MacBook Air durability?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ajh99, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. ajh99, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015

    ajh99 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    Right, short and sweet here. I got a new MacBook Air a few days ago. The MBA was lifted up by the charger as I went to remove it, and I, being the paranoid, overly-conscious guy I am, is convinced that the MacBook Air has suffered damage as a result of this, in particular the speakers. Can I just get some people's thoughts on whether they think that any damage has been caused.

    Side note: I've noticed the speakers can be a bit tinny when playing certain audio at high volumes. Is this normal?
  2. Coltaine macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2012
    I don't know, I've been dragging my 2011 MacBook Air to and from work for three and a half years now, by car, by subway in my backpack - and I don't handle it with special care. I put it on my desk at work every morning, carry it around, pack and unpack it, it's even got a dent in the right upper corner from hitting it against a shelf one day.

    It still runs without a hitch.
    So I'd say it's sturdy enough to handle regular everyday usage without any problems. As for the speakers: mine never sounded too great.

    When I got it, I was still being really careful, but I stopped being paranoid about it roughly two weeks later and I've been handling it just like I would any laptop from then.
  3. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    That seems pretty minor.

    Why...why are you picking up and dropping your laptop, though?
  4. ajh99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    Haha, I did it to replicate what happened when the charger lifted the MacBook back up. I'm not mad :p
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Doing it an extra time does seem pretty ridiculous.

    I struggle to understand why you might try to pick up the laptop by the charger but oh well.

    I doubt you damaged the machine in any way. Laptop speakers are all pretty s****y, especially the speakers in really thin laptops.
  6. ajh99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    I think it's just me and my new-mac-paranoia.


    I tried to pull the charger out of the MacBook, but for whatever reason it stayed connected to the laptop rather than pulling away easily like normal, and consequently pulled the back of the laptop up, as shown in the video, which I did to create a clearer image.
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    OIC. Yeah if you pull it straight out then it might be more attached than you would expect. I usually just "bend" it up or down and it detaches very easily. This is a common complaint about the MagSafe 2 connector actually so you should have no problems detaching it. :)
  8. ajh99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    Am I correct in saying even MacBook Airs are pretty durable and that it would take more than that to inflict any damage? From what I gather, Apple's build quality is pretty sturdy.
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Yes, the unibody chassis is extremely solid. It's a small number of aluminum pieces with internal bracing screwed together. There are very few parts inside, and the only moving part is the fan, which is easily replaced if it breaks.

    Being metal instead of plastic, it can bend and it won't go back to its original shape. So if you drop it on a corner or something, or while it's open, it might get bent. But probably best to not drop any laptop on its side regardless.
  10. Coltaine macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2012
  11. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    There is the New Owner's paranoia.

    THEN one thing I suggest you NOT do is to drop the machine on a hard surface right by the corners. You will get irreparable scratches to a bended casing, like a cheap coke can.
  12. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    i have owned 2 macbook airs over the past 5 years. dropped them both several times (actually not dropped but fell from the bed several times). nothing has ever broken or anything like that. very durable.
    occasionally a small bent part of the frame - the area around the magsafe and the adjacent area where the thinnest part of the frame is, at the juncture of the left side USB port is the weakest area.
  13. gmintz09 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    I would call the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro pretty durable from all the different tests I've seen and my own personal experience. CNET did a couple episodes testing the Air and Pro you might find interesting: Macbook Air: Test 1 & Test 2 // Macbook Pro

    I looked at these videos before deciding to purchase my Air because I had been worried about the durability of such a slim laptop.
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Each of my MBAs have - quite literally - travelled the world with me; I have brought them to strange and testing locations in central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans - and all over Europe - without mishap. The MBA is a constant and permanent companion in taxis, trains, buses, and planes.

    My laptop travels either in my briefcase (usually without a cover; occasionally shoved in a padded A4 envelope when I remember to bring one with me), or my leather rucksack, along with its chargers and adaptors. (And an iPod with its chargers and adaptors).

    They are very durable, reliable, and relatively rugged; moreover, they are also exceedingly portable, because they weight little.

    My brother has my original MBA, which I bought in 2010, and it is still running strongly.

    However, I will make one recommendation here to the OP. Whether or not you are in the habit of testing (by dropping, or dangling by the attached Magsafe) a MBA, I do recommend that you buy Applecare for your computer.

    I have had Applecare on every Apple computer that I owned, and it has paid for itself over the time I have had each of them.

    Given that much of your post was about a rather obsessive testing of the Magsafe, I might mention that, oddly enough, Magsafes are one area where problems may arise.
  15. windywalks macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2004
    My mother left her 2011 11" MBA on the roof of her car and then drove off only to hear it fall. Save for a little dent in the upper right corner where the hinge is, the computer still hums along quite nicely 3 years after the accident ;)

    In other words, apart from the plastic MacBooks, the Macbook Air has been the one Apple computer that didn't crap out on me or my family in any way, it even has the same 2011 battery with approx. 500 cycles still going strong.

    That's not something I can say about my current rMBP or any other Macbook Pro I had where there always seemed to be a problem - logic board, graphics chipset, screen, battery, trackpad, magsafe etc.
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon

    How right you are. My MBP - the very first Mac I had - also had a couple of problems. Actually, I seem to remember a complete HDD failure, and a battery deciding to die (Applecare took care of matters, as the computer was around two and a half years old when these malfunctions occurred).

    Now, on the other hand, the problems experienced by my MBAs have been pretty minor; two of mine have had Magsafe problems (a recurring issue with the specific Magsafe of the MBA, in a minority of MBAs), and there have also been issues with some of the keys on the keyboard. Again, Applecare to the rescue……..
  17. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I would worry less about the durability of a smaller laptop. If you drop it, there's less weight acting on it on impact. And the smaller footprint means any force on the top/bottom will be distributed more to the sides, than if the laptop had a bigger footprint.

    Of course it also depends on the thickness of aluminum that Apple uses for the cases, but to me, the MBA case seems about as thick as any of their other laptop cases.

    Of course some companies (Sony) make crazy thin/light laptops with magnesium cases that seem extremely flimsy. Very very easy to bend/twist the screen. I would be concerned about having a laptop like that.
  18. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    My wife isn't the most careful with her 11"'s dropped from the table onto the floor (carpeted, about 2.5') numerous times without any damage.

    Works like a champ and has no damage.
  19. gmintz09 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015

    Yeah, I know what you mean. My Air was the first Apple laptop I had ever purchased, so I wasn't aware of the build quality compared to other PC laptops I had. I really wanted the convenience of the Air but didn't want to go for thinness over durability. Now I know they build them very solidly. :D
  20. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    So you are worried that what you did in the past might have harmed you laptop, sooooo, you do a video showing you dropping your device several inches to ask us if this might have hurt it?


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