I agree with the 45 Watt supply and what that means. You will NEVER be happy with this laptop so its time to start the process of asking them for a full refund since your issues will NEVER be resolved. It is what it is.
... and others. I ask because this machine (1.8 SSD) has been back to the 'shop' twice for the same problems now and they claim it is 'normal'. I'd like to know if people have similar problems and how, or if, you had them addressed.
1. Backlight does not turn on in near darkness.
The backlight comes on in dusk, indoors, etc - all low-light situations where you can actually still see the keyboard without a backlight. Open it in the back of a running car at night when you actually can't make out the keyboard for example... and no light, unless you fumble for F6. Because backlit keys when the backlight isn't on have lower lettering contrast (although on the Air it's not as bad as the Macbook Pro) this arrangement is actually slightly less useful than a non-backlit machine. I explained the exact problem since its a completely reproducible situation, and they proclaimed the backlight was working normally after they tested it. I am aware of Lab Tick, etc. However I want it to work as it should.
2. Battery charge while slept.
Full charge while the machine is plugged in and being used comes in about 4.5 hours - which for a laptop of this class and endurance is a little too long, but not a huge problem. But that's only when you're actually in front of it. On plugging it in while slept, it takes the better part of ten hours to recharge. Apple's last given technical reason for the charging time after the tech support tried various other excuses which I shot down, was that it "only comes with a 45W power supply". I asked them in that case to sell me a 45W+ PSU that works with the Air. Indeed they failed to produce one - and in any case if it charges faster when it's running should indicate it's not a matter of Watts. After this, the excuse became "it's just the way it is" with refernces to KB's that they could never actually produce for me. They might as well have stuck out their tongues at me and gone 'na-na, boo-boo'.
3. Fan noise & heat, or heat & fan noise
While doing nothing of consequence (solely non-media-rich web apps, etc) the machine stays quiet. However when running something only a little more demanding - Entourage, a Citrix session and Firefox for examle - the fan frequently spools up and stays there. It's not just that the fan is coming on, the heat is triggering the machine. When the fan is spinning at 6000rpm or whatever it is, it is the loudest notebook I have at any kind of load. The heat also seems to contribute to erratic running of the machine - in terms of freezes and momentary wireless outages.
For example, today my main notebook has been the Air. And what I've used is Terminal (mainly vi), Firefox, Entourage, Excel and Word 2008, Numbers + Keynote '08, Juniper SSL gateway client and the Citrix client, the Microsoft Beta 3 RDP client. I have not been running more than two of the heavyweight apps - i.e. the MS Office components or iWork components simultaneously. Ambient has been about 24C average and for most of the time it has been on top of a wooden desk - and the fan has been on max or high rpm's for about a quarter to a third of the time I've spent using the machine today, as well as exhibiting the freezing problems during the worst of the overheating. Once again, this behaviour is apparently 'normal'. Once again, I am aware of Coolbook and smcFanControl. I just want it to work as it should.
On any of my 1.33ULV SSD'd Vista notebooks for example the above sort of usage pattern makes the machines barely break a sweat, and in fact in most cases my ULV notebooks respond just as quickly to the above sort of usage as the 1.8 MBA. And while the Air is quieter than any of my Sony or Lenovo ultraportables when at idle, in actual use its seems to be more often than not noisier than any of them, and by a significant amount. Needing OS X I don't really have another choice but no other manufacturer's hardware has yo-yo'd between me and the Store/depot as often as Apple, while ironically no other manufacturer's hardware costs me as much in terms of support.
And although I've finally caved and ordered a spare Air to tide me through the downtime of a machine that needs looking at, I'm not sure one spare is enough. After two years of constant problems with the Macbook Pros there are things such as the dirt-poor build quality, heat issues and even keyboard backlight problems that I've just given up on and just rotate my spares to and from repair with a 'jeez, again...' sigh as and when the notebooks inevitably go wrong. The Air is new enough for it to cause me a lot of grief - and until take delivery of the spare it is the only one I have. And call me unreasonable, but I don't think I HAVE to buy two or more machines to get the sort of continuous use I consider normal with just one Lenovo, Sony or even Dell.
Have you had any of the problems above, if you did was the problem solved, and if so how did you gain the speediest resolution?