Geez, I can’t believe it’s already been 5 months having this machine. I guess if there were more operational issues, i would be writing more articles.
As many of you may have found, there were/are installation issues with putting Windows 7 Pro on one of these Macbook Airs. That apparently stems from the lack of USB 3.0 drivers, which I assume now is fixed…only because I haven’t seen a whole lot more in the way of Apple Support Community posts on the matter.
Considering I was evaluating this machine as both a viable machine for running Windows and a Solidworks station… no issues means nothing major to report.
What I have found is as follows:
- The battery life is excellent. No need to look for a power source in extended meetings anymore. The all day option for working on an Air might be reduced a bit when running power hungry programs (ie. Solidworks, with Outlook and a couple browsers). I can still get a good 6 hours out of this, and look damn good doing it.
- Complex 3d CAD assemblies might load a bit slower than anyone might be used to. It’s a matter of working smarter though. Use smaller assemblies. Don’t add all those fasteners in that model until you absolutely need to.
- Coworkers still scratch their heads wondering how I managed to wrangle a Macbook Air as my laptop upgrade.
What I have NOT found is
- Program crashes. The desktop PC I run at work still ‘runs out of memory’. The machine needs almost daily restarts.
- Overheating. When running CPU hungry applications, rendering 3D models into ‘photo-like’ presentation files (certainly there is a better way to describe this), I have found the fan come on for a couple minutes…and then off. Over the last 5 months, I think I have heard the fan come on 3 or 4 times in total. My 11″ Macbook Air at home seems to occasionally to just start getting hot…usually while charging. The only thing running on that mid 2011 machine are a couple browsers.
Considering this was a Boot Camp install, I do flip over to OSX for personal work every now and then. Last week I upgraded to Mavericks as well, via USB…also without issue. I guess the only issue I ran into was the time to download the Mavericks update file, which over work wifi was expected to take 5-8 hours. Yes, it’s a really poor connection, and considering how often that router craps out on us, I opted for install via a flash drive after downloading via wire.
Check out LionMaker. Lots of good info, and tutorials across the web on doing that install. I guess if my weekend is a little slow I too could put a piece together on my Mavericks upgrad…but you’re all likely looking for Windows installation tips.
PS. I won’t be transitioning this machine to Windows 8 in any fashion. This Windows 7 Pro version is just fine, and my coworkers have actually downgraded their machines to alleviate a few of the operating issues they have encountered. This isn’t a touch screen machine anyways…and why would I want to put a bunch of fingerprints on the screen.