Microsoft Surface tablets facing supply constraints, chassis trouble?

By Rick
Jul 9, 2012
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  1. Citing its usual upstream industry supply sources, Digitimes reports that Microsoft has canned plans for an aluminum-magnesium design in its upcoming Surface tablet. Instead, according to sources, Microsoft will be adopting a chassis made entirely from magnesium -- a move……

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  2. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +57

    I hope VaporMG isn't vaporware.
  3. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Guru Posts: 752   +273

    Sounds like aluminum is stronger than magnesium, so they would have to make the magnesium shell thicker to make up for that. Hence the heavier weight...
  4. M4A4,
    Here is a few comparisons between the two.

    1. Aluminum versus magnesium is heavier and more corrosion resistant.
    2. Magnesium is a lightweight substitute for aluminum
    3. Magnesium needs a protective coating to make it an anti corrosive material.
    4. Aluminum has a lower die casting cost when compared to magnesium.
    5. Magnesium is soft and flexible when compared to aluminum, which is stronger.
  5. "Sounds like aluminum is stronger than magnesium, so they would have to make the magnesium shell thicker to make up for that. Hence the heavier weight..."

    No. Some people seem to have forgotten that when talking about how soft/strong etc. these Ultrabook materials, we're talking by metal standards here. Magnesium is still massively stronger than plastic, the minor difference in strength between magnesium and aluminium isn't going to necessitate using a thicker chassis. I even read one ***** elsewhere say he felt aluminium was "too soft" (presumably because he read it was soft compared to other metals and alloys) for making Ultrabooks and they should use carbon fibre instead (which is just a fancy name for a certain type of plastic). *facepalm*
  6. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Guru Posts: 752   +273

    So I've got 2 responses, yet neither has tried explaining the author's last paragraph...

    Yes, it uses polymer (which is usually mixed with resins) but no, the main thing is the carbon fibers. If it wasn't more expensive and a longer process, then it would probably be used instead of aluminum/magnesium.
  7. Magnesium is not lighter than aluminium (it has a lower Relative Atomic Mass, perhaps that's where the confusion came from?)
  8. Uvindu

    Uvindu TS Booster Posts: 121

    The MG in VapourMG probably stands for Mg (Magnesium). If so, then even if it were cheaper to use Carbon Fiber, they would still have to use Magnesium coz they have already said it will feature VapourMG.

    As for it being just a coating, yes its quite possible that it maybe some sort of Magnesium Coating, but then again, magnesium is pretty reactive, so the VaporMG coating itself will need a coating.

    It may also be something else they are doing to the Magnesium to make it feel different...
  9. Magnesium coats itself with MgO on exposure to air, preventing further corrosion, so any synthetic coating is presumably cosmetic?
  10. I think the most interesting property of magnesium is that it burns like a bastard!
  11. They are using magnesium alloy, not just pure magnesium.. and magnesium always used for replacing aluminum for alloy.. please gather some information before give comment
  12. Mg is 2/3 density of Al

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