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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:34 PM   #1
Jezza
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Question for PB 12" and 15" and iBook 12" owners

Hi,

Last year I bought a used 15" PB Titanium circa 2002, one of the first of its breed. While I love the thing, I can't really use it on my laptop as it zaps me with nasty electric shocks. The only way round this is to put it on a table and/or make sure I'm not barefooted (I live in the Middle East where the heat can be unbearable and you want me to keep my shoes on?).

Over the past year I've noticed the LCD has acquired permanent imprints of the keys from the keyboard which I'm not impressed with whatsoever. To make matters worse, I recently bought a clapped out IBM Thinkpad circa 1990's whose casing resembles a war zone, but whose screen is spotless, no indentations from the keyboard. Hmm. I'm impressed with the durability of these Thinkpads.

This tells me two things; the PB has a lid-closure not-enough-room-seperating-the-keys-from-the-screen design flaw; and the PB has an electrical design flaw. Well, at least mine has.

I'll be in the market for a replacement laptop in the coming year. I'd like to hear from any PB or iBook user in this forum, whose machine is circa 2004 or newer, if they suffer from similar complaints. I want to know if Apple fixed the two design flaws mentioned above in their more recent machines.

I'm really hot for a 12" PB. No use geting one if the thing is going to fry me each time I put it on my lap...and the new Thinkpad X41 is real tempting...

Thanks to anyone reading this for your time, especially if you reply,

Jezza
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:38 PM   #2
powerbook911
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Hi,

I own the current 12-inch Powerbook. It has never shocked me.

Next, regarding the screen. No, I do not see any imprints on the screen, from the keyboard. My screen still looks pristine. I have read that sometimes it is the oils from your fingers that transfers from the keys to the screen. I wipe my keyboard, with a dry cloth sometimes, just in case.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:52 PM   #3
Jezza
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Cheers, Mate!
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:54 PM   #4
londonweb
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I have a friend who suffers the same shocks from his ti powerbook as well- I think it happens if he 'earths' himself whilst simultaneously touching the casing on the pb.

I know several people with 15" powerbooks and they are all extremely happy and shock-free. One guy I know dropped his from shoulder height (It fell out of his unzipped rucksack, the dufus) and while the case is damaged, it still operates perfectly.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:54 PM   #5
Jay42
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I have a new 15" PowerBook circa 2005 and I have had no substantial problems with it so far. It has never zapped me even while working barefoot with a wool rug (I'm assuming the metal casing or floor acts as a ground).

As far as the screen goes, I thought about investing in some of those keyboard/screen covers that you place on top of the keyboard when you close the lid. However, so far, I have not seen any real markings. My PB has four little rubber feet on the lid, which I assume work as spacers. Also, I don't think my friends 2001 TiBook has these. That being said I still might get one of those keyboard cloths for when I carry my PB in a bag for trips when I might put more pressure on the screen, but for day to day wear it seems to be minimal to non-existant.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:59 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who have replied.

So quickly too

Jezza
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 03:01 PM   #7
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I have a a 12" iBook (circa late 2004) and I have never had it shock me before. It gets a little hot after long use, but nothing too bad, however if you're in the middle east you might think any additional heat is bad.

As for the screen issue I have not had such a problem after 10 months of operating my iBook. The screen still looks fine to me, no fingerprints....
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi128
As for the screen issue I have not had such a problem after 10 months of operating my iBook. The screen still looks fine to me, no fingerprints....
This isn't a finger print issue, its the key imprints. It's as if my keyboard has been pressed hard against the LCD. The rims are now a permanent fixture on my screen!

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Old Sep 19, 2005, 03:10 PM   #9
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I have had a 12" iBook and two 12" powerbooks no zaps of electricity and no fingerprints (keys on the otherhand can leave marks not noticable thou could be caused by me having a screensaverz and an iSkin on it when closed) Just remember to wipe of your screen every now and again.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 03:39 PM   #10
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Hi, I have a 12 inch ibook G4 and I do get nasty shocks if I keep it on my lap when its charging. Is this normal? I've noticed these shocks emanate from the region around the screws and the metallic collars around the rubber feet on the bottom of the case.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 03:44 PM   #11
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If no one else is getting "nasty shocks" and you are then i would say its not normal.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 04:01 PM   #12
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In my opinion you guys who are getting zapped by your computers need to have them looked at. Something's wrong with them, maybe a short-circuit in the PSU (?, long time since I took electronics), and this may lead to other problems.

So, back up critical data while you can, and have your computer serviced!

The other part of your question: I'm a happy iBook G4 12" (800 MHz) owner. The screen does have a tendency to get keyprints on it - that's why you use a screen protector (or, as in my case, a sheet of paper).
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 04:06 PM   #13
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I own both a 12" 1.33GHz PB as well as a 12" 1.33GHz iBook-- the iBook runs amazingly cooler than my PB. I could not believe how much cooler! Not to mention unbelievable battery life and much better wi-fi reception than the PB. Neither of my notebooks have EVER shocked me (other than 'shocking' me w/ their astounding beauty and ease of use, hee).
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 04:08 PM   #14
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No shocks on my PB 12''. It's gotten uncomfortably hot before, but I use it on a table all the time now.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 04:15 PM   #15
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Powerbooks can give some light shocks now and then and this is considered normal behavior(up until a certain level of course). Some people will never get a shock while some machines for some reason gives light stings on occasions. It can sting even more if someone is touching you at the same time. In some cases the problem are related to how the computer is connected to the mains. People using the computer not grounded seem to have more problems.

The keyboard prints on the display is not normal tough if you are still within warranty (applecare protection plan since it was from 2002) you should not have any problem getting the computer repaired.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 11:15 PM   #16
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I have a TiBook of the same vintage as yours. I've never had a problem with electric shocks, though I did have to have the AC adaptor replaced, as it overheated severely. I've noticed the same screen imprint issue you have, though on mine I was always able to wipe off the imprint with some warm water. Also, I deeded mine to my wife a couple of years ago, and since then it has sat on her desk with the case open all the time (she basically uses it as a desktop), so the imprint problem is no longer a factor.

I also have a 12" PB 1.5ghz purchased a few months ago. It's a great machine, but the bottom does get uncomfortably hot. I use a lap desk at home when I'm working on the sofa because it's too hot to rest directly on my lap. The area to the left of the trackpad gets warm, but not hot.

Don
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 11:20 PM   #17
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I forgot to mention...I haven't noticed any of the screen imprint issues on the PB 12 that I had with the older TiBook 15. Not sure why that is, because if you look at the machine from the side, the keys do rise ever so slightly above the level of the wrist surface. I think the slight thickness of the metal bezel that surrounds the screen provides some protection, i.e., effectively recessing the screen by maybe 1/16".
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 11:52 PM   #18
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I've had my 12" PowerBook for about a year. It's never shocked me. I've heard of others having the problem with keyboard marks on the screen, but I don't use a cloth between the screen and keyboard, and I've never noticed anything but dust on the screen.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 12:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezza
Hi,

Over the past year I've noticed the LCD has acquired permanent imprints of the keys from the keyboard which I'm not impressed with whatsoever. To make matters worse, I recently bought a clapped out IBM Thinkpad circa 1990's whose casing resembles a war zone, but whose screen is spotless, no indentations from the keyboard. Hmm. I'm impressed with the durability of these Thinkpads.
The marks are a known issue with the TiBooks. The later Aluminium models increased the space slightly to avoid this issue. I have had no problems with my current AlBook from July 2004. My Thinkpad from 2003 however does have similar marks on the screen. The marks are actually caused by oil from your skin building up on the keyboard and then being transfered to the screen.

If you gently clean the screen with some iKlear screen wipes (or probably any camera quality wet lens cleaning wipes) you should find that most of the marks will come off. To avoid any further build up of marks on the screen there are various solutions available. I personally use a leather screen protector from www.macsales.com over the keyboard when my powerbook is closed. There are various protectors that you place between the keyboard and screen. Other protectors attach to the screen, or for a simple solution you can just place a clean sheet of paper over the keyboard before you close the screen.

In terms of durability, I have had my old TiBook fall from waist level onto concrete and though the corner was slightly dinged it continued to function without a hitch. My AlBook survived a fall from my sofa with a slight ding near the power socket that I was able to carefully massage out after opening up the laptop. My work Thinkpad is built like a brick and has survived various knocks and tumbles over the past 2 years. However I have noticed that collegues with the T40 series have had problems with that series being more fragile than earlier models.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 12:12 AM   #20
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Same as pretty much everyone above. A 12" PB from Sept 2004, no shocks, no imprint, everything's great.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 12:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by neocell
Same as pretty much everyone above. A 12" PB from Sept 2004, no shocks, no imprint, everything's great.
I have had my powerbook 12" since about April.

It never gave me shocks until I used it in China, and only when the adaptor was plugged in. I'd get a strange tingling from the casing, and actually small shocks from the screws. I'm no electrician, but I'm guess it has something to do with the way things were earthed there. No problems when I'm home.

And I think I get the keyboard imprints on the screen - doesn't damage it though. Happens when you press reasonably hard down on a closed laptop (since I carry it in a backpack)
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 02:29 AM   #22
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Smile

Same here. 1 year old 15" PB. No shock, no imprints. Although I use a Crumpler screen protector, forced/advised? on me by a TiBook owner... :-)

I do notice sparks when I plug in the powerbrick into the wall socket.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 04:16 AM   #23
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I got a 12" Ibook - no shocks and no imprints. but my partner got a ibm thinkpad T-series and i think these are the more durable machines..
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 01:03 PM   #24
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No imprints on my 12" iBook G4 either.

I know they sell those keyboard covers-- they look like a little slice of a wetsuit-- to prevent the keyboard from coming in direct contact with the screen when the 'book is closed.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 01:10 PM   #25
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3 month old 15" PB, works like a charm. No marks on the screen from the keys (or anything else, thank goodness), and definitely no electric shocks in my lap.
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