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17" PowerBook review

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tekmoe, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    I am writing this review as an update to my last thread - 17" PowerBook mini-review.

    This is the second 17" PowerBook that I have owned. The first one was purchased on Oct 19th, 25 minutes after the store opened back up with the new PowerBooks. I ordered a BTO 17" with the 7200rpm hard drive. I received the PowerBook exactly one week later. I had my camera of course and captured the birth on film. After that was said and done, I booted her up and when the grey loading screen came up, I furiously scanned for any dead pixels. Ouch, found one. Ok, I think I can live with it, I told myself. A couple of days go by and my eyes keep staring at that dead pixel. It was a couple of inches to the right from the center of the screen. If I had a dead pixel in either of the four corners of the screen, I am sure I could have dealt with it much better than where it was standing right now. I decided I am not happy. I know Apple will not replace a PowerBook due to one dead pixel (at least not without a fight) so I try to find something else wrong with my beloved PowerBook. Found it. The lid/screen is not aligned properly with the base. If you close the lid and feel the back right corner compared to the base, the lid actually has a lip and overhangs the base. I had my 12" PowerBook replaced back in August because of this. It actually causes issues when opening and closing the lid. I called Apple and told them exactly what was happening. They advised me to take my PowerBook to an Apple store to have a genius check it out. I did so. After the genius looked at it, he pretty much agreed with me and typed up a case. By then, it was too late to call Apple back so I had to wait until the next day.

    Next day - I call Apple. The first guy I spoke with understood the problem. Then he says, "Ok sir, where would you like us to send the box?" I am thinking this is not right. I explained to him I want a brand new PowerBook, not a box to send my PowerBook to the repair depot. He says he does not have the authority to do such a thing. I ask for someone who does. He transfers me to another rep. The next rep states he can only exchange it if I pay the restocking fee since it is a BTO. I say no, this PowerBook is defective out of the box and I will not pay a restocking fee. He transfers me to sales. Sales says they will make a one-time exception and will void the restocking fee. Whatever, just give me what I paid for in the first place. Sales sets up another BTO 17" with the 7200rpm hard drive and gives me my sales order number. She says she will bump the shipping mode to 2-day express. Sweet! She said she wants me to send my PowerBook as soon as possible. She said the shipping would not be reimbursed. Ok, $20 out of my pocket. Not bad considering I am getting another brand new PowerBook and get to enjoy opening a fresh package all over again.

    Exactly 5 days later, I receive my next PowerBook. I open her up, boot her up, and furiously scan for dead pixels on the grey boot up screen. WOOHOO! No dead pixels! Everything is good. I am happy.

    I've had this PowerBook for almost a full week now. Here is my review:

    It is an awesome laptop. Build quality is second to none. No scratches, dents, dings, blemishes, or anything of the sort. All the plastics are aligned properly with the metals. The lid is aligned properly this time and it opens and closes, as it should. The keyboard seems kind of squeaky when pressing the spacebar but I am thinking maybe it will wear in over time. The Seagate 7200rpm drive makes a quiet click noise every 10 seconds or so. I only notice it if the room is almost silent and no other noises are emitted. If I am listening to music, typing continuously, or even have the TV on, I never hear it. The PowerBook runs flawlessly. Uptime as of right now is 5 days. It would be longer but I ran the 10.4.3 update, which forces a reboot. The screen is excellent. Having a 1680x1050 res is perfect. The previous PowerBooks always seemed to have too low of a res to me. I have a ThinkPad T42 at work with a 14" screen and it has a res of 1400x1050. That is perfect. Now my PowerBook totally competes at the same level with the screen res. I LOVE it. It is so much better. It actually puts my 17" Samsung to shame. My Samsung only displays at 1280x1024. My Power Mac is hooked up to it and every time I use it, I always think, "Damn, the 17" PowerBook screen totally blows this thing away." The PowerBook runs pretty quiet. I do notice sound coming from it, mainly from the hard drive when it's running. There is a big difference when the hard drive goes to sleep. You can definitely tell when the room is quiet.

    I really need to get more RAM for this beast. 512mb just doesn't cut it. I think 1.5gb would be A WHOLE LOT better. I plan on buying a 1gb stick soon. That is, after I pay for this 17" and my dual-core Power Mac.

    For anyone who is stuck between a 15" and a 17", I would most definitely suggest you get the 17". The thinness of the 17" is so freakin' nice. It really does help with lugging it around. Yes, it is slightly bigger than the 15", but if I were to ever go back to a 15", I would look at it and be disappointed because of the screen size. The 17" is like a portable desktop. It is too great. I will probably never own a 15" again unless something seriously goes wrong with the 17" size with the future models. But as it stands right now, the 17" is the greatest PowerBook of them all. And yes, I have owned all 3. In fact, my gf has my 12" PowerBook and I sold my 15" PowerBook to buy this 17". No more 15" PowerBooks for me.

    http://www.tekmoe.com/pbbirth/pbbirth.html ---> birth pictures

    http://www.tekmoe.com/desktop.jpg ---> screenshot to show res size of 17"
  2. macrumors newbie

    Is your PB free from dark bottom corners issues and horizontal light bar across the bottom of the screen? How about the viewing angle? I know the last one is subjective but I am interested in your opinion thanks :)
  3. macrumors 68000

    my powerbook does have very slight dark bottom corners. i do not see a horizontal light bar across the bottom. the screen does get lighter and darker when the viewing angle changes. this does not bother me at all. the screen looks AWESOME!
  4. macrumors 6502

    But the 17 weighs about 2 pounds more. The same as throwing a tech book in your bag with the 15. And those poor students, college desks arent usually wide enough to accomodate a 17inch laptop... or a 15 in some cases.

    Not hating, just stating...

  5. macrumors regular

    I think my 12 inch powerbook has this same problem. how big of a distance are you talking bout for the lid overhanging the base? because i think i have this too but im not sure also sometimes after i havnt opened it for a while the latch kinda sticks, do you think they will return this and how do i go about doing so?
  6. macrumors 68000

    if you can, go to an apple store and explain to them the problem. tell them your friend got his replaced and apple is aware of this problem. see what they say. honest to god, the manager here at the dallas location told me straight up, "yup, the lid is misaligned and we can exchange it without any question. this is a known issue for a very limited number of pb's."

    this is not to say that other apple stores will acknowledge this issue. you will need to tell them. do not ask them. act as if you know this is a defective item and you deserve...no, not deserve, you are rightfully entitled a new one. ;) don't let them tell you they have never heard of this issue before and they cannot replace your pb because of it. if i got mine replaced, you can most definitely get yours replaced.

    good luck!
  7. macrumors regular

    how big of a gap was yours because i want to know if they would exchange mine too?
  8. macrumors 68000

    it's not about the size of a gap. it's about the length of the misalignment. feel the back right corner of the powerbook. now feel the back left corner. do they both feel evenly smooth, as in, does the lid and base both match up or is the lid slightly overhanging the base? that is what i mean by misaligned.
  9. macrumors regular

    when i feel it, it does not feel evenly smooth it does overhang just a little bit what do i need to bring with me to the apple store and what should i tell the genious?
  10. macrumors regular

    i think im gunna go to the apple store tommarrow about this because there is an overlap and sometimes it doesnt open proporly but i would like no know what i should bring with me, what exactly are they going to do about it, and what exactly should i tell them?

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