With the new MacBook Air reaching its owners throughout this week, iFixit has also been able to pick up a copy. Normally, models that upgrade components are not of great interest. But this time , with the return of the scissor mechanism to the keyboard , it’s worth paying attention.
A scissor keyboard that brings a slight increase in thickness and weight
Apparently, the new MacBook Air (2020) is identical to the previous generation. Leaving aside the new, improved components, we wouldn’t notice much at first glance . That is, until we tested the keyboard.
iFixit has taken its scalpel to dismantle the equipment and discover its secrets. Inside it, the scissor mechanism for the keyboard has been found, which returns and replaces the butterfly mechanism . A change that takes place after several revisions of the system, with as many repair programs.
The new keyboard does not come without an additional cost in physical terms. It involves adding 0.5mm to the thickest part of the equipment, as well as about 40 grams of total weight. It’s not much in the general scheme of things.
New scissor-type keyboard adds 0.5mm thickness and about 40 grams weight
With the inclusion of the new mechanism in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air was the next laptop on the block to add it. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has yet to be deployed and is expected to be redesigned later this year. One that’s sure to follow in its big brother’s footsteps, increase screen size at the expense of frames, improve sound and recording, and other enhancements.
A small improvement in the “reparability” scale
iFixit is a company that sells electronic equipment repair kits. On their website they publish their popular exploded views , as well as repair guides. In recent years, it has led a campaign to defend the reparability of electronic products, with Apple products in its sights.
In the cutting guides, iFixit usually places a score at the end that evaluates the ease of repair of the equipment. For this year’s MacBook Air , compared to the 2018 model , the score has improved from 3 to 4. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 indicates maximum repairability and 1 indicates no repair at all.
The change is due to Apple redirecting some trackpad-related cables. This means better access to both the trackpad and the battery , as well as replacing them with another one in case of a problem. The new scissor mechanism does not provide any additional repairability, as it is still integrated in the top chassis. In the event of a fault, a complete replacement of this part is required.
In AppleMacBook Air Analysis (2020), evolving the status quo
What should improve is the strength of the mechanism itself compared to the previous system. In a few days, iFixit should publish its exploded view of the new iPad Pro, for which we will be awaiting.