Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:28 PM   #1
kabunaru
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Aluminum vs Plastic

I want some detailed difference between them.
Which would survive better in the elements (too cold, too hot, etc)? Also, is aluminum really less durable than plastic case? Also, I heard that aluminum should not be used in factories. Is this true?
This is something keeps puzzling me.
kabunaru is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:37 PM   #2
philgilder
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarbonate

aluminium is harder, more durable, easier to clean
aluminium is a better material to use, less is needed, so it can be thinner than the equivalent plastic case, and is also lighter

whats that about factories?
__________________
SJ Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets So THATS why I have no money
philgilder is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:42 PM   #3
kabunaru
Thread Starter
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by philgilder View Post
whats that about factories?
I heard that it's reactive to the element Mercury.
Actually, I think the Polycarbonate Plastic is more durable than Aluminum.
kabunaru is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:46 PM   #4
heatmiser
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabunaru View Post
I heard that it's reactive to the element Mercury.
Actually, I think the Polycarbonate Plastic is more durable than Aluminum.
You're correct.
__________________
Always on the lookout for longer battery life...
heatmiser is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:47 PM   #5
neiltc13
macrumors 68040
 
neiltc13's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Speaking from my own experience knowing people who have MacBook Pros and MacBooks I have to say that MBP show signs of clear wear and dents etc very much whereas it is somewhat rare to see a dented MacBook.
neiltc13 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:51 PM   #6
sullycarter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Question Go with the Plastic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kabunaru View Post
I want some detailed difference between them.
Which would survive better in the elements (too cold, too hot, etc)? Also, is aluminum really less durable than plastic case? Also, I heard that aluminum should not be used in factories. Is this true?
This is something keeps puzzling me.
I have had my share of mac laptops and conclude that the plastic is much more desirable ect. The MacBook Pros and Powerbooks (no longer in production) get easily dented and dinged up along the sides. Mine have even had dents next to the apple logo on the front. My MacBook on the other hand (as well as iBooks-no longer in prod.) are less subject to getting dents. I would go with a MacBook



sullycarter is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:52 PM   #7
Hankster
macrumors 68000
 
Hankster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Washington DC
It depends on what you're looking for. Plastic is of course more durable, that's why it's in just about 95% of products sold these days Aluminum looks nice and does have an excellent finish, but I don't think it lasts longer than plastic. In terms of cold and heat, aluminum is a greater conductor of temperature so it would be worse.
__________________

iMac - MacBook Air - iPhone - iPad - Shuffle - Nikon
Hankster is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 01:57 PM   #8
kabunaru
Thread Starter
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankster View Post
It depends on what you're looking for. Plastic is of course more durable, that's why it's in just about 95% of products sold these days Aluminum looks nice and does have an excellent finish, but I don't think it lasts longer than plastic. In terms of cold and heat, aluminum is a greater conductor of temperature so it would be worse.
Yeah, the MacBook Pros probably do get hotter than the MacBooks.
By the way, I do have a white MacBook, I just wanted to know more about the plastic vs aluminum.
kabunaru is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 02:04 PM   #9
PMR
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portugal (Google it)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabunaru View Post
I want some detailed difference between them.
Which would survive better in the elements (too cold, too hot, etc)? Also, is aluminum really less durable than plastic case? Also, I heard that aluminum should not be used in factories. Is this true?
This is something keeps puzzling me.
why do you want to know this? if it is the reason to choose a laptop shouldn't ask yourself first if you need a macbook or the macbook pro features?

If you will use it in some kind of rough conditions, go for the macbook as it absorbs impact much better than the aluminum mbp and if you break one, it's cheaper to buy another. Some say also that aluminum can interfere with any kind of RF transmission as bluetooth or wifi. (which is true, but you may not notice that)
If you need the features of the mbp, or if you like it better, just fit it in in a speck plastic case adding a bit more of protection.
__________________
20" alu iMac 2.4 6GB;BlackBook 2.0 3GB;12" PowerBook G4 1.5 1.25GB and a few iphones and ipads...
PMR is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 02:31 PM   #10
philgilder
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
sullycarter, those are some badly handled laptops
well all i can say is my macbook pro has no dents, bumps, scratches etc in 7 months...
and a dropped macbook may crack whereas a mbp wont crack so easily

if youre careful (and by careful i mean use common sense and dont manhandle it), the mbp will be more than durable enough

the white macbooks get dirty very easily and cant be cleaned easily
__________________
SJ Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets So THATS why I have no money
philgilder is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 02:55 PM   #11
heatmiser
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by philgilder View Post
the white macbooks get dirty very easily and cant be cleaned easily
They get dirty, but they're very easy to clean, as anyone who's used that Mr. Clean wipe will attest.
__________________
Always on the lookout for longer battery life...
heatmiser is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 02:58 PM   #12
PMR
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portugal (Google it)
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatmiser View Post
They get dirty, but they're very easy to clean, as anyone who's used that Mr. Clean wipe will attest.
A bit of rubbing with toilet paper and alcohol and you're done. The black ones get dirtier as they keep that shiny look on the palm rests making it look like a mechanic's laptop
__________________
20" alu iMac 2.4 6GB;BlackBook 2.0 3GB;12" PowerBook G4 1.5 1.25GB and a few iphones and ipads...
PMR is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 03:05 PM   #13
Killyp
macrumors 68040
 
Killyp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
I've got a MacBook and a MacBook Pro.

The MacBook shows up dirt much worse than the Pro in my experience (the MacBook only ever sat on my desk, wheras my Pro goes to school etc.. with me). The Pro will however show up scratches more. I don't wear a watch when I'm using my Pro to prevent it from being scratched.

Another factor is the heat conductivity properties. Aluminium conducts heat much better than the plastics used in the MB, and as a result the Pros tend to run cooler (internally) although feel very slightly warmer externally. The result is a longer lasting HDD and generally the computer should last better.

The last thing to think about is how the materials absorb shocks etc. The MacBook Pros tend to externally appear to suffer worse when they take a knock etc, but this is actually because the aluminium absorbs the energy of any knocks etc.. and protects the internals, particularly the hard drive. The plastics of the MacBooks don't seem to suffer as badly when they take a knock, but in fact it's just that the plastics aren't as 'flexible' and soft as the MacBook Pro's casing, and as a result, all the energy of any shocks get transferred right to the bits inside.


Ultimately, if you look at it simply, plastic seems better than alu, but in reality, the advantages of alu outweigh plastic if you simply look a little deeper...
Killyp is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 03:08 PM   #14
CalBoy
macrumors 601
 
CalBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabunaru View Post
Actually, I think the Polycarbonate Plastic is more durable than Aluminum.
Compared to how they are laid out on the macbook and macbook pros, yes. However, if we were to compare equal weights, then aluminum would win hands down.

Aluminum is a very good material for planes, trains, etc because it's light and offers good tensile strength. The only thing better is titanium (which has the density of aluminum with the strength of steel), but Apple already tried titanium notebooks and that didn't go over so well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankster View Post
In terms of cold and heat, aluminum is a greater conductor of temperature so it would be worse.
There's actually a trade off for both. Plastic will take longer to heat up compared to aluminum, but will stay hotter for longer. I spent a good deal of time with both a macbook in my lap and a macbook pro in my lap, and with SMC fan control I can keep the exterior of my mbp pretty darn cool. The same wasn't as true for the macbook. Although it took longer to heat up (20 minutes vs 5 for the mbp) it stayed hot much longer over the duration of an hour (whereas my mbp gets cool within a few minutes).

The moral of the story: don't put it on your lap!
CalBoy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 2008, 03:09 PM   #15
TatsuTerror
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killyp View Post

The last thing to think about is how the materials absorb shocks etc. The MacBook Pros tend to externally appear to suffer worse when they take a knock etc, but this is actually because the aluminium absorbs the energy of any knocks etc.. and protects the internals, particularly the hard drive. The plastics of the MacBooks don't seem to suffer as badly when they take a knock, but in fact it's just that the plastics aren't as 'flexible' and soft as the MacBook Pro's casing, and as a result, all the energy of any shocks get transferred right to the bits inside.

Ultimately, if you look at it simply, plastic seems better than alu, but in reality, the advantages of alu outweigh plastic if you simply look a little deeper...
Wow, that's a really good point. It's like buying a car that destroys itself when hit, or buying one so rigid that it destroys you.

I say alu.
TatsuTerror is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5s Leather case skeleton made of plastic or aluminum bushman4 iPhone 3 Nov 19, 2013 01:18 PM
Chameleon plastic Jakimo iPhone 1 Sep 4, 2013 02:57 PM
Low-Cost iPhone to Use Plastic or Hybrid Plastic/Metal Design, Due in Late 2013 MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 412 Jan 16, 2013 08:34 PM
What about those aluminum cases for the aluminum iPhone 5? viewfly iPhone Accessories 6 Oct 13, 2012 02:45 PM
thin case iphone 5 hard shell (aluminum/brushed aluminum) raptorstv iPhone 0 Sep 25, 2012 07:09 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:33 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC