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View Full Version : MacBook Air dropped from 4 feet in an Apple Store.... SURVIVES!




!!1R-
Feb 2, 2008, 11:48 PM
I was in the Apple Store in Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, CO earlier today. They have had the MacBook Air since yesterday morning. They had four on display today. Two with solid state, two without. One of the computers without solid state was on a rotating rod in a window display with a cloth behind it decorated with clouds.

A customer standing near the display thought the cloth was a solid wall and tried to lean on it. He crashed through the display tumbling the MacBook Air off of the four foot pedestal and landing on the laptop. Several Specialists and a Concierge jumped to the area and helped the man up and started cleaning up the mess. The MacBook Air was carried to the back out of sight immediately.

I came back two hours later and the entire window display was rebuilt and intact. I asked an employee about the MacBook Air that had been involved. He told me it was back on the pedestal on display. Sure enough, the MacBook Air spinning on the rod had a small dent on the lower side of the screen but otherwise looked perfect and ran perfect. This was the MacBook Air without the Solid-State Drive in it.

I didn't have a phone or camera with me so I was unable to take pictures, but I may have a chance to grab photos of it tomorrow.

P.S. Sorry about the excessively long post.



dpaanlka
Feb 2, 2008, 11:50 PM
That's incredibly lucky that nothing was damaged... I wouldn't trust this to mean that dropping MacBook Airs four feet should be considered safe.

!!1R-
Feb 2, 2008, 11:52 PM
My theory is that its light weight saved it. It doesn't hit the ground with the same momentum as any other laptop Apple offers.

I thought it was lucky the guy that crashed into was okay. It looked like he had bent up the pedestal pretty well.

EricNau
Feb 2, 2008, 11:53 PM
That's incredibly lucky that nothing was damaged...
Yeah, like the man. Those metal pedestals look like they'd make a rather poor landing-spot.

ahaxton
Feb 2, 2008, 11:54 PM
I would have been squirming if I watched all that go down lol. That's like being in a jewelry store and someone crashes into a jewelry case full of jewelry.

HLdan
Feb 2, 2008, 11:55 PM
Geez, interesting the OP asked about how the poor MBA survived the crash rather than asking about the poor customer that fell. :p

!!1R-
Feb 2, 2008, 11:55 PM
The guy got up laughing but clearly embarassed. He went back to working with a Specialist and walked out with a MacBook Pro.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 3, 2008, 12:00 AM
Remember: the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The MBA probably floats lightly to the ground like a leaf. ;)

I've dropped my 15" Powerbook G4 three times now:

1. Did a superman over the handlebars of my mountain bike onto asphalt with my sleeping laptop in my backpack, which I rolled on. I ground my hands to mince on the blacktop, but the laptop escaped with only a small dent in the corner of the case. I scared a passing jogger, but our brief conversation did not result in me getting her number. So much for pity. :(;)

2. The classic trip-on-on-the-power-cord pratfall. This time the laptop was open and running. It fell 3 feet from a table to the carpet and landed with the screen and bottom case forming a "V". No visible damage, no malfunctions.

3. Sitting on a couch in a coffee shop, I got up to throw away my $2 coffee and set my $2500 laptop on my piled up coat next to me. It slid off the couch onto the carpeted floor...a minor scratch or two but it still runs fine. I haven't been back since...they don't like people swearing like that.

Hopefully I'll never have to add to this chronicle. :eek:

puckhead193
Feb 3, 2008, 12:00 AM
The guy got up laughing but clearly embarassed. He went back to working with a Specialist and walked out with a MacBook Pro.

as a settlement :confused: ;)

HLdan
Feb 3, 2008, 12:01 AM
The guy got up laughing but clearly embarassed. He went back to working with a Specialist and walked out with a MacBook Pro.

LOL, he was probably laughing when the Apple employees told him he didn't have to pay for any damages. :D. That's good to know the AIR is durable.

riscy
Feb 3, 2008, 12:05 AM
Good to know the MBA can survive something like this - it must be quite solidly built.

aiongiant
Feb 3, 2008, 12:06 AM
kids don't try this at home LOL

but good to know it can survive a fall like that
and good to know in case i fall into an apple display i don't have to pay damages lol

Krafty
Feb 3, 2008, 12:06 AM
LOL, he was probably laughing when the Apple employees told him he didn't have to pay for any damages. :D. That's good to know the AIR is durable.

Try walking into Best Buy and accidentally fall on a PC and see if they dont charge you ;)

aiongiant
Feb 3, 2008, 12:10 AM
haha easy just fall on something and sue best buy for unsafe enviroment lol

badtzmaru
Feb 3, 2008, 01:13 AM
how long till the model shows up in the "refurbished" store???

Topher15
Feb 3, 2008, 02:25 AM
I'm surprised they put a dented MBA on a window display.

FredSteel
Feb 3, 2008, 03:02 AM
The MBA probably floats lightly to the ground like a leaf
Yeah, thats true! It's so thin, that the aerodynamic drag is sufficient to hold back it's weight from falling off like a rock...
they don't like people swearing like that
Haha, that made my day, although it surely wasn't funny at that moment, imagining the staff there :eek: watching (and listening to) you picking up the Powerbook while grumbling about this is hilarious. Sorry ;)

HD303
Feb 3, 2008, 09:42 AM
Interesting. I was at the Cheery Creek Apple store around 6pm. I was looking at the new MBA's. I asked an employee if they had any MBA's for sale. He said out of the total of five we have in the store, only one was for sale. we had an accident earlier and the one on display was "destroyed", so the only one we had for sale is now on the rotating display.

Guess they are not as bullet proof as stated above.

cohibadad
Feb 3, 2008, 10:09 AM
or they took the dented one off display and replaced it with one that wasn't dented as they should.

Scott6666
Feb 3, 2008, 10:20 AM
My theory is that its light weight saved it. It doesn't hit the ground with the same momentum as any other laptop Apple offers.


I thought Galileo solved this question a while back. A macbook air should drop at the same rate as any other Apple (or non-Apple for that matter) notebook.

:o

[In a 4 foot drop air resistance will not be much of a factor]

macflurry
Feb 3, 2008, 10:31 AM
Aren't the premium mba's theoretically safe from a 4 foot drop? There aren't any moving parts, the innards would stay in tact wouldn't they? (The screen or sheel might crack/dent tho)

!!1R-
Feb 3, 2008, 10:52 AM
At 7 P.M. when I went, the dented one was spinning on the pedestal. It wasn't obviously dented but it was dented.

As far as the ones for sale, it's probably the same thing that happened before they arrived. Everyone that works there is hearing something different.

Oh, and the one that dropped was the 1.6GHz model with the 80GB Hard Disk.

!!1R-
Feb 3, 2008, 10:55 AM
I thought Galileo solved this question a while back. A macbook air should drop at the same rate as any other Apple (or non-Apple for that matter) notebook.

It falls at the same speed, but it doesn't fall with the same weight behind it. Dropping a bowling ball will do more damage to itself and whatever it hits than a golf ball, even though they hit with the same velocity.

Hankster
Feb 3, 2008, 10:56 AM
My theory is that its light weight saved it. It doesn't hit the ground with the same momentum as any other laptop Apple offers.

I thought it was lucky the guy that crashed into was okay. It looked like he had bent up the pedestal pretty well.

Doesn't the MPA weight more than the MP?

EDIT: Weight does not matter.

whenders0n
Feb 3, 2008, 12:01 PM
Doesn't the MPA weight more than the MP?

EDIT: Weight does not matter.
??? what? the mba weights way less. thats the whole point...

kuwisdelu
Feb 3, 2008, 01:22 PM
Wow, didn't really think I'd find a need to post this again, but from another thread where people were arguing which would survive a fall better between an iPod Nano vs. Classic and MacBook Air vs. regular MacBook....

Oh--and as for the iPod Nano vs. Classic and the MacBook Air vs. MacBook drop....

Yes, they will fall at the same rate. It doesn't matter which is heavier for that. However, the OP is right that the lighter product will hit the ground with less force. It's called impulse, and it's the change in momentum of an object resulting from integrating an amount of force F exerted during a given time t. That is, [delta]mv = int(F*tdt). Both objects will obviously hit the ground in the same amount of time t if we're talking about impacting on the same surface, and both objects will hit with the same velocity v, so in each case the object's mass is proportional to the force involved in the impact.

Bottom line: the MacBook Air has about 40% less mass than the ordinary MacBook, so it will be subjected to about 40% less force. Remember that in figuring out how the drop will effect the hardware.

dukebound85
Feb 3, 2008, 01:28 PM
I thought Galileo solved this question a while back. A macbook air should drop at the same rate as any other Apple (or non-Apple for that matter) notebook.

:o

[In a 4 foot drop air resistance will not be much of a factor]

momentum != velocity

momentum = mass*velocity

kuwisdelu
Feb 3, 2008, 01:43 PM
momentum != velocity

momentum = mass*velocity

:D

and F = dp/dt

where F is force and p is momention and t is time. The heavier object is always subject to more force, unless you chance the time the impact takes. There is also my (incredibly nerdy) elaboration above...

Lord Blackadder
Feb 3, 2008, 01:43 PM
I just knew this would turn into a physics lesson. :eek:

Anyway, the next update of the MacBook Pro should include retro rockets to slow the rate of descent in the event of a drop.:D

kuwisdelu
Feb 3, 2008, 01:46 PM
Anyway, the next update of the MacBook Pro should include retro rockets to slow the rate of descent in the event of a drop.:D

Now that would be quite awesome.

blairwillis
Feb 3, 2008, 04:30 PM
If a MacBook Air, falling in a vacuum, was traveling at the speed of light, how fast would the light being emitted from the display be traveling?

kuwisdelu
Feb 3, 2008, 07:07 PM
If a MacBook Air, falling in a vacuum, was traveling at the speed of light, how fast would the light being emitted from the display be traveling?

It's impossible for anything to travel at the speed of light, besides photons and a few other elementary particles. However, if you were to ask if the MacBook Air were travelling, say, 99.9999% the speed of light, I could answer your question.

(BTW, everyone, it's kind of a trick question...no matter how fast the MacBook Air is traveling, the light from it will still be traveling at the speed of light in both the MacBook Air's frame of reference, and in the frame of reference of its highly confused user who's sitting on earth wondering where his $1799 laptop went.)

dukebound85
Feb 4, 2008, 12:29 AM
ok heres a riddle for ya kinda. see if you can figure it out. im pretty sure of the answer


so the theory of relativity says that if you are in a space ship you will age a lot slower than say your friends on earth. well how come your friends on earth wont age slower than you on a spaceship if we just change the point of reference????

FredSteel
Feb 4, 2008, 04:24 AM
@dukebound85:
I think the solution can be found here: Twin Paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_paradox)

I'm not "in the mood" to condense the main message of the page into one sentence...

Scott6666
Feb 4, 2008, 03:05 PM
I concede that you all are right that momentum != velocity. I appreciate the physics refresher!

I see now the errors of my ways and that the force necessary to "stop" the air as it hits the floor should be less that that required to "stop" a heavier machine.

Less force, less damage (given equally "strong" laptops that I would not necessarily know how to quantify).

Hope I have this right this time. Still it did start an interesting thread.

thesdx
Feb 4, 2008, 05:42 PM
I thought Galileo solved this question a while back. A macbook air should drop at the same rate as any other Apple (or non-Apple for that matter) notebook.

:o

[In a 4 foot drop air resistance will not be much of a factor]

All objects fall at the same rate, but lighter objects always allow more air resistance, causing the air (not the MBA, but "air") to act as a force against the object. So, the MBA would go down more slowly than a MBP. Like you said, from a 4 ft drop, this isn't really going to make much of a difference. It could just be pure luck that the MBA didn't get totaled. It all depends on how it lands.

jrtaylor6
Jan 21, 2011, 11:08 AM
When they pick up the MacBook Air did anybody see it before they took it to the back.. If no how do we not know that they just put a new one out on display..
Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to say it wont hold up to the fall I hope it does because I own one..

b-rad g
Jan 21, 2011, 12:02 PM
When they pick up the MacBook Air did anybody see it before they took it to the back.. If no how do we not know that they just put a new one out on display..
Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to say it wont hold up to the fall I hope it does because I own one..

I'm guessing you didn't even look at the post dates before posting! Am I right?;)

chrono1081
Jan 21, 2011, 12:20 PM
momentum != velocity

momentum = mass*velocity

Oh no you don't! I came to mac rumors to get away from physics and simulations for awhile! :p

jrtaylor6
Jan 21, 2011, 12:50 PM
Yeah i did.. I went back and read all of them.. Sorry about that lol

firewood
Jan 21, 2011, 01:08 PM
I thought Galileo solved this question a while back. A macbook air should drop at the same rate as any other Apple (or non-Apple for that matter) notebook.

In a uniform gravitational field, potential energy is height times weight. At the end of the fall, all that potential energy gets converted in kinetic energy (Physics 101). A heavier object will need to dissipate proportionally more kinetic energy into deformation during the crash into the floor, even at exactly the same speed.

halledise
Jan 21, 2011, 01:15 PM
forget the physics - if you drop either from that height they're both stuffed. :D

if a man speaks in the forest and there's no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?