MacBook Air has issues, says Apple

Support docs detail wireless glitches, Remote Disc work-arounds, headphone trouble

Proud MacBook Air owners should reconsider migrating from an older Mac over the default wireless connection that the Air offers, Apple added. A cabled connection is a smarter idea. "Consider using a USB Ethernet adapter on your MacBook Air and a wired Ethernet connection to your migration source for your data migration," said Apple. "This should be much faster than using a wireless connection."

And if users must migrate using wireless -- perhaps because they had not sprung for the US$29 adapter that hangs an Ethernet port from the Air's sole USB jack -- they should pay attention to signal strength. "Use the Signal Strength meter in the upper right corner of your screen to find a location that provides the best signal to your source computer before you start," Apple recommends.

As with other recently-revamped Macs, the MacBook Air comes with one additional warning: "The Mac OS X 10.5 installation media that shipped with your MacBook Air is designed for use on this computer only and not intended for any other computer. The installer prevents this software from being installed on other Macintosh computers. Furthermore, other Mac OS X 10.5 installation media should not be used when restoring the system software on your MacBook Air."

The MacBook Air, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled January 15 at Macworld, began reaching customers this week. Apple's newest laptop comes in two configurations: a US$1,799 base model and a US$3,098 system that sports a faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 64GB SSD (Solid State Drive) in place of the traditional 80GB hard drive packaged with the lower-priced Air.

Apple retail stores that had not received stock as of Wednesday reported limited numbers of MacBook Air systems on hand Friday. A sales representative at the store in Manhattan, for instance, said: "We have just a few of the 80GB [MacBook Airs]," but acknowledged that the store had none of the more expensive SSD-equipped notebooks available for sale.

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Gregg Keizer

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