Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Aug 2011 21:19 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Last week, HP killed its webOS devices unit. Over the weekend, the company slashed the prices on the TouchPad. The result? The TouchPad sold out completely in a matter of hours. This confirms what I've been hearing from friends and family: "I'd love a tablet, but I'm not paying laptop money for one."
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RE[4]: Interesting experiment
by Tony Swash on Tue 23rd Aug 2011 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting experiment"
Tony Swash
Member since:

"Note the way that would be Macbook Air competitors cannot get any unibody manufacturing deals because Apple sewed them up.


Why do Apple fanboys often feel the need to dream-up non-existent scenarios for their arguments. I guess that deep down they must realize that their beloved corporation is not anywhere near as great as they pretend.

First of all, there actually are quite a few "unibody" laptops out there, they are just made of polycarbonate plastic.

Secondly, anyone can contract any "run-of-the-mill" CNC shop to machine unibody enclosures. Apple doesn't have all of the zillions of CNC machines in the world "sewn-up" -- that's quite a crazy notion.

Nonetheless, several reasons make metal "unibody" laptops an unattractive proposition. First of all, if the pieces are machined as in Apple's method, the process is expensive, time consuming, wasteful and environmentally unsound. Secondly, if one drops one of these metal items and a panel is bent, one faces a very expensive repair.

There have been lots of reports of bent/dented unibody Macs. Presumably, this drawback is the reason why Apple subsequently offered a more resilient polycarbonate "unibody" laptop.

In addition, "unibody" construction doesn't really have any practical advantages -- it isn't any stronger (it's weaker and less resilient in Apple products), and it doesn't add any protection to the internal components. If you want strength and protection in your laptop, get one of the several "ruggedized" brands, such as Panasonic ToughBooks.

So, the basic reason that most manufacturers don't machine "unibody" laptop enclosures is because it is basically a stupid, expensive and problematic idea, that puts form over function.

By the way, Apple was definitely not the first to offer a production model of a laptop with metal, "unibody" construction. Here is a Sony laptop from 1997 with a shell made up of four magnesium panels (doesn't dent as easily as the aluminum Macs):

Sure unibody laptop enclosures are stupid. Sure. PC makers could make them if they wanted. Sure. Keep saying that. Still doesn't change anything.

PC OEMs are finding it hard to impossible to match the Macbook Air which is flying off the shelves. Apple is the only PC maker that is still showing substantial growth and makes most of the profits in the industry. There are reasons for that.

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