Why I returned my MBA.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by keypusher, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. keypusher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #1
    Played around with the MBA for about a week before I decided it just wasn't for me. There is a lot to like there, including a great screen, keyboard, form factor, weight, and looks. In its' weight range, I still think the MBA is the best laptop out there. I just should have considered my preferences more carefully before picking one up.

    1. Closed System - It works great right now. In 3-5 years it's gonna be looking mighty slow though, and the fact I can NEVER put in a new hard drive, ram, battery, etc, really got me after a while. I am a geek, I like to break things open and mess around with them. When they break, I fix them. I can't do that, ever. The more I thought about it, the more this got to me. It basically goes against the the entire ethos of open system architecture, open source software, etc. Mac has always been a closed system, and this has enabled them to achieve some amazing things. Here I just thought they went too far, and it rubbed me the wrong way.

    2. Ergonomics - The trackpad is positioned in a bad way for me, and it is super sensitive. That means it picks up slight brushes of my hands while I am typing and there is no option in the MBA to disable accidental mouse gestures while typing. The click button is quick small. You get used to it, but I would prefer something more solid feeling. Also, the wrist wrest edge is quite sharp. No, I don't have cuts on my hands, but it's annoying.

    3. LED Backlit Keys: The light peeks out under the keys. It's an annoyance, but for a laptop that is supposed to be sexy, beautiful, and perfect in every visually appealing way, it's a blunder. It does not look professional.

    4. Poor wireless - For a laptop called the "Air", it should have a really amazing wifi pickup. It didn't. Sitting in the student cafe, the two guys next to me were happily working away on their Macbooks. I couldn't get a reliable signal. It's not horrible, but it should be better considering that wireless connectivity is so important in this laptop.

    5. Battery - Long charge times, quick rundown.

    I'm picking up a 15-Inch MBP for $1499 on Apple Refurb. Less money, more features. Fixable. Time-tested. No computer is perfect (except perhaps the near-legendary 12" PB), and the Air is a great computer for what it is. I think once the price comes down and the we see a revision or two, I may still pick one up as a secondary notebook.
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    LOL! In 3 -5 years time ALL the macbook range will look mighty slow and dated.

    :rolleyes: But whatever!
     
  3. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #3
    Why did you buy it then? You clearly knew it was a closed system.
     
  4. weeman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    #4
    The MBP keys are like this too.
     
  5. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    ^ Damn you got there before me!!

    Yep it does just as much.
     
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    Thanks

    All very good points, thanks for giving us your opinion.

    I'm currently using the aforementioned legendary 12", 1.5 ghz powerbook and planning on upgrading to a black Macbook here soon.

    I think the Air is an excellent device, but like many Apple products, is just not ready on the first revision.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    Clearly you didn't research prior to your purchase, however all of your issues are rather valid. It seems to be a common issue about the track pad but I didn't have that issue when I was using my friend's for a while. Under normal use it's possible it could have been an issue. I'm unsure. The MBP does have lighted keys by the way. I don't know if you knew that when you looked into a suitable replacement. Also, it appears to be the MBP isn't a suitable move for you as you don't want a closed system. To me it seems the MBP isn't as closed, but it is still closed. Maybe I'm wrong. Notebooks in general are "closed" systems I thought. My PB is at the max with the exception of the hard drive, which I fix with externals.

    Anyway, glad you found a replacement in the Mac family.
     
  8. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #8
    1) 3 to 5 years out of a laptop.... If you get 3 years out of a laptop that is great, infact I tend to replace my computers every 2 to 3 years, it's easy and cheaper to replace rather than upgrade. Computers are constantly changing, becoming faster and cheaper.

    4) Poor wireless?..... The Air in the Macbook Air is referring to its weight and size rather than wireless capacity....


    Still I'm sorry to hear the MBA wasn't for you but I hope your newer computer will serve the purpose.
     
  9. keypusher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #9
    I knew the MBA was a "closed system" prior to purchasing it, I just didn't realize how much it would bother me.

    The MBP keys are lighted, but since the keys are set close to each other you can only really see the light *through* the keys. Maybe I'm wrong about that? On the MBA though, the keys are spaced wider apart and raised; you can literally see the LEDs popping out on the sides.

    In 3 years I can throw another 2 gigs of ram and a bigger hard drive into the MBP, and maybe run the newest OS for another few years. Look at all the people who are still using their Powerbooks, fully upgraded with ram and HD. The desktop I'm using right now still has a case, floppy drive, and CD-Burner that I bought probably 10 years ago. All electronics have a limited lifespan, I just prefer extending that lifespan where possible.

    Anyway, just wanted to post my experience with this laptop as I'm sure there are a lot of people out there considering it. For lots of those people, it's probably perfect. Despite my issues, I really enjoyed using the MBA while I had it and overall I think it is a step in the right direction for Apple. I will definitely be watching Apple to see how the MBA series evolves, and like I said before I may pick one up on a later revision.
     
  10. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #10

    Well, no. Wireless was actually touted as a real selling point of the MBA, in conjunction with Remote Disk(no optical drive), the popularity of Wi-Fi (no Ethernet port) and the unveiling of Apple's own wireless backup solution, Time Capsule.
     
  11. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    bleep
    #11
    That's something Apple should have had nailed down perfectly for the Air. No excuse for poor wireless connectivity on that machine, while it's designed and expected to live its life wirelessly.

    Of course I'm sure some of that blame can fall on Leopard. Many people (myself included) report problems with wireless that were non-existent with Tiger.

    As many have said before, Apple's quality control is steadily on the decline.... it's sad to see, but it's true. Instead of obsessing over the friggin' iPhone, Jobs & crew should have forecasted growth adequately and staffed the company properly.

    They need to spend some of that 14 billion on 6-Sigma implementation in China and on more thorough testing and evaluation.
     
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #12
    Interestingly enough, the time it would take for you to remove the 10 screws on the bottom of the Air to replace the battery and hard drive would be like 1/10th the time it'd take you to disassemble your MBP far enough to replace its drive. :confused:
     
  13. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #13
    But Apple won't provide you with MBA batteries over the counter, they only install them in-store for you... right?
     
  14. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!

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