Buyer Beware Of The Macbook Air
My wife had a Powerbook G4 which she loved for years. She refused to upgrade because the Macbook and Macbook Pro designs had too big of a footprint for her. When the Macbook Air came out, she hesitated, but decided the Air was close enough to what she wanted to warrant an upgrade. Months later, she really regrets this.
Most people complain about the lack of large harddrive or optical media reader, but on these topics I think Apple’s product decisions make some sense. Here are some lesser known issues.
The Macbook Air is back heavy.
If you sit it open on a flat surface, most of the weight is in the rear. This is terrible for a laptop. My wife finds that everytime she removes her hands the whole thing almost tumbles off her lap. It would have been better to have the thick part in the front, but I suppose this doesn’t make for as nice of a demo.
Apple apparently does not have any parts in stock.
If your Macbook Air breaks, you are looking at a long wait for a repair. In my experience, typical turnaround times for Apple on laptop repairs are less than a week, usually around 4-5 days. The wait time for the Air appears to be somewhere north of 2 weeks.
My wife’s machine’s video card went haywire, and she dropped it off at the local Apple store for repair on June 12. It has still not come back, although the status indicator finally claims it is now fixed. A friend who works at Apple told me her co-worker’s Air broke and they experience similar wait times, even though Apple fast-tracks employee repairs.
Four or five days without a machine is liveable for most, but two weeks is a deal breaker. Mac hardware has a good reputation, but it still breaks. Every Apple laptop I’ve owned has been repaired at least once during its lifetime, and all the iBooks I had went in multiple times. The only exception is my wife’s Powerbook G4, which still hums along perfectly.
So if you plan for the Air to be your primary machine, you best keep your old machine around as a backup.
Updated: Corrected the date the Air was dropped off for repair.
Filed under: apple, code | 3 Comments