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MacBook Air build inefficient, say Japanese engineers

updated 12:05 pm EST, Fri February 22, 2008

MacBook Air inefficient

Japanese engineers from the Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad judge the MacBook Air as being wasted space inside its otherwise efficiently designed chassis. According to TechOn the engineers claim the ultra-portable uses entirely too many screws to secure various pieces, counting over 30 to secure the keyboard, for example. The engineers say that they could produce the same computer with fewer screws, and a resulting lower cost.

"If I proposed such a design, our company would never approve it," said one of the engineers. "When it comes to Japanese PC manufacturers, their manufacturing plants will complain or add their own technical efforts to lower cost, if a proposed structural design was insufficient. The MacBook Air gives me an impression that its manufacturing plant packaged the computer exactly as ordered by Apple."

The engineers also note that some of the parts appear to be crafted with cutting techniques, rather than simply just being molded. They noticed the issue when examining both the top case and the screen hinges.

While not covered by the Nikkei ETS, a large concern for MacBook Air owners is that of the integrated battery. The battery itself costs no more than those for a MacBook Pro, but for the installation to take place, the laptop must be sent back to Apple, or taken to an Apple store. The swap, fortunately, is free of charge, according to CNN Money. Canadian and international Air owners can also have a swap done in any Apple Authorized Service Provider.





by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Funny!

    Armchair engineering from Japan!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    maybe maybe not

    Maybe all those screws kep the system more rigid ? I find it is interesting that someone who hasnt made a similar product immediately thinks they would or could of done better. Mind you the JApanese are known for taking an existing device and copying it and improving it. Evidently the JApanese equivalent word for quality basically means never ending improvement..

  1. sailin74

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    If

    If we had thought of that, we'd have done it better... LOL.

  1. natural1

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Pfft

    It sure is easy to focus on silly details when you didn't have to come up with any real innovation. Unfortunately, Japan has never excelled at innovation, but they are very good at copying others ideas and making the production process more efficient. See Toshiba's blatant copies of IBM mainframes back in the 70's/80's - they made them cheaper but copied all of the engineering mistakes, right down to the inadequate shielding. Ha! Some cultures value the independence and free thinking that leads to innovation - Japan is not such a culture.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    inefficient

    So, are those guys trying to tell us that Apple after probation of about a hundred design variations for Air did bad job cutting cost? Yeah, right.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    hah

    kind of like GM commenting on how a Ferrari uses far too much carbon-fiber to be cost effective...

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Maybe..

    Maybe this guy just wants business from Apple after bragging about it. But funny it made to the news when I am sure they can find zillion of things wrong on other products. Or they have to find some faults because they were beating their heads against a wall thinking that they should had been the first one to come out with this type of laptop. Japan seems to take pride in making everything thin and small, well, but not this time.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    most important detail?

    you DIDN'T build it, Apple did.

    "The MacBook Air's mysterious internal design might be a violent antithesis against Japanese manufacturing, which allows no compromise even in detailed parts of the hardware."

    Please, get over yourselves.

    I should have kept the Japanese manufactured items I had a few years back, which were literally made out of recycled food cans, obvious from where they hadn't even bothered to remove the painted label from the parts invisible during normal use.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    OR IT *LOWERED* COST

    Perhaps the fact that the chassis wasn't molded or that they used a non-custom keyboard allowed them to keep the price down when first bringing this to market.

    If you're using parts from a previous model design, it's simpler and faster to adjust to work with the new design than to start from scratch. When you're launching a new product, especially a niche one like this, you wouldn't want to devote manufacturing resources to more expensive custom fabrication processes for just this one unit.

    Personally, I'd prefer a slightly less efficient design at a lower cost than the more expensive, dicey investment of customized fabrication and throttling the factory to full tilt up front.

  1. adrianm

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    might have a point

    If apple had followed this advice, I could buy a MBA for 2,027.98 instead of 2,028.00.

    Apple surely are evil for being so careless.

    LOL

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