The eagerly awaited update to Apple’s MacBook Air started shipping last Friday, and the faithful have been rewarded with a critically acclaimed laptop, although there are a few interesting choices around the specification.

Yet for some, the “new car smell” of the M2-powered macOS laptop has been, literally, scratched away.

A number of new users who have purchased the kaput, and those reviewing the unit from Apple directly, have picked up several small scratches and imperfections around the USB-C port. It appears that the friction between the chassis cutout and the outer surface of USB-C port has led to the damage, as José Adorno reports:


“9to5Mac‘s own staff was also able to find a small scratch on the bottom right corner of the Midnight MacBook Air trackpad. Although it’s not that noticeable, it’s weird that a new product, without being in touch with an Apple Watch band or anything like it, already started to scuff.”

It’s impossible to build consumer-grade hardware that will not pick up scratches over extended use – laptops are portable, and with portability comes a bit of rough and tumble – but we’re not talking about an action that is outside of any expectations. Plugging in and removing a USB-C cable to a laptop is going to be a popular action, and it should not come as a surprise to the designers. And if in a few years, someone looks at the scratches around the USB port, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see some wear and tear.

I can’t help but glance at a lightning port on a modern iPhone… a port which shows a small collar of plastic between the casing and the socket itself, presumably to address concerns over visible scratching.

But to have this happen within seven days? Even when allowing for the increased contrast of a scratch when a darker coating such as Apple’s “Midnight” coating is damaged, would the normal user expect more durability? Would someone familiar with Apple’s perceived obsession over detail expect more durability?

The MacBook Air is an expensive investment. If you jump over the entry-level model with the smaller mains charger and slower SSD configuration, you’re looking at a $1499 minimum. To have cosmetic damage through the wear and tear on display in the first week of ownership is disheartening.

Now read what the critics thought of the new MacBook Air…


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