planned laptop obsolescence

sgtaylor5

Power User
Vaccinated
Posts
107
Reaction score
158
Location
Cheney, WA
I've seen older laptops of a certain era and manufacture are prone to have their plastic crumble at a point of stress for no other apparent reason. The screw towers on the bottom cover and/or the screw bosses on the underside of the top cover are prone to this.

I've also had numerous newer gaming laptops fail (die, MSI !) where the metal LCD back cover and the plastic plate that holds the screw bosses for the hinge separate. Why they can't make them both out of metal is beyond me.
 

Renzatic

Egg Nog King of the Eastern Seaboard
Vaccinated
Posts
3,604
Reaction score
6,219
Location
Dinosaurs
Why they can't make them both out of metal is beyond me.

There's a very simple reason for such: expense. If people want their awesome, badass, high benchmarking ninja PC laptops to be affordable, they'll have to accept that some corners are going to have to be cut.

And the first corner that's cut is ALWAYS build quality. See that nice sub-$2000 laptop with the 3080 in it? Yeah. That's some nice, high temp hardware in a shitty plastic shell they've got there.
 

sgtaylor5

Power User
Vaccinated
Posts
107
Reaction score
158
Location
Cheney, WA
There's a very simple reason for such: expense. If people want their awesome, badass, high benchmarking ninja PC laptops to be affordable, they'll have to accept that some corners are going to have to be cut.

And the first corner that's cut is ALWAYS build quality. See that nice sub-$2000 laptop with the 3080 in it? Yeah. That's some nice, high temp hardware in a shitty plastic shell they've got there.
I'd agree with that, and I'd add: usually "thin" is the enemy of build quality at a price point. EDIT: I've never seen that happen with an older Toshiba or an HP Sleekbook.

I'd pick a HP Spectre with a metal top cover over an HP Envy with a plastic top cover any day.
 

Nycturne

Site Champ
Vaccinated
Posts
424
Reaction score
460
Honestly, it reminds me a lot of what I see in the woodworking side of things. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen nonsense like screws that go straight into some form of fiberboard or the like in a way that they can just tear out when stressed. Plastic isn’t quite that bad, but plastics will still deform over time with heat, stress and the like with the proper screws. But if the bosses wind up too short, an improper screw is used for cost reasons, etc, it gets even worse.

The 3D printing space, since it relies heavily on thermoplastics, have to design around this. You’ll see designs using heat set inserts, washers that are inserted into the part, etc. All in the goal of reducing tear out of cheap machine screws that don’t have the bite to properly hold onto the plastic. Although enough torque will still tear out pretty much any plastic.

Using plastic clips and thin supports in areas that need extra strength is also another trend I’ve seen. Saves material and costs, but makes the shell less durable.
 
Top Bottom