Resistance of plastic vs aluminum?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by XxpikachuxX, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. XxpikachuxX macrumors 6502

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    Jan 24, 2009
    #1
    ok here is a question that is killing which is more durable or more crash resistance the plastic one or the aluminum one

    videos please or pictures will be awsome

    is there any plastic/leather/etc hard case for the new maccbook thanks
     
  2. daisun macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #2
  3. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #3
    Well, I have a ploycarb (plastic) MB, and it is still holding up wonderfully. In terms of which is better, I couldn't say to be absolutely positive. Aluminum has the potential to bend and dent, but the polycarb is more apt to pick up plenty of little scratches that the aluminum probably won't.

    As for the cases, not sure. The size is roughly the same so a sleeve kind of thing will fit either, but if you are looking for something like a snap-on hard-shell, you will need something taylor-made.

    oh, and p.s., in regards to the title, I would say that the polycarb MB's have a higher resistance than the aluminum ones. I mean, it takes more for a plastic to conduct electricity than aluminum... lol sorry I had to poke some fun, and yes, I know, this comment makes me kind of a nerd :D
     
  4. VladM macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2008
    #4
    I see those hard cases in the same light as cellphone pouches - why have a beautifully designed product which you then hide in a ugly thing like that?

    Unless you really work in an adverse environment, some basic care should do. Hell, most of my work is in the mining sector, and my laptops don't look worse for wear.
     
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #5
    Plastic is more prone to scratches than aluminium. My GF got a whitebook for Christmas and I got a Alu Macbook on black Friday. Mine is still top notch today, not a single scratch and her's as plenty of little scratches on the top. I've carried mine around and to work a lot more than she did her's.
     
  6. fourtyoneantz macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2009
    #6
    I thought I was the only one who had this debate before I purchased! Haha. I thought long and hard before choosing either the new white MB or the aluminum MB. I ended up choosing the white polycarbonate.

    Reason? I read horror stories of people denting their new aluminum MB's with very little force. Also, after doing some research, I found out that if you dent it you're SOL. That dent is there forever. Because the aluminum MB's are unibody you can't replace just one part. Knowing that accidents happen, I didn't even want to take a chance on denting my computer.

    I figured I'd rather scratch/crack the plastic and be able to have that replaced for a decent price than live with a dented MB. But then again, I'm extremely OCD. :) But I love my sturdy polycarb MB. It's the best computer I've ever owned.
     
  7. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a

    Cyroceon

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #7

    Only problem is the unibody is 1000x more sturdy and 10000x better looking.
     
  8. fourtyoneantz macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2009
    #8
    You're probably right as far as sturdiness goes, but some people may prefer to compromise the sturdiness for the 0% chance of denting their computer.

    As far as looks, that depends on personal taste.

    It's a classic case of "to each, his own".
     
  9. snessiram macrumors member

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    Oct 10, 2008
    #9
    I think the polycarbonate glossy exterior gets hairline scratches easier then the aluminium one. However, I find them to be invisible unless you tilt it so that there's a light source directly reflected on it. I think that if you get a scratch on the aluminium one it will be more apparent which would bug me more.

    Concerning the inside, I never had a scratch on my polycarbonate macbooks (and I wear a watch at all times). I think the polycarbonate might even do better there then the aluminium.

    I do think the aluminium feels stronger when you pick it up with one hand, but I don't find the polycarbonate macbook to be weak. If you're going to hold it at one corner and wave up and down, I might get scared something breaks. But that's not normal usage right?

    While the aluminium one has that advantage, I also think it has a huge disadvantage due to the fact that it dents quite easily, and permanently! I've read some stories about this and seen it first-handed when I went to a store, there was a dent right in the middle of the palmrest of the macbook pro 15". Terrible! Also, with aluminium, any shocks are transported to the inner parts.

    So in short, cracks aside, I prefer the polycarbonate.

    And as foutyoneantz said, looks are personal. I'm not going to say the aluminium ones are ugly (I like the softer corners for example), but they are a little less unique... they are a little vaio-like... (don't get me wrong, vaio's often have a good looking design)
     
  10. cogsinister macrumors 6502a

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    #10

    Plastic LESS prone to scratches...........no way......my old whitebook was scratched even after looking after it like a baby......i think the ally is far less prone to scratching.........but thats not to say it wont pick up scratches, because it will so you still need to take care of your baby......
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    You mean which laptop would take a hit better? I'd say polycarbonate for sure. Aluminium is one of the softest metals on Earth, while polycarbonate is what older plastic Nalgene bottles were made out of, as were old iBooks, which were tough as nails. However, from my experience with my 12" Aluminium PowerBook, aluminium will look better over time. Both materials will scratch. The MacBooks will suffer small, thin scratches easier because its surface is very smooth and shiny, but aluminium MacBooks would look hideous from harder scratches.

    The benefit of the Unibody MacBook is that it'll probably feel better over time as well, since the laptop isn't comprised of as many parts screwed together. There may be less creakiness over time, although nobody has had their aluminium MB or MBP for more than a few months, so it's hard to say. ;)

    Anyway, based solely on the strength of the materials and its ability to take an impact, polycarbonate is less likely to be affected by a direct hit. A unibody plastic MacBook would be pretty cool to see, although it would be much more difficult to make than the current aluminium models.


    But if you seriously consider such things before buying a laptop, I need to ask you what you plan on doing with it? :confused: It's a laptop, not a frisbee.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #12
    But aluminium is a solid material that can be buffed and polished. Scatches can be removed with a small amount of effort
     
  13. cogsinister macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Yes but the unibodys finnish is a sort of rough feeling "Anodised" sort of finnish, i wouldent like to try polishing scratches out of it......not without making a mess of the surface finnish........
     
  14. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

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  15. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

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    #15
    My iBook has 10x more scratches than my PowerBook. But the iBook is older. There are cracks in my iBook's case and I have heard of MacBook's cracking.

    I have seen some pretty scratched up TiBooks though. I have dents in my PowerBook too. Both dents (the iBook's AND the PowerBook's) were there when I got them both. I bought them used though.

    My iBook has been unused almost the whole age difference between the PowerBook because the iBook died
     
  16. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #16
    I think you can do the same thing a with Polycarbonate. I know I have (had?) some stuff specifically meant to buff scratches out of the old 5G iPods' plastic. It seemed to wrk pretty well making it look better. Not that I really care all that much about a few scratches on my MB, so long as they aren't on the screen...
    If all else fails just cover it up with stickers :D

    And +1 to cogsinister. The finish on the uni's isn't really meant for buffing, I don't think...
     
  17. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #17
    The plastic gets scratched VERY easily and it cracks (a lot!) while the aluminium can get dented fairly easily. Your choice. I went from plastic to aluminium as I couldn't stand the cracks anymore.
     
  18. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #18
    Got any proof for that? Using words like A LOT means that it is a huge, widespread problem. I haven't heard that many people on here complaining of cracks, and I don't see a single CRACKED MB, and I see over 100 each day at my college, and mind you, these people aren't exactly nice to their computers, either.

    Ultimately, they will both be pretty durable. Apple's hardware is pretty durable in general.
    If you are scared of the Aluminum ones denting, well, don't get them.
     
  19. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #19
    The aluminium won't scratch as easily as the polycarbonate, it has quite a thick anodized layer. Where the aluminium is chemically oxidized to form a nice coating of aluminium oxide for the computer, it is quite harder than aluminium. I think it's thicker on the unibodies then on the previous I've had my unibody macbook for 4 months, I take it to school everyday and the only scratches I have are on the bottom and it's because I laid it on a table that had little pieces of broken glass on it... The polycarbonate should be much more prone to scratching, just think of how bad your first gen iPod nano looks :p .


    The polycarbonate will probably resist bigger impacts without getting structurally damaged. Mind you, most places where the unibook is likely to get bumped, the alu is quite thick, the whole perimeter, especially close to the screen.
     
  20. harry454 macrumors 6502

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  21. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #21
    That is not an issue, unless you REALLY let it get out of hand.

    Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or something similar, it wipes all the "discoloration" right off, leaving the beautiful white that the MB is supposed to be.
     

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