The MacBook Air appears to be missing a crucial component

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The new MacBook Air is a great laptop, but one huge shortcoming could deter power users from buying Apple’s cheapest laptop. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the latest model, you know the limitation I’m referring to: heat management. Under heavy workload, the fanless MacBook Air with M2 heats up and, to protect itself, throttles performance.

Why exactly is this happening? We know that the MacBook Air, like the Pro model, doesn’t have a fan and instead relies on the efficiency of its M2 processor. What we did not understand is that it doesn’t even use a heat sink. This revelation comes from the good folks at iFixit who took a MacBook Air apart and found it to be devoid of cooling parts. Sure, there’s a healthy pile of thermal paste and graphite tape, but no place has been spared for heat sinks.

I am torn by this disconcerting decision. On the one hand, it proves the incredible efficiency of the M2 processor, which delivers exceptional power to the MacBook Air without requiring any active cooling elements or even heat distribution. The bad news is that, as various outlets have noted, the Air will get hot when running heavy workloads over time. Even the MacBook Pro, with its cooling fans, seems to have serious heat management issues and reached temperatures as high as 108 degrees Celsius in a stress test conducted by Max Tech.

The same YouTuber tore down the MacBook Pro and discovered that the 256GB model had a single NAND storage chip instead of two 128GB NAND chips, resulting in significantly slower speeds than other versions and even the MacBook Pro with M1.

Getting back to the MacBook Air’s heat issues: Some people have already found a solution, and it’s pretty simple: Spend $15 on thermal pads and slam them inside the chassis. We don’t recommend doing this, but at least one build has shown to dramatically increase performance while lowering temperatures. It makes you wonder if more could have been done to reduce the internal temperatures of the MacBook Air.

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