So, you’ve just gotten home from the Apple Store with your shiny new MacBook Air. You take it out of the box, boot it up, and do what anybody does: you start installing your software, customizing your settings, and generally tinkering with your new toy to get everything set up just right. In the process of this, maybe you install Google’s Chrome browser. And that’s when things start to go wrong. Your computer freezes up. No keyboard, no mouse, nothing works. There’s no way to force quit the app (cue the obligatory “I wish I could Force Quit you” joke). Finally, in desperation, you reboot your system the hard way. Everything works for a little while, then it locks up again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Well, it turns out you’re not alone. According to multiple discussions on Apple’s support forums, this is happening to a lot of people. It seems that Chrome and the MacBook Air aren’t playing nice with each other.
According to a statement sent by Google to Gizmodo, it’s a combination hardware/software problem. Chrome is suffering from a memory leak, which causes a kernel panic in the MacBook Air (which shouldn’t be possible), causing the system to lock up. Google is working on the resource leak in Chrome, and has contacted Apple about the kernel panic. In the meanwhile, they’ve disabled some of the GPU features in Chrome with an update that was pushed out yesterday.
In other words, Google has put a band-aid on the problem for the moment, but there should be a fuller fix coming (hopefully) soon. In the meanwhile, make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date version of Chrome and be prepared for the possibility that your new MacBook Air could lock up while you’re using it.