New MacBook Air, Google Glass get the teardown treatment: Huge, tiny batteries uncovered

Two new high-profile portable computing devices went under the knife this week. The folks at repair shop and community iFixit tore apart Apple’s newest 13 inch MacBook Air with a Haswell processor, while Star Simpson and Scott Torborg dissected a Google Glass device and snapped some stellar photographs of the process.

Not surprisingly, the insides of Google’s tiny wearable computer and Apple’s latest ultra-thin laptop looked quite different.

MacBook Air dissected (iFixit)

Apple’s 2013 model MacBook Air laptops are designed to offer better performance and a significant graphics boost over the company’s earlier models.

But the biggest change might be the improved battery life. Apple says you should be able to get up to 12 hours of battery life from a MacBook Air with a 13.3 inch display. That’s compared to about 7 hours from a 2012 model.

Part of the improvement comes with the move from Intel’s 3rd-generation Core chips to the more efficient 4th-generation “Haswell” processors. But iFixit notes that Apple also managed to squeeze a slightly more powerful battery in the case.

Last year’s MacBook Air had a 7.3V, 6700mAh, 50Whr battery. This year’s has a 7.6V, 7150mAh, 54.4 Whr battery.

Apple also reduced the side of the solid state drive and made some other changes which help keep the notebook slim.

google glass dissected

While Apple’s new laptop is designed to get stellar battery life, Google’s Glass is… not. Since you wear Google Glass on your face, it needs to be ultra-light. And that means there’s not a lot of margin for heavy components, like batteries.

Packed away in the case is a 570mAh, 2.1 Whr battery.

You can find more detailed photos of the processor, system board, camera, display, and other components, as well as instructions for taking apart Google Glass at CatWig.

Ultimately, it’s pretty clear that neither Google Glass nor the MacBook Air were designed to be taken apart and/or repaired at home. But it’s nice to know it’s possible… if you’re very, very, very careful.

via Boing Boing and 9to5Mac

  • Hunter

    “Last year’s MacBook Air had a 7.3V, 6700mAh, 50Whr battery. This year’s has a 7.6V, 72150mAh, 54.4 Whr battery.”
    Not 100% on this but 72150 is a lot. You might have an extra zero or something. Awesome blog by the way.

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Thanks! Oddly, it was an extra “2”… the correct figure is 7150.