Taking too good care of the MacBook Air's display

Summary:In trying to protect our hardware investment, we may be doing the wrong thing, or so says Apple about the MacBook Air.

Most MacBook show some wear under the keyboard where the user's palms rest and a new industry in thin protectors has grown up. However, a recent Apple support note on wrist pads says that this is the wrong practice with the MacBook Air.

To enable thin design, the clearance between the display and the palm rest area is engineered to tight tolerances. Do not use palm rest covers as the added thickness may interfere with the designed resting position of the display.

As a best practice, keep the palm rest clear of any material.

So, that's an interesting point. These protectors are both decorative and very, very thin. I've seen them offered for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.

Looking at them, it's hard to believe that they can cause a problem. But Apple warns us. Still, we can't tell if the thin covers could cause the case to open and then run the battery low. Or that the palm rests may weaken the hinge over time. Or something else. It's just bad, according to Apple. So, it might be best to take them off your MacBook Air before heading to the Genius Bar.

Of course, MacBook users have long used thin, cloth keyboard covers to protect the screen from oils and dirt transferred from the keys. For some reason, I use these cloths when I travel long distances not around town. Go figure.

The MacBook Pro's Care, Use, and Safety Information sheet says that all that's needed is to wipe the screen with damp clean, soft, lint-free cloth or paper. And to never spray liquid directly on the screen.

Certainly, people must know by now to never spray household cleaners or alcohol products on any computer screen, even plain glass screens.

For more than a decade, I have used the Klear Screen and iKlear products from Meridrew Enterprises, a local company here in the Bay Area. They offer a safe cleaning solution as well as various sizes of optical chamois, antimicrobial cloths and a terry-style cloths for the external case. I use them for all my screens and eyeglasses.

[Note: I appologize for the previous headline, which included the word "Retina." I was going to pack this story with some Retina Display items and decided to cut them. At the same time, I neglected to change the headline. David M.]

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPad, iPhone, Laptops

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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