Build quality of Powerbooks

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by drake, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    Figure we should have a thread on this since there's one on the iBook.
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    Um... Extremely good. Very solid. Not cheapo plastic like windows.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have the current PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz 15" I'd say the build quality is pretty much perfect. Battery time could be a little longer, but I don't really care. Other than that for normal use it feels just as fast as the 2 G5s I have here (iMac and Power Mac Dual G5).
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2004
    My build quality is superb. Have run into ZERO problems so far and have owned it for almost 2 years now. Absolutely best purchase of my life :D
  5. macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I would say the build quality is excellent.

    My 12" feels completely solid.

    I am a little upset that my new battery (from after the recall) doesn't fit as well as #1.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have had my 17" PowerBook for over a year and it is still ticking. The keyboard and trackpad are holding up pretty well. Nothing broken thank God. I just wish Apple would make the feet on the bottom of the laptop stay on. I lost one while I was on a business trip in China and the rocking of the laptop drove me nuts.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Good in ways. Not great in others.

    Keyboard is okay on my 15" - year and a half old. Has some noisy keys around arrows. Not the bullet-proof feel of a ThinkPad.

    The cover has a single latch - my cover is not flush with body, leans up on one side a little.

    You'll want to take care of the PB as it's a little more sensative to how you treat it to keep it looking good. I keep mine in a Timbuk2 computer bag. Some PCs are a little better adapted to rough treatment - again I compare my thinkpad with the rubberized top.
  8. macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2004
    Since when was windows made of plastic? and not all PC notebooks are plastic, they got carbon fibre and what not too :)
  9. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    San Francisco
    the 12" PB I used to have was extremely well built. No complaints at all.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    I definately like the solid feel it gives me over the iBook.

    What I love most about is... HOW SEXY IT IS!!!!
  11. macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
  12. macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Rural Alaska
    I've got the last iteration of the Titanium Power Book. It's going on three years since new. I've had a few software problems, most brought about by that worthless disc utility from Symantec, but never any hardware problems, not even the problems this model is "known" for (display hinge, firewire controller). I am probably more likely to install a bigger hard drive and/or faster SuperDrive than buy a new model.

    I imagine if I get a new Mac any time soon, it will be an iMac, but only if Apple's next model includes a firewire 800 port, like my Power Book does... er, thanks to the PC card slot and eighty bucks for a fw800 card....
  13. macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2005
    The fit and finish of my 15'' is perfect and Iam a really picky person. (Picky about details etc.)

    The only grip I have is the 3 hour battery life. But I do have an extra battery so its not too bad. :p
  14. Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I have that lazy 12" PB latch that doesn't always want to close w/ the first try. Also, it's not completely flush so that it just slightly 'rocks' on a table top-- eh, nothing too bad though, but a bit dissapointing considering I haven't had any problems w/ my iBook.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Steve Jobs must get down on his knees everyday and thank $DEITY for giving him a massive contingent of customers who think it's noteworthy when a $2000+ computer survives a year of ownership :p
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2005
    The build quality on my 12" PB is so-so.

    Motherboard got fried somehow during normal usage - had to be replaced under apple care.

    Second motherboard had similar problems - would lose cached data when awaking from sleep and cause comp to crash - also replaced.

    Bottom of PB is not level - and it has all the rubber pegs, but it has never sat completely flat since day 1 - I get a bit of rocking.

    Latch does not close on first try most of the time.

    The good:
    Keyboard and trackpad are great.
    Whole machine "feels" solid.

    Powerbooks are nice systems in all, but you have got to be pretty careful with them. I saw a friend of mine drop his (while in a Booq case) from less than a foot onto pavement, and it really did serious damage to the aluminium ($800 for Apple to fix, by the way) but his system still works fine.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2005
    A few small things

    The biggest thing with my 12" PB was that the casing near the front latch started popping out not long after I got the machine: when I could start seeing inside, I convinced an Apple tech to somehow fasten the casing back - not aesthetically perfect, but definitely sufficient.

    Also, the metal tends to blacken a little over time, partly from the presence of body oils on your hands on wrists - I've noticed a little, even though I've been fanatic about avoiding it.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    my 15" rev. d has perfect build quality as far as im concerned. no wobbling or warping as yet (touch wood), everything is perfect

  19. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    Ok, would it have been better if I said "Cheapo $600 Dell Notebook"?
  20. macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2003
    Germantown, MD
    Very high IMHO. I have a 3 year-old TiBook 15" that works great. It still looks pretty good too, other than for a few paint scrapes. The display remains excellent and the keys are fine. I also have a new PB 12" that feels very solid. The screen could be a tad brighter, but that's my only complaint.

    I've used a lot of different laptops over the years, including machines from Dell, Gateway, Zeos, Compaq and Toshiba (never had a Sony or an HP). I have a Thinkpad T41 right now. To me, the Thinkpads are the only other laptops that can compete with the PowerBooks on build quality. One test I use is to press down firmly on a couple of keys in the center of the keyboard. On virtually everthing besides PowerBooks and Thinkpads, the whole keypad depresses and flexes.

    Case quality is another factor: the Thinkpad uses carbon fiber for part of the case, along with titanium hinges. Apple uses aluminium and also has quality hinges.

    I'm speaking only of PowerBooks. To me, iBooks, while nice machines, suffer from a lot of the same build quality issues as their PC brethren.
  21. macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    Both of my 12" powerbooks have had no problems aside from what i caused on the 1Ghz one.
  22. macrumors member

    May 27, 2005
    Love the Powerbook, but there are two things that are constantly annoying.

    1) The latch is worthless. It's like a cruel joke. You push it down, think the machine is closed, then it pops back open a second later. Always pops open in my carrying case. I'll be in class or on the subway, and I'll hear my Entourage reminder "ding" from inside the bag. I miss the old G3 Powerbook -- now that was a latch.

    2) The A/C adaptor. I'm on my fourth. Eventually, the connector stops making the connection despite twisting, coaxing, and manipulating. Fortunately, Apple care covers it.

    Great machine, but some of the little details are lacking.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    What powerbook do you have??? I've never heard of any of these problems, and haven't had any myself. As to the latch, I carry mine around in a backpack everyday, and it has never opened on me.
  24. macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    Mmm, PowerBook.

    IMO, they're SOLID. I could heave mine across the room, and..

    ok, it would break, I was thinking about my shuffle! :)

    But I prefer how this feels sooo much more over the iBook.

    Maybe I just really like free stuff.

    ...yeah, free > pay for.

    but the PB is nice. Feels like a brick, in a good way.

    I have a way with words.

    the only thing I've ever had an issue with is my HD died and got it replaced under applecare. (I actually got an email from Apple about this, asking me to take a survey about it. I wrote in the comment box "GIVE AARON DAVIS A RAISE!!!" aaron is the genius. Man, I love him; he's the man!)
  25. macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    Top notch build quality, except that I've had one keyboard issue where a key malfunctioned. After applecare replaced it, everything was good again. Looks great, feels great... Just overall a good experience.

    However, I've heard about people who have had their palm rests on their PBs corrode over time, so I'm taking extra care to wipe things down every week...

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