An analyst tells CNET that some new, thin notebooks are showing cracks in the base due to the construction with plastic. OEMs are being advised that thin notebooks and netbooks should be made entirely out of metal cases to avoid these design flaws that are being seen.
This is not surprising, as thin notebooks are pushing the envelope as far as sturdiness is concerned, and with netbook makers trying to keep costs as low as possible, thin plastic is being used for many cases. There is a reason that Apple (s AAPL) and others are using metal for thin notebook construction.
“Early production units being built in plastic, with the bottom case being plastic, are cracking,” said Broadpoint AmTech analyst Doug Freedman, in a phone interview, referring to discussions he had with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and and original design manufacturers (ODMs). Typically ODMs don’t market under their brand name but supply devices to OEMs, which then slap on their own brand.
Metal cases drive the cost of notebooks up over plastic, and this may make it difficult for a thin netbook to be price competitive. In other words, cheap notebooks make for cheap quality.