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Old May 20, 2005, 02:47 PM   #1
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Style vs reliability

Just a comment before I go plunk down $1300 for a new 12" PBook

Have seen many threads about latches - dead pixels - flakey panel alignment - flakey hinges on iBooks and PBooks

I'm new to apple after being a system designer at Intel for many years - and love OS X and my mini -- but I really think Apple could do a better blend of style and design on their mobile products.

My IBM ThinkPad at Intel was a freakin bullet-proof tank as far as mechanical design went and rigidity of the LCD screen --- I would really like Apple to strike a better balance between pure style and some basic elements of mechanical design

Time to roll the bones at the apple store and see how a PowerBoook works out for me
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Old May 20, 2005, 02:50 PM   #2
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accidents do happen, ive had no problems with my PowerBook's design in the two years i have had it. iBooks a are a bit more rugged i believe though

although i do agree with you overall, there should be a bit more placed on durability at some point
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Old May 20, 2005, 02:56 PM   #3
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at the same time its always gonna look like all of apple's products are flaky if you look in these or other mac forums, because like everything else they have problems. and when things go wrong people come to forums to try to get help. so there will always be lots of threads regarding flaky this and that.

but how many times comparitively do people make threads on how thrilled they are with there machine (some but not as many, and i'm willing to bet more people are satisfied then not)

i do agree somewhat with the durability, except check out this thread on spy mac


this guys powerbook keeps on truckin (with some dents and bruises of course) despite his gross mishandling...

so yeah its hard to say
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Old May 20, 2005, 04:28 PM   #4
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that is nuts:

"July 2003 - Purchased 12" PB 867

...Summer 2004
Dropped PowerBook down 1 story flight of stairs...
dropped backpack with powerbook inside of it
dropped powerbook down 2 story flight of marble stairs...
dropped powerbook on marble floor
hit powerbook against wall
fell asleep with powerbook; fell to floor

Fall 2004 / Late 04
dropped backpack with powerbook in it
dropped powerbook on floor
slammed backpack against wall hitting powerbook
dropped powerbook in airplane (fell out of cabin bin to floor)

Early 04 / Spring 2004
Dropped powerbook to floor...
slammed backpack/carrying case against wall numerous times
dropped powerbook on tile
dropped powerbook off of bed
hit powerbook against iMac G5..."

damn. i laughted my a$$ off when i read this comment:

"somebody should drop YOU down the stairs. Butterfingers."
Bluray? What's that?
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Old May 20, 2005, 04:55 PM   #5
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There was a thread a while ago with a similar question - I posted my story about how I stepped on my PB15" while the lid was open (don't ask...but feel free to post your speculations!).

Since then I've dropped it from about 1m - it fell on the corner where the AC plugs in - the AC cable was in at the time). The cable plug is a bit mangled, and there is a small dent in the PB casing (very hard to see), but it still works fine.

I do treat my machine quite badly (not intentionally!) but it's still fine.

My sister does have a problem on her 15" with the screen bowing slightly - when it is closed you can see the screen lifting up at the corners. It came this way, and she simply never got around to taking it back. She initially rang Applecare who said they'd be happy to repair it though.

You're right that the ThinkPads are built like tanks. The Powerbooks may not be quite at that level of robustness, but they're much closer than anything else out there.

Have fun!
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Old May 20, 2005, 04:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by camomac
"somebody should drop YOU down the stairs. Butterfingers."
I laughed my ass off too!
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Old May 20, 2005, 05:14 PM   #7
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I stepped on my iBook 15" G4 a couple of months ago. Didn't know I was stepping on it. Put my full weight on it for a full 30 seconds. It survived.

PS - I'm about 140lbs
iMac G5 Rev B 2.0Ghz SuperDrive 1Gb RAM 20", MacBook 2.16Ghz (white), both connected with Airport Extreme, iPod Touch 8Gb.
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Old May 20, 2005, 05:42 PM   #8
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Thinkpads are the most rock solid notebooks on the market today. I love the idea of swappable drives. Metal hinges. The reinforced display in the T43. Signature track point device. The recent sale to Lenovo may change things, who knows.

From what I used to hear, the old Pismos were the most rock solid of all powerbooks.
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Old May 20, 2005, 05:54 PM   #9
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I do agree that these online forums attract a lot of people who are having problems vs the many who go merrily on their way for years with no issues

Once a designer - always a designer -- I trained my self to 1st see all the good points about a design - then look for flaws ---- there are really only a few minor flaws (IMHO) in the iBook/PBook designs --- looking forward to having a PowerBook soon
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Old May 20, 2005, 06:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bad_JuJu
Time to roll the bones at the apple store and see how a PowerBoook works out for me

You only hear the bad ones - like a mechanic only fixes the cars that are broken. It so happens that Mac users are very protective and therefore verbal about issues as well, so the effect is only intensified.

That is not to say that problems per 100 are any higher that anone else. In fact, Apple hardware typically is at the top of quality reviews - even PC Magazine reviews yield this.

I have to say that my own personal experience applies here too. Right now I'm writing this on my T40. My 15" is right here next to it. A demonstration - I grab the keyboard half of the T40 by the front corners and tilt it back a bit. Then raise the right side while lowering the left - the chassis twists.

I then go to my significantly wider 15" Macintosh (same thickness) and try the same. Zero tortion - solid as a rock.
This comment has been edited for Content, Formatted to Fit Your Screen and to Run in the Time Allotted
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