Cracking Open the Apple MacBook Air (2011 13-inch)

Cracking Open the Apple MacBook Air (2011 13-inch)

In July 2011, Apple released the 3nd generation MacBook Air (Model A1369). As with the 2nd generation Airs, the 2011 notebooks are available in 11-inch and 13-inch models.

We cracked open the 1st generation MacBook Air (released in 2008) and 2nd generation MacBook Airs (released in 2010). Follow along as we go inside Apple's ultra-thin laptop.

To disassemble the new MacBook Air you'll need a screwdriver with Torx T5 and T8 bits and either a very small Phillips screwdriver or special pentalobe bit.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler


Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...


Thanks for this disassembly. Very cool. I am trying to assess damage to a macbook air motherboard (2011 13" model) after a spill. I need a closer view of the back of the board (especially towards the top, to the right of center, below the notch-like space along the top edge). None of your closeups seem to show exactly that area. Would you be able to provide a more detailed view? Thanks.


Hi Bill Nice disassembly. Did you reassemble and did it work OK? Looks like the battery is relatively easy to replace. sirhandel

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler moderator

Reassembling the Air took about 10 minutes, and it work perfectly afterwards. Many internal components, including the battery, can be easily replaced. The most difficult part of the process is removing the bottom cover's pentalobe screws. I was able to remove the screws with a small flat-head screwdriver, but I recommend getting a special pentalobe screw driver from an online reseller.