As you might have heard, there are rumors that the iPhone 5 is going to feature Liquidmetal technology. This is a relatively new rumor, but the source seems fairly legitimate. A more relevant and more recent rumor states that the new MacBook 2012 models will also feature Liquidmetal technology.
A report from SlashGear states that the chassis of the Apple MacBook Pro will be created from Liquidmetal, but there are a few issues that go along with this rumor. When the rumors started spreading about the iPhone 5 being made with Liquidmetal parts, there were questions as to whether or not the material is able to allow Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and radio frequencies to work properly. The same questions apply to the MacBook Pro Liquidmetal chassis rumors.
Some people believe that the design of the new iPad is proof that there will be a Liquidmetal MacBook, as the chassis of the iPad is made out of aluminum, but there is a black panel made out of plastic at the top of the iPad to allow the antennas to communicate with the outside world. Without this panel, it is unlikely that wireless communication would be possible with the iPad, so the plastic panel is necessary.
Wireless communication is not the only possible issue with a Liquidmetal chassis for the MacBook Pro that will come out sometime in 2012. Another possible issue is that the material rumored to be used might have issues handling heat. Without going into the technical specifications, the datasheet of the Liquidmetal material lists the thermal conductivity as much lower than aluminum, which has nearly six times the thermal conductivity of Liquidmetal materials.
This doesn’t rule out Liquidmetal as a possible material, but it does make a bit of extra work for Apple in order to make sure that the MacBook Pros do not overheat. The Liquidmetal chassis would do a much poorer job of dissipating the heat, which can be quite hot at times, created by the notebook. The cooling system of the MacBook Pro would likely need to be completely redesigned to ensure that the heat does not get out of hand. It is far from an impossible task for Apple, but it might be a task that they would rather avoid. There is a reference on the Liquidmetal Technologies website suggests that there might be a way to modify the material to overcome the heat conductivity problem.
So with all that being said, there might be possible issues with a Liquidmetal MacBook Pro, but they aren’t big enough problems that Apple can’t overcome them. After all, Apple seems to be able to handle nearly any task thrown at it, so this would not be too difficult for them. We can expect less cosmetic damages to these notebooks if they are created with Liquidmetal technology, so the scratches and dings that we obtain through day to day usage won’t be as visible as they would on an Aluminum MacBook Pro.