Plastic vs Alu Macbook durability

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by snessiram, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. snessiram macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Aluminium is stiffer then plastic so when holding the new aluminium macbook it probably feels "stronger" then the plastic one... however... what about dropping it? I can imagine the aluminium one getting dented and the plastic one just having a little scratch...
  2. deadkenny macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2006

    ...or crack. Plastic will either dure or break. Aluminium will either dure or dent. Because It's not a thin aluminium sheet like the old Macbook Pro but a more or less solid block, it will most likely not dent as easily.

    The old MacBook Pro shell was created by a large press out of a plate of aluminium. Dented into a fitting form if you like. Therefore on the edges, where the forming from flat plate to corner or edge was most significant and therefore the remaining thickness of the material was lowest, the old MacBook Pro would dent easily.

    Because of a different manufacturing process, where the thickness of the MacBook should be the same everywhere or might even be higher on edges with possibly high strain, I think the new one won't dent as easily as the old MacBook Pro.
  3. JG271 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2007
    Yeah, i hadn't thought about that actually... a dent could damage your computer quite badly.

    I guess the plastic macbooks are prone to cracking, even through day to day use. The plastic they use seems quite strong, it seems like where the plastic joins is where the problem is.

    Lets just hope everyone can be careful with their laptops!
  4. deadkenny macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2006

    I know many many people who have dents in their old MacBook Pros.
  5. Adamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2006
    I like to think I'm generally quite careful with my things, although I did drop my touch once, my heart jumped but I dropped it in the first place because I was quite drunk. Bah. I learnt from that and now have a rubber case on my iPhone, mind!
  6. brikeh macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2006
    Yeah your not supposed to drop your computer...regardless of what material its made from. :rolleyes:
  7. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
    Um.. accidents do happen.. :rolleyes:
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    You bring up a good point - I've seen many threads where people are complaining about their Macbook case cracking.

    My question is, what in the WORLD are people doing to break their cases that would fall under "day to day use"? I've even seen people post pictures of cases that are not just cracked, but flat-out broken.

    It's not a tennis racket, or a punching bag, or a seat cushion, it's a computer. My 2-year-old Macbook gets frequent use by my whole family, including my 3-year-old son - and not a single crack anywhere on it.

    Just wondering out loud.
  9. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Depending on the accident. Aluminum can either scratch, bend, dent, compress (less likely if forged), or tear. However the forces needed to cause such damage can vary in intensity.

    The older MacBook Pro bodies used a thin stamping of aluminum. The bodies (and screen backing) on the new MBP is considerably thicker in density, and will offer more protection. One thing Aluminum will NOT do over that of Plastic, is absorb energy. The shock of a fall will more likely be transferred to other components within the unibody enclosure.

    Either way, dropping your laptop is not a good thing to do ;) .


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