The new MacBook Air has been parading around for a few days now, meaning it's about time we found out what was hiding under that sleek, sexy exterior. As ever, the good folks at iFixit were ready with screwdrivers in hand to pull open the chassis and see what was inside.
The first thing that might strike you is how small the logic board is and how much space the batteries take up. The power packs - of which there are six in the 11in model - seem to take up about two thirds of the space, while the PCB is squeezed into the top third or less.
As was the case with the older Air, the system RAM is soldered directly to the logic board and and sitting just on top of it is the new and completely custom flash "drive". Unsurprisingly the storage is a proprietary design, and while it is certainly space efficient, it's very unlikely that user upgrades will be possible.
Mine's bigger than yours
Of course, being from Apple, this new storage solution is already causing a few waves. During the announcement, Steve Jobs suggested that this sort of drive - or at least flash storage - would be the way that all notebooks would soon be going. Understandably, the people over at Seagate took exception to this.
During an investor conference call, CEO Steve Luczo responded to questions about the Air by saying "there are certain things that are certainly very nice about it. And other things that are little bit frustrating [like] the cost and the lack of capacity."
Speaking from personal experience, he added, "I have and [sic] Air book with an SSD unit that I've had for I guess a year and half now...I spend a lot of time cleaning out files so I can make room for not a lot of content to be honest with you."
Obviously, Luczo took the opportunity to plug the company's hybrid HDD/SSDs, and as a mechanical-storage focused company, it's of no surprise that he would downplay the significance of flash storage. Nonetheless, the CEO provided an interesting insight into the mindset of a major industry player.
Is flash the future for notebooks? Let us know your thoughts in the HEXUS.community.