My 2011 MacBook Air goes back to Apple tomorrow.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by revelated, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    I hate to say this...but unfortunately, it's just not worth keeping.

    Don't get me wrong. The price was right, the backlight was great. Powerful enough machine. But I found too many strikes.

    • Everytime I go back to my MacBook Pro "The Big Apple", and I see how picture perfect its screen is compared to the Air, I can't help but feel that Apple took a shortcut that I simply cannot excuse.
    • Watched a 1080p stream the other day and the fan roared. It caught me off guard, I know it shouldn't have, but it did. The Pro handles the same stream without a peep.
    • Takes an abnormally long time to come out of extended sleep. To the point of irritation.
    • The lack of restore media in box does bother me. It really does. Because quite honestly it costs Apple pennies to include.
    • For some reason the build quality isn't anywhere near the 2010's build quality. Not sure why there would be a difference. The 2011 creaked more than the 2010 ever did under the same use.
    • On the Pro, the Spotlight indexing might drop me down to 4 hours. On the Air it brought it down to 2.

    I have to admit, it felt great having it on the plane ride home last weekend. But after having it for the week I just don't see a point in keeping the lil guy. I keep going back to the Big Apple.

    I'm going to do a couple of video reviews - one for the Air by itself, one comparing the Air to the 13" MacBook Pro (the review EVERYONE wants to see). Then it's going back to the store, sadly.
  2. PaulWog, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011

    PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    Point #1: Thin screen vs. thicker screen. What do you expect? The thicker screen is capable of providing more. Yes, there's room for improvement. But you knew what you were getting into in the first place with the Air (at least I hope you did before buying it). That said, if you're talking about the slight issue with the bottom of the screen being slightly darker (the bottom 1cm, in a vertical line, sort of like a gradient effect), then I feel your pain.

    Point #2: That's odd that the fan went off on a 1080P video. Not that it's farfetched either, but rather it's odd that you had heat issues with 1080P playback. Mine certainly does not have that issue.

    Point #3: What are you talking about? Can you not wait 2 seconds to exit sleep?

    Point #4: What does the restore media really matter? They have it built into the hard drive... so uhhh... why do you care? You have it RIGHT there on the hard drive. It makes no difference whether it's on a disc, on a flash drive, or on the hard drive.

    Point #5: Your mind is playing tricks on you. The 2011 model "creaks" more?

    Point #6: Not sure what you're getting at here. Bringing yourself down to 2 hours seems next to impossible to do. I can just manage to blister away 2 hours of battery life if I play Starcraft 2 at max brightness... so I don't know how you're managing to do that with spotlight at what I'd hope is less than 100% brightness when on battery life.

    Have fun with your Pro. You obviously weren't in the market for an ultraportable laptop in the first place. I say this because I find your reasons for return to indicate that you simply were not in the market for an ultraportable. The only thing I can relate to is the screen mentioning, depending on what problems you're having (if it's simply the quality difference, then I can't really share your sentiments, as it's obvious the Air won't have equal quality at the moment... though it would be desirable). I suppose heat issues are something I share with you in terms of distaste, but I see no heat issues with things like video playback (HD and whatnot), and productivity; I only get these issues with massive multitasking, or gaming (or of course encoding or heavy photoshopping).
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Regarding Point 3, that isn't normal. The 2010s did not do that, and I suspect it's a bug either in the new firmware, Lion, or both. It will be fixed soon. You can count on that.

    Regarding point 5, I haven't noticed that at all. The build quality of my 2011 is just as good as the build quality of my 2010s (I had both a 13" and an 11" at various points).
  4. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    You are obviously comparing 2-3 pounds machine to 4.5-5.5 pound machine...

    If it's thicker, there is more room for more components. It will do much better in just about everything. Point of MBA is not to beat MBP. It's to design a laptop that can perform well, but it will be much lighter and thinner.

    Not sure what you are asking for here. You are so picky.
  5. Character Zero macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2005
    In my Air Lion restore experience the Lion image isn't on the disc. The recovery tool is there but Lion had to be downloaded.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Seems reasonable to me. For those that need more than facebook and internet it seems the Air still isn't an option. Oh well.
  7. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    2011 Air and my uses:

    1. 1080P video playback <-- check (though there's no point, an Air doesn't run at 1920x1080... hence 720P is more appropriate as that's closer to its native resolution)

    2. Word processing, internet browsing, and other basic tasks.

    3. Photoshop, aperture, and other software of the like.

    4. Gaming on occasion.

    5. Music, and other things.

    I mean... come on... the Air does all of this great. It beats or at least very seriously rivals the previous-gen Macbook Pro in terms of performance. And somehow it's too slow? Give me a break.
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Ummm, ok. :confused:
  9. sumone macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    Sorry it didn't work out for you but I appreciate reading this. It's nice to hear another side.

    I hate the hype of it all I honestly believe that if you're some one whose tempted by the hype you should have a close friend or relative hold your credit card for awhile until the hype dies down and then see if you're still interested.

    I think the MBA is a good device but I hate how people are hyping it up as a "must have". People with solid MBP's and iMac's are either selling them or just buying a MBA on top of it simply because of the hype which I think is a shame.

    While i'm sure I don't need a MBA I have been reading reviews and checking out specs and it seems no matter how many reviews I read I still don't see its worth to me. The lightness could be an advantage as I commute back and forth to school this semester but that alone isn't enough to justify putting out an extra 1k. It won't offer a fundamentally different experience from my MBP and would pretty function as a "lower version"(less memory/less ram (11")/less battery life(11")/slower cpu) of what I already have. Which doesn't entirely make sense to me at least not for the price. Some of the things you mentioned I was not even aware of but it's all the more convincing that the MBA certainly isn't for me.
  10. Typswif2fingers macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    Another positive thread proudly brought to you by miles01110...


    OP.. mate by all means if you are not happy take it back. I would recommend reassessing some of the "issues" you have with your purchase though as they strike me as.. well.. unreasonable...

    But... suit yourself..

    Good luck.
  11. xraydoc, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011

    xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Why do people expect a 1/2 inch thick, 2.5 lb., 11" ultralight laptop to be the equivalent of a desktop-replacement MacBook Pro??

    - I've got a brand new 11" ultimate and it doesn't creak at all.

    - Spotlight? What, when it's indexing for the first time? This soured your whole outlook on the Air? Mmmkay.

    - Why do you need recovery media? The 650MB recovery partition can download what you need. Sure, it costs Apple pennies. But I don't think Apple's doing it to increase profits. I believe it's so there's one less thing to lose - or what if you need to reinstall but didn't bring your restore USB stick with you on a business trip?? The recovery partition can download it for you. Sounds way more useful to me!

    - An extra 3 seconds to come out of deep sleep? A) Really, it's a deal breaker? B) file a bug report - maybe it's something that can be addressed with a Lion or firmware update. It's still faster than my unibody MacBook was.

    - 1080p video works fine on my little 11" i7. Maybe it's the way that particular stream was encoded. The MacBook Air uses a ULV processor, you know.

    ** If the MacBook Air doesn't provide enough high-end performance, then fine. Definitely use a MacBook Pro. They're the Pro line for a reason. The MacBook Air is an ultralight. They're built for different tasks. No one is expecting professional level performance out of Final Cut Pro Studio on a MacBook Air - or at least they shouldn't be. But to fault the Air for everything else above seems like you're trolling.

    I do way more than Facebook and web surfing. I run 400MB Keynote presentations off of it. I connect it to a 24" monitor at work and use it like a desktop. I write & edit 50-60 page documents in Word on it. I run a Parallels virtual machine for a special piece of software for work. So far, I've never even heard the fan on this thing. But I know it's not a "Pro" level machine. I know the MBP 15" and 17" are much faster. They also weigh 2x - 3x as much.
  12. activ8, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011

    activ8 macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
  13. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Do you know how long mine takes to come back from extended sleep? I'll even include it in the video I do tomorrow. I won't touch it until I start that review, and that'll be the first thing I meter. By my estimate, from the moment I lifted the lid, it's about 10 seconds before I can do anything. It sits at a black screen for 5, then the arrow which can't be moved for another 5. Now it's very well possible the login window is partially causing that - but that's inexcusable. It's NOT 3 seconds. And I haven't done anything with it except browse the web. No extra software, nothing.

    As for the stream we're not talking YouTube here. This is an actual broadcast stream. I can't control its quality; they always send 1080p video down. The actual picture is smaller, but the pixel density is through the roof. It's actually amazing quality considering there are no hiccups or stutters. And the Air never did choke on the video, to its credit. However I can't deal with a fan that sounds like a plane taking off.

    For the screen I'm talking general all-around quality issues. The thinness of the screen has nothing to do with it. The colors are washed out, even calibration doesn't fix that. MacRumors looks like someone spilled milk on the screen and left it to dry. The spotlighting at the bottom is also annoying. I might have been able to tolerate that if the color reproduction was up to snuff. And it's really infuriating that these valid issues of the machine, especially the screen quality, are just shrugged off by Jobsians who are all too willing to accept shortcomings.

    I sincerely believe this thread tells a sad truth:

    It's an okay machine, at least the base 13" is. Fortunately for me, I don't buy "okay" machines. I buy epic machines. Thus the reason I say I'll just have to ride The Big Apple until its proverbial wheels fall the last vestibule to the best Apple had to offer.
  14. Typswif2fingers, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011

    Typswif2fingers macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    Dubai, UAE

    Mate, a plane taking off is at the threshold of pain at >120dB(A).. You sure you are operating a notebook?! :D

    On a serious note, I think you might have misunderstood the answers on your post... I really don't think anyone answered from a "I want Steve Job's baby, and Ill call it Steve.. event if its her" point of view.

    I am not sure whether there is something wrong with your notebook or whatever the case might be. If it is really just due to poor design, not enough power... then just return the thing... No one really cares...

    After all, it is you who chose a melodramatic title for the thread :D
  15. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I think the OP's opinions are not that shocking. I preferred the 11" MBA because I thought the 13" MBA was still large enough that it would compete too much with my MacBook Pro. For a lot of people, carrying a few pounds more is not a big deal for a machine with similar footprint.

    The MBA 11" however really feels like such a mobile machine, that I do not find myself comparing it to a Pro. I take the MBA out more often to situations in which I do not know if I will need a laptop. These are situations in which I would never carry my Pro because carrying a lot of weight without expecting to use a laptop is a real hassle. Not such a hassle with the MBA 11" for those situations.

    It's good to hear of other people's opinions of the MBA regardless of whether or not it worked with their lifestyle and workflow.

    Btw, my 2011 MBP 17" quad-core Sandy Bridge will have its fans turn on often for video. Is your MBP a 2011 Sandy Bridge? These machines can run fairly hot.
  16. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Yep. And it gets warm at times. But never so much that it will kick in the highest or even near highest fan setting. The screen saver just now had it peaked at 60C. Seconds later it's down to 50C. It'll keep going down and eventually settle at 35-45C idling. If I play that stream it will peak at around 75C. The fans will go to MAYBE 3500RPMs. Nowhere near the 5000 some-odd that the Air did on the same stream.

    I mean to get The Big Apple kicking max fans I'd have to dev > null repeatedly.
  17. fsmorelli macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I'm waiting for your videos to help me. I have a MBP 13 2011 and i'm think of switching this for a MBA 13 2011. But, i'm afraid of the screen's change.

    Thank you
  18. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    To check out the screens, it would be ideal if you could see them in person at a store. It's tough judging screens captured through a camera and then displayed on another screen...
  19. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    The wake from
    Sleep issue is annoying. It takes 10-12 seconds on mine too, but it's also clearly software not hardware related. As such that will be fixed.
  20. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    It seems like the OP's experiences and opinion about this model are well justified. My "old" 2010 does have better build quality than my cousins 2011 does. Oddly enough he's the one that noticed it. I say oddly because neither of us is picky, we use ours as the tools they are.

    Nor have we ever had any major issues with any of our Mac laptops in the past. I respect the OP's fair approach in reporting. Also it's important to remember not every Mac can be ideal for all of us. Apple does an excellent job, but not that good.
  21. fsmorelli macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Yes, i know this VMMan. But i'm from brazil and we don't have apple stores here. I can't try one.
    It's a shame...
  22. seepel macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    I don't think this is true at all, my 11" has handled my iOS development needs just fine.
  23. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    What, in particular, are you noticing? I went through two 13 2010s and a new logic board on the 2nd to fix recurring wake-from-sleep and kernel panic issues, and finally a stuck pixel before I sold it. My 2010 11" model was considerably better, and my 2011 11" model is on par and has been trouble free apart from the Lion-related issues (e.g. the long time waking from sleep and the occasional quicker than normal power consumption in deep sleep). Overall, I notice no difference in build quality, nor would I expect any since they are virtually identical designs.

    Remember, all our experiences are just anecdotal. We'd need to see detailed repair and return statistics to make accurate assessments of build quality. That said, I don't think we should be making blanket statements that the 2011 build quality has taken a turn for the worse. It's the same manufacturer and mostly the same components internal and external.
  24. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    First world problems.

    But seriously, I'd wait for 10.7.1 before doing anything drastic. I suspect many lingering issues will be resolved or at least addressed to some degree.
  25. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    I have the 2010 ultimate 13 and the 2011 ultimate 13. Here are my observations.

    1. The screen is better on the 2010 and both of them have samsung. v1 on the 2010, v3 on the 2011. The 2010 is whiter and the 2011 is a little yellow.

    2. I know they are both aluminum but my 2010 feels cold all over when its off and when the 2011 is off it is not. Makes me think its plastic. Different grade of aluminum???

    3. The keyboard on the 2011 with back-light is a must have. I can never read my 2010 in dim light. Can't believe it came without back-lighting.

    4. Sure, the 2011 is faster than the 2010, by a landslide.

    5. 2011 has awful resume from deep sleep. Horrible.

    Those are the differences I noticed besides the different lion keys and lion of course.

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