Macbook Air electric shocks and tingles

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by xpisnotforme, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. xpisnotforme macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I just picked up a MBA to replace an aged white Macbook that I had since I am constantly carrying my laptop in a triangle of death between home, school, and work by foot in Boston and the MBA seriously fits the bill for my needs BUT....

    I get a tingle when in contact with the computer and its not euphoria from having a new computer or because the air is so sexy or something. It seems mild but it is definitely irritatingly present and prickles seemingly at the points where hair touches skin especially up to my wrist. My hands then hurt after use in a creepy way. I tried showing a friend and he didn't notice it, but nor did I for at least an hour. This happens plugged in with the 3-prong/2-prong AND unplugged.

    I read about similar things happening in the past to peoples' Macbook Pro's and I personally went through 3 Vaio Sz's that had this issue but at least 3 times stronger/more painful due to the aluminum alloy palmrest and grounding issues.

    Have you had this experience?

    I'm considering trying to exchange at the apple store, but if this is just the way they are all made I guess I need to consider another computer?
     
  2. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #2
    My macbook air hasn't shocked me (yet). Take it in. Good luck.
     
  3. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #3
    Man this is weird. It reminds me of one of those Ionic bracelets that cure back pain. Anyway, if I were you I would try and prove it's coming from the laptop, and not some alien implant, i heard about abductees getting implants in the back of their necks that could create the same problems. Good luck!

    Ugh, I'm tired. : )
     
  4. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    Central Florida!
    #4
    Mine went away the sencond day and never came back.
     
  5. Malcster macrumors 6502

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    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #5
    Are you trying it on the supplied extension cord? this sometimes helps.

    Interestingly, i had a Macbook Pro that was absolutely fine (no shocks ever) however when i sold it to a friend he had exactly the issues your having with it and it turned out it was a problem with his electricity supply to his home.

    This also could be the issue as you had this problem on 3 previous laptops.. was it always when you were using these in the same location?

    Certainly doesn't explain it happening on battery though.
     
  6. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #6
    I can understand tingling w. AC adapter but it's almost impossible w. battery only use. Doesn't make electron sense. Was anything wet?
     
  7. Johnpartridge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    #7
    interesting you should say this.

    I was at the apple store recently looking at the MBA and i noticed the same thing. Everytime i touched the unit, specifically the part above the keyboard or on the sides i got a light tingling / shocking. Wasnt anything to make me jump just a light sensation, was very strange.
     
  8. xpisnotforme thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #8
    Actually it happened at 2 seperate residences and at the museum where I work, plugged AND unplugged. :confused:
     
  9. xpisnotforme thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #9
    :mad:

    Yeah, it feels like the hairs on my hand are prickling like simultaneously with contacting the metal of the laptop. I guess I should try another machine, but if this is the way they all are and most people don't notice, it's sadly a dealbreaker for me...

    Does anyone else notice this? I hope I just got a faulty unit, but I'm concerned since Sony and Dell both haven't absolved this issue on their 13.3" aluminum lappies.

    Want to love it,
     
  10. pstauff macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #10
    I've had mine for nearly 3 weeks and I have not experienced this at all.
     
  11. Malcster macrumors 6502

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    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #11
    Just did some quick 'tingle' tests for you on my MBA :)

    Battery - Nothing
    Mains Power on Extension Lead - Nothing
    Mains Power with Brick into wall socket - Very slight tingling, barely noticeable.. actually, after 15 mins plugged in it seems to have gone away..

    How you get it on Battery power only i have no idea!

    Try a replacement, its worth it, probably the best computer i've owned.
     
  12. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #12
    This makes sense because the ext. has a grounding prong. The brick doesn't. I've felt a very light tingling too with same setups. It does seem to go away as it charges.
     
  13. bjdraw macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2008
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    Tampa FL
    #13
    I never had a laptop that didn't do this. The thing that is different about the MBA is since it's all metal it does it anywhere instead of just on a screw. The current is so slight you only notice on your softest skin. You can test your skin by pressing a 9-volt batter against it, if you don't feel the 9-volt then you won't feel the macbook. On my arms it's only on the bottom of my wrists.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #14
    I have not experienced that problem with my MBA at all; I plug it in with the brick and usually it's into a surge protector. It could be a faulty machine; I would take it into the Apple store and see what they say about it.
     
  15. Demon macrumors regular

    Demon

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    Feb 17, 2004
    Location:
    on earth
    #15
    i get the same thing on my powerbook

    I know what you mean, i get the same shocks with my powerbook and iBook. I don't think Apple has fixed the problem, but perhaps the main problem is in the user. Who knows, but the shocks are certainly worse when i have the computer on my lap or stomach.
     
  16. saisrujan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #16
    Is it only with the MBA that you get shocked?

    When I am at a particular conference room in office, I get a pretty bad jolt whenever I touch something. But it's not just the laptop, its also the white-board, refrigerator, coffee machine, chair, another person, whatever.

    Apparently, I get a jolt when touching the MBA on battery too, just because I get a jolt touching any metallic object in that conference room.

    I deduced something is wrong with the electrical system there, and decided never to plug in my MBA in that conference room.
     
  17. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #17
    Sounds more like dry environment static electricity. Maybe a humidifier would help?
     
  18. Flyer0815 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 11, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #18
    I was about to say this. My MBA hasn't shock me, but my Apple Aluminum Keyboard in my office at work always gets me.. I am sure this is due to the lack of humidified air in my office... But it does get quite annoying!
     
  19. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    #19
    Place you palm down lightly on the left side of your trackpad....anything?
     
  20. nxent macrumors 6502

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    seattle
    #20
    yeh..

    i know the feeling you speak of. i notice this at the apple store. it's the same feeling you get when you touch a television antenna, or just slide you fingers across the metal. any electrical engineers around to explain this?
     
  21. mashny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #21
    If it's not static, I'd say not to mess with it, and to get a replacement. Who's to say that one day it won't discharge an especially large shock and do some serious damage to you. In the back of my mind, whenever something like this happens--whether with a computer or otherwise--is the mantra, "Don't f@%k with electricity."
     
  22. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #22
    I really don't think it's dangerous. I've messed with electrons for years and without actually taking it apart and seeing what's where, it's hard to say where "tingling" is coming from. DC at that current isn't going to jump out and bite you hard.

    Now I do remember once when I was a wee lad and tried hooking up a dryer and got a couple of wires crossed - grabbed dryer door and WOW, that was life changing :eek:......
     
  23. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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  24. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #24
    For whatever reason, this really made me laugh...
     
  25. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #25
    I'm surprised that no one has done the obvious and tested the plug-hole. it would be interesting to know if the people that are experiencing this are in areas with crappy or ungrounded electrical outlets. My experience is that something like 20% of all houses are actually wired incorrectly as most houses have some DIY wiring in them somewhere.

    [​IMG]

    If this is static electricity, then the environment should be changed however is necessary to stop it happening as it could certainly fry the motherboard in some situations.

    If it is actually electricity from poor wiring in the wall, you are even more likely to destroy your computer with it.

    Either this is an effect that is to some extent "in the mind" or it's a serious electrical problem that should neither be ignored nor tolerated. I would definitely check the electrical socket you are plugging into (for hot on the neural and for ground) and definitely take the MacBook Air back to the store if you can't find anything wrong with your house wiring. You'd be crazy not to do so as this is definitely not the experience you are supposed to be getting.
     

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