My MacBook Air at the Apple Store Genius Bar, plugged in via a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter, booted off a server inside the store to run diagnostics. Very slick.
I had brought my MacBook Air into the Berlin Apple Store because the Battery menu had indicated “service battery” for the past few months. The diagnostic discovered a defect in the battery. The Genius team was able to replace the battery, under warranty, in a few hours.
I have many years of experience fixing Macs. This visit reminded me of how cumbersome diagnosing problems on a Mac in the past could be. Booting off external hard drives or fumbling with system CDs. Running tools that could only tell you so much. Pressing various combinations of keys on the keyboard to reset things (zap the PRAM!) Or spending hours trying to troubleshoot something to identify either a software or hardware problem.
Apple hardware and software is of such quality and so well integrated these days that we customers get to benefit in improved reliability. SSD drives (no moving parts) are saving a ton on repair costs. MagSafe has prevented broken power ports on laptops for years (why isn’t this on PC laptops?) Software breaks less. This isn’t to say that things never fail (they do, I know). But the problems Mac’s have these days are quite different than in the past. And fixing them is much easier and smoother too.