MacBooks May Soon Become Aluminum

coryetzkorn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
109
0
Has anyone read this part of Apple's site? It says:

"Apple plans to completely eliminate the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)... by the end of 2008."
I found this on Apple's environmental page.

This leads me to believe the MacBooks may become aluminum like the rest of the mac line in mid-2008. Who knows, they may even bring back colors with annondized aluminum casings.

Think about it.... low end iPods nanos are colored (i.e. MacBooks) and high end nanos are only available in silver (i.e. MacBook Pros). I think this would be a very logical product transition that would make MacBooks even better.

Any Thoughts?
 

fr4c

macrumors 65816
Jul 27, 2007
1,253
129
Hamster wheel
that would be interesting if Apple were to follow the iPod color/build scheme. I personally would think that if they were to make different colors for the MB, it will definitely attract a lot more potential buyers. and with the plus of aluminum construction and attractive price point (keep in mind of construction material compared to other laptops), it just might be a pretty hot sale.
 

jczubach

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
385
0
northwest
there are third-party suppliers for those so-inclined, no?

if it sells, it will become an option. Mr. jobs is no dummy.
 

rychencop

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2007
1,090
3
South Carolina
I think color anodized aluminum would be a cool option. Painted ones are nice too, but can chip. How about recycled polycarbonate since Apple is trying to be more eco friendly. I used a Panasonic Toughbook at work for a few years with its magnesium case. Very rugged and looks pretty nice too. I believe it's more expensive than aluminum though.
There are several options that they could use, but cost and ease of manufacture come into play also. Stamped aluminum is the easiest next to plastic.

BTW...I think the natural aluminum MBP is the best looking laptop on the market.
 

jczubach

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
385
0
northwest
I think color anodized aluminum would be a cool option. Painted ones are nice too, but can chip. How about recycled polycarbonate since Apple is trying to be more eco friendly. I used a Panasonic Toughbook at work for a few years with its magnesium case. Very rugged and looks pretty nice too. I believe it's more expensive than aluminum though.
There are several options that they could use, but cost and ease of manufacture come into play also. Stamped aluminum is the easiest next to plastic.
'twas the only time i felt a little micro-tard envy. those tough-books have something going for them...
 

GAS

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2006
156
0
Think about it.... low end iPods nanos are colored (i.e. MacBooks) and high end nanos are only available in silver (i.e. MacBook Pros). I think this would be a very logical product transition that would make MacBooks even better.

Any Thoughts?
Low-end nanos are silver. The high-end nano is black only. So that doesn't really work out anymore.
 

Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,174
353
This is a good prediction.

I mean, the first gen iPod nanos started out in black in white. Then they transitioned to aluminum along with the introduction of different colors.

I could see the Macbooks taking this direction eventually.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,696
1,686
but i thought the macbooks were polycarbonate, not polyvinyl :confused:????
I know. Who really thinks that the Macbooks are made of PVC? Too soft.

Aluminium = spendy. Not going to happen for the budget range. This is a non-story.
 

kwong2006

macrumors regular
May 16, 2006
209
0
I am opposed to having aluminum on MBs. What is there to distinguish MBPs and MBs?

I am fine with colored aluminum, but not natural looking ones on MB.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,829
36
Nonetheless it is a logical conclusion that Apple will be moving away from a heavy dominance of polycarbonate plastic, especially in white.
Yeah, but somehow I doubt it will be aluminum...way too expensive.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Yeah, but somehow I doubt it will be aluminum...way too expensive.
In the overall scheme of the Macbook's margins, they could probably get away with it. But lots of us like the plastic. I foresee more that they'll take the black plastic and integrate finishing touches on it that make the black Macbook more of a stylistic match for the iMac, and that they'll drop the white and go forward with that look instead.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
142
I still believe that the macbooks will not go aluminum but then again I said the imac would stay white. No one really knows, but if the mb is alum then all of those people who went with the mbp because of the look and just surf the net and write e-mail on their over-powered machines can now dump them, save cash and buy a mb.
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,116
1
One Nation Under Gordon
magnesium alloy is also very hot, check out the panasonic tough-books.
There's not a whole lot of alternatives apart from Mag.

- Apple will probably fail miserably with QC issues with carbon fibre so that's out.
- Titanium is too soft as users undoubtedly discovered (funny - engineers have known it for years, apparently Apple designers felt otherwise) unless subjected to complex manipulation which will probably make it too expensive to incorporate into an MBP-price point item.
- Beryllium, even if your wallet could afford it, is toxic.
- A ceramic matrix or a ceramic coating may be a remote possibility in terms of an extra-durable surface that goes beyond the MBP, but once again the costs of working with this is significantly higher than the materials in use now.

The most likely candidate, if there is a change, is magnesium. It's an increasingly popular option, especially with contract laptop manufacturers stepping up magnesium production facilities rapidly. There's also a relatively new moulding process which is being pushed by Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese companies in order to create more precise moulds and if you have imagination (as Apple undoubtedly do) you can do interesting things with the moulding technolgy using a fusion of plastic and mag.

But, Apple is a marketing company above everything and I don't think magnesium has that much more of a premium ring for the typical Apple customer than aluminium. They'll probably find a way to put a spin on it though.

However if you have to differentiate from "plastic", hard-ano aluminium is the best material in terms of looks, mechanical properties, cost of manufacture and skill of manufacture within Apple's apparent current reach. I wouldn't be surprised if another generation appears with aluminium, but who knows - they might switch.
 

GAS

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2006
156
0
Another advantage of magnesium is that it burns with a bright white light :D