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15-inch MacBook Air teardown reveals few changes from 13-inch model

A disassembled 13-inch MacBook Air and a 15-inch MacBook Air [iFixit/YouTube]

Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air is similar to its 13-inch counterpart in more than name, with a teardown showing there to be relatively few internal differences between the models.

The 15-inch MacBook Air is best described as an upscaled 13-inch MacBook Air, with it adding a few minor tweaks to the preexisting design. A look inside the chassis of the new model demonstrates that the similarities go beyond the surface, with the insides being pretty similar as well.

The teardown by iFixit published to YouTube on Friday took apart the 15-inch MacBook Air, and revealed it is taken apart the same way as the 13-inch model, using identical screws and clips. After taking off the initial layer, the hardware is visibly similar to the 13-inch, except the 15-inch has a slightly different speaker setup, since the larger model has more.

Disassembly is a "miserable" experience, with the components assembled and overlapping each other in a "maze" that makes battery removal and taking out the logic board a tough challenge. That logic board also has "pretty much the same stuff" as the 13-inch version.

As part of the teardown, Apple's continued reliance of adhesive strips to hold the battery in place is thought to be unnecessary, given the sheer amount of components that have to be removed beforehand that also holds the cells in place.

That battery is a 66.5Wh construction using a large cell section flanked by four smaller cells. It is believed this arrangement is used to allow the fast-charging function to work at full capacity, since multiple cells are charged simultaneously.

The 15-inch MacBook Air scores a 3 out of 10 on iFixit's "repairability" scale. Apple can earn another two points for parts and manual supply, but due to its "unreliable release schedule," the points are being withheld from the score for the moment.