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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Aluminum vs. Plastic (Macbook case)

Aluminum vs. Plastic (Macbook case)
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Sep 26, 2008, 07:43 AM
 
So what do you guys think of apple dropping the polycarbonate macbook case in lou of aluminum?

Personally, I love the look of the black macbook. I'm split 50-50 on deciding on a new MB when it comes out vs. buying a black macbook (new/used/refurb). While its true apple hasn't unveiled the new MB more information is being leaked out such as this cnet article.

The thing that's stopping me for the moment is the fact of the internals. While I prefer the black exterior, and the ruggedness of the plastic is a plus The fact remains, the new MBs will have faster components. So speed vs. looks

Anyone else have any opinions, or thoughts on this?
~Mike
     
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Sep 26, 2008, 08:30 AM
 
we won't know until the units are actually released.

However I've always preferred the enclosure of my white plastic iBooks and MacBook, as compared to my titanium PowerBook or the AluBooks. Plus with my plastic consumer Mac laptops I've never experienced that reported electrical feel on the case that people talk about with the Pro laptops.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 26, 2008, 08:56 AM
 
True we will have to wait, but still we have our opinions. I've come close to buying a macbook a few times this week, but in all honesty I need to wait till oct 14th. At the very least I hope this will drive down the price on ebay a bit but who knows.
~Mike
     
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Sep 26, 2008, 02:47 PM
 
I prefer plastic for laptops... aluminum dents too easily.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 26, 2008, 04:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I prefer plastic for laptops... aluminum dents too easily.
Agreed, I have a slight deformation on my MBP by the optical drive. Not sure how it got there but I'm sure I wouldn't have the problem on a MB.

The biggest issue for me, is who much faster will a new MB be vs the old one especially in light of the new integrated graphics.
~Mike
     
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Sep 26, 2008, 11:23 PM
 
Spam and replies to spam deleted. Carry on with the thread.
     
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Sep 27, 2008, 12:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
The biggest issue for me, is who much faster will a new MB be vs the old one especially in light of the new integrated graphics.
Intel has backed off what they/we were expecting... it's not going to be much different.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 27, 2008, 06:37 AM
 
Given Intel's track record with GPUs and the fact its still an intergrated chip that will use system memory. It comes as no surprise that it may not have a large bump in speed - at least in the video arena.
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Sep 27, 2008, 01:51 PM
 
I much prefer aluminum. My 5 year old powerbook has only one tiny dent in the top case, but my girlfriend's 2 year old macbook has already cracked and she barely moves it. And her brother's 3 year old macbook is now more brown than white on the palmrest. If you protect your computer, aluminum holds up better in the long run IMO.
     
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Sep 27, 2008, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by davidbk1 View Post
I much prefer aluminum. My 5 year old powerbook has only one tiny dent in the top case, but my girlfriend's 2 year old macbook has already cracked and she barely moves it. And her brother's 3 year old macbook is now more brown than white on the palmrest. If you protect your computer, aluminum holds up better in the long run IMO.
If it's brown then it's likely he has the defective plastic case. These were replaced for free with a properly formulated plastic. And if he already has the right plastic then perhaps his pores are excreting an unusual toxic substance. Nobody I know with the correct plastic has this problem.
     
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Sep 28, 2008, 12:27 PM
 
splinter on the palm rest
hard drive overheating
battery overheating
cracked case on the back near the hinge assembly/speakers
bad screen
snubber (rubber railing) falling off

enough reasons?
     
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Sep 28, 2008, 11:09 PM
 
I have been waiting for Apple to do colored MacBooks like the iPod nanos. It would be a good computer to try it with, as it is the most consumer, college age oriented of the bunch. No crazy colors, but a regular aluminum, a black aluminum, and maybe a blue-gray?

Or they could just go all out and make it macbook-chromatic. If you think about it, the MB is the nano, the MBP is the classic, and the MBA is the iPhone/iTouch. So it makes sense to do the colorful stuff to the MB.
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Sep 29, 2008, 04:29 AM
 
I can't stand glossy white plastic like the MB or iPhone. It shows all kinds of discoloration and looks cheap IMHO. Matte maybe, but certainly not glossy.

I think Al is nice and looks very professional, but wireless signal strength is an issue. Al can dent, but in my experience you have to try really hard to dent a MBP (like bang it against a hard edge).

Black matte plastic like on the black MB or a rubbery black finish (the original Newton MP and the PB G3 had it) is nice and it has the great advantage of offering better wireless signal strength. It doesn't dent as easily as Al, but it can crack. Especially if it's thin.

Considering all the things we've heard/seen from Apple and the persistent rumors, I think it's safe to assume both the new MB and the new MBP will be Al. Color on the MB sounds interesting, especially black, but I don't think it will actually happen. We'll know for sure in a few weeks.
     
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Oct 3, 2008, 01:59 AM
 
Wireless reception is _much_ better on the Macbook (aluminum acts as a Faraday cage!), but I wouldn't trade my MBP for one: no stains, easier to keep clean, no cracking.
     
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Oct 9, 2008, 04:39 PM
 
Honestly I got a MacBook specifically because I didn't want an aluminium laptop...

I'm kinda irritated that we're being forced to get these easily dentable laptops. My 12 inch MacBook looks like hell after a few years of use, my MacBook despite some discolouration on the palm rests has people still asking if it's new. Parts of the case are chipped but it's really not that bad.
     
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Oct 9, 2008, 05:09 PM
 
They are NOT easily dentable by any stretch. I just accidentally slammed the corner of mine into a wall and I can't tell where I hit it.
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Oct 9, 2008, 06:38 PM
 
If the quality of the plastic MacBook enclosures was on par with the quality of the enclosures on the old Pismo machines, my preference would be plastic.

That being said, the quality of the MacBook enclosures is nowhere near on par with the Pismos. There's been far too many issues with discoloration, and even worse, cracking and breaking. So I think the move to aluminum will be a good one, especially if its made out of one single piece of aluminum... since that will also solve any issues with current MBPs such as warping.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs
     
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Oct 9, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
In my opinion, the plastic cases are borderline awful. It's hard to imagine aluminum not being better.
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 03:22 AM
 
     
   
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