Apple’s MacBook Air (M2, 2022) has received the disassembly processing by iFixit (opens in a new tab)along with some interesting reveals about the cooling solution for the laptop, and a mysterious addition to the component mix, too.
Discovery included some things we already knew, courtesy of YouTuber Max Tech having already delved into in the bowels of the laptop. Namely that the new base model MacBook Air has its SSD configured as a single 256GB NAND flash chip, which makes it slower than the previous (M1) Air pair of 128GB NAND chips, and that’s a little disappointing (although expected, as this is the route Apple opted for the entry-level model of the MacBook Pro M2).
Other highlights include the mysterious addition we mentioned at the start, namely the presence of an accelerometer in the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) – for what purpose, we do not yet know – and a review depth of the cooling system used in the notebook.
As you may know, the MacBook Air is fanless, relying on passive cooling rather than a fan – and saving the space to install one, while ensuring zero noise. during operation. But iFixit was surprised to see that there’s no heat sink used, and instead Apple seems to be relying on applying a whole load of thermal paste and graphite tape, and that the M2 chip itself is very energy efficient and therefore easy to cool anyway.
There’s good news in that the battery is relatively easy to remove, and therefore swap out for a new PSU if needed, but the SSD is welded and therefore cannot be upgraded to a better model down the line (and the same goes for the M2 SoC, as you would expect).
Analysis: Heatgate is coming? And what about this accelerometer?
The main point of interest here is the observations made by iFixit on cooling, and how Apple potentially took some liberties to ensure the seriously thin and svelte lines of the MacBook Air by cutting a few cooling angles.
Although we did not find any overheating issues in our MacBook Air (M2, 2022) reviewsome owners have reported that the laptop runs hot in their experience and the M2 chip slows down as a result (reducing performance levels to ensure it doesn’t heat up).
The latter isn’t an ideal situation, of course, and it’ll be interesting to see if anything of a “heatgate” situation develops as more and more people get their shiny new MacBook Airs. Especially if they are using the laptop in very hot environments, with the current heatwave situation in Europe, for example, which has already seen some companies send warnings about the thermal limits of their devices.
As for the mystery of the accelerometer and what it is for, these gadgets were inside old MacBooks to detect if the portable had been dropped, and to take precautions to try to save the hard drive from damage in the ensuing impact. Of course, Apple’s laptops have SSDs these days, so that’s no longer necessary – but perhaps the company might still want to detect drops, perhaps to see if a faulty laptop has been abandoned in the past, and any damage is due to the owner.
We don’t know if that’s reason enough to reserve internal space for an accelerometer, mind — when space is so important with the MacBook Air in particular — but that’s not outside the realm possible. Alternatively, perhaps the accelerometer will have some sort of app-related function; only time will tell, but he probably has to be there for a reason.
Going through MacRumors (opens in a new tab)