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Reading through other questions I learned that the 2010 Air came with one, but I don't remember noticing any USB drives when I unboxed my 2011 Air (days ago).

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Since the release of Mac OS X Lion (10.7), there is no installer media. The OS is downloaded over the Internet from the Mac App Store, and reinstalled from a recovery partition that is created on the hard drive.

Eventually, Apple will allow you to purchase a USB drive that contains the OS. For now, you can make your own (or burn a DVD).

It is expected that your computer didn't come with a USB drive for the OS, and the other models no longer come with DVDs.

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According to Apple.com it does not:

In the Box

  • MacBook Air
  • 45W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, and power cord
  • Printed and electronic documentation

The air uses Internet Recovery to boot from Apple's servers and then recreate the Recovery HD if needed to re-install Lion (which also will download from the internet). You will only need media if you can't get to an internet connection and have the existing Recovery HD go bad.

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I bought a MacBook Air this afternoon (2011 version) and it did not contain a USB drive for re-installing software.

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Thanks for answering. Please refrain from posting new questions in your answers. You can ask your question on the site using the Ask Question link at the top right (although yours has already been answered here). Thanks. –  Nathan Greenstein Aug 1 '11 at 2:52
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