If you’ve ever wanted Apple made matte black MacBooks, a new patent shows that the company is at least considering the idea.
Apple begins by explaining the probable reason why it has not yet done so: it is very difficult to get a real black, instead of a dark gray …
Here is what the company says in the background of the patent:
Enclosures for portable electronic devices may include an anodized layer that can be colored in different colors to enhance their cosmetic appeal to consumers. However, certain colors are far more difficult to achieve than others.
In particular, the manufacturer̵7;s electronic device manufacturers have tried to achieve a true black color. In fact, the best attempts have only achieved a dark gray color. A challenge to achieve a true black color is that anodized metal can have a relatively high floss finish, which is able to reflect large amounts of visible light […]
Simply depositing dye particles in the pores of an anodized layer is not sufficient to give a true black color. In fact, it anodized the layer plateaus at an L * value in the low 20s. Part of the challenge of achieving a true black color is that the surface of these cabinets generally has a high-gloss finish, which contributes to the reflection of a large amount of visible light.
There are two secrets to pulling it off, says the patent.
The etched anodized surface of the enclosures having light trapping features (also referred to as light absorbing properties) is generally capable of absorbing almost all visible light entering it. In addition, all visible light that is not absorbed by the light capture functions is reflected diffusely by the light capture functions. As a result, the etched anodized part is characterized as having a matte, low-gloss finish. The matte, glossy surface combined with black color particles infused into the pores is able to hide the geometries of the surfaces on the outer surface.
As with all Apple patents, no one knows if the idea will ever hit the market, but there seems to be little doubt that matte black MacBooks will prove to be popular.
Meanwhile, ColorWare offers a matte black skin for the MacBook, but this suffers from the problem Apple describes: it looks more like gray than a real deep black.
Via Patently Apple
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