Just bought a MBA 13inch

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
I went to best buy to return something and of course stopped by the apple desk to play with a MBA. I've been eyeing one for the past 3 weeks. The apple rep came over and said that he had an opened box MBA 13 inch/ 128gb. New it cost 1243.00 but he had an opened box that was bought yesterday and returned this afternoon bcs the person exchanged it for a mbp. Said he would sell it for 1000 plus 150 bucks for best buy protection which cover pretty much anything that breaks cosmetically. I bought it, but have 14 days to return.

I checked the battery recycle which was 1. Was this a good deal and is there anything else I should look at before I start installing windows?

He made me second guess the purchase. He said if he was me he wouldn't waste his money on the air and would go straight to the pro. Thoughts? I really wanted the air bcs of its portability, but running windows is a MUST!
 

Lurchdubious

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2008
1,150
19
Texas
Sounds like a nice deal! You might get a little cramped running Windows, as that could take up 1/3 of your HD very quickly. I don't run Windows at all on my Air because of this, (and because I hadn't used it on my MBP for over a year before buying the Air). Why exactly is running Windows so crucial?
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
Windows 7 runs fine on my 11" i7 Air, whether in Boot Camp or in Parallels Desktop 7. It should run about as well on your 13" i5. Remember, the CPUs in the 2011 Airs are as powerful as the CPUs in the 2010 MacBook Pros.

You got a good deal at $1150 including an extended warranty. Apple sells the base 13" for $1299 new and $1099 refurbished. If you are looking for an even better deal, consider canceling the warranty (particularly if you paid for it with an American Express or certain Visa/MC platinum cards that double the warranty).

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Keep in mind that you're gonna need an optical drive to install Windows on it.
This is not the case any longer. If you have access to a downloadable image of Windows 7, you can create a bootable USB that you can use to install Windows.
 

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
Sounds like a nice deal! You might get a little cramped running Windows, as that could take up 1/3 of your HD very quickly. I don't run Windows at all on my Air because of this, (and because I hadn't used it on my MBP for over a year before buying the Air). Why exactly is running Windows so crucial?
I'm in finance and when traveling which I do somewhat often I will need to run windows. Mainly one huge access application for statistical analysis and my companies main CRM home. Outlook and excel are the only other things I use on the windows side.
 

Lurchdubious

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2008
1,150
19
Texas
I'm in finance and when traveling which I do somewhat often I will need to run windows. Mainly one huge access application for statistical analysis and my companies main CRM home. Outlook and excel are the only other things I use on the windows side.
Gotcha. Is the Air going to be your main computer? If I was in your shoes I wouldn't have enough space to run Windows. If you have enough space though, I wouldn't hesitate to keep it.
 

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
Windows 7 runs fine on my 11" i7 Air, whether in Boot Camp or in Parallels Desktop 7. It should run about as well on your 13" i5. Remember, the CPUs in the 2011 Airs are as powerful as the CPUs in the 2010 MacBook Pros.

You got a good deal at $1150 including an extended warranty. Apple sells the base 13" for $1299 new and $1099 refurbished. If you are looking for an even better deal, consider canceling the warranty (particularly if you paid for it with an American Express or certain Visa/MC platinum cards that double the warranty).

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This is not the case any longer. If you have access to a downloadable image of Windows 7, you can create a bootable USB that you can use to install Windows.


I actually bought it with my Amex card. I totally forgot about that feature. Is it really as good as Best Buy protection. They said if anything happens accidentally (crack screen, spilled liquid etc.) they would replace it same day with a new comp and no questions asked? Is Amex that good?

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Gotcha. Is the Air going to be your main computer? If I was in your shoes I wouldn't have enough space to run Windows. If you have enough space though, I wouldn't hesitate to keep it.
My main computer is the 27 inch iMac. I love that thing. It's a beast and perfect for both windows and mac. I partitioned the drives on iMac, but am thing to use vm fusion on the air.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
I actually bought it with my Amex card. I totally forgot about that feature. Is it really as good as Best Buy protection. They said if anything happens accidentally (crack screen, spilled liquid etc.) they would replace it same day with a new comp and no questions asked? Is Amex that good?



AMEX will cove accidental damage for 90 days and will double the manufacturer warranty. If Best Buy will cover accidental damage, that's not bad and I'd consider keeping it. I pay $33/year to my homeowner insurer for a personal articles policy that covers accidental damage to my MacBook Air. It has a $250 deductible.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,934
440
I checked the battery recycle which was 1. Was this a good deal and is there anything else I should look at before I start installing windows?

He made me second guess the purchase. He said if he was me he wouldn't waste his money on the air and would go straight to the pro. Thoughts? I really wanted the air bcs of its portability, but running windows is a MUST!
It's a decent deal. Good deals are those you get outside of Best Buy...

But anyway, you should look into Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows. It'll allow you to run Windows inside Mac, and thus you won't run into hard drive space issues, as you can expand and shrink the Windows' drive at will. Plus you can work with both Mac and Win side by side, and switching is as easy as a swipe on your trackpad. Trust me, you'll love it.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
But anyway, you should look into Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows. It'll allow you to run Windows inside Mac, and thus you won't run into hard drive space issues, as you can expand and shrink the Windows' drive at will. Plus you can work with both Mac and Win side by side, and switching is as easy as a swipe on your trackpad. Trust me, you'll love it.
I agree. If it is just Access, Outlook, and Excel, it will run just fine under VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop. It's a tossup between the two of them. Parallels usually gets updated once a year, while Fusion is updated maybe half as often. Both current versions are about about equally fast (Parallels had an advantage before) and stable (Fusion had an advantage in earlier versions).

For Outlook and Excel, you might also consider Office for Mac. The 2011 versions are much closer to the Windows versions, though there is less use of the ribbon on the Mac, and Outlook for Mac saves e-mails in a different format.
 
Last edited:

Dynax

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2011
14
0
Munich
Keep in mind that you're gonna need an optical drive to install Windows on it.
Nope, Lion comes with Boot camp that lets you allow to create a bootable Thumb Drive. All you need is a 4+ GB Thumb Drive and any Windows 7 ISO.

EDIT:
Sorry i didn't notice this was answered before....
 

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
Sry, just a got a bit confused now. Do I need a optical drive if I'm running vmfusion? Seems like everyone agrees running vmfusion is better than running bootcamp and partitioning the drive, correct? Also, do I need anything else besides vmfusion (I already have an xp cd) for the install?

Thanks for all of the help!
 

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
Also, is there a way to find out the build date of the MBA? Anything else I should check before picking up a used MBA?
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,934
440
Sry, just a got a bit confused now. Do I need a optical drive if I'm running vmfusion? Seems like everyone agrees running vmfusion is better than running bootcamp and partitioning the drive, correct? Also, do I need anything else besides vmfusion (I already have an xp cd) for the install?

Thanks for all of the help!
No, you don't need an optical drive for VMWare. Make an image of the XP CD using another computer, and transfer it over to the Air. That's the only thing that you have to do.

Beside VMWare and the XP image, you'll need time... to do the install.

But after that, I'm sure you'll be a happy camper. I'd suggest that you "isolate" VMWare and OSX while configuring, and make it so that they share the same network. That way, it'll be like you are working on two different machines at once, and it'll avoid problems and confusion for you later on. I find that the way VMWare tries to integrate Windows into OSX is intrusive, and it makes things more confusing because you might launch VMWare when it's not really needed.
 

TheJing

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
661
0
Somewhere in Europe
Sry, just a got a bit confused now. Do I need a optical drive if I'm running vmfusion? Seems like everyone agrees running vmfusion is better than running bootcamp and partitioning the drive, correct? Also, do I need anything else besides vmfusion (I already have an xp cd) for the install?

Thanks for all of the help!
I think I read tha tyou had an iMac. Put the XP cd in your iMac, open up Disk Utility and create a New Image. Put that on a USB stick and plug that in your Air. Put the Disk Image on your Air. Then you just choose that disk image when vmfusion asks you how you want to install your new OS.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
Sry, just a got a bit confused now. Do I need a optical drive if I'm running vmfusion? Seems like everyone agrees running vmfusion is better than running bootcamp and partitioning the drive, correct? Also, do I need anything else besides vmfusion (I already have an xp cd) for the install?

Thanks for all of the help!
There are some advantages to using Boot Camp. If you do so, you can boot into it natively and get speeds similar to a regular Windows PC. You also can still use your Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine within OS X, but you lose the ability to put the VM into sleep mode.

If you do go the VM route, however, I'd highly recommend sticking with Windows 7 32-bit. Since you'll want to allocate only about 1.5-2GB of RAM to Windows 7 as a VM, 64-bit would convey no advantage, and would simply take up more room.

In any case, Fusion can install Windows from an ISO file, or from a "shared" CD/DVD drive.

I just read that you have an XP CD. If that's the case, then the decision is already made. Boot Camp requires Windows 7, so the only way to get XP running on a 2011 MacBook Air is to use virtualization software like VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop.

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Also, is there a way to find out the build date of the MBA? Anything else I should check before picking up a used MBA?
Coconut Battery will estimate the age of a Mac. Make sure you have the latest version, since earlier versions gave incorrect results.

I thought you had already purchased the open box one from Best Buy? Are you getting another one? If so, I'd check out the number of battery cycles on any used Mac notebook. You can do that using About this Mac >> More Info >> System Report >> Power and looking at the cycle count under Health Information.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,513
916
You can get the Applecare from an authorized dealer for $180.96 (portable one)with free shipping.

I would return that warranty and get applecare.
 

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
I think I read tha tyou had an iMac. Put the XP cd in your iMac, open up Disk Utility and create a New Image. Put that on a USB stick and plug that in your Air. Put the Disk Image on your Air. Then you just choose that disk image when vmfusion asks you how you want to install your new OS.
I think I'm going to go the VM route since I'm running bootcamp on my iMac and that will always be my main computer. The MBA is more for traveling and pleasure. I will download Vm tomorrow, but my only question is if I could install windows on an externar hard drive and run it from there if and when I need to? Is there a specific way to install VM and Windows or is there really only one way to do it.

I do have an iMac so i'll just insert the windows cd tomm and install.

Lastly, when I went to pick up my MBA today from Best But, it wasn't ready. I raised hell and they took another $50 bucks off the price and gave me the $149 insurance for one year free. I actually called the store before I showed up to make sure the comp was ready and they said it was.. Of course it wasn't when I got there. The final price was $946 with 1 year insurance.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
I think I'm going to go the VM route since I'm running bootcamp on my iMac and that will always be my main computer. The MBA is more for traveling and pleasure. I will download Vm tomorrow, but my only question is if I could install windows on an externar hard drive and run it from there if and when I need to? Is there a specific way to install VM and Windows or is there really only one way to do it.
When you install Windows in a VM using Fusion or Parallels, it is saved as a very large file on your SSD. There is no technical reason why you couldn't copy it to an external drive, but note that it would be limited to the speed of USB 2.0. OCZ and Seagate announced some Thunderbolt-enabled portable drives at CES last week, but they won't be available until the summer or fall.
 
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