MacBook Air durability

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Dhaobin, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Dhaobin macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2011
    Hi everybody, I just received my macbook air today, and I was wondering exactly how durable this computer is. Does it scratch/dent easily? As opposed to the conventional plastic computer body, how does the aluminum casing hold up? Can I put it in a bag or backpack and not have to worry about it getting crushed? I'm a little paranoid about this, and I know that repairs are generally very expensive.
  2. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    The aluminium casing is very strong but can dent if you drop it from a high enough height, or drop something very heavy on it. So far mine doesn't have any scratches on it, I'd argue from my own experiences that the aluminium casing doesn't pick up major scratches unless something obvious is dragged across it.

    Buy a spongy, neoprene laptop case for it when you put it in your bag, and you will be fine.
  3. Wick12 macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2011
    The aluminum unibody is not very durable. It may not scratch easily but it definitely can dent easily. Be very careful with it, I would buy a case
  4. superego macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Aluminum scratches and dents easily which means it's prone to cosmetic damage. Some protection might be worthwhile when it's put in a backpack.
  5. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Well, from what I have read, it can reportedly survive a plane crash, but seems to dent/scratch fairly easily. :eek:
  6. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Aluminium beats plastic in every facet other than shininess.

    You shouldn't have to worry about your Air unless you plan on whacking it off of desk corners and dropping it repeatedly from height.
  7. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    When you first get the air you think everytime you try to plug in a USB cable and scratch the casing with the plug it's going to leave a mark but after countless times, not even the smallest of hints of a scratch.

    It's very tough and very nice to work on.
  8. snorkelman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2010
    I've carried them semi regualrly in backpacks, they aren't as forgiving of minor bumps as a plastic laptop so do dent quite easily - corners bear the brunt of it, and the base can also pick up small dents (probably more easily on 13" than the 11")

    Chuck em in unprotected along with tools or pointy probes for a multimeter (oops) and they scratch easily too :)

    The scratches also stick out like a sore thumb if you photograph it (look waaay worse in photos than they do in real life) something to bear in mind if you've an eye to selling on the machine in pristine condition in order to upgrade every year or so. Could really scare some potential buyers off.

    If its your own cash paying for it Id recommend at least some sort of soft case to protect from potential scratches. My work pays for mine so its not something I bother about.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Aluminum can definitely dent or crease, though the MacBook Air is fairly durable. I dropped my late-2008 version and had small crease near the hinge, but other than that it held up very well until I sold it last November. If you are going to put it in a backpack or suitcase, I'd suggest purchasing a neoprene sleeve for it. I have one (they are about $40) and use it when traveling.
  10. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I put a clear-coat shield on it the day I got it. As far as dent I haven't had any issues.
  11. kokako macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    hey it's probably not as durable as the non Airs, but I 've had a case for mine for awhile now and it's the lightest most durable case I could need, it gets banged around and my mac is always cool, the neoprene sleeves aren't very good this is similar but it's memory foam so it bounces back to shape, it's called Be.ez a french company and I've got the 11" my macbook air is absolutely mint, I wish they did a memory foam case for the iPad because I just dropped mine and all it had for protection was neoprene sleeve which are pointless.
    thumbs up for be.ez they'll make your Air durable.
  12. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    Mine has survived over two years in a bag being hauled around a university campus every day with a minimum of wear. You don't have to baby it, but just try and take care of it like you would anything.
  13. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    A coworker had his 13" in a backpack without a sleeve. I guess he set it down too hard.

    Think of aluminum as a "crush zone"...

    Attached Files:

  14. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    Much more durable than a plastic laptop, but like everyone else says, take care of it. Mine took a glancing strike from a Cisco 3750 Switch about a month ago, left a little pit on the edge of the bezel, but no real harm done.
  15. aaarrrgggh macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    I have a RadTec Sleevz for my Air and it has done a great job of keeping it safe without much added bulk. The Air practically disappears in my backpack with it on.
  16. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Its great durability.

    A case is not needed nor recomended, but certainly is welcome if you go out with your notebook a lot, and this way, you may simply trow your backpack into the floor, instead of politetly putting it down.

    As far as you dont take it to a warzone, its fine
  17. iTouch macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    I had a small dent when my Macbook Pro fell off my bed and hit the wall. Slight dent. It's aluminum after all. Just take care of it.
  18. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Mine just didn't hold up well, when I backed over it with my car. It's hard to understand why it didn't. :)

    OK, all kidding aside, the only drawback of aluminum I've experienced in all my MBA's & MBP's is it impedes the performance of WiFi. Yet that's no surprise to those who know their materials.

    "Plastic" is too general of a term, and there are about eight popular formulas used by the various OEM's & ODM's depending on price point.

    Top of the line T & W series ThinkPads use CFRP. That's Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic. The same general type as used in Aerospace, IndyCars, F1 etc. They are the most durable of all, and do not limit WiFi performance.

    At the end of the day, both Macs & ThinkPads are the pinnacle of laptops. I know from first hand experience using both concurrently year after year.

    I've had both the 2010 & 2011 MBA's & really put a lot of time on them. I highly endorse either size, it's all in what fits your needs. I will also ad, they are nearly as strong as MBP's and certainly nothing to worry about.

    You absolutely cannot go wrong with a new Mac.

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