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Is the 13" MacBook Air fragile ?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The new MBA is so thin, I'm wondering about its fragility. Can it be bend easily ? Is it sturdy enough for a "road warrior" ?

Those who saw it in real, what are your opinion on this ?

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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post #2 of 12
The computer is made primarily for road warriors so I doubt very much that it will bend or do anything like that.
post #3 of 12
I saw the new 11.6" and 13.3" MacBook Air models "in real", and focused my time mainly on the 11.6" model. Curious about the structural integrity of the product much as you've been, I gave the monitor a gentle twist, and the main body area as well... and was shocked at how sturdy the product was--much more so than the previous MacBook Air. It was beautifully rock solid.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperscribble View Post

Curious about the structural integrity of the product much as you've been, I gave the monitor a gentle twist, and the main body area as well... and was shocked at how sturdy the product was--much more so than the previous MacBook Air. It was beautifully rock solid.

I think this is normal. At this size (11.6") the torque of the applied force is smaller and it is more difficult to bend the material.
post #5 of 12
I mentioned in the other thread...

You know, I do really think the MacBook Air is as sturdy as anything can possibly be within that form factor and dimensions. Where Aluminium is being used.

I'm no material scientist or engineer, but Apple is really pushing Aluminium to the very edge here, literally and figuratively.

That said, grabbing the MacBook Air 11" or 13" and shifting it around, trying to warp/bend the screen or main body, it does feel robust. But of course choose accordingly in your choice of cases, bags etc.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

I think this is normal. At this size (11.6") the torque of the applied force is smaller and it is more difficult to bend the material.

You're absolutely correct of course; I should have mentioned that I did the same "test" on the 13.3 inch model, and found it to be much more rigid to twisting than the previous version also (though naturally less so than the 11.6" model; they both share the same thickness), and very resilient. I suppose when one touches either of them in person, they are to realize that there is something to be said about the structural caliber, whatever the degree.
post #7 of 12
First I haven't actually seen a new AIR as I'm avoiding the Apple store right now. Entering isn't good for the wallet if you know what I mean.

Let me start by saying I'm no fan of the old model AIRs in fact in the past I advised people not to buy them. However the just released AIRs are a whole new ball game, I'm actually impressed. The question is will the machines live up to first impressions. Right now it looks good but some of the original AIRs problems did not show up right away, the big issue being faulty hinges. So really all we have right now is first impressions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

The new MBA is so thin, I'm wondering about its fragility. Can it be bend easily ? Is it sturdy enough for a "road warrior" ?

Others have already commented on that. However as my lead in stated some issues simply aren't noted until after a bit of use takes place. So the AIRs appear to be sturdy but that doesn't perclude issues like the original had down the road. In any event the machine is likely better than average for its size class.

Inside you do not have any mechanical drives so from that standpoint you should have a more reliable machine. The SSD reliability is another issue that will take some time to generate statistics. For some people an SSD may wear out faster than an old magnetic drive, for the average user it should last longer.
Quote:
Those who saw it in real, what are your opinion on this ?

Well I haven't seen it "in real" but I have an opinion anyways. Everything I've seen implies that these are impressive machines that should perform well on the road. One just needs to make sure none of the limitations are a problem.

Oh by the way just about anything made of metal can be bent. Steel, Aluminum, Titanium or what ever can be bent or dented given the right factors. The AIRs thinnest works against stiffness so relatively speaking it should be more bendy than a thicker notebook made in the same fashion. I just don't see this as a problem, just remember the best insurance you can have for a laptop is a good case. My MBP has taken several tumbles in a good case and is still fine.
post #8 of 12
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Yes, the MacBook Air is a beautiful machine with its aluminum unibody construction. Yes it is incredibly slim with all the memory on the one motherboard. But both of those design choices have consequences.

When Apple chose to build the laptop out of that one gorgeous piece of aluminum, they had to think through the implications of that design. Making the computer into a unibody made it in effect a large bathtub. Anything--dirt, rain, dust, that goes into the keyboard has a direct shot at the innards. It's a bathtub so everything that enters a MacBook Air is inside forever. The keyboard is wide open. Any dirt, hair, whatever, that lands on the keyboard is right inside your computer.

Secondly, a prior computer used a spinning hard drive. That meant it was located off the motherboard. Now, with your precious hard drive located on the motherboard, your entire hard drive can be wiped out in a second by a few stray rain drops. Because your hard drive is located in an aluminum bathtub on the motherboard, it is wide open to a total loss. This vulnerability is unique to the MacBook Airs.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgeon99 View Post

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Yes, the MacBook Air is a beautiful machine with its aluminum unibody construction. Yes it is incredibly slim with all the memory on the one motherboard. But both of those design choices have consequences.

When Apple chose to build the laptop out of that one gorgeous piece of aluminum, they had to think through the implications of that design. Making the computer into a unibody made it in effect a large bathtub. Anything--dirt, rain, dust, that goes into the keyboard has a direct shot at the innards. It's a bathtub so everything that enters a MacBook Air is inside forever. The keyboard is wide open. Any dirt, hair, whatever, that lands on the keyboard is right inside your computer.

Secondly, a prior computer used a spinning hard drive. That meant it was located off the motherboard. Now, with your precious hard drive located on the motherboard, your entire hard drive can be wiped out in a second by a few stray rain drops. Because your hard drive is located in an aluminum bathtub on the motherboard, it is wide open to a total loss. This vulnerability is unique to the MacBook Airs.

This is...... unhinged.

The keyboard isn't "wide open", the keys sit atop rubber membranes. If you're worried about grit accumulating below the key, just turn the machine over from time to time and blow it out. Same as all the other unibody laptops Apple has been selling for awhile without dire results-- and pretty much every other laptop, for that matter.

A solid state drive on the motherboard doesn't somehow make it more vulnerable; it's pretty well known that SSDs are much more robust than fragile spinning platters. Naturally, it's not a good idea to allow water to get onto your keyboard, but that's true for any machine. Moreover, a laptop with lots of seams in the body have more and more directs points of entry for water to get at the vital innards than does the unibody Air. "A few stray raindrops" have just as much or more of a chance of screwing up a Dell as it does an Air, and motherboard problems aren't going to automatically wipe the SSD. I would be way more paranoid about simple HD failure on a conventional drive than I would about some freak combination of motherboard short out and data loss with a SSD. Laptop owners are always well advised to back up frequently, since any machine that gets carried around has a higher risk of damage than a desktop.

Finally, with a $5 tool you can open your MacBook Air and air it out to your heart's content, if you really are going to lose sleep over stuff accumulating in there. Again, it's not like most notebooks are designed with releasing contaminants in mind; dust or hairs or grit that manage to get past the keyboard are going to hang out in pretty much any laptop until explicitly cleaned, and a non-unibody design has that many more crevices and cracks and openings for stuff to get in and accumulate.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #10 of 12
Apple support has reported that the motherboard shorted out, necessitating a $700 repair on a item that cost $999 three weeks ago. Regardless of your propaganda, MacBook Airs are leaky sivs. They are extremely vulnerable to any water. If you allow any raindrops to contact a running MacBook Air, I fear for your data.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgeon99 View Post

Apple support has reported that the motherboard shorted out, necessitating a $700 repair on a item that cost $999 three weeks ago. Regardless of your propaganda, MacBook Airs are leaky sivs. They are extremely vulnerable to any water. If you allow any raindrops to contact a running MacBook Air, I fear for your data.

Ah, I see: you've had a machine fail and you've decided that it must be a basic design flaw and that they're all vulnerable. Surprisingly, in a tech press environment eager to seize on the next "gate" to beset Apple, news of the fragile Air hasn't seemed to get much traction.

Calling it a "leaky sieve" just because you had something go wrong is pretty inflammatory. Why would the unibody design make the keyboard more prone to allowing things through?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #12 of 12
Bought the first MBA when it came out.

Updated to the SSD model last year.

Bought an 11" model this year.

Have carried them around (well, not all three at the same time) almost every day and have never had a problem with sturdiness.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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