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MacBook Air USB Problems

In July, I acquired a 13" 1.7 GHz MacBook Air for travel, partly as a replacement for my problematic 17" MacBook Pro. The MBA is light and thin and this doesn’t help me in the slightest, since I travel by car 99% of the time.

Performance with the MBA is sluggish at best when reviewing images (7 seconds for a single D3x file?!), and with inexplicable pauses at odd times, though web and mail are just fine. Quite an expensive toy just for web and email, it seems to me. And then there is the pathetic 4GB max memory (3.7GB after the graphics system takes its share), which impacts me for any serious photographic work.

But the real problem is USB malfunction: the morning of a 10-day trip at 5:00 am, the MacBook Air decided to flake out. Rebooting it repeatedly resulted in either the keyboard or the trackpad or both refusing to function. This forced me to take a 13" MacBook Pro as a backup computer, rather negating any weight savings. For no apparent reason, the MBA resumed functioning properly, having delayed my trip for 90 minutes while I swapped drives, recloned the system, etc. What a headache.

It seems that USB problems with the MacBook Air are not uncommon.

When can I have an Apple laptop that works?

My 17" MacBook Pro would not work properly with 6G SATA drives. The MacBook Air worries me with its random USB failures. What a ripoff of my time and energy to have to deal with such design defects with machines for which I paid the Apple Premium.


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