Two weeks ago I reported on an issue where some MacBooks were coming from the factory with a piece of clear plastic film covering the rear exit vent - which made the machine run (understandably) hot.
Some would peg this "problem" squarely on the end user for not noticing it in the first place, but regardless of who you blame Apple has come clean about the plastic "cover up" with a spankin' new Knowledge Base article.
In "MacBook may run warm because rear vent is blocked" (Article ID: 303848) Apple explains the film issue:
Some MacBook computers may appear to be running too warm, with the fan running consistently and heat emanating from the top and/or the bottom of the computer.
If this happens with your MacBook, check the rear vent of the MacBook to make sure it's not blocked.
Some MacBooks may have left the factory with a thin piece of clear plastic covering the rear vent. This is used in the factory to prevent dust from getting into your computer. If your MacBook has the plastic still over the vent, simply remove and discard it.
If your MacBook does not have the thin piece of clear plastic over the vent but is running warm, see article 30612, "Apple Notebooks: Operating Temperature."
In that second article, Apple clearly ends the relationship between the laptop and the lap, saying that "placing (your portable computer) on a soft surface such as a towel or pillow (or lap) is not recommended because it does not allow air to flow under the computer." Going on to say that "prolonged contact with your body could cause discomfort and potentially a burn."
This is nothing new to an experienced user of a notebook computer but it's interesting that Apple (like all notebook OEMs) has clearly divorced themselves from using the term "laptop" ever again. From here on out they're called "portable computers" or "notebooks" folks.
What do you use to keep your "notebook" computer cool? Do you use it on your "lap?"