Future Macbook Pro Casing Materials

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aplqna, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. aplqna macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Apple has touched on a few different outer materials for their Macbook Pros, Macbooks, Macbook Airs, etc over the years. We've had glossy white polycarbonate, matte black plastic, the current aluminum, etc. None of these materials have been without fault - cracking and discoloring polycarbonate, scratching and denting aluminum, etc. So, what is next for the various Macbook lines - specifically the Macbook Pro? What will lead to further durability and a more beautiful machine?
    I was expecting Apple to extend the glossy coating on it's 5th Generation iPod nanos to the Macbook Pros during the last refresh- but that was obviously not the case. My opinion is to somehow strengthen the aluminum- perhaps through an alloy - and apply a gloss scratch resistant coating. What do you think?
     
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #2
    I don't think they'll be changing the casing any time soon. Right now they have the whole product lineup right where they want it : black/aluminum.
     
  3. aplqna, Dec 11, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010

    aplqna thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Not true- the White Macbook still lives on. What is your prediction of it's future casing- or do you think it will be discontinued (my prediction is that it will and Macbook Airs will be rebranded as Macbooks)?

    Also, I am not just talking about the immediate future- I also mean the distant future. They have to change the casing material sometime...
     
  4. Nein01 macrumors 6502

    Nein01

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  5. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Why would you discontinue your #1 selling macbook? Is something wrong with it?

    And the unibody polycarb macbook was just redesigned. It ain't goin' anywhere anytime soon.
     
  6. aplqna thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    That's just my opinion. My opinion is that they will abandon the polycarbonate because it will, again in my opinion, begin to look dated, and with the advent of new materials it will become obsolete. I believe the Macbook Air 11" will become the new entry-level machine. Again, my opinion. I never said immediately- but I believe it will happen sooner or later. Sorry to divert the thread, that was very much a side note- now back to the main topic of materials...
     
  7. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #7
    Nah, the white polycarbonate Macbook isn't going anywhere. It's not "Pro" so it doesn't get the aluminum casing. I think Apple wants it to be like that. Again, it's not one of the higher end Macs so it doesn't get aluminum.
     
  8. aplqna thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    That's your opinion.

    Also, they have to steer away from the aluminum at some point in time, so that is my question to you all, when that does happen- be it one or 10 years from now- what new materials will we see?
     
  9. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #9
    Well, I guess I already said what I thought.

    1) It will likely be made out of the same materials (even the iBooks were made out of plastic, and the PowerBooks were made of aluminum)
    2) The computers recently got a design change, I don't think there will be another design change in the next update. If there is, I think it will be minor, made out of the same materials.
    3) It probably wont be made out of Astroids.

    The only rumors I've seen were about Liquid Metal. Not sure what that is, but I heard about it.
     
  10. aplqna thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I agree, no asteroids - and it does seem liquid metal may be a good contender to eventually follow the aluminum out of the technologies that already exist
     
  11. Nein01 macrumors 6502

    Nein01

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    #11
    liquidmetal casing might even be part of this next upgrade.


    wishful thinking..
     
  12. Relznuk macrumors 6502

    Relznuk

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    #12
    I've often thought that carbon fiber would be an interesting material, particularly for its extremely light wait and good durability. Perhaps carbon fiber could be used in future casings, either in place of or along side aluminum/Liquid Metal?
     
  13. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #13
    I think we'll see liquid metal in the smaller applications like the iPods or maybe iPhone in the next year or two. Maybe after that once it has been proven to be a successful material will it then be introduced into the Macbook [Pros].
     
  14. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #14
    I hope for the MacBook Pro's casing to remain the same as it is at the moment. It is great as aluminum, thin and strong. If they go to carbon fiber, it will need to be thicker than the current aluminum case design to retain the same rigidity as the current aluminum case design. Liquidmetal could be nice, but would probably be expensive. Liquidmetal has a better real-world application in devices suck as iPod and iPhones.
     
  15. deeesea macrumors 6502

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  16. armada120 macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I am not sure how durable that would be...
     
  17. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    I don't think folks are looking to argue. It's just that we don't know what the hell they'll use in the future anymore than we would've guessed the current unibodies would be made of recycled Budweiser cans.

    I really doubt it.

    It's the chicken vs. egg thing. My guess is that Apple designs the "innards" of a macbook first, sees how much room things will take and then decides on materials to house that design.

    Unless of course Steve has one of his "go green" moments then we might see tree bark.
     
  18. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #18
    I have to agree that the only real upgrade from aluminum, other than titanium, would be using carbon fiber. It's strength, semi-elasticity, lightness, and durability are all fantastic. It also has a look which people seem to like. Cost wise however, it would be an arm and a leg as it can't be cast like aluminum can.

    Titanium is a good way to go but then I would not be able to afford a MBP.

    The current aluminum has proved to be very popular and durable and in some ways has created the 'Unibody Cult'. I am one of them as I would not buy anything than an aluminum cased computer unless CF/Ti was used and I could afford it.

     
  19. deeesea macrumors 6502

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    I think the ASus laptops (I forget which) are using magnesium right now. Dunno though I just think magnesium sounds so much more badass than aluminum.
     
  20. ottos macrumors member

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    #20
    I really like my new MBP it is nice to pick it up and not feel the
    flex and the cheap plastic creaking sounds you get from cheap PCs,
    nice and solid and light also, I don't see any reason Apple would make
    any major changes at this time in material for the MBP maybe they
    will make minor changes like softer edges or something.
     
  21. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #21
    All commercial grade aluminum is already an alloy, nobody uses pure aluminum as is, except perhaps for foil.

    Scratch resistant coating? It already has one, it's been anodized.

    Thing is, a relatively soft metal such as aluminum will scratch easily, no matter what.

    Aluminum is lightweight, fairly cheap, looks good, is a fairly good heat conductor and is easy to machine, hence why it was chosen by Apple in the first place.
     
  22. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #22
    The aluminum in the MBP is not cast, but rather machined.

    Ti is hard to form, and is extremely expensive, I don't personally think it'd offer much advantage over aluminum.
     
  23. miles01110 macrumors Core

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    #23
    Titanium was already used in the TiBooks of the early 2000s. The problem wasn't with the cost or even the titanium itself, but the design. I don't think there's a compelling reason to use titanium at this point.

    Powder coated.
     
  24. aplqna thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24

    I believe Apple is always thinking about the future designs of their notebooks.
    Obviously Apple's consumers have ideas on what they would compose future Apple notebooks of. Obviously they too are curious in speculating, which is not a bad thing. If you or others think it accomplishes nothing and do not wish to contribute to the thread, no one is making you comment on or read it. That being said, I am glad you put forth your opinion because I think you make a very important point. Does Apple choose form before material composition? I think the answer is yes in most cases. I mean, it would seem their goal would be to increase specs first - then add a more forward-thinking chassis form - then consider the durability and beauty of material composition. Case in point for me- the iPod Touch. If one looks at the most recent iteration (4th gen), it is easy to see that the first consideration was packing in everything needed as far as internals, after that Apple's focus appears to be making the thing as sleek and THIN as possible (it seems they believe thin is the most forward-thinking form factor), and last is the chrome composition. This is obviously not the best material to use- looks great out of the box but has a horrible visible presentation after a few month's use...
     
  25. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #25
    How about something like Nickel Aluminide? Extremely strong, corrosion resistant, and excellent thermal conductivity, since the bottom of the MBP is essentially a giant heatsink.

    btw, I know nothing of these metals, just spitballing ideas.
     

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