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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Is the New Unibody case weaker?

Is the New Unibody case weaker?
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Maflynn
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Dec 2, 2008, 09:03 AM
 
I've seen a number of threads over on the apple discussions forums of people who have dented MBPs in one case by picking up their machine with their hands. I'm beginning to wonder if the unibody design is as rock solid as advertised.

Here's two pictures (of two different macs) I pulled from a couple of threads.




Its just not the two threads that those pictures originated but there's enough other posts/threads to lead me to question the strength of the unibody design.

Anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this matter?
~Mike
     
amazing
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Dec 2, 2008, 09:39 AM
 
That second photo looks like there might me an impact. Hard to say from photos. It's my experience that people will say the darndest things to make themselves look innocent when they've damaged something expensive or precious.

Anyway, it will only become apparent how sturdy the case is over a much greater amount of time than we've had so far.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Dec 2, 2008, 09:52 AM
 
Yeah I agree on the second photo. The poster said it was in his backpack, who knows what pressed up against it, or impacted the lid.

Still there's a number of people posting about dents, I wonder if apple went with a thinner grade of alu on the unibody because of the rigidity of the design and that is starting to cause headaches
~Mike
     
amazing
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Dec 2, 2008, 10:31 AM
 
Probably set the backpack down too hard, or it slipped off the shoulder and hit something. At one point I actually put additional padding (cut from a backpacking pad) underneath the suspended laptop pocket in my backpack.

In the end, nothing will prevent user inadvertent mistakes or lapses of attention.
     
OreoCookie
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Dec 2, 2008, 12:04 PM
 
I doubt it's less durable. It feels very hefty.
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Chuckit
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Dec 2, 2008, 12:58 PM
 
Based on my informal test of poking them both in various places, the unibody certainly feels tougher to me.
Chuck
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OreoCookie
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Dec 2, 2008, 01:27 PM
 
I think the difference is rather that because it is harder, once it bends, it's not as easy to bend it back into shape.
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Maflynn  (op)
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Dec 2, 2008, 01:29 PM
 
I'm generally careful with my unibody MBP but seeing the posts has given me pause. Not that I can do anything about it, and I'm not willing to test out the durability of my MBP first hand, if you know what I mean
~Mike
     
OreoCookie
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Dec 2, 2008, 01:43 PM
 
Plus, I can guarantee you that at a certain point, it will break
Just let us know if you experience this first hand (let's hope not, though).
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Spheric Harlot
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Dec 2, 2008, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
That second photo looks like there might me an impact. Hard to say from photos. It's my experience that people will say the darndest things to make themselves look innocent when they've damaged something expensive or precious.
Definitely impact damage. If you look closely, you can see that the unibody case has dings in it along the top edge around the corner.

That thing got smacked.

You do *not* want to know what a previous-generation MacBook Pro would have looked like after that impact.
     
iREZ
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Dec 2, 2008, 03:22 PM
 
i do i do, enlighten us.
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Hawkeye_a
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Dec 2, 2008, 04:06 PM
 
The second pic shows the screen enclosure dented. the unibody looks unaffected, right ?

Been using my new MacBook for a month, and it feels a lot more sturdy than my original TiPBG4, there doesnt seem to be any bending when holding it. That being said, i wont be picking it up by holding it by a single corner and trying any stunts with it. Personally, im more worried about the glass cracking.

Its still a precision instrument and will be treated a such.

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Spheric Harlot
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Dec 2, 2008, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
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...in that combination.
     
OreoCookie
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Dec 2, 2008, 05:47 PM
 
Mine looks a bit better after two bike accidents. Works like a champ, though, but it's scarred (like me now ). BTW, why do these things always fall on the lower left corner
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iREZ
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Dec 3, 2008, 12:01 PM
 
yeeesh...i hope that wasn't to anybody's machine here at the NN (doesn't look THAT much worse than the unibody, but I'd take the unibody construction [not the screen though] any day of the week).
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
kylef
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Dec 3, 2008, 12:09 PM
 
Statistically speaking they are weaker. Screws are designed to withstand pressure and so when you drop something a lot of the pressure goes into the screw itself (why we get bent screws). The new unibody MacBooks (which I have the pleasure of owning) have no such screw holes to absorb pressure, and so technically speaking it is weaker. However aluminium can still be pretty strong.
     
amazing
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Dec 3, 2008, 12:10 PM
 
Sounds like a classic need for a hard-shell case.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Dec 3, 2008, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
The new unibody MacBooks (which I have the pleasure of owning) have no such screw holes to absorb pressure, and so technically speaking it is weaker. However aluminium can still be pretty strong.
I never thought of that and to be honest I'm not sure if that makes sense to my twisted brain.

Aluminum is very strong and light but it is also malleable so it deforms quite easy. The older MBPs and alu powerbooks were plagued by people denting them. Yet I've seen too many threads and reports of people having dented unibody MBPs but not from dropping but from handling.

Granted that my second picture in my original post shows something smashed into the MBP but all in all, I've come across to many reports of people who have dented their MBPs.

Like my prior laptops, I tend to baby them and I'm typically very careful so I'm not up at night worrying about potential problems.
~Mike
     
Simon
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Dec 4, 2008, 04:27 AM
 
Of course unibody MB(P)s have screws. You actually need to remove eight of them just to remove the bottom shell.

     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 4, 2008, 04:48 AM
 
anyone else thinking that with the newly found patent from apple for a (portable) system that uses liquid coolant, that the unibody design is just the first step in making their patent come to form?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 4, 2008, 04:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
Statistically speaking they are weaker. Screws are designed to withstand pressure and so when you drop something a lot of the pressure goes into the screw itself (why we get bent screws). The new unibody MacBooks (which I have the pleasure of owning) have no such screw holes to absorb pressure, and so technically speaking it is weaker. However aluminium can still be pretty strong.
"Statistically"?

I'm quite sure that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Structural integrity and rigidity is NOT determined by the number of screws used - the screws INFLUENCE a material's response to stress, but basic materials, manufacturing processes, and structural design are what makes structures strong.

Screws are also a weak point in any design, since they can tend to flex and loosen over time (often outright falling out), weakening the overall design.
     
Big Mac
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Dec 4, 2008, 05:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
anyone else thinking that with the newly found patent from apple for a (portable) system that uses liquid coolant, that the unibody design is just the first step in making their patent come to form?
Knowing the experience and track record of the LC G5s, I would most definitely never buy a LC laptop.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
freudling
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Dec 4, 2008, 05:32 AM
 
Those pictures are from impact damage, period. The new Unibody design is much stronger than previous PowerBooks/MacBooks.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Dec 4, 2008, 08:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
anyone else thinking that with the newly found patent from apple for a (portable) system that uses liquid coolant, that the unibody design is just the first step in making their patent come to form?
Liquid cool Laptop = disaster. Just look at the G5s that were liquid cooled. Especially as they aged. A fair amount leaked early on but as time went on more units failed. Besides, I'm sure that will be adding weight to a laptop not removing weight.
~Mike
     
   
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