3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 31, 2013 5:08 AM by dwb
Tigro! Level 1 (0 points)

So in a few days, I'm planning to get my first Apple computer (2013, 13" MBA). Before that, however, I have a few questions, so I'd be very grateful if you could help me with answers:


1. I'm planning to use my MBA for OS X mostly (coding, playing simple games, internet browsing, photo editing from time to time) but I'll need to use Windows quite a bit too. My current plan is to go for the 256GB/4GB version which seems fine, mostly because now that we know Mavericks requires only 2GB, everything should go well. Is my thinking wrong and I should go for 128GB/8GB version instead?


2. I heard about WiFi problems with this instance (which are apparently solved yet?) and the screen randomly going blank. Is any of these true? Is it frequent? Or maybe there are other common malfunctions like the blue-ish tint on the iPad 4 which plagued tons of devices that I should know about and watch out for?


3. How durable is the MBA? All I could find were some abstract answers like "really durable" but will I be safe carrying it in my bag to college every day? Won't a little pressure on one of its side be enough of a problem that something dents, bends or the surface just becomes not even?


4. Is the solution to Mavericks lowering battery life already known so that I can upgrade my MBA right away and get this legendary 15 hours or I should rather refrain from it for a while and wait for some update addressing the problem?


And finally, 5. Is it wise to buy the MBA now and upgrade to Mavericks when the battery problem is resolved? I mean: I'm not a Mac-guy so I don't know how it works here but remembering how most of the iOS upgrades were rather slowing your iPad down than making it faster (some only initially, some stayed like that) if you upgraded some older model rather than the newest one, I'm kind of worried that I'll buy my computer and make it groggy and freezing right away because the update is aimed more towards new Pros and 2014 Airs. So - do the OS X upgrades slow your Mac or do only good and you should never fear upgrading?


Thank you very much in advance for any answers

  • dwb Level 7 (22,240 points)
    1. I'd get 8GB just to future proof the computer - the more I thought about it the more I realized that we just can't predict what Apple and software developers will do over the next 4 years. Maybe 4GB will be enough but putting at a $100 more now is better than having to lay out $1300 or more for a new computer in 3 years. If you intend to run Windows in virtualization (VMWare or Parallels) the extra memory will come in handy too. If you intend to run Windows in BootCamp take a hard look at how much space you'll need and how you'll split the drive. 128GB SSD with BootCamp would be a tight squeeze and a real pain if you had to adjust the size later to give more drive space to one of the operating systems
    2. Mavaricks is in its X.0 stage so there are quirks - the 2013 MBA has been a solid performer with Mt Lion so when you are reading about problems over the last week many will revolve around 10.9 and not the hardware itself.
    3. My 2011 MBA has done a ton of traveling not to mention getting lugged around campuses nearly every day. It has been a rock - and I don't mean as in a useless paperweight :-) I have a hard sided slim case for it which I put inside my backpack - I don't suggest throwing it into a bookbag without added protection. Being very thin, it is easier to break the screen of an MBA than the MBP.
    4. Thus far I don't think enough is known about the battery life issue. Some report improved, some report no discernable difference and some report reduced life. Something is going on but what we don't know. History shows that Apple will be working on and releasing 10.9.1 fairly soon. (How soon that is I don't know but the last few OS upgrades the .1 release has come pretty quickly.
    5. Remember that this is a help site - people come here for problems and the press doesn't report good news just problems.
  • Tigro! Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much for your great answer. A really nice point about the site being a help site which quite reasonably implies that I'm going to bump into problems here, mostly


    As for the RAM issue - I won't be able to afford both the RAM and SSD upgrades, that's why it's a problem for me. Upgrading the SSD alone finds me on the very edge of my budget so upgrading both is regretfully a no-do. Thus, I think the SSD upgrade may be handier since 128GB for a notebook with two systems sound critically low to me, and keeping in mind that I'd want to play some simple games from time to time, it may become a really frustrating experience... Sure, you're absolutely right that the RAM upgrade may be safer for the future but it looks like not upgrading the SSD isn't safe even for the present

  • dwb Level 7 (22,240 points)

    Given budgetary restrictions I'd say you are probably choosing wisely.