2 • Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC controller • Cirrus Logic 4208-CRZ HD audio codec • Marvell 88SS9183 PCIe SSD controller • SanDisk 05131 016G 16 GB NAND flash memory • Samsung K4B2G1646E 2 Gb (256 MB) DDR3 SDRAM
- Macbook Air 13" Early 2015 • 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 5250U Processor, with integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 controller • GL3219 Genesys Logic SDXC controller • SK Hynix H9CCNNN8JTALAR LPDDR3 SDRAM • Broadcom BCM15700A2 • SK Hynix H5TC4G63CFR 4 Gb (512 MB) low power synchronous DRAM • Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC controller • Cirrus Logic 4208-CRZ HD audio codec • Samsung S4LN058A01 PCIe 3.0 x4 AHCI Flash controller • Samsung K9LDGY8S1D-XCK0 16 GB Flash storage • Samsung K4E4E324ED 512 MB LPDDR3 DRAM