Mid-2013 MacBook Air experiencing black screen bug
Indications suggest a sensor or other hardware-based fault could be the root of intermittent loss of video with Apple's latest MacBook Air systems.
Topher KesslerMacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Apple's latest MacBook Air systems offer attractive improvements over prior models, but some of the systems appear to be suffering from a bug that results in intermittent loss of video output. When using an affected system, the screen may randomly blink to black for a brief second, or go to sleep and require a button be pressed for the system to wake again.
There is no indication on how widespread this bug is, but a number of affected users have noted the problem in a lengthy and growing Apple support discussion thread.
When the screen flashes intermittently, the system does not appear to shut down or sleep, since audio and other activity may continue; however, this does not occur at the times where the systems do go to sleep. This bug appears to affect both the 11-inch and 13-inch models, though the problem seems to happen more with the 13-inch MacBook Air. Additionally, it appears to happen more when on battery power than when plugged into its AC adapter; however, some have reported it happening on AC power as well.
The random nature of the problem suggests it is likely not software-based, so it may revolve around a physical sensor such as a magnetic switch in the lid or chassis, that could be contributing to the problem. Recently, a YouTube video of the issue surfaced, showing an extreme condition of the bug, and its apparent tie to physical movement of the systems:
Get the CNET Now newsletter
If you subscribe to only one CNET newsletter, this is it. Get editors' top picks of the day, the most interesting reviews, news stories and videos.