Apple MacBook Air MC966LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)

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Switched over afterwards 20 years of Windows. And I don’t programme on going back. I utterly love this machine. Fast, responsive, light, clean, simple, chic. Instantly if I could just have that elephant Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 to map I’ll exist in heaven. Strongly recommend that you splurge for the 256 SSD. The faster processor isn’t necessary, from what I may tell, merely the 256 SSD is definitely asked in guild to relax and spread out. The MAC Bone appears to have big bites away of your storage space with its ain backups and mysterious other machinations, thence plump for the large drive. Also, later reading therefore many gripes almost the heat and battery life, I experience to account that this laptop is much much cooler than my 3-year-old Dell Latitude, and the battery lasts longer than any I’ve ever had. The shortest coursed Ive gotten from it has been 4 hours, and the longest most 8. Granted, I’ve incessantly had 12-inch Dell notebooks, which are not necessarily stamina kings, only still. As for the heating, I guess I experience noticed it when streaming videos or movies, therefore if that’s something you’ll exist doing a lot, and for more than half an hour at a time, you might want to research the issue further. Just for general browsing and applications, there’s no heat trouble at all, even when utilising it on my lap.

One annoying and seemingly unnecessary thing versus Windows is the fashion the MAC Os wants to control wholly your files alternatively of letting you organize and keep them yourself. iPhoto, for example, duplicates every photograph on your difficult drive, thereby doubling the space occupied, and won’t allow you import photos into files of your own cite and choosing. The MAC mail plan makes 4 or 5 copies of every attachment, squirreling them croak wholly over the place, and the discussion software (Pages or Word) replicates files thence many times over I can’t continue cross of them all. Merely I’m learning workarounds to entirely of this–e.g., utilization Gmail and Picassa (and/or Xee) instead of Mac Mail and iPhoto, modify the settings in Word to construct no backups at all, Apple MacBook Air MC966LL/A and then just3 manually backup after every few revisions, etc. And really, as long equally the hard drive isn’t full, none of this really matters. It just9 bugs me from an efficiency standpoint. The important thing, when switching over from a PC, is to realize that about everything that it seems, at first, like you can’t do on a Mac, you really can. You but receive to do a small digging on Google or MacRumors to pattern away how. Hand it a few weeks to have9 utilized to the Bone and to induce everything configured. This motorcar is worth the effort.

Product Description

Introducing the new MacBook Air, the most Mobile Mac in every way, shape, and form. It features the latest-generation Intel Core i5 processor, high-speed Thunderbolt, all-flash storage, a full-sized backlit keyboard, Multi-Touch trackpad, a long-lasting battery and a high-resolution display. This MacBook Air isn't thin on features at all. These advanced features are packed inside a unibody enclosure that's light, thin, and strong enough to handle all your everyday tasks and then some, whether you're on the couch, in a lecture hall, or at a conference. It's mobility mastered. Optional external USB MacBook Air SuperDrive (sold separately) 13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1440 x 900) Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory (Dual display & video mirroring supported) FaceTime Camera and Omnidirectional Microphone 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology Stereo Speakers & Headphone Mini Jack (Support for Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic) Full-sized backlit keyboard & Multi-Touch trackpad Connections & Expansion - 2 x USB 2.0, Thunderbolt Port, Headphone & Microphone Jack, MagSafe Power Port, SD Card Slot Advanced lithium-polymer battery with MagSafe power adapter (up to 7 hours for wireless web & up to 30 days for standby time) Unit Dimensions - 12.8 (W) x 0.11 - 0.68 (H) x 8.94 (D) inches ( 32.5 x 0.3 - 1.7 x 22.7 cm) Unit Weight - 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg)

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #48 in Personal Computers
  • Size: 256GB
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: MC966LL/A
  • Dimensions: 2.96 pounds
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 1.7 GHz
  • Memory: 4GB SDRAM
  • Hard Disk: 256GB
  • Processors: 1
  • Display size: 13.3


  • 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive
  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor
  • Mac OS X v10.7 Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life

Editorial Reviews Product Description

The new MacBook Air is up to 2.5x faster than before. It features the latest Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O, a backlit keyboard, and OS X Lion, the next major release of the world's most advanced desktop operating system. MacBook Air also comes standard with flash storage, so it boots up in seconds, launches apps quickly, and wakes from sleep in an instant. And a long-lasting battery powers MacBook Air for up to 7 hours and offers up to 30 days of standby time. All in a durable unibody design that's thin, light, and ready for anything.

Apple MacBook Air 13.3
The MacBook Air with 13.3-inch screen--light, thin, and strong enough to take with you wherever you go (view larger).

This version of the MacBook Air (model MC966LL/A) sports a 13.3-inch high-resolution display, 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, 256 GB of flash memory storage, 4 GB of RAM, an Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics processor, and an SD card slot (see full specifications below). It also comes with the iLife software suite, which includes the latest versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand.

OS X Lion

Every Mac comes with OS X Lion, the latest release of the world's most advanced desktop operating system. With over 250 features including Multi-Touch gestures, Mission Control, full-screen apps, and Launchpad, OS X Lion takes the Mac further than ever.

OS X Lion
Key OS X Lion Features
  • Mission Control provides a bird's-eye view of everything running on your Mac.
  • Launchpad puts all your apps front and center for easy access.
  • View apps full screen and switch between them with a swipe.
  • Interact with your Mac using intuitive new Multi-Touch gestures.

Key Features

Flash Memory Storage

By replacing the standard spinning hard drive typically found in laptops (as well as desktop PCs) with flash memory, the MacBook Air delivers an almost instantaneous boot-up when you open the display, as well as faster application launches and snappier overall performance. Additionally, Apple has shed the enclosure that typically surrounds flash memory (usually about the same size as a standard hard drive), thus giving it a smaller footprint and helping to decrease the size of the MacBook Air.

Apple MacBook Air 13.3
The ultimate do-everything, take-everywhere notebook
(view larger).
Revolutionary Thunderbolt Technology

Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O (input/output) technology delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second of transfer speeds in both directions. Built into the MacBook Air, the Thunderbolt port allows you to connect to new Thunderbolt-compatible peripherals as well as existing USB and FireWire peripherals using simple adapters. You'll be able to move data up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 and more than 12 times faster than with FireWire 800, and you can daisy-chain up to six high-speed devices without using a hub. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI, and VGA displays.

Glass Multi-Touch Trackpad and Backlit Keyboard

With the smooth, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, the MacBook Air makes it easy to navigate OS X Lion and your software applications. You can pinch, swipe or rotate images on the display screen with the brush of two fingers, or add more digits for a four-fingered vertical swipe to open Expose and quickly glance at all of your open windows.

Apple MacBook Air 13.3
Spacious, full-sized keyboard with backlighting (view larger).

In spite of its compact size, the MacBook Air has a full-size keyboard for comfortable, natural typing, and it's backlit so you can keep typing in even the dimmest light.

Integrated FaceTime Webcam

You'll be able to easily connect with friends, family, and business colleagues using the MacBook Air's FaceTime camera, which is integrated into the thin bezel above the display. And with Apple's FaceTime application, you're not limited to video chats with other Macs--you can now make video calls to iPhone and iPod touch users (Wi-Fi connection required for mobile users).


  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1440 x 900-pixel resolution
  • Up to 7 hours of wireless productivity plus up to 30 days of standby time
  • 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor with 3 MB shared L3 cache.
  • 256 GB flash memory storage
  • 4 GB installed RAM (1333 MHz DDR3; maximum capacity)
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor (with 384 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) for an outstanding everyday graphics experience.
  • Built-in FaceTime camera for video chatting
  • Wireless-N Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 technology for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and cell phones.
  • Two USB 2.0 ports with networking using optional Apple USB Ethernet adapter
  • SD card slot
  • Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution (compatible with Mini DisplayPort devices)
  • Built-in stereo speakers along with omnidirectional microphone, headphone port
  • Full-size keyboard with backlighting
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.68 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 2.96 pounds
13.3 profile view

What's in the Box

13.3-inch MacBook Air, 45W MagSafe power adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, printed and electronic documentation

Note: The MacBook Air does not come with an optical drive, however OS X Lion offers the convenient DVD or CD Sharing feature, which lets you wirelessly "borrow" the optical drive of a nearby Mac or PC. So you can install applications from a DVD or CD and have full access to an optical drive without having to carry one around. Additionally, you can connect an optional optical drive (such as the MacBook Air SuperDrive) via one of the USB ports.

Included Software

  • OS X Lion
    Includes Mail, Address Book, iCal, the Mac App Store, iTunes, Safari, Time Machine, FaceTime, Photo Booth, Mission Control, Launchpad, AirDrop, Resume, Auto Save, Versions, Quick Look, Spotlight, QuickTime, and more.
  • Lion Recovery
    OS X Lion includes a built-in set of tools for repairing your Mac in the Recovery HD, a new feature that lets you repair disks or reinstall OS X Lion without a physical disc.

Limited Warranty And Service

The MacBook Air comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a 1-year limited warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with the AppleCare Protection Plan.

AppleCare Protection Plan

AppleCare Protection Plan

Because Apple makes the hardware, the operating system, and many applications, the Mac is a truly integrated system. And only the AppleCare Protection Plan gives you one-stop service and support from Apple experts, so most issues can be resolved in a single call. Extend the complimentary service and support on your Mac to 3 years from the original Mac purchase date with the AppleCare Protection Plan. You get direct telephone access to Apple experts for technical questions, and you get global repair coverage--including both parts and labor--for your Mac and select Apple peripherals.

Optional Accessories and Related Products

Thunderbolt Display

Apple Thunderbolt Display
The world's first Thunderbolt display doesn't just give you more pixels. It gives you more possibilities. Built-in Thunderbolt technology lets you connect as many as six devices through a single port and transfer data up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0.

Time Capsule

Time Capsule
Time Capsule is the revolutionary backup device that works wirelessly with Time Machine in OS X Leopard or later. It automatically backs up everything, so you never have to worry about losing important files. It also doubles as a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station. Choose from 2 TB and 3 TB models.


Apple MacBook Air SuperDrive
If you want to burn discs or install software you already own on disc, consider the external USB-based MacBook Air SuperDrive. It takes up very little space and easily connects to Mac mini with a single USB cable--there's no separate power adapter.

USB Ethernet Adapter

Apple USB Ethernet Adapter
The Apple USB Ethernet Adapter is a simple, one-piece external adapter that plugs into the USB 2.0 port of your MacBook Air to provide 10/100BASE-T performance. Simply plug your Ethernet cable into the RJ-45 connector--no external power is required. It's small, light, easy to install, and even easier to use.

Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter

Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
The Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter lets you connect an advanced digital monitor, such as the Apple Cinema Display, to your MacBook Air.

Dual-Link DVI Adapter

Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter
Use the Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter to connect your MacBook Air to a 30-inch display that includes a DVI connector, such as the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display.

VGA Adapter

Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
The Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter lets you connect a standard analog monitor, projector, or LCD that uses a VGA connector or cable to your MacBook Air.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

131 of 141 people found the following review helpful.
4Comparison to the 2011 Macbook Pro 13" and a Wifi Drop Problem (unresolved)
By Wayne N
Things I like:

+ Light weight; 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg). You can easily hold it with one hand - the MBP 13" is noticeably heavier at 4.5 lbs.

+ Solid build quality like the MBPs. Chassis is rock solid, no keyboard flex, screen housing is rigid, and the lid has minor flex.

+ Better ergonomics than the MBPs; the palm rest edges don't dig into your wrists like the edges on the MBPs do.

+ Same great multitouch trackpad and the backlit keyboard makes a return.

+ The screen is a pleasure to use with it's high resolution (1440 x 900) and semi-gloss finish.
There is no glass cover so there will be dramatically less reflections compared to the screen of the MBPs

+ 18 second boot ups and 3 second shut downs. Resumes from sleep within 3 seconds.

+ The two USB 2.0 ports are on opposite sides of the laptop (less clutter than MBP)

+ Speakers are surprisingly loud; they can fill up a small room.

+ Runs extremely cool and it's so quiet that you'll wonder if the fan is running at all.
I can definitely feel heat ~ 87 degrees F on the MPB 13's underside after 6 hours of use
where as the MBA 13's underside stayed relatively cool.

+ Runs Windows 7 just as cool and quietly. (I installed Windows 7 via flash drive)

+ Performance is almost identical to the MBP 13" 2011 on everyday tasks because the Core i5
CPU can turbo boost to 2.7 GHz and the SSD allows for instant application launching.

+ Gaming: it has the same Intel HD Graphics 3000 as the MBP 13" 2011. I was able to run
Starcraft II smoothly at low settings on native resolution. Medium settings also ran nicely but
you get less FPS during large battles. League of Legends ran smoothly at medium settings
30 FPS flat) on native resolution.

Things I don't like:

- *IMPORTANT* Wifi drops constantly on my unit (skip to the bottom to read more)

- The keyboard is shallower and has less travel than the MBP keyboards (you'll get used to it
within a few days)

- The screen has less color gamut than the MBP 13's screen. This screen covers only 46% of
sRGB color spectrum where as the MBP 13's screen covers 77%. For image editing,
I would use an external monitor.

- The vertical viewing angles aren't so great. One minute tilt of the screen causes colors to shift
dramatically (for example: a purple color can change from lavender to light blue as you tilt
the screen backward or forward). Again, I would use an external monitor for tasks in
which accurate colors are mission critical. For everyday use it's not noticeable and is
actually easier on the eyes than the glare-prone screens of the MBPs.

- Not all models come with the same SSD. There are 2 variations; a Samsung SSD and a
Toshiba SSD. The Samsung SSD significantly outperforms the Toshiba SSD in
benchmarks (check the AnandTech review)
To check what SSD you have, click on the Apple logo -> About this Mac ->
more info/system report -> then look on the left hand side and click on "Serial- ATA".
If your SSD's serial number starts with "SM" it's a Samsung and a "TS" means it's a

- I personally get 5 hours of battery life max on a single charge while surfing with 10+ tabs open on safari; I got
~7 hours doing the same tasks on the MPB 13 2011. My activities included watching
YouTube videos, viewing flash content on tech and news sites, reading/writing email,
and using AIM.

- No FaceTime HD Camera (720p) as on the MPBs. The quality difference is, unfortunately,
very noticeable.

- The integrated microphone is located on the side of the laptop instead of on top of the keyboard
as on the MBP. During Skype calls, my buddies told me that my voice sounded muffled
when using the Air. Using a headset with a mic, I was able to improve the sound quality.

Conclusion: Which one should you get?
As a college student, I would recommend the Macbook Pro 13". The Air is more than capable of being a primary machine because of it's superb performance and overall very good screen. For everyday tasks, it should be snappy and a pleasure to use. However, students will get a $100 discount on the Pro while the Air only provides a $50 discount. This means that there is a price difference of $150 (for students). The storage space on the Air is limited (128GB or 256GB) while the Pro comes standard with 320GB. Plus, you can always add a SSD to the Pro later on. The Pro will be the better choice for creative students because it's screen has more color gamut than the Air's. Lastly, you are getting a full voltage processor which can make a difference in video encoding or other CPU intensive tasks.

If you are not a student:
If you value the extra ports (Ethernet, Firewire, optical drive), a high gamut screen (although more reflective), and the ability to upgrade later down the line - go for the Pro.
If you prioritize portability (light weight), higher screen resolution, fast boot ups/shut downs, and less reflections - go for the Air.

In everyday performance the Air feels faster when booting up and launching applications because of its SSD. In CPU intensive tasks, the Pro will have a slight edge but not much. (the two CPUs are actually pretty neck to neck on GeekBench benchmarks). They both have the same graphics chip but note that the Pro will get better battery life (1-2 hours more) than the Air because the Pro has a bigger capacity battery (63.5 watt-hours vs. 50 watt-hours)

Unfortunately, my unit is affected with a wifi drop problem. I don't know if you will encounter the same issue but if you buy an Air from an Apple Store, make sure to test the wifi out by using it in multiple locations and connecting to different networks. If you encounter any erratic wifi drops within the first 14 days - demand a refund or an exchange.


Update: August 2nd, 2011: After one week of use

I noticed that the laptop gets very hot when playing flash content, primarily YouTube videos (720p and 1080p) It could be that Mac OS X Lion does not get along with Flash as this extreme heat also occurs on the MBP 13 2011 (running Lion). The fans start roaring pretty loudly and the aluminum panel above the keyboard gets toasty. I wouldn't touch it.
After exiting YouTube, the fans quiet down and temperatures drop. For casual use like emailing, web surfing or word processing the laptop runs extremely cool and quiet. In Windows 7, the laptop periodically gets hot while just surfing the web (no YouTube videos) and the fan kicks in and then quiets down after a few minutes. It gets hot when watching YouTube videos as on Lion.
Adobe has reported that there has been some compatibility issues with Mac OS X Lion. So my assumption is the extreme heat when watching YouTube videos might be remedied when Apple releases updates to Lion (it's still buggy).


Update: August 3rd, 2011: Wifi Drop Problem.

I have noticed that the MBA cannot maintain a stable wifi connection. The connection constantly drops around every 30 minutes of use. During a lengthy 2GB download, the download stopped at least 4 times and I had to turn the wifi on and off in order to reconnect. This also occurs in daily usage while surfing the web and also occurs both in OS X Lion and Windows 7. This is not a router issue I used a D-Link wireless N and a Netgear wireless N router). I have two Sony Vaios, a HP, and Ipad 2 connected to the same network and they work fine; no drops. The MBP 13 also works fine. Even switching between the two routers did not help. The Air still dropped wifi connections. When the wifi does work, it's very fast.

I did a test today at a Starbucks shop and connected to their wifi using the MBA. It dropped the connection every 20-30 minutes. A quick Google search reveals that I am not alone in this issue. There are many other MBA 2010 users that have the same problem. It would make sense that the new chipsets in the MBA 2011 models would fix it but they CLEARLY have not. I have tried many trouble shooting methods as recommended by Apple; both routers are updated to the latest firmware, OS X Lion is up to date, and I switched the router channels from 6 to 1. None of it worked. The laptop continues to drop signal just as frequently. This is extremely disappointing.
I think I will keep testing for a few more days and return this MBA before the 14 days return policy expires. This issue has been known by MBA 2010 users and I dislike how Apple has not officially acknowledged that there is a wifi problem. I won't say that I don't recommend the Air. Buy it at your own risk and make sure to test out the wifi if you do buy one!

Update: August 4th, 2011: Visit to Apple Store and making the exchange.

I went to the local Apple Store and a technician told me that it could be a problem with the product line. I returned the Macbook Air 13 and exchanged it for a Macbook Pro 13 2011. I miss the higher resolution and semi-gloss screen of the Air, but hey: the wifi works!

Good luck if you buy an Air, I hope you don't get a lemon like I did. If you do buy, tell me how it goes. Cheers :)

Update: August 16th, 2011

Apple has released patch 10.7.1 for Lion. Apparently, it will help "improve wifi stability" among other bug fixes in Lion.

Update: August 18th, 2011.

Upon hearing of the 10.7.1 update, I went to make an exchange for a new base model 13" Air. Out of the box, the wifi drops erratically like on my first Air. However, after applying the update the connection seemed to remain stable. More testing will need to be done before a solid conclusion can be reached. As a note, the update didn't work for some unfortunate Air owners with the problem. If you would like to follow our journey on troubleshooting this nightmare, Google "MacBook Air 2011 wifi" and it should be the 2nd link down - go to the last few pages.

Will keep you guys posted after more testing.


August 20th, 2011

Bad news. My new unit drops connections but the frequency varies. On one occasion it dropped every 2-3 minutes during a Skype call. All my other devices on the network worked fine during that incident and I had to toggle the wifi off and on to reestablish a stable connection.

Wifi connectivity upon waking from sleep seemed to be improved. A connection is established within a few second after opening the lid - much faster than the usual 20 seconds it took to reconnect on my first unit.

I sometimes wonder if there is a hardware issue. I notice that when I relocate the Air to another spot in the house while still on the wifi can drop. I did several tests in the house and observed the Air dropping wifi when I moved CLOSER to the router. Strange. Also, when Bluetooth is enabled all hell breaks loose. The connection drops VERY frequently and disabling Bluetooth restores a stable connection. This effect is reproducible on my unit.

Other than that, my connection is stable most of the time. The behavior described above only occurs in short bursts and goes away. I would say the wifi on the Air is still very useable when there are no annoying interruptions as described. I'll need to do more testing with different networks.

Update: August 22nd, 2011

I have been on my school's wireless network for the past 2 days and everything has been working smoothly with no wifi drops so far. I'm hoping that it'll stay this way and will report on how wifi performs when I use the Air around campus.

Update: August 27th, 2011

During my first week of using the wifi on campus, the Air proved to be pretty solid and only disconnected twice. There are a few annoyances though - for example: when I boot up or wake the Air from sleep and get to the desktop it takes around 10 seconds+ to connect to wifi. Other times, it won't automatically connect to a known network (my school's wifi) so I had to toggle the wifi off and on. Other than those minor annoyances in trying to connect to wifi, once connected - the connection is very stable. I think the boot up/waking issues will be resolved in the next software update.

Update: September 14th, 2011

After 2 more weeks of use, my unit's troubles of connecting to wifi upon waking and booting up are definitely consistent. In Lion, the "resume application" after restart/shut down feature would load an empty Chrome/Safari webpage with a "not connected to internet" error upon booting up. Obviously, the Air takes awhile after booting up to connect and sometimes doesn't connect at all.

Under Windows 7, my unit is prone to dropping wifi randomly. It's reproducible when playing LoL - I disconnect once per game and I can reproduce this observation every game.
I guess the drivers for Windows 7 aren't too great.

I would have been happier with a MPB 13" but I hope Apple will release a fix soon...


Update: September 26th, 2011

I met some students on campus who own the 2011 13" i5 Air and they have the same problem as well! Glad I'm not alone but Apple seems to be in no hurry to fix this. I've been getting horrible wifi performance as of late while in the room and the closest router is a mere 8 feet away outside the door. Listening to online radio, it stutters every few seconds and is unplayable and don't get me started on doing online homework. Submitting an answer online would frequently be met with a disconnection - it's frustrating and unreliable when I'm trying to work.

Another issue that developed is the noisy fan. Watching low quality NFL highlight videos causes the Air to act like a jet taking off. The fan spins loudly and a great deal of heat is produced on the top panel of the keyboard - primarily on the left side. All this from watching a low quality video? that's pathetic. I think this is a Mac OS Lion issue.

The latest issue is that the Air developed a creak whenever I pick it up and move it around. I heard the noise when I first got it but it wasn't as frequent. As of late, the chassis of the
Air would creak whenever it was touched. Even typing on the keyboard and using the touchpad would produce this noise. I think the problem is with the screws being loose and thought I can remedy the problem easily until I noticed that Apple uses obscure screws for the Air called pentalobe screws. The only way to fix it is to order a pentalobe screw driver online (it's around $10). By the way, one of my friend's Air creaks too.

Looks like I'll have to call up Apple Care.

I apologize if I sound antagonistic against the Air but that's because I'm frustrated and disappointed. After going through 2 units I am still getting the same problem - not to mention the friends who experience it as well.

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful.
5Best Macbook to date
By iGlaswegian
Watch Video Here:

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful.
3Great Looks, Speedy Laptop. Gets hot and loud under moderate CPU load.
By Alex Green
I have been using my new 13" Macbook Air, 256GB, Core i7 for just over a week and here are my impressions...

First, the good stuff...

- The industrial design is absolutely gorgeous and rock-solid. The laptop is thin, light and pleasure to look at.

- Screen is 13" but the resolution is comparable to that of most 15"+ laptops. Perfectly usable for graphic/software development. While Macbook Air uses (supposedly) an inferior TN panel compared to Macbook Pro, I did not find a drastic difference between the two (I also own a 17" Macbook Pro). The Air has slightly smaller viewing angles and perhaps not as good colour reproduction, but the differences are subtle. Also, there's a lot less glare on Air's "glossy" display compared to glossy Macbook Pro.

- Performance is great, in some cases it bests the Quad Core i7 17" Macbook Pro, thanks to its SSD Drive. Startups/shutdowns are super fast and the applications open/close almost instantly. Having said that, do not expect to do any serious gaming on this little guy. The built-in Intel graphics chip has hard time handling even 5 year old games and is actually slower than nVidia chip on the previous generation Air.

- Expect to get about 4-5 hours of mixed use out of "7 hour" battery. That's what I average while doing some Photoshop and web dev work, browsing, listening to music and viewing a few video clips.

Now, the negatives...

Well, it's one negative really, but it is something I find extremely annoying. The laptop gets VERY hot when CPU usage approaches 50% and the fan kicks in full-blast at 6,000+ RPM.

I first noticed the excessive noise when I was transferring my data and applications from the time machine backup upon initial setup. The fan stayed on entire time, CPU temperature was approaching 90C while being only 30% utilized.

I continued to experience high heat/fan noise issues throughout the week. Sometimes it was during routine web browsing where some of the websites contained Flash elements. Starting Windows XP in Parallels would immediately set the fan in motion, again, sometimes hitting 6,000+ rpm. Playing Civilization IV, a fairly old game, had fan going full blast entire time with CPU again reaching 90C. Apple's own "Cosmos" screensaver brings the CPU temperature up to 80-85C and the fan up to 4500-5000rpm. The most annoying thing -- none of these tasks were taxing the CPU at more than 50%!

I did a fair bit of research on this issue. There are multiple discussions on Apple, MacRumours and other forums about excessive heat and fan noise. Also, many report increased heat on their older Apple laptops after upgrading to Lion, so perhaps (fingers crossed), there's a patch on the way that will improve thermal management somewhat.

The thought about returning the Air for refund did cross my mind, but I decided to keep it in the end. I am not a gamer and doing my work (web/mobile development) is not very taxing on the CPU, however, I do not think it is unreasonable to expect relatively quiet operation on such premium laptop with only 50% CPU usage. I can only hope that Apple is listening and looking to remedy the problem.

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