The MacBook plastic

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Mackan, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #1
    Today I visited a rather large Apple reseller store to take a look at the MacBook. I wanted to check the plastic build quality, so I went to "play" with a white one. Before I continue, I want to say that I checked out a MacBook over a year ago, and at that time I got discouraged to buy one, because of how cheap the plastic top case felt. Especially the trackpad button felt very thin, and was more or less wobbling around.

    This time, I got the impression that the plastic has been improved. It felt more solid, and the trackpad button was, to my impression, thicker, and felt great. It could just have been this MacBook in the store though...

    I plan to order a MacBook within a week or so, from the Apple online store. Just wanted to hear if anyone else got the impression that the plastic build quality has improved compared to the first MacBook revision? Are they using a new plastic now? I still fear the case cracking though.. *sigh*
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #2
    The plastic case isn't going to crack unless you drop it. In the few years I've been around I have yet to see a laptop case break unless it was dropped. MBs are going to break unless the user does something to it.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #3
    I'm not sure that's accurate. A lot of users have reported cracks in the past with no damage done to the computer. Cracks with normal use, meaning using the computer for it's intended purposes from the manufacturer. HOWEVER, the new ones may have a different plastic top case as Apple did have to replace a ton of them. It would make sense.

    I have heard that if your top case does crack, you just take it into the Apple store and they will replace the top. It's supposed to be a quick job only a few minutes and your good to go. If I were you OP, I'd call the Apple store nearest you and ask them what they would do for you if the top case cracks.

    UPDATE: I was actually curious about this to, so I called my local Apple store here in San Diego and told them I had bought a Macbook 3 months ago from their store and it's starting to crack on the top. I described the crack exactly as other users have reported, and the guy I talked to (he actually answered the phone an hour before the store was even open, great service in my opinion) said that since it's still under warranty just make an appointment with a genius and they will probably replace the top case for me. He also said that usually if it's cosmetic they just replace it on the spot. So take that as you will, but it sounds to me like if your macbook cracks, Apple's got you covered. But take in to account that you only have a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer. So if it cracks after a year you could be screwed, so consider buying Apple care which extends your warranty to 3 years.

    So buy a macbook, get the Apple Care if your really that worried about it, and before the warranty is up sell it for an upgrade. : )
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Samarium

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    @ home.
    #4
    My macbook just cracked, see pictures on my thread:(
     
  5. macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #5
    The most common place for the MacBook to crack is where the screen contacts the wrist rests & magnet points. My personal theory is that cracks develop from people snapping the screen shut. My wife had a MacBook since they were first released in 2006 and it has no cracks at all, but she was always careful when closing the lid. I've had one for about 3 weeks now, and I've been very careful when closing the screen, too.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #6
    Not true, as hundreds of users on this forum (and tens of thousands in the general population) would attest. A design flaw is a design flaw, and the Macbook case is as defective as the Magsafe.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #7
    I've read this in various places and always wonder what exactly people mean by "careful". Sure, you may not want to slam the screen down from fully open as fast as you can, but once the magnets start pulling the screen slams down the last half inch or so on its own fairly hard.

    When you say you're "careful" when closing, does that mean you're trying not to let the magnets close the screen for you?
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #8
    well I don't know whether the first gen macbooks were the same as the ibooks, but my ibook G4, although scratched up, has yet to dent or take other significant external or internal damage from MULTIPLE drops from various heights onto various surfaces. My friends who have PCs are always freaked out by how I kind of throw it around without thought :rolleyes: So in summary, my experience has been that the plastic they use is extremely sturdy, much more than other computer cases.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg canada
    #9

    My experience is quite the opposite, I think that I am all far more careful with my macbook than my friends are with their dells and thinkpads, yet I've had 5x's as many problems with my macbooks so far
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #10
    I'm very careful also.

    My Macbook top cracked where the lid meets the magnet last year and it was replaced under guarantee,and just last week i opened up the lid and found that it had happened once again in exactly the same spot and i do handle my Macbook very carefully and it looks like the day i purchased it except for this problem. I have contacted Apple and i am having it repaired once again but have to say it's not something i want to keep doing.
    I love my Macbook and i had intended up-grading to the 2.4 ghz latest up-grade but i'm thinking now that it might be wise to wait a little in anticipation that there may be a new case up-grade {ie:aluminium?} but i might be disappointed as i can not see or hear of anything due, though i am sure that there are many of you out there who would like to see the same thing arriving,it's overdue with regard to the frequently discussed cracking problem which needs to be rectified [it's still not a cheap product and we are Apple fans because we like the best of everything} soon with a much more robust solution, {not a lot to ask for,for your money!} i hope someone is listening out there?
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #11
    I'm very careful also.

    My Macbook top cracked {where the lid meets the magnet} last year and it was replaced under guarantee,and just last week i opened up the lid and found that it had happened once again in exactly the same spot and i do handle my Macbook very carefully and it looks like the day i purchased it except for this problem. I have contacted Apple and i am having it repaired once again but have to say it's not something i want to keep doing.
    I love my Macbook and i had intended up-grading to the 2.4 ghz latest up-grade but i'm thinking now that it might be wise to wait a little in anticipation that there may be a new case up-grade {ie:aluminium?} but i might be disappointed as i cannot see or hear of anything due, though i am sure that there are many of you out there who would like to see the same thing arriving,it's overdue with regard to the frequently discussed cracking problem which needs to be rectified {it's still not a cheap product and we are Apple fans because we like the best of everything} soon with a much more robust solution, {not a lot to ask for,for your money!} i hope someone is listening out there?
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #12
    a careful user with lots of problems with his MacBook top case

    Hello everyone.

    I take care of my MacBook, but I do use it for my work and leisure time. I open and close it an average of twice a day, which I would say it is pretty normal, and close the lid carefully every single time.
    I bought my MacBook in August 2006, and I have already replaced the top case twice. As I type these lines, it is about to break again, so in a few weeks i will have to take it back for repairs. The first time the Apple specialist thought I was abusing the laptop because he had not seen anything like it before. He talked to Apple and they authorized the exchange under warranty. The second time, this same technician told me he had already had many people come with the same problem, although I was the first one to come for the second time. It seems likely I will also be the first one to show up for a third time!

    It seems really obvious to me that there is a huge design issue with this model. The magnet does not help, but the fact is that the top case is made of a very cheap and thin layer of plastic that breaks easily when you combine the strength of the magnet, a cheap plastic surface, and the two small ridges the MacBook has on top of the screen. The constant contact between this protuberance and the plastic makes inevitable the fracture of the plastic. In my case, the top case broke in the right side in the three occasions. It might have to do with the fact I normally use my right hand to close it.

    I truly hope they fix this issue in next models, but what it annoys me the most is knowing that eventually, my warranty will expire, my top case will continue breaking and there will be nothing i can do about it...
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    #13
    Absolute nonsense.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    me_94501

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    #14
    My advice to you would be to find some way to better distribute the pressure applied on the lower case by the screen. I've been using a combination of Marware's Protechtion Pack for MacBook and WildEepz from Radtech. I use the Protection Pack's wristpad and augment it with WildEepz for the sides to the left and right of the keyboard.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #15
    My MacBook is cracked in the corner, but that is only because I dropped it in my backpack from a height of about 5'. I think it's a damn marvel that it only got a small crack in the corner.

    I can't say that the cracking is caused by user error, but I can tell you it isn't affecting every single machine out there. I know plenty of people with immaculate MacBooks.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #16
    I don't have a Macbook so I don't know how strong the magnetic latch is, but does it still stay firmly shut with those bumpers?
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    me_94501

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    #17
    Yep.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    What do you people do with these things? I mean, my MacBook is 2 years old and it's on everyday. So it's not like I haven't put it through its paces. It is flawless, not a crack on it. I haven't experienced any of these plastic problems people talk about. I can't believe the amount of posts there are for plastic issues. Do you guys beat them up or something?
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Location:
    Fredericton NB Canada
    #19
    What planet are you on ?

    Hundreds of us, very careful MacBook users have cracks in the casing where the magnet touches the case......

    Demi-god lol
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    bobertoq

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #20
    The plastic around the display on my MacBook has cracked... but that's because I kept on taking it off and waving it around.... :eek:

    I have an older MacBook at home and a newer MacBook at school. The newer MacBook does seem like the plastic is a bit sturdier, and the trackpad button is definitely thicker.
    Hopefully the new MacBook will have thick, high-quality, sturdy aluminum.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Always in a path of a Hurricane!
    #21
    I have had 2 and neither one had any issues but yellowing of the plastic.

    Ps the demi-god is a payed for title.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    I've had my macbook for a year and it hasn't cracked at all. I did get a scratch on the cover. It's huge. Do you think I could get it replaced at the Apple Store?
    :apple:
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    #23
    also have the case crack issue, know others who do too

    I got my Macbook two years ago, when they first came out. I've also had the issue where the plastic case has cracked on the right side, just above the glowy-light and IR sensor, under the magnet. There is now a hole in the case that I've had to cover with tape.

    I have 5 good friends with Macbooks. 3 of them have their cases cracked in the exact same spot. I personally am very careful with my computer, and I find it very hard to believe that 4 out of 6 Macbook users get cracks in the same place on the case without there being a design flaw involved.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #24
    I had the same cracking issue with my MacBook after about 6 months of usage. After seeing this happen to my roommate's MacBook, I was always careful with closing it, and the problem still occurred. I took it in to an AASP, and was told it is a known issue with the earlier models due to faulty plastic composites, and was covered under warranty. I'm bringing it in tomorrow to get the new casing put on. :)
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    #25
    "Earlier models" meaning which?

    I want to buy a refurb, so if there's a more crack-resistant updated Macbook out there, I'd better learn which revision it is....
     

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