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Will using a MacBook Air out in the sun damage it at all? Will it affect any of the paint, the screen, distort the laptop's form, cause excessive heat, or cause any other damage?

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It's a good idea to keep the machine shaded, if only because it's very hard to read any screen in bright sunlight. Also, on my deck in Carmel Valley California I've had a thermometer placed in direct sunlight read well over 100 deg F (37+ deg C) when the air temp has been around 80 deg F (26 deg C). Your Mac exposed in direct sunlight could well burst through Apple's upper limit even when the ambient temperature is below.

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It shouldn't. Apple's specs page says that you can use the computer in an environment between 50 and 95*F, and up to 90% relative humidity.

As we know, you have to be careful with how hot a MacBook Air gets anyway (it will always shut itself down before it becomes really damaged). But as for the paint, screen, form, etc., you should be fine as long as it's < 95* in the sun.

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