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New MacBook Air torn asunder

by Pete Mason on 22 October 2010, 16:33

Tags: MacBook Air, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Seagate (NASDAQ:STX)

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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.

Inside out

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.



HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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Is flash the future for notebooks? Let us know your thoughts in the HEXUS.community.

future certainly, unfortunately we are still in the present.

i think we are pretty much in the “hybrid sounds nice” phase, even in the now sadly dead 8.9“ netbook category there was space for a 1.8” SSD and a 2.5" HDD. The OS has to evolve to allow everyday users to use both the drives efficiently, which is something windows 7 certainly can only do with a lot of silly messing about at the moment.
It's all about choice.

I bought an 11.6“ netbook, put a 60GB SSD in there, then installed Windows 7, Office, Firefox and Mediamonkey, and copied over 15GB of music.

But then I've got a 6TB server which all of my data is stored on, so it's not a problem for me.

Take your average consumer, and they'll buy a laptop and use it as their sole computer. It needs to hold their music, video, documents, fourteen toolbars, and every bit of dross software they can get their hands on. So they'll be better off with a 500GB/1TB 2.5” drive, and will pick their laptop accordingly.

Apple as ever, has just made the decision for them, and decided that they aren't going to store anything on their laptops. But then Apple knows best, so who are they to argue?
Well, they bought into Apple telling them what to do - thats probably part of the attraction itself :D
seems with all apple product at the moment its a case of 'Ohh thats really nice, but i cant get one because '

I dont understand why they cant just make stuff right, with all the things that a normal person would want.

Makes it all the more frustrating when they start to gain market share as people are using them regardless of their downfalls, then the mass of users just sit and complain about how it cant do exactly what they want it too. People are stupid!
snootyjim
Take your average consumer, and they'll buy a laptop and use it as their sole computer. It needs to hold their music, video, documents, fourteen toolbars, and every bit of dross software they can get their hands on. So they'll be better off with a 500GB/1TB 2.5" drive, and will pick their laptop accordingly.
I wonder what's ‘average’ though. I am an utter space hog, but my immediate family (parents, brother, sister) aren't (15GB to a lot under 100GB including bloat that come with laptop). If you aren't storing a library of music or video, you'll need tens of thousand pictures from a P&S camera to even fill 100GB.