Aluminum vs Plastic

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kabunaru, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
  3. thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #3
    I heard that it's reactive to the element Mercury.
    Actually, I think the Polycarbonate Plastic is more durable than Aluminum.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #4
    You're correct.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Go with the Plastic!

    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


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  7. macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    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.
     
  8. thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #8
    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.
     
  9. PMR
    macrumors 6502

    PMR

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Portugal (Google it)
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    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
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #11
    They get dirty, but they're very easy to clean, as anyone who's used that Mr. Clean wipe will attest.
     
  12. PMR
    macrumors 6502

    PMR

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Portugal (Google it)
    #12
    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 :)
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #13
    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...
     
  14. macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #14
    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. ;)

    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! :p
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #15
    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.
     

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