RUMOR: Apple investigating use of carbon fiber in quest for even lighter weight for MacBook Air

“Apple enthusiastically claimed ownership to the world’s thinnest notebook earlier this year with the introduction of the MacBook Air, but is rumored to be unsatisfied with the system’s weight, which it now hopes to drop below 3 pounds,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“As such, people who’ve proven familiar with the company’s portable plans say the Mac maker has been looking into substituting carbon fiber parts for certain structural components currently cast from heavier aircraft-grade aluminum,” Jade reports.

“Apple is reportedly looking to adopt the material for only a portion of Air’s enclosure. The Cupertino-based firm is extremely proud of the notebook’s precision unibody upper chassis, which it mills from a single extruded block of aluminum. While no changes have been proposed for this component, those familiar with ongoing R&D efforts say the company is hoping to replacing the Air’s lower aluminum case, or bottom cover, with one constructed from carbon fiber,” Jade reports.

More in the full article here.

25 Comments

  1. The unibody refers to the single milled piece of aluminum in the upper case around the keyboard. Not other parts of the case which may or may not be made from Aluminum.

    I’m curious Macintosher if you have any reason why Apple or anyone else would not use carbon fiber for a portion of the case if the upper part is aluminum. Is there any technical reason why not? Or are you merely arguing aesthetics?

  2. other laptop makers are already using carbon fiber, though i think more as a gimmick for show than for real weight loss. Not sure that its as robust when dropped and hit by blunt force than aluminum though.

  3. Carbon nanotubes are supposedly the strongest and most lightweight material known to man — read that a few years ago so there may be something even better by now.

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