External Monitor+Clamshell Mode+BookArc

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JulesK, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    I'm getting my MBA 11 (i7) set-up finalized, with a 24" ACD and Apple Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. I don't intend to use it as a dual-monitor setup, just operating the computer in clamshell mode. Two questions:

    -Is there an overheating problem with the computer in clamshell mode?

    -Does anyone have experience with a MBA on a BookArc stand (in terms of overheating)? It would have seemed better to have the hinge on top to better vent heat, rather than at the bottom, but certainly more aesthetically pleasing the way they did it. I'd like to save a little desk space.

    Many thanks.
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Laptop's vent some of their heat through the keyboard surface as well, its going to hurt the Air's longevity, or any laptop for that matter, if you use it clamshell mode for a significant amount of time. Especially if you do CPU heavy work. Feel the bottom of the Air, now consider that much heat is radiating near the screen. There is no empirical evidence one way or the other, but common sense says it can't be good for it.
  3. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    certainly no data for this...the clamshell works fine - I use a book arc and never see my temps go above 130 acc to istat nano....I expect years out of my MBA...I did take off my keyboard film cover when in clamshell mode though...
  4. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    have u so little faith in apple's latest and greatest? c'mon man.
  5. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    heehee :D
  6. BizProf macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2011
    I essentially run the setup described by the OP; have not had any problems with heat (for going on a month)...

    Although the BookArc seemed to be a superfluous purchase at the time, it has dramatically increased my desktop real estate (not to mention improved the overall aesthetic of my workspace). I don't regret it at all :)
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, all Apple portables are designed to function well in clamshell mode. If that weren't true, Apple wouldn't give instructions on how to operate in clamshell mode:
    Apple Portables: How to use your computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode with an external display
    That is false. There is no venting at all through the keyboard, as there is a solid sheet under the keyboard, preventing any meaningful air flow. All venting, both intake and exhaust, is located at the rear, near the hinge. Heat radiates in all directions, but not venting.
  8. divinemercy macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Dear OP,

    There will be no problem whatsoever. I use mine in clamshell mode a few hours a day minimum (I use it to stream all my television watching to my tv in clamshell mode).

    One suggestion though is maybe finding a cheaper stand option. For instance, I use this napkin holder!! Its metal and compliments the air. It expands and contracts to fit any laptop.


    I got it for like 8 bucks at a local ACE hardware. It has never scratched or harmed my AIR in any way. Much lower price-point, and I think it's comparably stylish.
  9. fade- macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2011
  10. Toonbay macrumors 6502


    May 25, 2010
    Whitley Bay, North East UK (God's Country)
    Got my 11 inch, just ordered the book arc and have my 27 inch TB display on order as well, can't wait to get this setup. Will post more plus pics when its done
    Pleased to hear comments so far on clamshell
  11. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    While sitting in the book arc, the airflow across the backside of the macbook will be dramatically increased. I'd guess that this is at least an equal trade off vs. keyboard venting, if not better all around.

    Also, the keyboard venting is minuscule compared to the venting occurring near the monitor hinge, which is still in play in clamshell mode.

    In summary, your setup sounds awesome, go for it! :)

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