New MacBook enclosures? It's about time

New MacBook enclosures? It's about time

Summary: Am I the only one that doesn't like the look of the white MacBook enclosure? It's not as bad looking as the original clamshell iBook (you know the one) but it's entirely unprofessional looking IMHO.

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New MacBook enclosures? ItÂ’s about time

Am I the only one that doesn't like the look of the white MacBook enclosure? It's not as bad looking as the original clamshell iBook (you know the one) but it's entirely unprofessional looking IMHO. Apple knows that a white notebook is ugly and released a similarly configured model in black only to charge a hefty premium for it (remember the "black tax?").

The black MacBook is tolerable (I own one) but the white one looks like a kiddie machine. In addition to being ugly, the white MacBook had a habit of discoloring and exhibiting hairline cracks.

The MacBook industrial design is beginning to show its age too. Launched on 16 May 2006 the MacBook been around for two years next month, not an eternity, but it's getting kinda stale at the same time.

In a post today AppleInsider reports that Apple is close to releasing a new MacBook enclosure "constructed from more eco-friendly materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel" that will more closely match the rest of the lineup (the MacBook Pro and Air). It's about time!

I just hope that Apple returns to some of the innovation of yore and doesn't simply make it look like a smaller MacBook Pro. (Don't get me started on that industrial design either, geez.)

Why do they insist on building notebooks with the WiFi and Bluetooth antennas buried in a metal sarcophagus? Apple has improved wireless reception over the years somewhat by including a polycarbonate "window" around the antennas but there has got to be a better material to build notebooks out of.

Apple should move to a more advanced, lightweight material (carbon fiber, anyone?) for their notebooks. I know that carbon fiber has a reputation for being expensive, but there must be some middle ground between cheap white plastic and aluminum. I wish that Apple would make the MacBook inherit the aluminum and switch to a more advanced material.

Remember when Apple used to have the most advanced notebook materials? I can't help but think that they're beginning to lose their edge. According to AI the venerable MBP will also get an update taking "several design cues from the August 2007 aluminum iMacs and all-new MacBook Air" – there goes that idea.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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33 comments
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  • What is the difference

    The Air looks alot like a MBP and a aluminum MB would look like you guessed it a MBP so what is the point I want NEW not the same old solid metal hunk build off dell and hp have color choices and that radiance like pattern as an option give the consumer more than just SILVER! I am down with carbon fiber it is lite strong stain-proof easy to clean and you can color it or carve niffy designs in it, plus as far as i know there would be no wireless signal hit and it is not that expensive and certainly not too expensive for the MBP line.
    Rollingstones317
  • RE: New MacBook enclosures? It's about time

    How about a carbon fiber enclosure?
    bricar2
  • RE: New MacBook enclosures? It's about time

    I love my 'cheap white plastic' Macbook, yeah it doesn't look like the rest of the industry's laptops, but that's not always a bad thing.
    Madjia
  • RE: New MacBook enclosures? It's about time

    Yeah, I mean, they sell like crazy, but obviously, O'Grady
    must be right that they need a refresh. Clearly, from their
    positions at #2 and #5 on Amazon's portable top sellers, the
    white MacBook's got to go.

    The MacBook may get a refresh, but after looking over
    O'Grady's Power Page, I don't think they'll be calling him for
    design tips any time soon.
    capnvan
    • Touch?

      Looks like I touched a nerve. I knew that my criticism of the MacBook would offend some owners.

      Capnvan - obviously, you like yours. That's great. No offense, man!

      But just because something is #2 and #5 on the Amazon best seller list doesn't mean it can't be *better*. Don't be an Apple apologist!

      Regarding your slam about the PowerPage, I agree that it needs a re-design. Are you available?

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Re: Touche!

        I don't know if his comment was that defensive. But as a general response I agree 100% with you in that some apple apologists (nobody specific) tend to defend a product simply because it exists. They claim white is "so awesome" and they love it, but once a sleek and classy gunmetal grey macbook gets released then they flip flop and start talking about how gunmetal grey is "so awesome" and all that white-love is gone.

        This kind of defensive reaction is precisely why a white macbook stuck around for so long. (Especially in the Apple World) People just aren't able to bring themselves to act like consumers and make demands. If they were then maybe we'd see less white, and even a standard mac desktop that doesn't have a disposable screen.
        Urkel
      • Who you callin' an apologist?

        Oh Jason, thy name is hubris.

        Let's see, if I agree with Apple's design colors, why then I'm an Apple apologist! Simple as that!

        Tell me, oh mighty Jason, which ice cream flavor should I prefer, which car model, political candidate, egotistical blogger.

        We await thy consultations.
        godsfault
  • Some people argue for "Carbon Fiber"

    My question is how recyclable is carbon fiber compared to
    metal?

    I get the color thing and it's a bit strange to see Dell
    compared favorably compared too Apple in at least one
    post and another wanting color I remember when PC
    people were all "Oh wow you Mac guys have color" in a
    very sarcastic manner. Now I see PC's with color and a
    complaint against Apple for not offering said? You really
    can't win for loosing can you...:P

    I'm betting carbon fiber is less recyclable than metal
    myself but I just don't know for certain.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • I could be wrong..

      But isn't the Macbook plastic? I think the Pro model is metal (Aluminum) So the comparison should be plastic vs. carbon fiber not metal.
      I do know that carbon costs alot more than plastic. Its definitely lighter but then you would have to paint too which will scratch.

      Unless you like the souped-up Honda Civic front bonnet look that is..
      Tigertank
  • RE: New MacBook enclosures? Wonderful!

    I just bought a white MacBook and love it. The design is beautiful, especially because it is white. I have a three year old Powerbook 12" that now has four dents in it, one which affects the CD playing. Its durability is questionable, and the white plastic seems (so far) to be more dent-resistant.

    One complaint I have is the top edge where your wrists go, is razor sharp plastic. Irritates the skin after a few minutes. The white G4 iBook of two years ago had a softer surface with a rounded edge. Much better!
    hinkel@...
  • The OS stillo stinks....

    It does not matter how much lipstick you put on that pig, it is still a pig. The Leopard OS is just terrible. Without Vista SP1 (aka WOW SP1), there is no point in even running a computer. My kid has a REALLY elegant looking Dell laptop that my Dell rep gave me to try out. We sent him to college with it. He was initially upset because all of the other kids had Macs, but I told him this Vista laptop would make him the head of the class for sure. Sure enough, he says he finds himself spending twice as much time on his computer as his peers do on their Macs. It does not matter what the Mac enclosure looks like, Vista and the PC ecosystem are the future.
    Mike Cox
    • Vista v. Leopard

      Mike -

      "he finds himself spending twice as much time on his computer as his peers do on their Macs"

      And this is a good thing?

      hmmmm... could it be because it takes *twice as long* to do things on Vista?

      (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • mike is a comedian

        no, really. he's a jokester.
        lostarchitect
      • Satire

        MikeCox post are all in satire. Some are freakin' hilarious.
        Stuka
      • All this time and you do not know Mike?

        Satire is the word of the day ;)
        GuidingLight
      • Huh?

        Mike pulled in one of you guys?

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

        Hilarious!
        Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
        • Seconded!

          It was a relatively dull day up until I saw this... That's Mike's Spinal Tap post - it goes all the way to 11.0!
          Ben_E
    • Ok, Ok... I give up... 10.0

      I was originally going to give you a 8.2, but you actually got Jason to bite. ROFL
      Badgered
  • Unprofessional?

    The Macbook is a consumer line of laptops. There is a Pro line called the Macbook Pro which is brushed aluminum.
    When the Macbook was released by Apple, it's consumer models were white: The ipod, the iMac, AppleTV etc..
    The Macbook is a throwback to this old nomenclature.

    But if you are embarrassed that your laptop doesn't look professional, than buy a professional level laptop, not a cheaper consumer model marketed toward Starbucks Web-browsing.
    Tigertank
    • What a silly justification

      So if I drive a "Geo Metro Luxury" then am I suddenly driving a luxury vehicle?

      Your argument is silly because you are basing what is "professional" based on the name of the product. Try looking at the price tags. $1300-1500 for a notebook in 2008 is far from being a "cheaper consumer model" because it still is twice (or 3x) the price of competing notebooks.

      To say that a Macbook isn't professional looking is a valid statement. It's white, it stands out in a meeting and it turns yellow within a year. This isn't a throwback to an old nomenclature. It's a company creating a fashion statement simply because there are certain people out there who will defend them no matter what they do.
      Urkel