Apple reportedly probing MacBook Air Wi-Fi complaints

Apple Genius Bar employees have been instructed to "capture" affected notebooks for further examination, 9to5Mac reports.

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Steven Musil
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Apple is reportedly investigating complaints about Wi-Fi connectivity issues plaguing new 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs released earlier this month.

The new models come equipped with the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which supports up to three times faster data transfer rates in comparison with 802.11n. However, buyers of the new models have flocked to Apple's Support Communities pages to complain of lost connections and frequent reboots to remedy the situation.

"It won't stay connected to Wi-Fi" is a common theme among postings. Some posts in the Apple thread suggest the router may be to blame, while others contend that the router isn't the source of the problem.

No stranger to Wi-Fi connectivity complaints related to new products, Apple has launched an investigation into the issues related to the new MacBook Airs, according to a 9to5Mac report. The company has instructed employees at its Apple stores to "capture" affected units, which will then be sent back to the company for closer examination, an unidentified source at Apple told the tech blog.

Some owners of the new models affected by the issue are also reportedly receiving replacement notebooks, with at least one owner reporting that AppleCare provided complementary USB-to-Ethernet adapter that allows the new laptop to bypass wireless connectivity issues with a direct Internet connection.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

In addition to connectivity issues, recent tests indicate that data transfer rates on the new MacBook Airs are severely limited, suggesting that the software currently shipping on these systems is hobbling real-world data transfer speeds.

In testing, AnandTech noticed that the high link speeds on the systems averaging about 533Mbps, but the fastest transfer speed it could achieve was about 169Mbps. After further investigation, AnandTech said it discovered that the TCP window size (the maximum data that can be sent at a time) is limited to 64KB -- far less than the 256KB needed to meet the speed capabilities of the 802.11ac connection.