first_imgWhen a new product comes out and someone–usually iFixit–tears it down, there is almost always something interesting revealed. Sure, the pictures are great and we appreciate someone being bold enough to rip apart a brand new gadget, but a thorough check under the hood of any new laptop, media player, or mobile phone will always teach us a thing or two that the manufacturer didn’t mention on the side of the box. Today we learned something interesting about Apple’s new (Summer 2011 or ThunderBolt) MacBook Air: the SSD is not soldered to the logic board.In the previous generation of 11.6- and 13-inch Airs the RAM was not user serviceable. Apple had, for some reason, soldered it in place, meaning that without an extensive operation it could not be upgraded. On the 2011 Air, which went on sale two days ago, the memory is still not removable but the SSD stick can be swapped out, just like on the older model.This finding runs counter to rumors from earlier this month that said the unit would be permanently affixed to the motherboard. This would be an extension of Apple’s practice of soldering in the RAM, but a change from what we saw on the 2010 MacBook Air there the SSD was upgradeable. When the rumor broke a number of people spoke out about it, noting that the practice was against the consumer’s best interests and how Apple’s offerings would, in all likelihood, not be able to match aftermarket ones which were not limited by pricing and unit availability.Mac components reseller OWC currently offers MacBook Air compatible Mercury Aura Pro SSDs up to 480GB ($1400), while Apple currently only offers up to 256GB.The SSD news was the most interesting reveal in the teardown. The 2011 MacBook Airs are largely similar to the 2010 models aside from the upgraded Intel processors and the addition of a ThunderBolt port.iFixit via tuawlast_img

New MacBook Air SSDs are not soldered in place

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