Future Mac laptops will doubtless sport even more powerful processors, which means more heat. However, they may be cooled by an adjustable airflow system as hinted by a newly granted Apple patent (number US 11892886 B2).
About the patent
Electronic devices such as laptops often one or more fans designed to drive heated air away from heat-generating components and out of the electronic device. In this regard, the heat-generating components are less susceptible to breakdown or damage. What’s more, when heat is removed from the electronic device, a user is less likely to be injured (e.g., burned) by the electronic device.
In some instances, a structure (e.g., stationary blade) is inserted near the exhaust of the fan(s) such that the structure directs the air from the fan(s) in a particular direction. However, Apple says that this structure is physically secured to the electronic device in a static matter — in other words, the structure doesn’t move.
This means that the direction of flow of the exhaust air is the same regardless of other considerations, such as the position of one housing part relative to another housing part. The stationary/static nature of the structure may cause heated exhaust air to flow toward the display housing or the user, resulting in an undesired user experience. Apple wants to make sure this doesn’t happen in future Mac laptops.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A portable electronic device is disclosed. The portable electronic device may include a laptop computing device that includes a base portion and a display housing rotationally coupled to the base portion. The base portion includes a fan designed to drive heated air out of the base portion, thus cooling the portable electronic device.
“A dynamic (movable) air diverter is integrated into the base portion near the fan’s outlet. The air diverter is designed to direct airflow from the fan outlet. Moreover, the air diverter can be repositioned by, for example, rotating the display housing relative to the base portion. As a result of the repositioned air diverter, the airflow from the fan outlet is redirected out of the portable electronic device through a different location. The air diverter can be positioned in different discrete locations, or alternatively, can move continuously with the rotational movement of the display housing.”