Apple introduced the M1 MacBook Air in late 2020, and with it came a somewhat surprising laptop change. The M1 MacBook Air has removed the fan that has been a part of its internal components since its inception.
Although Apple hasn’t reversed this measure in the redesigned M2 MacBook Air, we think its successor should feature a fan to prevent the various issues that come with a fanless laptop.
Why is the MacBook Air without a fan?
One of the most impressive benefits of Apple’s silicon chips is their unparalleled efficiency. When Apple introduced the M1 MacBook Air, it was so confident in its efficiency that it decided not to include a fan in the laptop anymore. This was fine for Apple because the M1 MacBook Air really doesn’t have heating or heat throttling issues.
The MacBook Air is also known as the thinnest and quietest MacBook in Apple’s lineup. Therefore, removing the fan allowed the M2 MacBook Air to be lighter, thinner, and noise-free during regular operations while, in theory, it doesn’t sacrifice performance.
You sacrifice performance for a fanless design
While the MacBook Air is a capable device, not including a fan prevents the computer from properly taking advantage of the upgraded specs, such as a more powerful CPU or GPU.
Also, when Apple releases a next-generation Apple silicon chip, for example the M3, it will likely be difficult for the laptop to maintain optimal operating temperatures.
The next M chip will undoubtedly perform better in various categories, but the lack of a fan in the MacBook Air will prevent it from pushing the CPU to the limits of specific tasks. Having a fanless design isn’t worth sacrificing height for better performance.
M2 MacBook Air has heat throttling issues
Heat throttling is an issue not new to MacBooks, but new to the MacBook Air range. Apple’s MacBook Pro 2018 has suffered from heat throttling issues due to the inclusion of powerful Intel processors in a slim design.
Currently, the M2 MacBook Air can throttle and overheat when the CPU and GPU are stressed for just a few minutes. This means that users cannot expect top performance from the M2 chip for a long time.
Several articles and videos were published after the release of the M2 Air, explaining a quick fix using thermal pads to help combat thermal throttling in the laptop. However, regular users won’t want to open up their PC to handle this, nor should they after spending close to $1,200 on a premium laptop.
Older MacBook Air models still run quietly
Most people haven’t really complained about the MacBook Air fan getting loud during normal use on the 2018 and early 2020 Intel models. MacBook Air continuously runs silently during normal computing tasks.
Therefore, there was little need to remove the fan in the first place on Apple’s silicone models. MacBook Air is not suitable for power users; It is aimed at regular consumers who want the highest value for money.
Even in the rare situations where the fan spins fast and loud, there were multiple tricks to help cool the MacBook Air anyway. So, we don’t think adding a fan inside the next MacBook Air will affect its silent operation much.
We need a fan in our next MacBook Air
Although the MacBook Air may seem like it can run without a fan, it still has to offer one so that its performance is not limited by the high temperatures. Neglecting a fan causes a lot of problems, and you don’t reap many benefits from it.
However, that doesn’t mean the M2 MacBook Air can’t meet everyone’s needs, so it might still be worth considering if you don’t have a demanding workflow.