Just bought a Rev A refurb... to trial.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by spriter, May 17, 2009.

  1. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    Hi guys, your opinions (I can guess Scottsdale's!) would be appreciated on my potential switch from MacBook (see sig) to the Rev A refurb Air 1.6/HD. :)

    I've been after a more portable notebook for the past few months now - my situation changed and I (think) now can sacrifice power and speed for something lighter and more portable. My MacBook is just too heavy to lug around after 9 months of thinking it's not that bad.

    I only want one Mac - either the Air stays and the MacBook goes or I resell the Air on eBay where I would lose minimal money on it.

    My needs have changed and this is what I now use my MacBook for:

    - Safari/Firefox (nearly no YouTube/Flash videos)
    - Skype
    - Teamviewer
    - Office 2008 and 2007 on Windows for study/work (2008 on OSX is a slow dog compared with 2007 on XP/7!)
    - Firstclass (University app)
    - Photoshop CS4 (light work managing my digi camera photos)
    - Bridge CS4 (as my photo browser - not a fan of iPhoto and prefer cross-platform app)
    - iTunes (much less usage since I got my iPhone)
    - VLC (playing DivX, standard def)

    Things I never use:
    - iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, iWork, Garageband, iPhoto (prefer Bridge), VMware.
    - Games (no time, and if I did, I'd get a console).
    - 3D apps
    - Optical drive (not touched for a few years and my wife has a white MacBook for Remote Disc or burning needs).

    As you can see, it's a mainly an Office and Net machine I need with a bit of Photoshop thrown in. I'm wireless at home and wouldn't use it at the office. Portability is important because of always needing to carry it to evening study classes or the library to use where 3-4 hours battery is enough for note-taking. When I'm at home, I'll be on the mains and hooked up to a 20" ACD.

    I did seriously consider a Vaio TZ or Portege R500. After using them for a few hours in the store, I came away with no doubt that the 10-11" screens are just too small along with the small keys/keyboard. This also ruled out netbooks which lack power from the benchmarks I've seen. The X300 and Adamo are way out of my price range, as is a Rev B Air or a Rev A with SSD (as much as I'd like one).

    All-in-all the Refurb Rev A seemed to match most of my needs and budget. A genuinely usable screen size and keyboard with more power than the TZs, similar weight, and cheaper too. I could opt for an eBay second-user but then there's likely no warranty and the condition is questionable. Air also has the option of OSX (sorry, not interested in Hackintosh!) or Windows - I may yet only run Windows on it for the slicker Office which is one of my most used apps.

    I'm also fully aware of the grey lines and thermal paste issues. And yes, I'd prefer an extra USB port.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If you are fully aware of all of the potential problems with the original MBA, and still want to, go for it. Just realize that reapplication of thermal paste and Cool Book don't always fix all of the overheating problems.

    I would strongly advise, that if you want this to be your SOLE AND PRIMARY MAC, you spend a little more and get the rev B MBA. Even the low end rev B MBA, will be free from overheating, and is far more solid than the best original MBA.

    I get wanting to save money, but you need dependable too if it's going to be your only and primary Mac. My rev B MBA was stolen, and I am getting by with a uMB, and I totally understand why everyone would want to dump the MB and move to the MBA. The display differences are so amazing, as the MB display really sucks. Anyways, I noticed that there are plenty of rev B MBAs that can be had brand new, w/1.6 and HDD, for around $1400 to $1500 (which accounts for tax too if you buy on Craig's List or eBay).

    Finally, don't just consider you think the original MBA can do the job right now. As time goes on, we need more drive space, CPU power, RAM power, GPU power, and etc. The rev B MBA will be solid for years to come, as it is all top quality components capable now and the future. A lot of people say they will use the same OS and apps, but with software updates OSes and software often means that a computer that once ran the software with power to spare, is burdened by the requirements of resource needs. Remember to that the rev B MBA has 50% more drive space.

    If you can live with the original MBA, and you feel it will work for you in the long run, save yourself the money and enjoy.

    Whatever you go with, I wish you the best of luck with it.
  3. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I just bought a rev. A had a rev. B with the line problem . The A is flawless, no heat and no fans best thing I did in a very long time.

    I say go for it!
  4. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    The Rev A's are a gamble, I think as much as 50/50, when it comes to the ability to operate without any problems.

    To the point made above, I have been using mine as my primary machine since I received it (it is a pre-order) and everything has been great. The need for more RAM though has been creeping up on me for quite a while to the point I am just waiting out WWDC in case a bump happens.

    What you have described as your regular needs will be just fine, assuming you get a perfect machine. Just keep in mind the 2GB RAM limit because you will bump that ceiling sooner or later.
  5. itou macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    i have a rev. A and i do what you do and more on it.
    it's fine and now, it's great value for money.
  6. spriter thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    Points noted guys.

    I did take a close look at a Rev B and, while I appreciate and understand what you said with regard to the advantages it offers, I really cannot justify and extra 40-50% spend on it at this moment in time. I agree it's more of a risk to go with a Rev A but it's either Rev A or keep my current MacBook at the moment.

    Ideally, and if the Rev A is worth keeping, I'd like to use it for a 2 years for the uses stated above, then hopefully we'll be on Rev D or E (you know, Quad-cores, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSDs... hah I'm dreaming!) which I can move to.

    2GB does sound a little bit limiting especially as I'm used to 4GB but I do believe it to be sufficient if not as expansive as I'd like. However, I'll take this trade off to cut the weight by a good margin.

    My aim is to see how Leopard and Windows XP/7 performs, then decide to keep it or not. If it's OK in Leopard, Snow Leopard should bring some refinements.

    If I get a non-faulty one for £749, I'll consider it good value compared to the alternatives.
  7. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    That sounds great that you're using it to your needs, i have the same needs (except I play games under bootcamp) and thats the only thing keeping me from getting a rev. a (and the heating issues), so if possible can you come back and tell us if you get any problems
  8. spriter thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    Absolutely. If it's a dud, I'll be sure to point it out. :)
  9. brif macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009
    I did quite the same thing in November 08: Used to have a white 2 GHz MB. I bought a brand new (yet discounted) Rev. A 1.6 for a relatively fair price. I am using it ever since as my primary computer for the same things you described and never had any troubles with overheating or speed (*knocking on wood*):cool:.
    You should, however, keep an eye on the hinges and bring the laptop to Apple as soon as you discover any looseness (in case that it's still covered by warranty). It's always good to make them know that you look after your laptop. Then they can't blame you for accidental damage if the hinge suddenly breaks :D
    But in general I think you'll be happy about your purchase.
  10. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2009
    check ebay (if you are into that) because.......

    I was able to get a new Rev B 16./120 + SuperDrive for $1220 and planning on it being my primary with Parallels, Office 2008 and Safari being the main programs running and I am sure it can handle it.

    Either way, you are going to have a nice machine, mine comes in this week..
  11. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    Can you please tell me who the seller was, or if there are still deals similar to this available?
  12. spriter thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    That's good to hear some people are without problems. I'll be wary of the hinge... last broken hinge I saw on an Air had the owner putting a knife through the screen! (Some video doing the rounds)

    Sounds like a sweet deal - hope it all works out for you.

    UPS say mine will be delivered tomorrow but with work all day and a Uni lecture in the evening, I doubt it'll be unpacked until Tuesday.
  13. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    The Rev.A MBA seems perfect for you. You clearly aren't doing anything graphic intensive and so the X3100 will work just fine. Plus, with 10.5.7 and updated X3100 drivers, the MBA is much more capable in terms of HD video.

    Good luck on your purchase. You'll love it.
  14. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    Since the 10.5.7 update updated the x3100 drivers, can anyone here, specifically the OP, tell me how its improved, and if any of the original problems with the mba are still present
  15. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2009
    Why Refurb?

    I see in so many MBA forums that you guys are buying refurb Rev As.

    Why is no one buying BRAND NEW ones from MacMall? They're the same price as Apple's refurbs, but most people don't have to pay taxes so you end up getting a brand new Rev A for LESS money!!!

  16. DeuceDeuce macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2007
    San Dimas, CA
    Macmall is a mail in rebate of $200. Yes it would be cheaper if you got the rebate but that is a crapshoot for most of us. Also, not speaking for everyone but I bought the refurb rather then Macmall because I figured the refurb had a problem and Apple fixed it in order to sell it again. With the Macmall one Im could be getting one of those dreadful Rev A's that Scottsdale ALWAYS talks about.
  17. spriter thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    I hope so. My current MacBook has the X3100 and I've been fine with that for the past 18 months. Any driver update is good though :)

    I'm in England and we don't have Macmall or any other resellers who discount so it's not an option for me.
  18. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I went for a refurb because, they have been checked out well, and they are easy to return, Macmall not so easy :(
    and who wants to wait for a 200.00 rebate???
  19. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2009
    Why is the rebate a "crapshoot"? I've ordered a couple of things off of MacMall, and I've had no problems obtaining the rebate.

    In terms of Apple "fixing" the Rev A, they fixed it by releasing the Rev B. Simply put, the Rev A is designed poorly. There is nothing to "fix" short of an overhaul. The point is, a new Rev A from Macmall will not be any worse than a refurb Rev A from Apple.

    I had a Rev A from Macmall, and it worked exactly as a Rev A should. It got hot and the fans ran quite often, but I had NO core shutdowns or video stuttering. The only reason I now have a Rev B is that the manager at my Apple store felt like being cool that day. I went into the store, told him that there was nothing "wrong" with my Rev A other than it being designed poorly and he replaced it with a Rev B free of charge. I LOVE my Rev B; it is a much better machine, but the Rev A was getting the job done.

    More to my point, it was getting the job done regardless of it being a Macmall Rev A. Is there any evidence that Apple is actually doing anything to the Rev As before they sell them as Refurb? Sure they are fixing whatever issue was the reason for their return (broken hinge, blown display, etc), but I would be surprised if they're doing ANYTHING regarding the overheating issue... I mean, what would they do? As Scottsdale is so fond of pointing out, the only way to truly fix a Rev A is to get a Rev B!

    The "dreadful Rev A's" that Scottsdale is always talking about are ALL Rev As... they're inherently flawed. I don't agree that they're all "dreadful," but they're not designed nearly as well as the Rev Bs; I doubt the most ardent Rev A lover would even attempt to argue that point (other than the screen line issue of course :)
  20. WoodNUFC macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    A Library
    I love my Refurb A 1.6! Absolutely no heating issues whatsoever. Our lists are very similar, as far as computing needs, and this thing has handled everything marvelously.
  21. APPLENEWBIE macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    The high desert, USA
    I've had my Rev A for about 7 months. No problems. Bought it new for $1200... and then the price went down... I do have to be mindful of the small hard drive.
  22. mshaf macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2009

    I understand your point. For me, it was just easier to purchase from Apple. Now that I have made my purchase I am glad I went the refurb route. Assuming that the refurbs they have in stock were actually refurbished and not old stock, I can only speculate that Apple went ahead and fixed some of the heating issues with the refurbs. Again, I can only speculate as I have had no heating issues whatsoever with my unit despite the multiple claims others have made about Rev A issues. Is it possible they reapplied the thermal paste with these refrubs, possibly but who knows. My refurb came with a brand new battery and casing that looked new as well. I can't be happier with my refurb!!!
  23. DeuceDeuce macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2007
    San Dimas, CA
    Same here, I don't have any "heating" issues whatsoever. Never have installed coolbook either.
  24. spriter thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    Well my Rev A refurb arrived and I've been playing around for a few hours.

    - It is externally pristine. I cannot find any cosmetic damage whatsoever.
    - The battery cycle count is 3.
    - Cannot see the grey lines problem.
    - Out of the box it has 10.5.4 (which I left on and did some testing).
    - Installed iStat Menus to monitor results.
    - No SMC fan update in Software update so I assume it has already been applied.
    - Idles in Safari at 52C, fan at 2500rpm
    - In YouTube, HQ quality for ten minutes: temp always between 68-72C, fans topped at 6200rpm. Both cores running at 50-60% constantly. No core shutdown, no stuttering video.
    - Also tried the Cinebench R10. For the second half of the render, both cores going 100% for a good 8-10 minutes. No core shutdown. Fans at 6200rpm, temps 77-80C under full load.

    Have not tried CoolBook yet.

    I am now reinstalling the OS via Remote Disc to free up disk space (from a factory 20GB to 6.5GB after a fresh install).

    Comparing side-by-side to my MacBook, the MBA screen is a world of difference, in the good sense. The weight (or lack of it) is a huge benefit when holding one in each hand.

    Tomorrow I will BootCamp and attempt to WinClone Windows 7 RC - I have no SuperDrive for the MBA and rEFIt can't boot from a USB drive with W7 installer on (I know, it's an Apple thing).

    Overall, a good start.
  25. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I loved my 1.6/80 but had a squeaky key, Apple overnighted me a 1.8/64ssd, wow the difference in the screen is crazy then my first have them side by side:)

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