Bought Mac Air but Regretting it Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by halfstepdown88, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. halfstepdown88 macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    I went to the Mac Store pretty convinced I was going to leave with a Macbook Pro.

    Basically I have a 5 year old macbook (the white one with a plastic case). It works fine, but everynow and then it gets bogged down and freezes, can't really edit videos anymore, and the operating system is 10.5.

    I saved up a bunch of money so I could move to Thailand and travel (sold cars for 8 months) and want to work on building an online business. Mainly just a lot of internet tabs open. Just bought a new camera with a microphone so that I can record videos for the business as well. I'll need to edit videos and photos but nothing like full feature films or anything, probably 10 minutes would be longest video I see myself making in the time being.

    Told the guy that I was going to use it for work, internet, and some light video editing. I was looking at a mid grade macbook pro, said I was ready to buy it and he told me to hold off for a second and look at the macbook air. Told me it was faster.

    I ended up just buying the most expensive macbook air. $1,900 was quite a bit to spend, but I figured the thing would be screaming fast and he told me it could edit videos.

    I took it home, took it out and turned it on. At first it was really slow, as in I was typing faster than the MBA was displaying the letters. I had it on for about 30-45 minutes and opening applications took long periods of time, seemed laggy, and I tried opening up photobooth and the image would freeze after 4 or 5 seconds, then resume to normal for 4 or 5 seconds, then freeze again.

    Did I choose the wrong laptop?
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Based upon your stated intended uses, you have a capable little machine, that should be a dream to use.

    Have you done all outstanding software updates? From the price, I take it you have the maxed-out 13" 1.7 i7/8GB/512GB. That machine should not be slow, or freezing for 4 or 5 seconds. If after having done the above mentioned upgrades, it continues to be laggy, call AppleCare or take it back to the Apple Store, cause it sounds like you have an issue.

    My maxed-out 13" Air is a dream and a pleasure to use, and does any day-to-day computing I throw at it effortlessly and speedily.
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    You must have a faulty MBA....I used my 4GB RAM I7 with the 256GB SSD for video and photo work, and it never froze or slowed down at all. Take it back for a replacement. It should do what you want it to do fine.
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Advice for everyone: Tell us the country. Did you pay Australian, Canadian, or US dollars?

    A brand new Mac will spend a bit of time indexing the new computer for Spotlight and maybe some other things, but that should stop after less than an hour. iPhoto may still be downloading photos from the cloud, depending how it was set up. But assuming you have a reasonable amount of RAM (4 GB or more), and no unusual software, what you describe sounds wrong and I'd let the store have a look at it. Or first open "Activity Monitor" which will tell you everything that is happening on your Mac and see if there is something unusual.

    A new MBA isn't _screaming_ fast, that's what the quad core MBP is there for :D but it should be fast.
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Something definitely sounds wrong. I have a 2010 Macbook Air (I think its still in my sig) and I use Modo, ZBrush, and Photoshop on it fairly heavily. I can paint 8k texture maps in Photoshop with ease on it and its pretty zippy even though its three years old.
  6. mattbaar26 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2013
    You should return it. For what you said you would be using it for though, you should be all set with an i5. An i7 is only like a 15% performance boost and that is only when you are doing really CPU intensive tasks. 10 minute videos not being in that category.
  7. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    FWIW - The first time OS X really is run on any machine, it takes some time to index the hard drive (or in this case, the flash drive on the MBA). While that is happening, everything feels sluggish and bogged down.

    I'm generally not sure how long this takes, but I also have the top-flight MBA from June of this year, and for the tasks you describe, it's a dream: it boots in 8 seconds consistently, the flash drive is very fast, I keep a lot of apps open and use Parallels with Win 8 off of a Boot Camp partition, and it generally keeps up with me.

    So, my thought is give it a day or so, but if the sluggishness continues, definitely take it back to where you bought it and show the "Genius" Bar folks - there may be other issues afoot.
  8. halfstepdown88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Thanks for the responses. I live in the United States, so that is $1,900 USD.

    I'm going to be messing with it more and taking it back today if problems still persist.

    I'm also curious if you folks think that this was the right choice for me. Would I have been better off saving a little cash and getting the Macbook Pro or the midgrade macbook air?
  9. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Only you can answer that question, but I'll say my Late 2010 MBA is the best computer I've ever owned, and it doesn't have nearly the processor or GPU that yours does (doesn't have a backlit keyboard either). I push my MBA a lot harder than you're talking about, and it is a dream. I can't imagine going back to the MBP line.
  10. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    Your MBA should Fly....

    BUT for 1900 Couldn't you pick up a base rerurb 15R? Same price, less storage. but Bigger better screen, more power in both graphics and CPU.

    Althought the 13A is a great computer and would be the only 13" I would buy. Personally I would have just bought the base 13 Air with upgraded ram and a nice external As even the 512SSD will be filled when working with video.
  11. halfstepdown88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Ok, so my Macbook air has been FLYING the past day. Most amazing machine ever.

    Then I turned it on again today, and it is super laggy and slow again.

    When I look in Activity Monitor, over a gig of my ram is being used up and nearly the entire CPU, with no other program running.

    The task that is using the most energy is called "kernal_task".

    I might just bring it in tomorrow to the store to ask them about it. Anyone else experience that problem? Seems to happen more often when the macbook isn't plugged into an outlet, but I could be wrong on that.

    EDIT:Now the computer is running super fast again... Looked it up. Sounds like kernal_task is also responsible for indexing the drive, so maybe sometimes on bootup it is just going to be slow.
  12. kingalexthe1st, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

    kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2013
    Hi halfstepdown,

    My brother had a similar problem to you with his MBP, with the kernel_task being the problem. Try plugging it in to the mains and seeing how it works, compared to unplugged and running off the battery. My bro found his machine flew when it was on the mains but totally slowed down on battery power; turns out something was up with the CPU and it needed replacing. Either way, take it back to Apple ASAP and demand a new one while you still can.

    Hope this helps,
  13. infinitech macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    i work with NEW machines for HD video production and the only thing i've ever seen bring one of those work horses to a crawl or even completely freeze for no reason is when Google Chrome is running.

    Which browser are you using?
  14. halfstepdown88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    This happens when I'm not using an internet browser.

    What worked at first was I did the software update and left the computer on for an hour or so. Then the problem went away, and this thing is FAST. I've been literally blown away at its speed. iTunes opens up almost the moment I click the icon.

    The problem came back today, and lasted about 10 minutes. Now the computer is super fast again.

    Not sure if it is because the mac is indexing the hard drive or what, but I'm going to go into the Mac store tomorrow just in case.
  15. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I've just upgraded to a 2013 MBA from a late-2010 MBA and the difference is incredible!

    To be fair, I probably didn't need to upgrade as the 2010 MBA (with 4GB RAM and 256SSD) was still more than capable, but the Applecare had just expired, my girlfriends 2008 MBA was starting to show it's age (she's very happy with the upgrade to 2010 tech!) and I wanted my back-lit keyboard back :D
  16. halfstepdown88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Hey guys, this has been nothing but a massive headache.

    The guy assured me my mac was fine at the store in the United States when I told him I was moving to Thailand for a business trip and that my computer was essential for my income.

    Well, I've been in Thailand for almost a month now and the computer is still broken.

    A Mac Reseller here replaced the hard drive, didn't do anything to fix the computer.

    Apple support in the US doesn't want to help. They want me to come back to the United States or ship the computer over there, after stating that shipping a computer out of the country can take 1-6 months to get through customs. This is despite the fact I paid $1,900 for this computer, the salesman in the US assured me the computer was fine and the warranty was good worldwide.

    I am spending my hard earned money (and not making any money in the meantime) to fly to Hong Kong and try to visit an actual Apple Store to get a replacement.

Share This Page