Carbon fibre in ultraportable mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by verticalforce, May 6, 2007.

  1. verticalforce macrumors member

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    #1
    Why can't Apple use carbon fibre like Sony in their Mac? If they do make an ultraportable macbook/mbp, carbon fibre would be an absolutely perfect material.

    Very light and tough as well. It's expensive, yes, but if Sony can do it why can't Apple?
     
  2. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #2
    is it the casing that makes the macbook so heavy?
     
  3. verticalforce thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    well...yes. Sony's 13.3 inchers are only 1.69 kg, and it has better specs than Macbook with integrated AND a normal graphic card.
     
  4. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #4
    Indeed. A carbon fibre case would weigh less than even a plastic case of equivalent strength.
     
  5. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #5
    really? isee i thought they made the macbook with a plastic case so that it wouldn t be as heavy (meaning it would be even heavier than it is now) it being heavy is not a problem for me at all, but you gotta admit it is a heavy 13 inch laptop..
     
  6. verticalforce thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Nah, Apple just use plastic because it's cheap. Sony has been using LED screen for about a year in their 11.1 and 13.3 inches laptops, Apple is really lagging behind in terms of innovation. I'm sure people wouldn't mind paying premium prices for premium laptops.
     
  7. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    #7
    I figured Apple used polycarbonate because it's easier to mould and cheaper to manufacture.

    Yes, carbon fibre would decrease the weight of a MacBook by a couple hundred grams but it's not the sexiest material ever. Of course you can paint carbon fibre however it seems a bit too PC for my liking. :D
     
  8. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #8
    If they did a raw carbon fibre case I'd love one, but a glossy resin one would just look pants.
     
  9. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    #9
    I think sony has a laptop with carbon fiber. The only way to really tell was to look at it closely under a light. You can see fine grain lines of the carbon fiber. It looks pretty cool. But if you looked at a non-carbon fiber vs. a carbon fiber Vaio from far away, you wouldn't be able to tell. There was a whole thing about how Sony was scamming people by offering CF laptops when they looked no different than their plastic counterparts.
     
  10. verticalforce thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    If you look at Sony premium SZ series, the black colour doesn't look like the "rough" carbon fibre at all. It looks incredibly sexy, you couldn't tell that it was made from carbon fibre.

    Their g series' business laptop chassis is made from carbon fibre too, which is even cooler since it means that the laptop is durable.

    wait ...why are we talking about sony here...lol...
     
  11. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    #11
    My point exactly.

    But if you look at the Vaios, then look at the prices, would you want Apple to be that expensive with their entry-level notebooks? I certainly wouldn't.
     
  12. klaxamazoo macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I haven't seen the laptops, so I can't be sure, but from reading people's responses stating that it is difficult to see the difference between carbon fiber and a standard case, I suspect that they are just using carbon fiber as the fill instead of glass fibers. As long as they have chosen the correct plastic/resin the case should be somewhat stiffer. It is important to remember that too stiff can be just as bad as not stiff enough and there could be plenty of reasons other than cost, to use glass filled plastic vs. carbon fiber filled plastic. (standard fills are 5-20% by volume)
     
  13. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    You must not know much about the motorcycle and automotive racing arena, because carbon fiber is usually considered exotic material.
     
  14. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    #14
    I'm aware that carbon fibre is considered 'exotic' as I come from a cycling background, hell, I have a carbon fibre bike. But having carbon fibre for a purpose, for example: to go faster, makes sense. I don't find the carbon fibre on my bike attractive, it just so happens to help me ride faster. Is a carbon fibre casing on my notebook going to make the processor any faster? Unless I'm throwing the laptop through the air then no, the CPU speed will be the same.

    I just don't see the point for using a material that will push the price of an already expensive device up for the only reason that some people like it. I also don't see Apple going the carbon fibre route.
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    But mostly because the casing is not a critical load-bearing structure. There are lots of cases where carbon fibre is being used just for expensive decoration, like in laptops and car interior panels, which has the unfortunate side effect of driving up costs for industries that need it for its useful properties. In cosmetic applications, they get to use prepreg and churn panels out relatively cheaply with no quality control, since defects will never cause failure.

    I'd rather have the polycarbonate, since it's more flexible and less inclined to transfer impact forces to the frame. Neither polycarbonate or CFRP are going to deal particularly well with processor heat.
    Better Apple should go back to the G3 iBook's magnesium bits.
     
  16. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    No, but it will be less weight to heft around, sorta like the same effect when riding your carbon-fiber bike. Your bike isn't faster because of the carbon fiber itself, but because you have less weight to accelerate. Notebooks that are carbon fiber are lighter than notebooks that use heavier build materials...

    But there's nothing to worry about here, regarding Apples at least, because they aren't producing machines that contain carbon fiber.
     
  17. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #17
    Does a computer go faster by virtue of the fact that it is an Apple?

    Not really? Ultraportable and heavy is an oxymoron. Ultraportable and susceptible to dents is dumb. Sure the Al cases look nice but that's about all it is.
     
  18. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    #18
    And bikes that use carbon fibre weigh less because they're replacing steel, aluminium and titanium as load bearing frame material, not plastic.

    The full name for carbon fibre is carbon fibre reinforced plastic. It's a plastic epoxy more than anything else, and the overall weight difference against polycarbonate in an application like a laptop is not worth the trouble.
     
  19. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    If you think plastic accounts for all of the weight in a notebook, you're mistaken.

    Yeah, I know what CF is and how it is applied. My original point was that in the automotive and motorcycle (not bike) arena, it is considered an exotic material. Not because of it's looks but because of it's light weight (not exactly it's strength). It is known to save weight when weight counts. If the computer manufacturing industry is attempting to set a trend in building laptops, then CF is a good thing. While it may drive up prices, it is still much cheaper than titanium, and as much as aluminum cases are praised, they just dent too easily.

    I'm playing devil's advocate, not supporting a move to CF parts in Apple products...
     
  20. eenu macrumors 65816

    eenu

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    #20
    The use of CF in the Apple lineup would raise prices due to the increased cost of CF but also the modifications required to the product line.
     
  21. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #21
    My point is that carbon fibre doesn't bring anything to the table unless you do need it for strength, stiffness and/or rigidity. If you just need something to cover something up, a lightweight plastic does the job nicely and at nearly the same weight as CF.

    Being that a plastic case only accounts for a very small fraction of the weight of a notebook (I've taken them apart enough to know), there are much greater weight savings to be had with other components. It would make more sense for Apple to start building the Macbook/MBPro frame out of something more exotic like CF or aramid.
     
  22. ..........? macrumors member

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    #22
    I think the heaviest part of a macbook is the battery. Try remove the battery and hold the macbook without the battery. You notice that the macbook is quite lite. Next is the LCD display with the lamp then hard drive and/or motherboard. I remember that the frame of the macbook is magnesium which is quite lite yet cheap and easy to make(keep the price low).

    Also make sure when you look at sony vaio notebook's weight that you look at the weight that includes the battery. since sony is very tricky and sometime post the weight without the battery weight included.

    I agree that carbon fiber could be use to lower the weight of a macbook but not on the case(the outside of the macbook) but for the frame(the inside structure) of the macbook.

    But at the moment that material will cause an increase price of the macbook if use. Macbooks are entry level consumer notebook so more chance macbook pro will use carbon fiber(reason is macbook pro is high end professional notebook).
     
  23. wildthing1994 macrumors member

    wildthing1994

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    #23
    We're talking grams, a few less isn't that big of a difference. I think those of you who want a lighter mb just need to start hitting the gym.:rolleyes:
     

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