Disappointed by the clamshell mode

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ZirkMan, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    The MBA is my first Mac. I love it. To the point I wanted it to replace my Windows PC machine. I have bought a Mini Display to DVI port and hooked it up to my 24" HP monitor. Finally a zen experience by using a computer. No sound of spinning fans nor working hard drive. Clamshell mode. So unique to Mac. Working perfectly.

    This is it! I though for a minute. Or two. Just browsing (no Flash or anything heavy) and doing some text editing. Then the fans started to kick in. Louder and louder. And never stopped. I even turned off the browser and only a plain text editor remained. No help. It's the clamshell mode itself.
    End of Zen. Switch to PC again (it's more silent the the Air with fans running wild).

    Is this normal? This is how it supposed to work? Approved by Steve Jobs the Zen master perfectionist? Or is it just me?

    And a second question. Is it possible to switch easily (like with CMD+Tab) between more windows opened in the same application (like two Google Chrome windows or more projects in a text editor)? I am so used to this from Windows and quite frustrated that it doesn't work in the Lion. Any workaround around this?
  2. macrumors Core


  3. macrumors regular

    CMD and ` (high back comma)

    - Olaf
  4. macrumors 65816

    I use mine in Clamshell mode all day driving a 27 inch monitor - never hear a sound.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Is this a thunderbolt monitor? If yes, is it possible that my DVI connection is responsible for the problem?
  6. macrumors 65816

    I can't imagine clamshell mode causing the fans to go insane. It isn't like leaving the MacBook Air open will cool the CPU down by an extra 10 degrees is it?

    My fans don't go off even when I watch 720p HD video on Youtube. I'm getting my Dell U2412M in a week so I'll let you know if I have the same problems as you. Will be connecting via mDP to DVI.
  7. macrumors regular

    I run a 27 dell monitor from my mba 13 and i never hear a sound unless i am using flash.
  8. ZirkMan, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Thanks. I have tried it. Worked well. Then bought it and a glitch appeared when I cannot make it to see all my fullscreen documents opened in the iA Writer. I could swear it worked in the trial version. Well, thanks anyway. I hope they fix the glitch.

    I don't have an English keyboard and cannot find it. I have tried all commas I could find. None had worked. Thanks anyway.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Um, no it's not. every laptop can operate with its lid closed.
  10. macrumors 68030

    me too..dead quiet and I never shut it off...
  11. macrumors Pentium


    Not unique to Mac and why do you find losing pixels "working perfectly" ? Open it up and use the extra space.

    I have both a 2048x1156 and the internal 1440x900 display working at the same time when I'm at my desk. I throw documentation/iTunes onto the MBA's monitor while my primary workspace is on the external.

    Working perfectly.
  12. macrumors 68040


    Was this the first time you used it? It could the machine was building spotlight indexes, which makes it hot.
    After the first spotlight index is built, there will only be updates on your index later and this won't be a problem anymore.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Never seen it advertised before for a PC laptop. For me this was a new cool feature :)

    I have my monitor on top of my desk and there is no space to put the Mac beside it. Having it on the side and lower than my monitor would be awkward.
    Not perfect for me.

    Btw. You made me to try it again. This time it's like 10 minutes and the thing is still cold! Don't know what happened when I tried it the first time. It wasn't the first time I had used it (I had already had it for more than a month).
    Seems like I can confirm your experience now. Hope it will last. Thanks :D
  14. macrumors 65816

    Nope - I use DVI as well.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    You do need to be careful with clamshell if you use a cover. I use this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZAAFJ2/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details When I use my 13" 2011 MBA open, the temps are basically the same whether I have the cover on or off. However, I've recently started to use it in clamshell and discovered the temps are very different. Doing normal surfing (no flash or video) my temps are running around 50-54C with the cover on. I took the cover off and now my temps in clamshell for the same activity are around 40-45C.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Well duh, look at that case. It blocks airflow to the fan on the rear.
  17. macrumors 6502a


  18. macrumors 65816

    It is the key to the left of the 1 (one) key on your keyboard. It also has the tilde ( ~ ) character on it. The original character isn't a comma, it's an apostrophe.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    He has to change the binding or it still won't work, at least that's what i had to do with SL and my old macbook
  20. macrumors 65816

    Weird, I've always used CMD+~ to switch between multiple windows in the same program.
  21. macrumors regular

    That's what it's called. Sorry, could not find the right word for it.

    - Olaf
  22. macrumors 65816

    No problem, Olaf, just trying to help.
  23. macrumors 603


    You can use the Keyboard Shortcuts section in the Keyboard Preferences Pane to set it to whatever keystroke you like. It's called "Move focus to next window in application" and it's in the "Keyboard and Text Input" section.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    OP, do you close the lid of your MBA before plugging it to the power, monitor, etc.? If so, unfortunately, the high temps and high fan speed is normal. At least, for the time being. The last EFI updates seems to have messed up the SMC, which causes the problem you're experiencing. I suggest plugging everything except the power (assuming the lid is closed) and then wake it up by opening the lid. Once the MBA is running, plug the power and close the lid. It's an annoying workaround, but at least the temp and fan won't go crazy.

    I suggest sending feedback to Apple here about this issue:

  25. macrumors newbie

    Yes, you are right, it doesn't work. Can you please tell me how can I change the binding?


    This would be neat. But I have tried it and it only works when the windows are not in the fullscreen mode. Once they are in the fullscreen (as I use them) it doesn't work.

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