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Apple Rumored to Use Aluminum "Bricks" as Next Big Thing

New MacBooks are on the way, that much is certain, but the word on the street is that one crucial new feature comes from a metal brick.

According to 9to5Mac, the MacBook “Brick” is special new manufacturing process by Apple intended for a new chassis for upcoming products. Apple’s new technique involves the use of 3D laser technology and water jets to carve out precise structures from a brick of aluminum.

Creating a chassis in such a manner yields one that is custom crafted, seamless and requires fewer screws and fasten points. It should also be stronger and more rigid, while also being lighter.

Sources say that Apple has supposedly created a new factory specifically for this process. Currently, Apple designs its own products but outsources manufacturing to Chinese companies for the actual production.

While Apple products already set themselves apart with trendy and pleasing designs, the "brick" technology could take it to a whole new level – one that combines both new form with improved function – and setting it further apart from other notebooks.

Such a new manufacturing process may also lend credence to the purportedly leaked MacBook pictures from the summer, which showed an aluminum chassis that wore the logo of just “MacBook.”

Current MacBooks are made of plastic, while the aluminum casings are reserved for the more spendy MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The new aluminum “brick” process could usher the regular entry-level MacBook into new and improved aluminum casing superior to what’s found in the MacBook line today.

In typical Apple fashion, we’re left speculating on what the next thing from Cupertino will be. No one will know for sure until Steve Jobs unveils the next-generation of MacBooks on stage, but such a media event has yet to be set.

More than one sign points to October 14 as being the unveiling date, which would make sense as the ones on the market today are out of production, and Apple needs something new to sell throughout the holiday season.

Stay tuned.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • chaohsiangchen
    Apple’s new technique involves the use of 3D laser technology and water jets to carve out precise structures from a brick of aluminum.

    Are they trying to make firearms receivers? I think this is marketing hype possibly from marketing department of Apple Corp. This will be the dumbest way to produce computer chassis, since the process is wasteful on both material and energy. Usually these methods are used to produce parts that requires high precision to endure high mechanical stress. Chances are they are only using these things to create that Apple Corp. logo in the picture. The rest of the chassis is still stamped.
    Reply
  • layzer253
    Eh, with properly cooled cnc equiptment, your machinery would last quite a while
    Reply
  • frozenlead
    Agree with chao, i do.

    I also never understood what was so "trendy" about all of their laptops. Everyone who has them thinks their so unique...they don't realize that all the laptops Apple makes follows the same design. They don't even come in colors, for god sakes.
    Reply
  • chaohsiangchen
    frozenleadAgree with chao, i do.I also never understood what was so "trendy" about all of their laptops http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/laptop . Everyone who has them thinks their so unique...they don't realize that all the laptops Apple makes follows the same design. They don't even come in colors, for god sakes.
    To be honest, their design feature is never mine style. I prefer good old IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad style which comes in sandblast black surface and angled corners.

    Some people need to feel that they are unique by having certain things that advertised that way.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    Just because Apple says so its the next thing. Gotta love how they believe they set trends....

    Next up, iWear: Clothing from apple in white only. Trendy yet goes with your new aluminum Mac book.
    Reply
  • TwoDigital
    No, the iWear line includes a complete selection of black turtlenecks... with or without a jacket.
    Reply
  • I believe the term is billet. They have been making car parts (ok, high end custom car parts) this way for years. They take a aluminum brick (called a billet, they also make billets from other materials), and carve it into any shape required. This creates a stronger part then if you poured the aluminum into a mold to make the shape.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    Doesn't the VooDoo Envy come in a solid aluminum chassis? No wait, that's carbon fiber. Anyway, I'm pretty sure a solid aluminum chassis is simply a way for Apple to make it even harder to replace the battery, necessitating a new macbook every 6-12 months when the battery dies. Why do people put up with Apple? Their stuff might be trendy, and they are an even more proprietary alternative to Microsoft, but come on. Their product quality and life expectancy sucks (and no, I don't need stories of how your particular iPod battery still works after 3 years). Every single product they release comes with crappy batteries, and they even tell you on the box (300 charges with the new iPhone 3G), and people still buy this crap.
    Reply
  • DXRick
    All the others chose to use a material that does NOT conduct electricity. Could this be a problem?
    Reply
  • hakesterman
    It's amazing what some companys will do
    just to get attention. Nobody really cares
    what a laptop looks like, we care about what
    software comes with it and how easy it is to
    use and how expandable it is. What does apple
    think? Do they think we drop and drag are
    notebooks on the floor??? All the designs and
    shapes and colors are non factors, give us a break.
    Reply