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To gain optical drive features, users could either purchase an external USB SuperDrive or other brand, or the bundled Remote Disc software, only for browsing or software installation to access the drive of another computer wirelessly[45] that has the program installed.[46][47] It can also be used to reinstall the system software from the included installation DVD. Remote Disc supports NetBooting, so the Air can boot from its installation DVD in another computer's drive, which requires Remote Install Mac OS X to be running on that computer. The software does not allow playback or information of DVDs, CDs or installing Windows.[45] For these features, an external USB drive is required.[45] More recent versions of OS X replaced the installation DVD with a USB flash drive containing the software, eliminating remote installation.

Following its introduction, the MacBook Air was greeted with a mixed reception. The portability of the MacBook Air was praised in reviews, but the compromise in features was criticized.[17][18][19] The full-sized keyboard, weight, thinness, and Multi-Touch trackpad were appreciated in reviews, while the limited configuration options and ports, slow speed (in non-SSD models), non-user-replaceable battery, small hard drive, and price were criticized.[17][18] The flip-down hatch on the side of the original MacBook Air is a tight fit for some headphone plugs and USB devices, requiring users to purchase an extension cable. Apple removed the flip-down hatch on the late 2010 model in favor of open connection ports, as is the case with most other laptops.[20][21]


Apple is the king of consumer laptop tech support, and the company added to its repertoire in the past year. In addition to answering questions via social media, live online chats, its support app and phone calls, the company began posting tutorials to a YouTube channel in November 2017. These options flank the company's existing Genius Bar, which still stands out as one of the few ways users can get in-person support directly from a laptop-maker.
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