Are Apple's MacBook Airs overheating?

Is the fashionable laptop of choice overheating?

It’s the fashionista’s laptop of choice, but is the MacBook Air suffering from overheating problems?

Apple released a fix for the MacBook Air's fan earlier this week - "SMC Update 1.0 …fine-tunes the speed and operation of the internal fan" - following on from complaints from a number of users that their ultra-fashionable skinny new laptops were overheating.

"My [MacBook Air] would freeze up and then unfreeze and then freeze again at an interval of about 10 to 15 seconds…This happens when I watch video on iTunes... and even those Flash-based videos such as YouTube.

"CPU monitor shows one core shutting down itself when this happens, and the other core would run at 100 per cent (roughly half for user and half for system)," wrote 'RichardY' on the Apple support forum last month.

Don't use laptops in bed

Chris Phin over on MacFormat magazine commented on the problem, telling us: "The problem is with the disparity between people's manufacturer-driven expectations of laptops and the reality of what we can currently achieve with processors and a secondary school understanding of physics.

"Modern chips are much more power-efficient than their forebears but they still kick out a lot of heat, and that's a problem particularly if you're using a laptop in bed, say, and have the vents blocked by your duvet.

"One way to deal with this is to throttle the performance - leading to the stuttering and hanging that people are reporting, particularly when playing games," Phin added. "My recommendation is to use the MacBook Air on a flat surface such as a desk, though remember that it's the least powerful of Apple's current line-up."

TechRadar has contacted Apple for further comment and we are still waiting to hear back. When we do, we will update this news accordingly. In the meantime, you can see what we thought of the MacBook Air in our recent review.

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