anyone else baffled by this?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kockgunner, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #1
    Is it just me or does anyone else find the fact that you need to put the MacBook air on a hard surface or a cooling pad, silly? When I use an ultraportable, I don't want to carry another device around just to keep my laptop from overheating. Also, one of the reasons for a laptop is so that one can compute anywhere: sitting down, on a bed, or on a sofa. Now if I do that with the air, I'll be blocking the cooling vents, causing one of the cores to shut down to prevent the computer from overheating. Now I have a single core 1.67 ghz processor on my hands. Why do manufacturers design products, touting them as the smallest, thinnest or whatever when the products need external components to make them work in the first place? It's like an xbox 360. It's pretty small compared to the ps3 but you end up with an huge external power brick. I don't consider that to be an engineering feat. I mean, I could design a thinner laptop than the air except my laptop would have an external battery, docking station, and keyboard which defeats the purpose of the small laptop right? The extra inconvenience of carrying all these external devices and not being able to put the air on a pillow outweighs the lightness of the laptop. I don't really know if this post has a point, but what are your thoughts on this?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    iTeen

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Washington
    #2
    that is really stupid...are all Air's like this?????????
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #3
    You don't need any cooling thing what not for your MBA. If you have overheating issues it's easily fixed with playing around with restarts and the power adapter, with of course a SMU reset.

    Best tweak I have found: Shut down MBA, unplug adapter, do SMU reset, turn MBA back on.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #4
    Even if you don't block the vents in the back, it will STILL get hot on a soft surface. The aluminum case is part of the cooling system, just as it is with the MBP, PB (Al, and Ti).
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #5
    The air's heat wasnt really the point of this post but thx
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    duffyanneal

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    The MBA doesn't require a device to lift it off a soft surface, but it would be a good idea and that applies to ANY notebook. Check in with the gamers and you'll see that a cooling pad is very important. It just helps to keep the machine as cool as possible so the internals stay cooler and the fan runs less.

    It's like air conditioning for your car (especially in the Southwest US). It isn't necessary but it would be a good idea to have it.

    I've owned several ultraportables (X505, TX, TZ, R7, D420, X1, etc.) and it isn't a good idea to use them on a soft surface. You can do it and it isn't going to cause them to explode, but they will run hotter. It's a side effect of cramming so many electrical components into a small space.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #7
    It was more general since the issue touches a bit on the bugs we experience. I used the MBA just fine in bed before and after the issue I had for a few hours last night with the processor heating up and the fans going full blast too quickly.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #8
    No.


    From the moment I switched to Apple, I started off w/a 12" PB G4. I quickly realized by reading MR and the *gasp* product manual, that these machines are called notebooks and NOT laptops because they're not meant to be used on soft, squishy surfaces that can and will block vents.

    My PB, iBook, and MB all have vents all around and all their manuals strongly urge users to NOT use these machines on soft surfaces that WILL BLOCK vents.

    This is NOT a new occurrence w/ the Air. And it will NOT deter me. Not one bit.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    When I use my MBP on my bed watching say a dvd the thing gets hot enough that its hard to touch. So I'd say its not an isolated MBA problem. If you don't mind your laptop getting this hot then carry on... at your own risk.

    C
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
    #10
    I use mine while laying down and the vents are in the air sort of......
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    Did we really need a whole new thread on this? Sometimes people should just use their heads...

    C
     
  12. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #12
    Some people's laps are softer and squishier than others, as is their tolerance for heat on the legs.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #13
    As i said before, the issue isn't really the heat of the Macbook air. It's how manufacturers augment their products (mainly by making them smaller) by leaving things out. Many companies could make a product like the Air if they left out an optical drives or Ethernet and USB ports, but that would defeat the purpose of a portable laptop as one would need to carry dongles and hubs in addition to their computer. I guess my question is how much engineering is actually going into our products.

    For example, if one goes into a mountain and brings a cell phone, he would have to use the huge satellite phones to communicate. Consumer cell phones used to be big but now some are only a few millimeters thin. But is our tech really getting as advanced as we think? The reason why cell phones are so small is largely due to the fact that there are more cellphone towers so phones don't need large built-in antennae to pick up signals. How far have we really come in terms of technology. Is it really that our devices are getting smaller and more high tech or is it just that our cities are more accommodative around our technology?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    MazingerZ

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #14
    I've been using my MBA on top of a pillow for the last 7 days and my fans have been at 2500 rpm most of the time. I'm not really sure what heat issue you are talking about because its not an issue with my MBA. Are you saying that your MBA does this?
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #15
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=428380&highlight=heat,+air

    and also:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20080131/bs_nf/58135:
    "The laptop may also become sluggish after prolonged use, Apple said, because it may shut down one of the CPU cores, and even slow the clock speed of the remaining core, to protect itself from overheating. The solution is to move the computer to a cooler area or use a notebook cooling pad to dissipate the heat."
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    MazingerZ

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #16
  17. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #17
    thank you. exact thing i was going to say. they're portables. but they're not meant to be used on your lap.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #18
    I use my MBA on my lap quite a bit and don't have any overheating problems.
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    It's both actually. Your cell phone analogy has the same answer, it's both.

    I am going to take a leap here and say you are not a computer or electrical engineer (or a computer scientists, etc etc). Well, myself and my fiance are. The leaps and bounds that have been and continue to be made in technology are phenomenal. Going back to your cell phone analogy, the fact that there are more cell towers in more places isn't (just) society becoming more accomodating, that in itself is a technological advancement. We can make smaller towers now and can therefore put them in more places.

    Take for example the Penryn processor. People don't understand why it is such a huge deal since there are only modest speed gains and power improvements. They shrunk the processor from 65nm to 45nm, that's a big step. That means the smallest feature size is 45 nanometers, or, to put it into perspective, it is 1.7% the diameter of a human hair (which is 2540 nanometers on average). If that isn't an engineering feat I don't know what is. The new penryn chips also incorporate a different hardware technique for division. This is the first major overhaul of the process since the original Pentiums came out in 1993 (there is a really great article about it in the current edition of IEEE Spectrum).

    To say that we aren't really moving forward, but that we are just getting more adapted is thoroughly inaccurate. As technology marches forward it will continue to shape out lives, that is just a fact. Technology will find a more definite and defined place as new products are introduced, and it will continue to feel more and more natural to interact with electronics in all that we do. As such, the illusion that things aren't changing much will probably become more prevalent to those who don't understand the inner workings of things such as processors or cell phones. That's not to say the general public is stupid or anything, it just doesn't matter to many people, they just care that it works. However, a look behind the scenes will show that the advances in engineering these things are nothing less than amazing.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #20
    why not?

    and do you guys actually read the post? It's not about the heat issue...
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    You say this isn't about the heat issue, yet you pull up a thread about the heat issue. Anyway, I have been using the MBA on my lap for 2 days and have had no heat issues and don't for see a need to carry around a laptop cooler.



    As has been stated, Apple has said this about their other notebooks, not just the air.
     
  22. Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #22
    Did you see what I wrote in my post? Apple, as in the manufacturer and designer for the machine in question, specifically states in the user manual, NOT to use the machine in that manner. If a user misuses the product in terms of how what it was designed for-- then that user seems silly for being upset when it doesn't perform as expected.

    For example, say I buy a microwave. And the manual says, do NOT microwave metallic objects. And I do so anyway. I shouldn't be upset or surprised that the microwave and other things don't wind up in great shape.

    Yup, which I also wrote in my first post.
     
  23. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #23
    because its a 'notebook' not a 'laptop' nitpicking perhaps but its the way that apple treats its portables. see page 58 of your user manual. apple even cautions and warns that your notebook will get hot during use and that a solid. steady surface is better for ventilation.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #24
    I know that our cell phones aren't just getting smaller because of more cell towers, but I was just making it simpler for other people to understand my point. But great post, you actually looked past the heat issue of the Macbook air and looked at the bigger picture.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    #25
    Do you own one?
     

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