How tough are MacBook Air's for general use?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mtom12, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. mtom12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    A question with usage. Ive been through several PC computers in the last few years, their plastic designs end up breaking. I like to use my Computers in bed, often resting up on my kness with the track pad down on my stomach. This is comfortable for doing work.

    The problem ive found is due to the angle the computer hinges eventually crack and with them take most of the casing. I dont drop the systems, never pick them up by the screen, but seem to have constant trouble with this.

    The Macbook air feels tough as nails initially, particularly the little 11 inch screen. Is this something im likely to have issues with on it? I'm frankly sick of buying new laptops. I seem to get 6 months out of them despite no abuse
  2. TjeuV macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
    How that's comfortable for doing work, I don't know. Thanks to the unibody you get a very sturdy machine! No need to worry.
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Plastic vs Aluminum. Which one wins? Obviously depending on the application and usage the answer will vary.

    However, in terms of portability, weight and durability, the Aluminum case wins. My MacBook was bought in October 2008. Still strong and no cracks. Bear in mind, it has fallen but not abused.
  4. mtom12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Dont you use a system like that? Just lay down with your knees up. Let the computer rest on your knees with full access to the keyboard?

    I love doing it.

    Its even nicer with this thing its so small and nice.


    If this thing lasts 4 years ill be very happy.

    Computers that last are great, you can always retire them from main active role and just have them as backup.

    I cant imagine this not being fast. After being used to ****** Celeron and ARM style processors in computers an i5 is absurd
  5. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I've been using a first generation 11" MBA for two years at work. I thought it would only last six months but it is surprisingly strong. It's not rugged by any means but with normal use, and with appropriate care being taken for what it is: a lightweight thin laptop, it shows no signs of wearing out.
  6. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    MBA is a very study tough machine. I've never had a problem with mine.

    Due to it's light weight it makes it ideal for using it in bed etc.
  7. BlakeBrattina macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2011
    Bay City, MI
    I'd say you should be OK using it like that, the only problem that I foresee would be a heavy running fan if you have it on a blanket, etc. Easy heat up on these machines will certainly not be improved in that position.
  8. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    I bought an 11" MacBook Air the day it was released almost 3 years ago and have had no durability issues with it aside from a loose hinge, which resulted in the display being replaced under AppleCare a few weeks ago.

    At work we have approximately 60-70 MacBook Airs, about 7 of which (that I know of) have been dropped or damaged in some way. Surprisingly only one of those has a non cosmetic problem, a pushed in MagSafe port as a result of falling on that corner while the charger was connected. It still works but the adapter is slightly more prone to accidentally disconnecting. Aside from that the rest just have some bumps & scrapes but otherwise work perfectly. Honestly, we've had far less issues with the MacBook Airs vs the MacBook Pros.

    With all of that said, be prepared for lots of heat if you plan on using one on your stomach. All of the Apple notebooks rely on using the wide aluminum bottom case to dissipate heat, which doesn't work very well when it's not on a flat surface. Simply put theres a reason Apple always refers to it's portables as notebooks, rather than laptops. Just something to keep in mind. It will still function with no issues, you will likely just notice the heat and fan spinning up, which can be disconcerting to people moving from PCs.

    Apple Support page talking about heat in Apple notebooks
  9. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    MacBooks in general are very hard to damage compared to other computers. The anodized finish does not scratch easily. I've brushed it against many things and the only thing that has scratched it was a metal server rack.
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Excellent post, and advice well worth heeding.

    I've hardly ever used my MBA as a 'laptop' - it more usually rests on a table - but I can attest to the fact that it is a superbly made, solid, durable and exceedingly portable computer.

    I bought one in September 2010, and it travelled the world with me - quite literally - and sometimes to what are euphemistically termed 'troubled spots'. It was a terrific computer, hugely portable, fast, reliable, and very solidly built (that unibody aluminium case); I loved it, and used it up until a fortnight ago. It never gave me any trouble - yes, the Magsafe and keyboard both needed to be replaced, but Applecare took care of that. Other than that, it worked flawlessly, and still does. I travel a lot, and that winning combination of portability and strength was - and is - irresistible. I doubt I will ever be without a MBA.

    My brother is set to inherit it, and the only reason for that is that the Applecare is due to expire this coming September, so I bought a new MBA to replace it.

    It is a great computer and I expect that you will love it; and there is absolutely no comparison with the plastic offerings found elsewhere. Good luck with it.

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