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What material would you prefer for a laptop?

  • Magnesium

    Votes: 6 40.0%
  • Carbon fiber

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • Aluminum

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15

ghanwani

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 8, 2008
4,707
5,973
The Dell Latitude 7330 has a 13.3” screen and can be had in Magnesium (2.1lb, but limited in spec like e.g. no windows hello, no fingerprint reader, only 720p camera), carbon fiber at around 2.5 lb, or aluminum at around 2.8 lb.

Anyone have experience with one or more of these? I’m leaning towards magnesium because of the weight advantage.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages with respect to heat or body flex or durability?

I added a poll. You can answer the poll generally if you don’t have experience with the Dell Latitude 7330.
 
Last edited:

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
I don't have that Dell laptop specifically, but my vote will be for carbon fiber. It's lighter than aluminum, and in your case, it still has features like fingerprint scanner.

But if you can go by without that, then yes, magnesium. The less than 1kg weight is a dream. I have an HP Pavillion Aero 13, and due to it being less than 1kg, it's a dream to carry around.
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,717
I've had MS' Surface products that are magnesium, and of course MBPs which are aluminum. I don't have a preference when I think about it. I think both materials are more then adequate and my usage is such that any weight saving between the two is negligible.

I suppose if I was pushed to choose, I'd go with aluminum

As for carbon fiber, I'm not a fan, I don't like the look or feel
 
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Boidem

Suspended
Nov 16, 2022
306
245
Magnesium is lighter but needs to be coated to prevent corrosion, I think, whereas Aluminium doesn't (although Alu is often anodised to retain a nice shiny finish). Magnesium can be made to be lighter for a given volume of material. Aluminium is stiffer so can make for a more rigid chassis, and will be a little stronger. Carbon Fibre can be made very strong, but will need significant volume to get anywhere near the stiffness of Alu, so I'd imagine in a laptop chassis possibly won't be quite as stiff. I could be wrong. Perhaps it has some metal stiffening. As for weight; it's around 300g, so not that much, but not nothing. Personally, I'd go for more features for the small weight 'penalty'.
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 8, 2008
4,707
5,973
Another thing with magnesium is that the battery is limited to 3 cell (as opposed to available 4 cell with the others) and the 512GB SSD is limited to class 35 (as opposed to available class 40 with the others).

I do have a 2-in-1 version of the same laptop for work. That is only available in aluminum (that probably says aluminum is the strongest) and runs around 3 lb. I like the screen of that which is why I decided to consider one of these as a personal machine. Another catch with aluminum it's not available without a touch screen.
 
Last edited:

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
Another thing with magnesium is that the battery is limited to 3 cell (as opposed to available 4 cell with the others) and the 512GB SSD is limited to class 35 (as opposed to available class 40 with the others).

I do have a 2-in-1 version of the same laptop for work. That is only available in aluminum (that probably says aluminum is the strongest) and runs around 3 lb. I like the screen of that which is why I decided to consider one of these as a personal machine. Another catch with aluminum it's not available without a touch screen.
In that case, it solidifies my opinion in picking carbon fiber. Lighter than aluminum, and still have all the features including larger battery. The only issue is probably aesthetic, and some may prefer the metal finish vs carbon fiber. I personally prefer the latter. 😊
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 8, 2008
4,707
5,973
I wish they had pictures on the Dell website. Unfortunately all they have is aluminum. Notebookcheck tested a magnesium one and it seems to have done well enough to be listed on their top 10 premium business notebooks. They have pictures of the magnesium one.

I have not been able to find pictures of the CF one.
 
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