iFixit teardown of M1 MacBooks gives us our first glimpse at the M1 up close

As expected, iFixit has done a teardown of two of Apple’s three new M1-based Macs: the MacBook Air and the 2-port, 13-inch MacBook Pro. What they found is somehow both surprising and not: almost nothing has changed in the laptops apart from the inclusion of the M1 chip and directly related changes.

The biggest change is definitely the omission of a fan in the MacBook Air. iFixit notes that given the Intel MacBook Air’s history of overheating in some cases, it speaks volumes about the efficiency of the M1 that so far it seems the Air gets on just fine without that fan now. Also missing: the T2 chip, which we noted in our Mac mini review has been replaced completely by the M1 in all these new Macs.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is even more similar to its predecessor. The T2 chip is also gone, but the laptop retains the exact same fan and cooling system, with no differences whatsoever. Reviews of the 13-inch MacBook Pro claim that the fan doesn’t spin up as often as it used to, but iFixit concludes here that that’s because of the shift from an Intel chip to the M1, not because of an improved cooling system. The fans on the Intel and M1 Pro are interchangeable.

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#13-inch-macbook-pro, #apple-m1, #apple-silicon, #cooling, #ifixit, #m1, #macbook-air, #teardown, #tech


iFixit tears down the iPhone 12 mini, shows how Apple crammed it all in

iFixit has posted its teardown of the iPhone 12 mini, and it found inside what seems clear from the outside: a smaller version of the iPhone 12, with no missing features or components. However, some of those components—most notably the battery—are a bit smaller than they are in this phone’s 6.1-inch big brother.

iFixit found that the battery measures in at 8.57Wh. For comparison, the iPhone SE—which actually has a larger body—has a smaller 6.96Wh battery, whereas the much larger iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro both have 10.78Wh batteries. This maps pretty closely to what battery tests have found: the iPhone 12 mini offers better battery life than an iPhone SE or iPhone 8, but it can’t beat its larger siblings.

Other shrunk-down components found by iFixit include a smaller Taptic Engine and loudspeaker. Also, some display-related components have been moved around, and there are only two display cables (compared to the iPhone 12’s three).

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#ifixit, #iphone-12, #iphone-12-mini, #teardown, #tech


Apple Watch Series 6 teardown unveils missing Force Touch, bigger battery

The Apple Watch Series 6 isn’t a radical leap forward from its predecessor. It adds a few new features, like blood-oxygen monitoring, but at its heart, it’s the same Apple Watch people have been buying and wearing for a bit now. That said, repairability advocates (and repair-tool vendors) iFixit did a teardown of the Watch to find out just how different or similar it is inside.

The verdict is that the Series 6 is indeed mostly the same Watch, with a few key differences. First, it opens a little differently—it “opens to the side like a book.” This is a slightly different approach to getting inside the Watch. iFixit posits that this change may be possible in part because the hardware for Force Touch has been removed from the Watch, just as it was in recent iPhones. As with the iPhones, Apple has replaced Force Touch with long-presses.

The battery is notably bigger, at 1.17Wh for the 44-millimeter model and 1.024Wh for the 40mm. That’s a modest, single-point increase for both. There are fewer display cables to disconnect when disassembling the device, and there’s a larger Taptic Engine in the Watch, too. And of course, iFixit found the pulse oximeter sensor inside.

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#apple-watch, #apple-watch-series-6, #force-touch, #ifixit, #taptic-engine, #teardown, #tech


How to Buy Tech That Lasts and Lasts

All of our tech products will one day become obsolete, but here are some strategies to buying gadgets that you can enjoy for many years.

#apple-inc, #batteries, #computers-and-the-internet, #defective-products, #ifixit, #ipad, #iphone, #smartphones, #tablet-computers, #wireless-communications


iFixit introduces a free database of medical repair manuals

Best known as leading purveyors of device teardowns, iFixit today announced that it’s turned much of its focus to even more pressing matters. For two months, the site had roughly half of its staff turn its focus to the creation of a medical repair database — one it’s labeled the “world’s largest.”

That includes 13,000+ manuals from hundreds of companies available for anyone to use for free. Along with iFixit’s own staff, a good portion of the do-gooder work was crowdsourced with the help from experts.

“This has been an absolutely massive undertaking—and we were fortunate to have the help and support of over 200 librarians and archivists from across the country,” iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens writes in a post. “Archivists from university and public libraries, research institutes, insurance and software companies, and of course biomeds themselves—all donated their valuable time. Collectively, they’ve contributed thousands of hours organizing piles of documents into a navigable, searchable system.”

The site offer a long list of volunteers, from a slew of universities, libraries and even companies like LinkedIn. Pulling such a project off might have seemed an impossible task until recently, but an overtaxed medical system straining to manage the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to pitch in where they can.

iFixit notes that the database’s use extends beyond COVID-19, but the need for such a resource feel more necessary than ever in the current climate. 

#apps, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #hardware, #health, #ifixit


The Joys of Fixing Your Own Stuff

With jobs lost and stores closed, people are now reviving their old gadgets on their own.

#computers-and-the-internet, #do-it-yourself, #ifixit


Teardown describes iPhone SE as a mix of prior components

As has become a regular custom, iFixit has done a visual teardown of the latest Apple hardware. In this case, it’s the iPhone SE, Apple’s lower-cost handset that appears to cram the latest-gen A13 processor into the chassis of 2017’s iPhone 8.

That relationship was the focus of the teardown. iFixit went in seeking to confirm whether this really is the iPhone 8 with just a few changes, and it even opened up the two devices side by side. The answer appears to mostly be “yes.” When first inspecting the SE via X-ray, iFixit found it to be close to identical inside to the iPhone 8 “apart from some very subtle antenna rework and moving a few chips around the logic board.”

The two phones are so similar that many components, such as the main speaker or the Taptic Engine, are interchangeable between them. The iPhone SE also has exactly the same size battery as the 8, at 6.9Wh, but the battery connector is different, so the batteries are unfortunately not interchangeable.

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#ifixit, #iphone, #iphone-8, #iphone-se, #teardown, #tech


iPad Pro teardown basically finds 2018’s iPad Pro with a lidar sensor

As expected, iFixit has published a teardown of the 12.9-inch, 2020 iPad Pro, assessing both what’s new in the device compared to 2018 and how straightforward the device is to open up and repair. It turns out not too much has changed (which we already knew), and the Pro remains quite difficult to service.

In the video (sorry, no blog post this time, it seems), we see the various steps required to replace interior components like the screen or USB-C port that might have failed. Just about every step involves “lots of adhesive” and “precarious prying.” In fact, it’s a conundrum from the very first step, as opening up the casing will leave you trying to figure out how to detach two cables that Apple clearly didn’t intend users to be futzing with.

Unsurprisingly, iFixit gave the 2020 iPad Pro a 3 out of 10 for repairability—the same as it gave the 2018 model. That’s because for these intents and purposes, this is the same tablet as was introduced in 2018.

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#2020-ipad-pro, #apple, #ifixit, #ipad, #ipad-pro, #tablet, #teardown, #tech


MacBook Air teardown finds positive progress for repairability

iFixit, a company that sells gadget-repair parts and publishes regular teardowns of popular devices, dug into the new MacBook Air this week and found it to be a slight step-up for MacBooks in terms of repairability.

The site found that the move from the butterfly keyboard to the new scissor-switch one only added “half a millimeter to the thick end of the new Air.” And the site speculates that these keys should be much more reliable, noting that no silicone barrier is needed as it was on the butterfly keyboard to mitigate that design’s problems.

Keyboard aside, the teardown uncovered a larger heartsink for the CPU, plus a couple of things that might make this laptop a bit easier to service than its predecessor.

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#apple, #ifixit, #macbook-air, #tech