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View Full Version : First time Mac user/tempted to buy.




Chuushajou
Mar 19, 2010, 03:13 PM
Hi guys, I've been looking for a MacBook for roughly a week now, and my friend is selling a MacBook Air. Now he had confirmed it is a Rev A, and is suffering from the common defects, I just need some advice.



He is offering it to me for £400, which is roughly $600, good price for a Rev A MBA?
There is a problem with the 'h' key, when pressed down, the 'h' doesn't appear on screen, Could I fix this myself?
He says the hinge is slightly broken, which is a common defect, how noticeable/much of a problem is it?
Can I buy AppleCare and get them to repair the hinge, and or the 'h' key?
Also, with AppleCare can I get them to upgrade the Hard-drive?
Seeing as I'm a windows user, will 'iwork' save '.doc' files?
I'll be using an external monitor, 20" 1600x900, will the Intel GMA-X3100 be able to hand this when using YouTube videos etc?



Oh and he is throwing in an external super-drive, personally I feel this is a good deal, as I don't want a brand new device. I would just like some experienced Mac users advice.

-Many thanks, Jack :)



travelling chef
Mar 19, 2010, 03:46 PM
I bought my Macbook Air for 500 quid a year and a half ago from a mate, and it is still going strong.

four hundred quid is a decent price indeed with the Superdrive.

If the MBA doesn't have Applecare already, then it's too late, I think, it usually has to be extended within the first year.

Is the hinge just 'wiggling' a bit or really, as you say, broken? That could be more of a serious issue...

As for the hard drive via Applecare, see answer above, although there are numerous posts here on SSD upgrades specifically for the Rev A - check them all out as there have been many successes.

For the .doc question check the forums, I use Word/Office, so I can't answer exactly.

How important is the letter 'h' to you? I'm joking of course, but the Rev A has lasted me a year and a half of travelling around the world with it as my only machine for work and for pleasure and still going strong. I installed 'click2flash' thanks to the advice of this forum and saves me a lot of hassle. I watch films (vlc/QT or via the superdrive) all the time, though youtube less often and yes the fan will kick in, but very easily watchable.

The Rev A has its issues, but for me the best computer investment I've ever made (I sold my iMac AND my 17" MBP to use only the rev A). Coupled with my iPhone it's the perfect combination for the work I have to do and the lifestyle I lead, so you should consider these questions, as well as the hinge issue before you take the plunge. :apple::apple::apple:

Chuushajou
Mar 19, 2010, 04:53 PM
Hi Chef, thanks for your reply :)

Unfortunately the owner doesn't has Applecare, and seeing as it is Rev A- I no longer can get AppleCare. Is there an alternative?

I'm not overly sure about the hinge, I'm going to view the MBA on Sunday, just to get a rough idea on what condition it is in.

I've just watched some videos, and what guide on swapping the SSD, looks easy enough, I could probably do it. God knows how he broke the 'h' key, is it even possible to replace the keyboard on a MBA?

uniforms
Mar 20, 2010, 08:04 AM
The machine is now about two years or older. I would not buy it. The key sticking and the hinge scares me. I would buy a new MacBook. At 999.00 us dollars it's new, faster, bigger hard drive and longer battery life. It's new andyou won't have someone elses problems. I had an a air and now have a b with ssd. Night and day difference. I also have a 13" MacBook pro. I use that one all the time. I am gonna sell my air as soon as I can. Good machine but I need a bigger hard drive. So I would by a new MacBook or if you really want an air buy a b or c. If you can get the ssd. Good luck

AndyMulhearn
Mar 20, 2010, 08:19 AM
I'd avoid it like the plague, the cost of repairs if the hinge and keyboard are gone could well be very high. If you really want an Air I'd look at the refurb store where a current model can be had for £969 - http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_air

Chuushajou
Mar 20, 2010, 03:19 PM
Thanks uniform & Andy for your replies.

The hinge and the broken 'h' key scares me too, and personally the more research I do into these problems, the less I want to buy it from him. I've looked around today on the Internet and I've found a 'clearance' MC240B/A for £599($899) and it is new :) which is an amazing price, I think I'll be going for that one now, I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB, right?

travelling chef
Mar 20, 2010, 03:39 PM
Thanks uniform & Andy for your replies.

The hinge and the broken 'h' key scares me too, and personally the more research I do into these problems, the less I want to buy it from him. I've looked around today on the Internet and I've found a 'clearance' MC240B/A for £599($899) and it is new :) which is an amazing price, I think I'll be going for that one now, I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB, right?

People are nudging you away from this particular machine and the Rev A for a reason. I think your last question shows you ned to do a lot more research: you CAN'T upgrade the RAM from 2 to 4GB, if that were the case, we'd all be doing it - and I'd be the first in the queue! How desperate do you need the MBA? As I mentioned above, read the forums and note that there could be an upgrade soon (couple of days to couple of weeks to a couple of months). Be patient if it's not urgent, or listen to AndyMulhearn.

Good luck! ;)

Doju
Mar 20, 2010, 03:46 PM
I'd stay away from it, if I were you.

The hinge, I believe, is fixable even if you don't have Applecare, I remember reading that on Apple's site.

But that's the least of the problems.

I normally have great trouble buying a second hand computer even if it's in fairly good condition (and quite frankly this one isn't). Why? Think all they do with it. Eat food over it, hell, they may have even watched... sketchy... videos... on it on numerous occasions and it's been subject to human nature so many times.

This is why I always try to buy new or refurbished, no wondering what the person did to it.

BUT, combined with all the things it has wrong with it, and the fact the Rev A MBA is one of, if not the worst Apple computer in ages, I'm sorry, but I just wouldn't.

Much better off saving a bit more up and buying a refurbished one. That's my recommendation.

Best wishes.

AndyMulhearn
Mar 20, 2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks uniform & Andy for your replies.

The hinge and the broken 'h' key scares me too, and personally the more research I do into these problems, the less I want to buy it from him. I've looked around today on the Internet and I've found a 'clearance' MC240B/A for £599($899) and it is new :) which is an amazing price, I think I'll be going for that one now, I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB, right?

I'm pretty sure the new unibody MacBooks can go to 4GB. In fact checking Apple's store, yes it can. Crucial would be a good place for RAM upgrades if you get to that.

To be honest for a first time ac user something like that's possibly a better choice than an Air, particularly a rev A with damage :-)

flyfish29
Mar 20, 2010, 04:05 PM
I agree- leave it be- find yourself another one either refurb or other for a little more. The thing is- do you really want your first Mac experience to be a crappy one if there are all sorts of issues that can't be fixed, or are bothersome or time consuming to fix?

Good luck,

AndyMulhearn
Mar 20, 2010, 04:05 PM
BUT, combined with all the things it has wrong with it, and the fact the Rev A MBA is one of, if not the worst Apple computer in ages, I'm sorry, but I just wouldn't.

I came in at rev C but from what I've read of rev A's you're spot on.

Much better off saving a bit more up and buying a refurbished one. That's my recommendation.

Yes, or a different model as he's already mentioned. And get Applecare as well.

SoCalRich
Mar 20, 2010, 04:12 PM
Give this one a pass... for all the reasons already stated so "eloquently." :D

phoobo
Mar 20, 2010, 04:29 PM
a total disaster. Why do this to yourself?

Chuushajou
Mar 20, 2010, 05:58 PM
Wow, so many replies! thank you :)
(It is the first time I've used a forum for something like this, I usually go in-store and pester them with questions.)

Anyway, thanks to your advice, and more research I've decided not to go with the MBA but the MC240B/A.

Getting a Macbook isn't overly urgent, and it is purely to replace my broken Windows system, I'll currently using a Ubuntu 9.04 laptop... I'm going to give them a call on Monday and check that they have the MC240B/A in stock, then I'll go and pick it up.

@travelling chef, according to Wikipedia I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB, because it has two DIMM slots?

Anyway, the computer comes with OSX 10.5v, what is the difference between that and OSX 10.6v?

Thanks :)

Scottsdale
Mar 20, 2010, 06:14 PM
Wow, so many replies! thank you :)
(It is the first time I've used a forum for something like this, I usually go in-store and pester them with questions.)

Anyway, thanks to your advice, and more research I've decided not to go with the MBA but the MC240B/A.

Getting a Macbook isn't overly urgent, and it is purely to replace my broken Windows system, I'll currently using a Ubuntu 9.04 laptop... I'm going to give them a call on Monday and check that they have the MC240B/A in stock, then I'll go and pick it up.

@travelling chef, according to Wikipedia I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB, because it has two DIMM slots?

Anyway, the computer comes with OSX 10.5v, what is the difference between that and OSX 10.6v?

Thanks :)

I think your best bet is a brand new unibody MB. The newest white unibody MB has a 7-hour battery, 250 GB HDD, and unibody case which is a big improvement and will probably result in no cracking at the palm rest of the MB (as the prior models suffered from).

The model number from the newest MB is... MC207LL/A

It's a much nicer MB and the newest Mac notebook available.

Otherwise, wait for the MBA update. The last update brought a $700 price drop and people got the high-end model with SSD for the same cost as the low-end model a few days before it was released.

Another thing to consider is when the Mac notebooks get updated they will probably get a better CPU and better graphics. The MB may get the exact same internal components then too. Of course that's if you can wait between three days (til Tuesday) and up to four months (til WWDC).

Good luck.

travelling chef
Mar 21, 2010, 03:27 AM
Wow, so many replies! thank you :)


@travelling chef, according to Wikipedia I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB, because it has two DIMM slots?



Hi - thought we were still talking about the MBA :p not the Macbook :rolleyes:
But good that you've identified a model that suits you, including the price factor. We're all waiting around here, just a question of how patient we can be!
It's going t be like waiting for a bus: no new models for ages and then two new versions turn up at once;)

Good luck!

norsemen
Mar 21, 2010, 05:16 AM
I´ll second Scottsdale thoughts. You´ll be wise listening to him.

flyfish29
Mar 21, 2010, 09:33 AM
Wow, so many replies! thank you :)
(It is the first time I've used a forum for something like this, I usually go in-store and pester them with questions.)



Glad you came to MacRumors for help. Remember salespeople in stores have a vested interest in selling you something...here- just a strong desire (and sometimes need) to help fellow Mac users! (and even sometimes Windows users:eek:)

My top 3 MacRumors forum tips-

Tip1- Search for your answer in the forum search first- then post a new thread second only if your question seems to be unique.

Tip 2- I have noticed that starting threads between Sunday night and Wednesday night provides the best chance to get answers quickly and not have your thread get lost into the depths of the forum.

Tip3- be as specific as you can on this forum....most everyone on here is a very detail oriented person and the more details you provide us the more tailored answer you will get. Remember this forum is extremely diverse and what might be the "perfect" computer for the power Mac user, would be overkill for the casual Mac user.

Good Luck!!

Chuushajou
Mar 22, 2010, 03:25 PM
Well guys thanks for your help! I went into a Apple Store today, and pestered the poor guy with questions, granted he was very helpful(After I told him I use Mac-rumours) and he basically won me over, I personally prefer the White shell than the unibody! Thanks for the help guys, and I'll see you around alot more ;D

travelling chef
Mar 22, 2010, 04:23 PM
Well guys thanks for your help! I went into a Apple Store today, and pestered the poor guy with questions, granted he was very helpful(After I told him I use Mac-rumours) and he basically won me over, I personally prefer the White shell than the unibody! Thanks for the help guys, and I'll see you around alot more ;D

Good for you!! :apple:

Scottsdale
Mar 22, 2010, 04:43 PM
Well guys thanks for your help! I went into a Apple Store today, and pestered the poor guy with questions, granted he was very helpful(After I told him I use Mac-rumours) and he basically won me over, I personally prefer the White shell than the unibody! Thanks for the help guys, and I'll see you around alot more ;D

So you bought a new White MB unibody at the Apple Store? The unibody is the name of the way the case is formed. The new White MB is actually unibody also. The MBPs, previous generation al. MBs, and MBAs are all unibody and aluminum case. The last MB, and all before it, didn't have the unibody case. It used a piece of plastic that was the area where the keyboard and trackpad are as the top case, and a second piece of plastic as the sides and part of the bottom which is called the bottom case.

The new White MB has unibody in that the whole case is one piece which also has the glass trackpad built into it. All of the MBs before the new one cracked at the edge where top case and bottom case met. I believe this new design is going to eliminate that cracking. In addition it looks a lot nicer, and it feels much nicer than the older MBs. And the glass addition to the trackpad really makes a difference.

What I am wondering is that if you bought the WhiteBook in the Apple Store, or if you're going to buy the older model on clearance from MicroCenter I think you said (MC240B/A). I just want to be sure you realize that the newer MB looks much nicer, feels much nicer, is probably a lot more durable, and is worth every penny of the extra $100 you will pay to get the newer model.

Just trying to ensure you knew the differences between last generation MB and the MB released in October 2009... and that the newer model is only $100 more than the discounted older version.

Good luck with whatever it was that you bought. Cheers!

Chuushajou
Mar 23, 2010, 11:58 AM
<snip>

Good luck with whatever it was that you bought. Cheers!


Yeah sorry! I meant to say the aluminum case. I didn't like the feel of it tbh, so I chose the MC240B/A but I won't be getting it until Saturday, as it is getting upgraded... What is the MC240B/A made out of? polycarbonate?

I'm super stoked! :D

nigameash
Mar 23, 2010, 05:04 PM
Congratz on your purchase ;)

Chuushajou
Mar 24, 2010, 10:15 AM
Congratz on your purchase ;)

Thank you :)

Doju
Mar 24, 2010, 07:08 PM
Welcome to our world! Hope you enjoy it. :)

airmax922
Mar 26, 2010, 12:13 AM
quick question related to topic.

office has 2 rev a macbook air 1.6/80GB, both still under applecare.

How much should i offer to buy it?:cool:

ddd269
Mar 26, 2010, 03:43 PM
quick question related to topic.

office has 2 rev a macbook air 1.6/80GB, both still under applecare.

How much should i offer to buy it?:cool:

$600~$700 sounds fair.

Personally, I don't know why so many people complain about the rev a MBA. I've had it since day one and haven't had a problem big enough to mention... especially after the updates. I don't even remember when the updates came out, but it did the job. I don't use the MBA for anything hardcore like video editing (I have my MBP for that) but it does everything else I need it to do without a hiccup.

Granted, if this is your first mac, then I would go with the newer Macbook like the previous posts recommended.

I just wanted to let you know that my rev. a MBA and many many out there are just fine. :cool:

Scottsdale
Mar 26, 2010, 08:55 PM
quick question related to topic.

office has 2 rev a macbook air 1.6/80GB, both still under applecare.

How much should i offer to buy it?:cool:

I think $350 is fair. I would prefer paying $1000 and getting a rev 2,1 MBA with 1.86/2.13 CPU and 128 GB SSD. Bottom line, you get what you're paying for... except from Apple. With the original MBA, nobody got what they were paying for, and the result was a horrendous experience with an incapable Mac. Pay some more money and get an MBA worth your money. I have seen rev B (2,1) with 1.6 GHz and 128 GB SSD go for as low as $650. The original MBA isn't half of the computer that the 2,1 is.

Also, be prepared to understand that most original MBA buyers don't understand why their MBA went from $1799 and $3099 down to worth less than $500 today. Most don't realize that within eight months, their original MBA dropped in price down to $999 and $1299 respectively... that was as of October 2008. Drop the value from October 2008, and I don't see paying a penny more than $500 for any original MBA.

airmax922
Mar 27, 2010, 12:56 AM
End up

$500, include the External Super Drive. 1 years 4 months left on Applecare

also Micro DVI to DVI adapter, probably an USB modem and USB Cat5 when the user find it

Scottsdale
Mar 27, 2010, 12:51 PM
End up

$500, include the External Super Drive. 1 years 4 months left on Applecare

also Micro DVI to DVI adapter, probably an USB modem and USB Cat5 when the user find it

That's a fair price if you want an original MBA. Assuming you're going to buy it - good luck with it.

ddd269
Mar 27, 2010, 01:21 PM
not trying to hijack... where are you from Scottsdale. I see EEUU/USA listed as your location.

From latin america or have special relation from people there?