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MazingerZ
Jul 9, 2008, 12:20 AM
Ok, after a few months with the MBA, this is my honest evaluation.

The MBA is unuseable as a laptop!

Just too many instances where the Core shuts down or the MBA just slows down to a crawl. Most of this happens when I'm just surfing the web, answering emails on Entourage and maybe editing a word document. Also, connected via a USB modem if that makes any difference.

The MBA would just slow to a crawl about 80% of the time. I can really make it slow down to a halt when connecting to a external monitor as well.

I go on business trips 2-3 weeks at a time. With this kind of use, the MBA just doesn't work. Its great for taking notes in meetings...but that's about it.

I am seriously considering selling this and going back to my MBP despite the weight differences.

:(



ayeying
Jul 9, 2008, 12:27 AM
I get core shut downs also but I seriously never got as bad as your situation. What I can offer you is to do a SMC reset and see if that does anything. I don't know 100% for sure if SMC fixed my Core Shutdown problems the past few days, but it has been pretty warm here so that could've been a factor. However, doing a SMC reset has seemed to make this system run a bit better.

I agree that the MBA has a few problems, some of them quite annoying especally for me who runs 2x Virtual Machines quite regularly. However, I have yet to see the core shutdown unless I am putting some type of load.

SodiumBenzoate
Jul 9, 2008, 02:29 AM
You should probably contact Apple. That's abnormally poor performance, most MBAs are just fine with that light of a load.

Grizzly Adams
Jul 9, 2008, 02:35 AM
That sucks that you have had a bad experience. The only times that I have had core shutdown have been after prolonged video playback and with high temps, usually if on a bed or something similar blocking the vents. While it gets pretty warm sometimes, I use mine almost daily with absolutely no problem.

Alan Taylor
Jul 9, 2008, 05:47 AM
The Macbook PRO is unusable as a laptop!

Mine has had 7 repairs, and two new power cords. Last night they swapped it out for a new one. But of course, they must all be that bad :rolleyes:

pilotError
Jul 9, 2008, 07:31 AM
There's too many core shutdowns for Apple to ignore. I'm one of the lucky ones and have never had a core shutdown, even when I tried to induce one.

If you can reproduce it, I would take it back to Apple and let them deal with it. What your experiencing is really unacceptable.

Olvenskol
Jul 9, 2008, 07:45 AM
My "honest evaluation" of mine...

Works perfectly - best laptop I've ever owned. Much more capable than I expected it to be. No heat issues, I've never had a core shutdown.

Sounds like you have a bad unit.

Macmel
Jul 9, 2008, 08:02 AM
So three out of six posters here acknowledge to have had core shutdowns, but they consider it "normal", for a computer starting at 1.8 K. No wonder Mac fanboys consider Mac products the best ever.
The iPhone is not capable of videoconferences, it was 2G when everybody else was 3G, the camera sucks compared to what competitors offer, doesn't have a memory card slot, etc., but still is the best phone ever.
Well, if you consider every problem as normal, then of course, your product is the best ever.
Truth is, and I love Apple, both my computers are Apple, we should be less enthusiastic about Macs and try to be more objective so we can complain about crappy products or not so well developed-tested ones and help improve.
If we where talking about a PC, what would you be saying then?

pa31t
Jul 9, 2008, 08:07 AM
Just got my MBA 10 days ago, so far great replacement for my 12" G4, does everything better than my old 12" did (except Sketchup, real slow there...). Only complaint is the $500 dollar price reduction 3-4 days after I bought it in Montreal, am in Europe for a few months, and must go to the Montreal store for my $500!
This is the perfect travel laptop for my needs, I love the thickness, full size keyboard and beautiful screen.

nutts
Jul 9, 2008, 08:40 AM
I've had mine a week and one day now, and the last two days I've spent a good few hours using it away from home doing web development - nothing really taxing at all. I kept an eye on the temperature and fan using iStatPro, and the CPU remained at around 45C with the fan at 2500. The bottom was warm but easily touchable.

Today it even got just over 4 hours on my first full drain test of the battery during real working conditions, with the screen at full brightness and wifi in use for the last 1/3 of the time. I'm very happy (and surprised) with that time! :eek:

However if I do a voice chat on Skype, the CPU goes up to the 60s and the fans go up. When I did a long (1 hour) video iChat the CPU goes up a bit more (70s). But no core shutdown.

Finally last week I did try to initiate a core shutdown by running 5 YouTube videos and 'yes' in a terminal for 100% cpu use. On a flat surface, the CPU went to a high of 88C. Did that for more than 15 minutes and no core shutdown.

*BUT* when I moved it to the bed, where the vent at the back was covered... core shutdown after a few minutes.

It doesn't bother me though, as I bought the machine for portable web development and it's *perfect* for that. If I use it again on the bed I'll put a book under it to keep the vent clear. That's my experience, KEEP THE VENT CLEAR! :)

...Only complaint is the $500 dollar price reduction 3-4 days after I bought it in Montreal, am in Europe for a few months, and must go to the Montreal store for my $500!

I had a similar issue. I bought mine in Tokyo and I live about 2 hours away. Not quite the same distance of course, but my point remains valid. I called the store, explained that I didn't want to fork over the cash and spend the time to go back to Tokyo, and they had me post the receipt to them.

As you only have to be within 14 days of purchase when you *first contact them* about it, I suggest you give them a call and see if they'll do the same for you if you post the receipt out to them.

I'm very happy to have got a refund of nearly 300 pounds without having to travel anywhere (except the post office of course). :D

mark34
Jul 9, 2008, 09:43 AM
I love the MBA, but I do believe that I have suffered some for such early interest in this particular product. I don't regret buying it because it is so far superior to every other consideration and the problems are fairly limited. I am not so blinded by my fanboydom to not be disappointed. Given the specs on this thing (I have 1.8 SSD) it should not have these core shutdown issues and excess fan activity. The latter is of limited concern if there was never a performance hit, but there is. It is pretty rare, but the situations that cause problems should not even remotely be a problem given the processor, etc.

I am really considering raising a bit of a stink and demanding a new unit. I already had my logic board replaced. I think it has improved things, but I still get anxious when I open a few video files. The issue is exclusively around video playback. mpg files, itunes are fine, but many to others cause problems eventually. That is why I still feel like some firmware stuff should fix it.

Outside of these issues this laptop is like a completely different species from other laptops. What a pleasure. Perfect size, great screen, light, fast, just a dream to use on a daily basis.

BTW, I bought the first unit from one of the Apple Stores in my town on day 1

sammy2066
Jul 9, 2008, 09:59 AM
So three out of six posters here acknowledge to have had core shutdowns, but they consider it "normal", for a computer starting at 1.8 K. No wonder Mac fanboys consider Mac products the best ever.
The iPhone is not capable of videoconferences, it was 2G when everybody else was 3G, the camera sucks compared to what competitors offer, doesn't have a memory card slot, etc., but still is the best phone ever.
Well, if you consider every problem as normal, then of course, your product is the best ever.
Truth is, and I love Apple, both my computers are Apple, we should be less enthusiastic about Macs and try to be more objective so we can complain about crappy products or not so well developed-tested ones and help improve.
If we where talking about a PC, what would you be saying then?

Very well said, Apple fanboys have a reality distortion field around themselves too! I think Apple made too many compromises while designing the MBA. Honestly, I couldn't care less if it were an inch thick. One USB port, no stereo sound, 4200rpm drive are all just deal breakers for me.

maestrokev
Jul 9, 2008, 10:11 AM
By definition anyone who takes the time to create an account and posts to MR is a fanboy. A reality distortion field only affects people who take the time to read and post here and then call others fanboys.

Get over yourself.

sammy2066
Jul 9, 2008, 11:24 AM
By definition anyone who takes the time to create an account and posts to MR is a fanboy. A reality distortion field only affects people who take the time to read and post here and then call others fanboys.

Get over yourself.


Stop acting like you are on Apple's payroll ... you need to calm down. I never called anyone on this forum a fanboy. Please go look up the definition of generalization in some dictionary before voicing your unfounded and baseless opinion.

ccrandall77
Jul 9, 2008, 11:26 AM
I bought an MBA the day it came out to replace my 5mo/old MacBook, which I handed down to my wife. It was nearly perfect... my only real complaint is that it's still too big!! If Apple made something similar to the eeePC, I'd dump the MBA and get one today.

But that's just me. I want a portable to be portable... as portable as possible. That, obviously, isn't everyone's #1 priority and therefore the MBA certainly isn't a good fit for everyone.

That said, I did have issues with my MBA. The thing would take FOREVER to charge and the mouse pad would frequently stop working and then several minutes later it'd work again. I took it to my local Apple Store and instead of screwing around with the PMU or anything else, they took mine and gave me a brand new MBA. They wanted to keep my defective MBA so the techs at Apple could analyze the issue and make sure Rev B didn't have the same problem.

I've had minor problems with a few of my Apple products, and my iBook G4 was a piece of junk as well as 2-3 of the Airport Expresses I went through and had to exchange a few months apart from each other. This is the first time they just did a swap w/o any BS and they intimated that for Rev A products in particular, Apple is now starting to make that more of a policy so they can use the defective units to analyze the problems. I think that's a smart policy and hopefully that'll mean quality will get even better.

My current MBA has had 0 issues and for my needs it's been by far the best laptop I've ever owned. Now I'm just waiting for the 8" model!

sammy2066
Jul 9, 2008, 11:34 AM
I bought an MBA the day it came out to replace my 5mo/old MacBook, which I handed down to my wife. It was nearly perfect... my only real complaint is that it's still too big!! If Apple made something similar to the eeePC, I'd dump the MBA and get one today.

But that's just me. I want a portable to be portable... as portable as possible. That, obviously, isn't everyone's #1 priority and therefore the MBA certainly isn't a good fit for everyone.

That said, I did have issues with my MBA. The thing would take FOREVER to charge and the mouse pad would frequently stop working and then several minutes later it'd work again. I took it to my local Apple Store and instead of screwing around with the PMU or anything else, they took mine and gave me a brand new MBA. They wanted to keep my defective MBA so the techs at Apple could analyze the issue and make sure Rev B didn't have the same problem.

I've had minor problems with a few of my Apple products, and my iBook G4 was a piece of junk as well as 2-3 of the Airport Expresses I went through and had to exchange a few months apart from each other. This is the first time they just did a swap w/o any BS and they intimated that for Rev A products in particular, Apple is now starting to make that more of a policy so they can use the defective units to analyze the problems. I think that's a smart policy and hopefully that'll mean quality will get even better.

My current MBA has had 0 issues and for my needs it's been by far the best laptop I've ever owned. Now I'm just waiting for the 8" model!

I would be very interested in seeing what the next iteration of MBA brings to the table. It's very unlikely that Apple can magically add ports while keeping the same dimensions. Also, even the 45nm Penryns don't have a thermal envelope that will allow a 2.4Ghz processor in the MBA's casing. Apple might have a problem on their hands if they do decide to change the dimensions. Because that would mean that they did make some serious compromises in the first generation of MBA notebooks and early adopters would be left high and dry.

Scott6666
Jul 9, 2008, 11:45 AM
Another loser in the MBA lottery. Sorry.

How may losing "tickets" are out there? 80%, 50%,30%,10%?

In any case, way too many.

Your cost for playing? $180 (Apple return)? $300(Ebay Sale)?

Play the MBP lottery. Ony 1-2% losing tickets I'd guesstimate for the current model.

AlanShutko
Jul 9, 2008, 11:51 AM
Very well said, Apple fanboys have a reality distortion field around themselves too! I think Apple made too many compromises while designing the MBA. Honestly, I couldn't care less if it were an inch thick. One USB port, no stereo sound, 4200rpm drive are all just deal breakers for me.

It depends on what you're using it for. I've rarely used laptop speakers for anything: most of the time, I'm in a location where I need to mute it to avoid disturbing others. Occasionally, I'm displaying a video for others, and it's unfortunate that it only has one speaker, but of the six laptops I've owned or used at work, none of them had good sound so I never got used to using it.

The USB port hasn't bothered me: I haven't plugged a hub into it the couple months I've owned it. Fortunately, I've never used an external keyboard or mouse, just a card reader once in a while.

This works for me because I have a standalone desktop with a bigger screen, better sound, and tons and tons of external devices plugged in. That's where I sync my phone, my iPod, store my iTunes library, and do compute or disk-heavy tasks. I don't think the Air is good as a primary computer (for me, at least) but it's great as a mobile sidekick that does project work and doesn't need the full library of files and applications.

For about 8 years, I'd done the desktop-replacement laptop as only computer, but carting around all that weight (and volume) was a burden, and I didn't like rechaining all the devices when I got to my desk and wanted to use them. This solution turned out to be about as expensive, and a whole lot more mobile for me.

kingcrowing
Jul 9, 2008, 12:05 PM
Another loser in the MBA lottery. Sorry.

How may losing "tickets" are out there? 80%, 50%,30%,10%?

In any case, way too many.

Your cost for playing? $180 (Apple return)? $300(Ebay Sale)?

Play the MBP lottery. Ony 1-2% losing tickets I'd guesstimate for the current model.

Look at the MBP threads, people say the same high % for the Pros as well, apple has some issues, but they replace/fix them, read what people are saying. the rate may be 10-20% max, but if 80% were screwed up, there would be BIG news about it.

In response to Alan:
I'm in the same boat, I just built the desktop in my sig for about a grand, and I'm planning on buying the air this weekend with my educational discount, so my total cost will be about the same as just a high-end macbook pro. For me this is a lot better, I may take my laptop to class, friends houses, etc but theres wireless there and I'd never need a CD drive, and if I did I could always connect to their drive. It DOES make since for a lot of people, I agree not as a main computer but for a desktop companion its great

pilotError
Jul 9, 2008, 12:31 PM
Very well said, Apple fanboys have a reality distortion field around themselves too! I think Apple made too many compromises while designing the MBA. Honestly, I couldn't care less if it were an inch thick. One USB port, no stereo sound, 4200rpm drive are all just deal breakers for me.

I think the MBA does often get a fair amount of bashing by folks who don't own one or don't fit the target audience. Most of the comments on these threads are from folks who have an outright hatred of the MBA, which I think is pretty funny sometimes.

I have to say that I thought this whole core shutdown thing was due to QC and would straighten itself out. I see that there's too many of these things happening to be dismissed.

However... ;)

Watching 4 youTube videos, running yes in 2 separate terminal windows and covering the vents up pretty much goes beyond the standard business usage that it's targeted at.

The OP was doing some basic stuff, so I would certainly consider it a faulty laptop.

I don't think you can contribute owner happiness to ignoring the issues and being a fanboy. You may be able to in some cases, but not all. The reality is that it isn't happening to everyone or people aren't being affected by it. Maybe they just don't read MR and download iStat and watch it constantly.

FWIW, I have the 1.8 / SSD and would be really upset (putting it mildly) if this was happening to me. Hopefully Apple will step up and fix the issue as it really is a nice little laptop.

ScottFitz
Jul 9, 2008, 08:30 PM
If it's broke, take it in and get it fixed. I love mine. It does what I need it to do and I travel for business 2-3 weeks a month. Mine is flawless.

Scott6666
Jul 9, 2008, 10:05 PM
Look at the MBP threads, people say the same high % for the Pros as well, apple has some issues, but they replace/fix them, read what people are saying. the rate may be 10-20% max, but if 80% were screwed up, there would be BIG news about it.


'Fraid that doesn't seem to be so. I just checked the first two pages of the Macbook Pro forum and I don't see a raft of failures and many stories of multiple returns to fix things.

MBA is a unique piece of crap to a unusually large % of users.

However, I agree that I do not understand why this has not gotten more mainstream press of defects. This is a VERY LARGE potential flaw in my theories. :)

dollystereo
Jul 9, 2008, 11:39 PM
This usually happen with rev A products, I have a rev a MBP, and I have had a lot of "little problems" with it, Logic Board whine replace, 3 screens, 2 batteries, 1 power brick, 2 vents, 1 superdrive. I dont live in USA, so I havent had the chance to get a replacement. When the machine is working is a hell of computer, but a lot of "quality problem" The build quality of todays intel macs is not even near to the days of PowerPcs, I am sort of a mac tech, and do a lot of mac repair. Just try to disarm an ibook or PB, and compare it to a MBP or MP.
Just my 2 cents.

sammy2066
Jul 10, 2008, 12:12 AM
This usually happen with rev A products, I have a rev a MBP, and I have had a lot of "little problems" with it, Logic Board whine replace, 3 screens, 2 batteries, 1 power brick, 2 vents, 1 superdrive. I dont live in USA, so I havent had the chance to get a replacement. When the machine is working is a hell of computer, but a lot of "quality problem" The build quality of todays intel macs is not even near to the days of PowerPcs, I am sort of a mac tech, and do a lot of mac repair. Just try to disarm an ibook or PB, and compare it to a MBP or MP.
Just my 2 cents.

Gotta agree with you ... Apple's QC has gone down the toilet. Profit seems to be driving the firm these days, as opposed to quality and innovation during the PowerBook days.

My dad's MBP has soo many problems, it's ridiculous. My PowerBook G4 has been rock solid since Day 1, brilliant machine, no problems.

And yes, the PB feels much more solid and well built than the MBP any day.

drewx2
Jul 10, 2008, 01:15 AM
This is why I sold my MBA and purchased a MB. I got tired of the core shutdowns.

janph76
Jul 10, 2008, 01:16 AM
I've had mine for almost a month now...and I've never been happier. just the fact that I can carry it around everywhere alone is totally worth it. Never had any problems with it....

mark34
Jul 10, 2008, 01:26 AM
you know... I stopped using Flip4Mac because I was finding every time I played a wmv things quickly got bad. I tried VLC, which is not as well integrated, and things are going well. I played some videos and no problem. I will keep testing, but this may have alleviated much of my only complaint with one of the most beautifully and effectively designed products ever.

Macmel
Jul 10, 2008, 04:45 AM
I like Macs and I think they're the best computers out there in terms of reliability and productivity. They're designed to work making your life easier.
BUT, I don't think any product is perfect. Come on, 10-20% faulty MBAs seems reasonable to any of you. Would you buy a car if you knew you have a 10-20% chance of getting a piece of junk?.
I have nothing against MBA (this is the eternal discussion in MBA forums: if you say anything against the product is because you don't understand it). I didn't buy one because I don't need an ultraportable. Full stop. Not needing an ultraportable, for the same price (more or less) I got a MBP which is much more powerful. And yes, I understand they are for different markets and so on.
There are some things I don't get. For example, the fact that it has only one USB port: every fanboy ended up saying "I rarely use more than one port, so it's OK". If, alternatively, everybody would have complained at Apple, maybe they would use their brain to put another port in the next revision. So for those "rare" times you need two ports, you actually have them.
Same with the ethernet: "now you have wireless access everywhere, and you can always buy an USB dongle (and use the only port, by the way)". What the hell is that reasoning?. Again, complain and you might get an ethernet port in the next rev. Just so you know, I'm currently working in France, and government here has limited wireless internet connections until effects on health are assessed, so it's actually really hard to find a place to connect with an MBA. I am working at a research institute and I don't have a wireless connection, so should I have a MBA, I would have to pay extra for the stupid dongle and use up my USB connection (which I could use otherwise to back-up my system, for instance).
Sorry for the length of the message

Alan Taylor
Jul 10, 2008, 06:39 AM
Well, you could always use a USB hub if you wanted to back up and use the ethernet connection. If you wanted to or not is of course your own desicion :)