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Apple’s New Macbooks and Cinema Display


The new MacBook’s shell (body) starts off as a solid block of aluminum. VR-Zone questioned the use of aluminum instead of another metal or alloy like magnesium. Magnesium is already used by other notebook manufacturers and it is well known to stand up even to a vehicle running over it (See Panasonic’s Toughbook and even their Eco friendly green initiative).

One of the marketing pushes for aluminum is that it is robust, but if you look at aluminum versus magnesium alloy, you will see that it is not exactly tough, in fact it is quite a soft metal. Also, when people talk about it being very light; take note that magnesium is only one third the density – that means aluminum is heavier.

So, Apple’s choice of aluminum does stem from the fact it is recyclable and because it is softer it does mean it is easily milled. I’m not sure exactly, but I would guess that the amount of energy required to mill the softer aluminum is less that what is used to forge alloys like magnesium. This makes the whole aluminum use and process more Eco friendly. Also, as a single constructed piece, it does make a good story and gives bragging rights.

VR-Zone is asking to see if Apple has a image of the internal underside milling. The programming and design of the milling process is an artform in itself, so we were looking forward to seeing the craftsmanship. Stay tuned for this.

So, with such a wonderful piece of engineering did Apple put any additional thought or engineering into probably the most common reason for notebook death and disaster…liquid spills? At this point, we do not believe that the new MacBook’s has any protection against liquid spills, so for now try not to drink your favourite cola or coffee near your work of art.

Speaking of keyboards, the higher spec MacBook enjoys an illuminated keyboard. I can see this being useful for low light environments but this is sure to affect the battery run time. We asked Apple, “Can the Keyboard illumination be turned off to reduce the power consumption?”  Apple’s response, “The illuminated keyboard can’t be turned off.”


While on the subject of ingress protection and how robust the aluminum unibody makes the new MacBook, VR-Zone asked whether or not Apple has subjected them to the usual MIL-STD-810F suite of tests.

Mac fans are always so proud and like to brag a little lot about all things better about Mac versus PC. They have never had the opportunity to brag about how good their graphics capabilities are, especially for gaming. Well, NVIDIA has given Mac fans a little ammunition with the integration of the 9400M GT GPU in the base MacBook and 9600M GT GPU in the MacBook Pro. So, now Mac loyalists can tout having a reasonably powerful GPU and maybe game publishers will consider porting some of the games for Mac.


MacBook Specification Table

The MacBook 2.0 GHz is SG$2,088 while the 2.4GHz model is SG$2,588.

Additional details can be found here.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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