MBA:"No Waste Outside, Nothing but Waste Inside"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by GavinT, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. GavinT macrumors member

    According to a bunch of Japanese Engineers anyway!

    Quite an interesting read, even if it may be somewhat biased (who did these engineers work for!?... Toshiba???).

    However, there was an interesting aspect.
  2. rmarinheira macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    In myopinion this is good news for Macbook Air buyers!

    What they state is that there's a lot of waste of hardware in the Air, trying to make it sturdy and well built.

    If the Air were built buy japanese, they would try to cut all screws and hardware pieces possible trying to make it cheap!

    Even if that means your keyboard would warp, and the laptop would squeek as a plastic toy!

    Very interesting point of view, indeed!
  3. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    They say that as if it is a bad thing.
  4. Foxglove9 macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2006
    New York City
    "We can make the same computer at a lower cost"

    But they didn't. It's easy for someone to say that, like when you see a piece of art and people say "oh I could easily do that". Then why didn't you?

    I can't wait to see how many PC companies imitate the MBA in the next 1-2 years.
  5. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey

    yeah right.. I was thinking the same thing..odd
  6. shadowmatt macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    What a load of bull.

    These so called engineers cant understand why Apple would secure the keyboard with screws? It seems Apples original design was not altered and thats to Apples detriment.

    If I ordered a product from a factory which my engineers had designed and some Japanese engineer altered the design I would not be happy.

    All these guys do is copy Western technology and usually mess it up. Of course they could have build it cheeper and it would feel cheeper and look cheeper.

    They cant actually understand why Apple designs its own products. But once they are released all these engineers do it copy them, look at all the fake ipods out there.

    In my experience, every one of Apples laptops has been better engineered than most of its competitors. Same with the iPods. Apple continually pushes manufactures to design smaller and more efficient components rather than compromising and building a cheeper, worse product.

    We in the West dont manufacture much anymore, but we do design products that the factories couldnt dream of.
  7. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Yeah get rid of all the screws and use those stupid plastic break away locking tabs they seem to stick in everything. They don't hold up for crap and seem to be 1 - 2 time use only.
  8. GavinT thread starter macrumors member

    It depends really, and you should read what they actually say.

    What he is saying is that
    a) Apple Design, outsourced company company blindly follows design and produces what was specced. [Nothing wrong with this].

    b1) They design, and send specs to factory. Factory people they look at design, and come back with possible improvements which MAY or MAY NOT be then taken on board. Improvements would be made with approval. Effectively a dialog between the 'design house' and 'manufacturer house'. [Again, nothing wrong with this].

    What some of you readers are reading this second approach as is
    b2) They design and send specs to factory. Factory people look at design, work out how to make cheaper and just go ahead and build the cheaper version (which may be better, it may be worse). [Now I agree, this IS WRONG].

    Mind you, it will be interesting to see how the MBA is 'copied'. I think you will get a mixture of results. Some will take the MBA design, and make cheaper by using cheaper parts. This is the bad aspect to Japanese/Asian engineering.
    However, some may well take the Apple design, and successfully improve it, whilst making it cheaper. This is the good aspect to Japanese/Asian design. It's a good thing for us and it drives the industry forward too, as Apple will then have to innovate something new to stay ahead of the game.
  9. pointycollars macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    Reading that article actually makes me want to buy a MacBook Air. In an era where cheap and disposable is the standard, someone decides to produce a sturdy over-designed case, and engineers complain. They would. I despise the mentality that quality, longevity and durability should be sacrificed to make a product cheaper to produce. I'd rather pay a premium for a product that I knew was going to be worth my money, not something that's going to break in a year because an engineer wanted to shave a few cents off his manufacturing cost.

    This is actually one of the reasons I won't buy the existing MacBook Pro - its case design is flimsy and prone to denting, and the spray-paint on the keys tends wears off from heat and heavy use.
  10. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    I did. ;)
    Is that what he is saying though?
    OK. *shrugs* :rolleyes:
  11. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    The MBA definitely feels well built. But then again, the Japanese as a whole seem to often offer quality over products designed or built in other countries. Take cars as an example: American ones are the least reliable, and the Japanese ones are the most reliable.

    Anyhow, not that this means that the article was at all true: while I'm sure there are some Japanese engineers who could probably do what was said, it doesn't mean these people could.
  12. mctheriot macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    McHenry, IL
  13. shoulin333 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    sounds like they are saying

    "if this were a PC we would have cut more corners"

    yet they seem to think that is a good thing.
  14. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    Hmmm... I dunno what to think really.

    My experience (so don't start flaming me fanboys) Apple laptops have been the most unreliable pieces of electronics I have ever bought (aside from the first gen PS2....damn disc read error) so while they look purdy and OS X is sexy, I have zero faith in the hardware so maybe they need some outside advice to prevent things like overheating logic boards, over heating processors, yellow LED screens, and all the other problems I faced in my lifetime of Apple Hardware.

    But it sounds like they wanna make it cheaper and crappier so... *thumbs down*
  15. WilWheaton macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2008
    the review sounded a bit harsh and silly but apple engineering has been hit and miss in the past

    it's not just the quality, sometimes apple can over-engineer but leave out what should be the simplest and most expected features (user replaceable batteries anyone?).

    I can see an obvious complaint that many seem to be overlooking, user serviceability. On many laptops the keyboard is considered a user replaceable part, and if you ask for it, the OEM can send you a new one in the mail for free and you can send the old one back (dell and IBM/levono do this for free, S&H covered, while on warranty I believe). This way you can get a keyboard that's still working but has a damaged key without having to part with your laptop at a service depot. Now, with a MBA that has 30 screws, we're looking at a good deal of in-shop labour that shouldn't be necessary, and completely eliminates the user end serviceability option entirely.

    Lets not forget that apple users commonly say "pass on the rev. a", something that is rarely seen in other chains of hardware
  16. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Mac's are produced in the same factories as other pc's - in China. This is one reason why the switch to Intel was not welcomed. There was once a time when their computers were built in Ca. and even Ireland. China is , well.. China.
  17. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Oct 17, 2007
    Camp Snoopy
    The days when Macs were built in California were in the early days. AFAIK, all Macs made after Steve Jobs' return (possibly even before then) were outsourced to ASUS, Quanta, and Foxconn already (evidence: the iBook clamshell was made in Taiwan). When those three companies outsourced their labor to factories on the mainland, production of Macs were changed to China.
  18. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Exactly. It's silly to turn one's nose in the air and declare Macs Were Better Before They Were Made in China, because the chances are extraordinarily high the very Macs you're thinking of were (gasp!) Made in China™. The problem isn't China; the problem (when one exists) lies in Apple's poor quality control. *Every* major company makes their gear in one of the same Chinese factories; the difference lies in how much any of those companies cares about producing quality gear than they do about cutting costs. Let's leave xeno (and xino) phobia out of this, folks. China Did Not Make Your Mac Suck; Apple did.
  19. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Oct 17, 2007
    Camp Snoopy
    Actually, in my family, the most reliable computers have been the IBMs (not so much the Lenovos; I think quality control declined after Lenovo bought the ThinkPad division) and the Apples. The Toshibas, Sonys, and Dells that we've had were all unreliable and had constant problems. It's more of a case of You Got Unlucky. I've seen people with Toshibas, Sonys, and Dells without any problems (given that my family has run through 4 Vaios, 2 Tecras, and 5 Optiplexes, though, you'd think statistics would be in our favor).
  20. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Absolutely. For Macs or cameras or anything, quality is not dependent on where they are made.

    The components are are made on automated lines. Workers aren't soldering things together, a really fast machine is. Assembly line workers just zip these components into their waiting cases (which came off another automated assembly line).

    It is the design and specs that determine quality. Apple could simply bid out a hard drive and pick the cheapest one, or could specify that it must last for so long, etc. with some guarantee.

    I suspect that the Intel switch means that Apple is buying more generic parts, the same parts basically that other companies buy and that these are all cost-driven. In the old days, when Apple hardware was specific to Apple, there may have been more stringent specifications since it was custom made anyway.

    In the end, if Apple does a good job of designing a product, chooses good components and then does a good job of testing and quality control on all of the components, then the product will be good. If not, well then they are just hoping.

    Now, China is facing its own labor, environmental and quality of life issues and companies there are being shut down as they can't compete with Indonesia or Vietnam. It is only a matter of time before your Mac is labeled "made in Sudan".

    So, finally, if a Mac falls apart it is entirely Apple's fault because they either didn't design it properly, speced out overly cheap components or did not do a good job of overseeing everything. Where it was made means nothing in terms of the quality.
  21. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    What Japan says about the Air

    I read this article from Tech-On... and they are saying some interesting things about the MacBook Air's construction:


    I am kinda upset because i have played with the Air in my local Apple store and the machine is definitely more solid than a MBP could ever be. Maybe all of those screws at to the durability.

    If so, the I hope that the next MBP has the same solid feel as the MBA.

    And this quote:

    I read this article from Tech-On... and they are saying some interesting things about the MacBook Air's construction:

    Supports a lot of users opinions about Apple's construction, especially in their laptops. They just simply suck, and don't cut it compared to the competition. I hope Apple improves on their QC and built quality.... especially in their laptops.
  22. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Not true--ANY product is likely to get better and have lower failure rates with successive versions, and you DO hear it said. Cars are an obvious example where people commonly apply this, and look into discussions of Dell displays (an example I know from having almost bought one). But at the same time, other PC makers don't HAVE the kind of community that Apple has, watching hardware cycles with such interest. Windows + HP (or whatever) doesn't seem to generate as much interest. The reality is that Apple's failure rates are not higher (and sometimes lower) than other companies.

    Anyway... I thought it was interesting that extra reinforcement was translated as "poor workmanship" while flimsy and cheap would be better "workmanship" :p
  23. profiteor macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I found this article quite amusing if only for the fact that I do own a Sony Vaio G1, a machine very likely kaizen'ed to death, and in fact, died on me because it wasn't over-engineered to survive random things. The Air is built like a tank compared to the G1, and is a helluva lot thinner.

    Sure, Apple machines are sometimes a crapshoot, especially rev A ones, but that's more assembly-related than design. Apple design is pretty good IMO.
  24. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Which misses the point. A door to a removable battery would affect the inexplicable rigidity of the Air. Part of the design is that its soooo thin everyone who looks at it thinks it will be flimsy, then there is that moment when you first pick one up and realize its solid. The built-in battery (which isn't actually that hard to replace) and the curved bottom are all part of the same overall design feature.

    If someone hasn't come out with a MagSafe adapter to an external battery yet, it'll only be a matter of time. I'm sure they will sell them to thousands of people who think they'll have to have them only to discover lugging around excess crap like an internal/external spare battery, etc. (external superdrive anyone?) defeats the purpose of the Air in the first place.

    YMMV, but probably not.
  25. catdog02481 macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I fully agree with you; the MB Air is the best built laptop i have used in a long time, feels like it's made from 1 chunk of monobloc metal, no flexing, no creaking and the keyboard is solid. I don't mind if it took 1/4 lbs of extra screws, this thing inspires confidence and is more solid than either the MB and my 17" MBP, not to mention Sony's equivalent offering which feels like plastic. Also my Lenovos after a few weeks of work start to flex and creak of plastic. This silly comment by the Japanese engineers is further testimony why Apple is great at design. I have grown to using my MBA exclusively because of how well built it feels and because of the superb trackpad.
    I say keep it coming, I hope the next gen MBP follows the same design philosophy, a little more curves and little thinner at the edges and the same solid feel.

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