New MBA: first impressions

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Prenvo, May 9, 2009.

  1. Prenvo macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi all,

    Just a thread to say "lo thar: I gots a new 1.86GHz SSD rev. B MBA today"

    First impressions:

    • It has lines. It's going back tomorrow.
    • The screen's colours are washed out and everything looks awesomely dull. I've seen (and been told) that the screen looks great normally.
    • The viewing angle is really bad: almost the entire screen's colours change when slightly moving the screen angle.
    • The spacebar has more "friction" than the other keys. Normal?
    • Tried HD YouTube playback with: Flash 9, Flash 10, Safari 3 and Safari 4 = video stuttery, audio fine. Tested using http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4 Full screen causes even more stuttering. Normal?
    • iSight froze on a frame when setting a photo for my user account (first setup): normal?
    • Spotlight crashes and restarts if I type "sys" (System Preferences) and then add + remove characters.
    • Spotlight's "search bar" with the progress spinner goes white, disappears (list jumps up) then re-appears during some searches.
    • Searching for "iPhoto" with Spotlight shows a definition of "iPhoto" but not the app itself. Searching "iTunes" shows the app in the list. Er, normal?
    • Typing in a dark room with lowest brightness: opening lid from sleep flashes an eye-killingly bright white screen before showing the expected screen. "Screen" meaning image on the screen. Normal?
    • Plus side: iTunes launches in less than a second. Wow.

    Like I said: it's going back to Apple Store tomorrow and I'll be asking them to start-up the next one to confirm it has no lines.

    I'm well aware of what the MBA can and can't do etc, but had hoped for a much better first experience (minus the lines issue: I had expected that). So far: pretty nasty.

    P.S. spent about an hour playing straight from box, then another couple of hours after installing all available updates, Safari 4 and Flash player 10. No improvements after updates.

    P.S.2: I'm 17 and was told by Apple Store staff, Apple online store live chat agents and Apple education (by phone) that the high-street Apple Stores don't do "further education" (the period between secondary school and university in the UK) discount, yet today I was told that they do do it. Because everything I've ever wanted from Apple was cheaper via the education store (by phone), I'd not bought anything from an Apple Store before now. Was rather odd walking down the road with £2,000 worth of electronics in a thin white drawstring bag!
     
  2. Carl Abudephane, May 9, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  3. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #3
    my spotlight didn't crash when i tried.

    never use spotlight neways. quicksilver ftw.
    man i can't believe half the people on my floor with macs don't use quicksilver. i can't live without it lol
     
  4. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #4
    That's because not everyone is a geek.
     
  5. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #5
    I understand how you feel but IMO you're being a bit too overdramatic about it. Apple is not going to discontinue the Air, too many other companies are stepping up to the plate creating their version of it.
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    Agreed about the drama bit. Getting lines on the display happens way too frequently for others. I believe that must have set the OP off. At the same time, Apple should have the display issue corrected by now. At the same time, I don't believe it happens as much as a few would have us believe. Finally, with the rumors about Mac notebook updates before WWDC, I think now is a bad time to buy the rev B MBA. It's seven month old technology for full price - I don't get that.
     
  7. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #7
    The spotlight behavior is odd, but if it happened right out the box, maybe it was still re-indexing, which might also explain the video behavior (if a lot of I/O and CPU were tied up doing the spotlight index). Look for mdworker in the Activity Monitor.

    Screen colors looking washed out. you can play with the color settings and try moving to 2.2 gamma, which is much more "poppy"

    System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate...

    You can also search around the forum for custom calibrations that others have put together (I just reset mine to a 2.2 gamma), but they are a matter of taste and do vary depending which screen model you end up with.

    The other thing that would interesting to know is which screen you did end up with that was showing the lines...

    System Preferences > Displays > Color > Open

    Select mmod (#13)
     
  8. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #8
    That thing is broken out of the box. Try reinstalling the software maybe that may fix some of the issues. Anyway, i played the video and it was fine on my mba ver b. 1.86 with 128ssd.
     
  9. Carl Abudephane, May 10, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  10. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    I've seen no rumors about notebook updates nearby at all: just a couple of forum threads here speculating :p

    I realise that they could go and update their line around WWDC, but I honestly think it isn't extremely likely with the focus being on a new iPhone and Snow Leopard. Plus 28 days (till June 8th) is a "long time" :rolleyes:

    I think I'd only kick myself majorly if they made the trackpad itself the button: the CPU I really don't care about and I'm already geared for using Wi-Fi storage rather than the SSD - a storage boost wouldn't affect me at all and I wouldn't be too bothered with an upgraded CPU. Feel free to go "hurh wha?! you're wrong!" :)

    Anywho: I'm off to Apple Store in a few minutes.
     
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #11
    No, if I bought a rev B MBA today, I wouldn't be amazed nor go ballistic if it had lines. I realize it happens. I have seen a few with lines and one with horrible backlighting. It is amazing there seems to be NO QUALITY CONTROL about what goes into the box. This is what we get from The Great China Outsourcing Problem. Nobody working for two dollars per hour gives a crap about the MBA we are paying for with $2499 hard earned dollars. For as much as Apple puts into design and innovation, they really seem to waste money in boxing and shipping poorly assembled Macs. It's sad.

    However, rising blood pressure will not help me in the situation. Steaming on a bunch of nonsense doesn't make the situation better.

    The problem is a lot of people are looking for a reason to be ticked off. A lot of people cannot just be happy to get a beautiful Mac. A lot of people try to find anything to complain about. A bunch of software issues doesn't sound normal. Maybe a bad Mac, but boiling blood pressure isn't going to help the OP. Finding ten reasons to hate his new MBA isn't the right way to go about gaining support. One gains support by stating all of the great things first, then focusing on what the problem is. Most people here at MR don't do a good job of gaining support - like this OP. When they don't complain with reason and purpose, I don't feel sorry for them, and neither do most of the readers here.

    Another reader went off the other day about a bad MBA, complained had to move on to another Mac and was lost as to what to do next. He returned it the next day and got what he described as a display without lines.

    I don't believe one is lucky to get an MBA without lines. I would bet that the line issue bothers less than 5% of all MBAs sold. The line issue would really bother me if it affected the normal viewing of the display, and if I returned several MBAs and could not get a good one. Then I might vent. But the truth is, most of the lightly affected MBAs only show slight line problems with certain background, at certain angle, from certain distance, and usually not in normal viewing. Sure, there are some that are bad, but that is nowhere near normal. I read some information about the lines being a power problem. Article made a lot of sense. Apparently Apple is trying to save power and is not sending as much power to the display, and this is causing lines on a few MBAs.

    Heck, I had three Macs stolen from me three weeks ago. My 24" LED Apple Cinema Display was stolen. A few thousand in software was stolen. And even the backup drive attached to my AEBS was stolen. Did I go ballistic, no because all that would do is raise my blood pressure. Does it suck? Yes. It could happen again and again. Nothing I can do about it. But if I get a bad Mac after paying $2499 I can take it back and get an MBA without problems. Not like the OP just lost $2499. He got a bad one, it sucked, but he gets to return it and get a new one. Sucks but no big deal. Not worth finding ten things to complain about. Come on, some of that was total BS.
     
  12. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    I'm getting a new one to "correct" the screen issue: hopefully that'll work nicely - I didn't go too crazy trying to work out why/how to solve the software issues because I knew I'd be taking the whole thing back.

    9C90 :)

    = my outlook on life.

    I'm fine with going back to Apple Store and getting a nice one: it's only a 30 minute tube journey away (I like the tube). I'm just a little confused as to why Apple doesn't just use the 9C8F screen instead.
     
  13. Carl Abudephane, May 10, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  14. Doju macrumors 68000

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  15. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

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    Jan 31, 2009
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    United Kingdom
    #15
    Just came back from Apple Store Regent Street: tried 3 MBAs, all had lines, I was made to feel crazy ("maybe you just pay too much attention to detail"), was told by a genius (!) that all MBAs had the same screen and I was wrong, that Photoshop doesn't work on MBA, told I should be using a MacBook as the MBA is for wealthy business people.

    I told them that I'm not paying almost £2,000 for a laptop with a screen defect, that there are models without lines and I'm well aware of what the MBA can and can't do - then got a refund.

    Good luck getting me to buy from Apple Store ever again: Amazon here I come! (I've read that Amazon will either a) only ship non-defective models or b) happily exchange the MBA until you get a screen without lines)

    Think I'll wait till WWDC now. Thanks Apple!
     
  16. brif macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #16
    I think you're right. I've read many posts about Apple delivering the "less defective" machines to third party vendors rather than selling them at Apple stores... Maybe they think the customers will act as a QC and return all faulty Macs :(

    BTW I have bought a Rev. A MBA from one authorized Apple reseller and never had any trouble with overheating, CPU core shutdowns or video stutter (*knocks on wood*). I'm just getting a little paranoid about the hinges, but maybe it's just me :)
     
  17. xpovos macrumors 6502a

    xpovos

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #17
    So it's not just the American Apple Stores that treat their customers so badly. Good to know. I swore off their retail stores about a year ago because of several incidents of inexcusably bad customer service.

    Unfortunately, this bullying of customers seems to be getting more and more common these days by a lot of companies and not just Apple.
     
  18. Disavowed macrumors regular

    Disavowed

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #18
    To be fair, I have had nothing but exemplary service at my Apple Store. No pressure, very informative, and never felt like "five minutes and my time was up" sort of attitude. That said, I tend to sneak in weekday mornings or afternoons. Would never set foot in the place on a weekend unless it was a quick in and out for something specific. I understand that I am lucky to have that luxury being an independent contractor.

    As I stated before when bringing up the "lines" issue, I was told that I could boot up at the store and leave with a machine when I was satisfied. Can't ask for better than that, no? :cool:
     
  19. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #19
    I hate dealing with anyone at the Apple Store. They all act like there is no problem even when you show them a problem. Widely publicized problems are denied there by everyone. The "Geniuses" are absolute idiots! The average MR forum member knows more about the Mac than those a@#holes. I have never met a more arrogant group of sales people than at the average Apple Store.

    As many great things as I have to say about Apple's products, it has a completely terrible atmosphere at its retail stores. It is obvious that Apple doesn't do any serious research into how its stores treat the average customer that walks in to either buy or get service. Everyone is equally treated like CRAP! And even if you are shelling out thousands of dollars, you will not get a thank you or a pleasant experience from anyone on a normal day. I would be amazed to ever get a pleasant experience there.

    I absolutely refuse to step foot in a store to do anything other than look or get something fixed that has to be done there. It is fun to go look and see and learn, but it's better to buy ONLINE! I usually buy from Apple.com, but recently I have seen great savings from buying from resellers.

    So, if you have the perfect Apple Store for us to all visit for a great experience, PLEASE SHARE! This is what we should do in the buying section, add a best store experience thread. Let people share where the best store in each area is to buy an Apple product or get a Mac services.
     
  20. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #20
    Maybe you should ask one of us if we have an Air rather than assume we don't. I have a Rev B MBA with lines. I don't give a rats behind about them. They are faint, I have work to do and don't have time to ask this forum about this screen type or that screen type or 9Cxxx crap. Every now and then I see the lines but they are so faint my eyes shift right off of them. If some of you have time to do endless returns due to something so miniscule then go right ahead, at some point it just gets ridiculous. Just refund that damn thing and get something else.

    So, to correct you, I don't feel dramatic about the lines as you do. My MBA RUNS, VERY WELL and I have had ZERO issues with it, thank you. Do I feel that Apple should take heed to this? YES. Is it going to affect my computing life? NO. Do I settle for second best? NO, that's why I bought an Air but I unless it's malfunctioning and the display is unusable I don't have time for endless exchanges and checking posts all day for 9Cxxx screens. I have never in my life had an LCD that was perfect. :p
     
  21. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #21
    +1. 10 chars.
     
  22. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #22
    If the lines bother you that much, you should not buy a MacBook Air. You will never be happy with it.

    You are right, I probably haven't taken the lines as seriously as I should. This stems from the fact that I have seen so many MBAs without lines. In addition, the lines I saw on one MBA were only visible from a weird angle, while looking from a low angle, while tilting the display back, on only a white background, and being closer than I would be viewing it normally. Given what I saw, it is easy to assume that it isn't that big of a problem. Reading here at MR has changed my mind recently. Also, reading that you returned seven of them makes me feel differently when thinking that it was that bad and obvious.

    The problem is there are so many people that say their MBA doesn't have lines, and there are so few people complaining that they have bought many MBAs and they all had lines. Really if you think about it, there are only about ten outspoken individuals here on MR that complain consistently about the lines. At the same time, I am very outspoken about the original MBA, and sometimes I feel like nobody is willing to back me up even though there are extremely obvious problems with the original MBA. I know how problematic it is, yet there are very few people speaking out against it. Doesn't mean that the original MBA isn't problematic, it just means many aren't speaking out about it. So, I need to take your word for it that this line issue is affecting so many MBAs with bad lines that are viewable during normal use. YOU ARE RIGHT. I should respect the opinion more and assume the issue is worse than I have admitted.

    My rev B MBA with SSD and 1.86 CPU didn't have lines, but the issue has come up for me now since it was stolen. Before I bought it, I had read about the lines here, but I checked out a bunch of my friends MBAs before I bought it and none had the lines. So, I didn't think I would get an MBA with lines, and I didn't. I guess it was luck.

    However, more than the lines bothering me is buying seven month old technology and paying $2499 plus tax for something that should be updated soon. Apple's pricing rewards early buyers and punishes late buyers. The system should reduce the price as technology ages as Apple pays so much less for the same components seven months after a Mac is released. The same $2499 will probably get me a 2.13 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and more once the rev C MBA is introduced.

    In addition, I hope Apple gets back to giving us trouble free displays with the next MBA. It is sad that seven months later this is still an issue. Seems like Apple just doesn't care! I guess many people just don't think about it or expect perfection from their MBAs, and those people don't speak out so Apple doesn't fix it.

    Seems like those of us who know about the display issues should be able to select the display we want as we would be paying full price for seven month old technology. We should get the opportunity to select the display we want if willing to pay FULL PRICE for old technology. That could be the advantage of buying later in a product's life. Would give us a real reason to buy at this late stage.

    Although I still believe that 90% of MBA buyers don't know that they have lines or don't see them or don't have them. It just hasn't been a big issue for many posters here. Compare the lines to the problems of the original MBA. There were 50x the reports of overheating original MBAs, video stuttering, and etc a year ago than there are of lines on the rev B MBA today.

    So, I have time to read your complaints, and I do believe that the lines are noticeable on many MBAs if you had seven of them with lines and were obvious during normal viewing. It's too bad, as I loved my rev B MBA, and I would buy another one today if I were guaranteed a line free display. But since I have no guarantees, I decided to stick it out with a uMB until the rev C MBA is released. I figured the less money I spend the less money I lose when having to resell as soon as the rev C MBA is released. However, it could be a long wait, as there is no guarantee that the MBA will even be updated this year! And using this uMB is not fun as the display is inferior to even six year old Dell notebooks.
     
  23. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #23
    I had a laptop for three years which had crazy "wave" patterns running down dark colours: I couldn't stop noticing it. There's no way I'm accepting a laptop four times its price which also has a screen defect.

    To be fair: buying the MBA originally was a great experience and the staff were really nice and friendly - it was only when I tried to get a non-defective model that the tables turned and the "friendly" staff tried everything to either a) get me to buy it with the issue or b) get me to buy a MB or MBP :apple:

    The Regent Street store is - apparently - the largest Apple Store in the world and it sits right in central London, yet everybody thought I was crazy and denied any previous knowledge of such a "defect" even though it's clear that the defective models have been shipping since November. Either I am - like they seemed to think - crazy, or they're covering up.

    The genius had the cheek to tell me that Apple deals with all problems and so there can't be a problem with it since it's been out months. I was literally standing there trying to work out who he was trying to kid.

    While a sales staff member brought the MBA into the genius "area" behind-the-scenes, they looked at what type of "use" I selected in the OS X setup process and then grilled me for even attempting to buy an MBA for "Web Designer". Roar. :p

    +1
     
  24. itou macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #24
    in my experience, the stores in japan are all excellent, as are the ones in toronto. am not sure about america.

    the way people are treated has a lot to do with how they treat others as well. i fear this is a variable most of us choose to neglect in our complaints.
     
  25. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

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    United Kingdom
    #25
    I pride myself in being a generally nice person and I they were totally friendly and nice until I asked for a model without lines.
     

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