iBook robustness

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PCMacUser, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #1
    Hi there,

    I'm interested in finding out how robust and reliable the 12" 1.33GHz iBook is.

    Does the screen flex when you close it? And if you press the screen from behind (as if to close it), does the LCD go beserk?

    Does the entire chassis twist when it's picked up from one corner?

    Also, do they break easily? Are there known hardware problems that tend to occur with a lot of these machines, eg, dead logic boards, broken LCDs, keyboard fading, etc.

    How about the battery life? Apple claims 6 hours, but I've seen reports of only 2.5hours (DVD playback).

    Temperature... does this thing heat up like the Powerbooks do? Or does it stay cool all of the time?

    Cheers!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    I have a two year old iBook that is for all purposes structurally the same as the one you're asking about. It was designed for students => it is extremely robust. It doesn't warp, the screen doesn't go berserk, it doesn't break easily. The design is getting quite mature (old even) and has been pretty much perfected since the G3 days. I'd say it's one of the toughest little notebooks on the market. :)
     
  3. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    As someone who is considering purchasing one, it seems that the prevailing opinion from owners gives them very high ratings for durability. As is the case with high-tech products, the way you treat them will weigh heavily in determining their lifespan and how well your needs are met. Good luck and enjoy.
     
  4. chucknorris macrumors 6502a

    chucknorris

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    #4
    To address the battery life question, I've gotten times approaching 6 hours with Airport activated and several applications in use.

    I'm not sure about the longevity during DVD playback as I've never watched more than about 30 minutes of a DVD while unplugged.

    I would be surprised if it was only 2.5 hours, but it would certainly be less than the normal battery life.

    Oh, and as far as temperature goes, it DEFINITELY doesn't get as hot as a PowerBook. Mine certainly gets warm, but I almost never hear the fans and I've never been alarmed by the heat.
     
  5. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #5
    iBooks are indeed very robust;They have rubber mounted hard drives with fall protection which locks them up when it senses a drop....They are made of the same stuff as bullet proof glass and the screen is re-inforced......

    All in all a very tough notebook, the only thing that worries me is the tiny little latch which seems fragile, but i have never heard stories of it going wrong,

    SHadow
     
  6. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #6
    Thanks, Chuck. That info is very helpful.

    Fortunately my buying decision is only coming down to two laptops - the 12" iBook and the Acer 5502WXMi.

    The Acer runs rings around the iBook (and Powerbooks for that matter) in terms of specs and performance, but I'm worried about reports of bad build quality, overheating and poor service. So if I can convince myself that the iBook leaves the Acer's overall quality in the dust, then I may make a purchase... today :)

    I have already owned a 1.67 15" PB, but took it back as it really felt like it was too overpriced for what it was. I don't have that feeling with the 12" iBook - as I kinda know what I'm getting spec-wise, and it's a reasonable price.
     
  7. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #7
    I have that exact model. It's durable. It'll scratch, but unlike the powerbook, it wont dent. I think the biggest issue people have w/ the current ibooks is that the little latch that keeps them closed can sometimes stop locking as tightly as it should. I speak from previous experience with 12" ibooks.

    It gets hot, but not half as hot as my recently ebayed 15" powerbook. If you set your setttings to "better battery life" the processor will scale down and the machine seems to stay cool enough to comfortably work with on your lap.

    I haven't watched any movies on the new ibook, but based on past experience with ibooks, I would say that you get somewhere between 3 and 4 hours of playback, depending on how bright you have the screen.

    The machine feels solid, but i would agree with what I've read in other threads that the powerbooks feel more solid. Powerbooks don't flex at all and the keyboards are higher quality. iBook LCDs do not go wacky when you move them around. If you make a concerted effort to push the back of the LCD then you will notice distortion, but i can move the screen around roughly and the display looks fine the whole time.

    I am very abusive of my computers. I have now owned 3 ibooks and one powerbook. My first iBook was Clamshell SE 466mhz. I owned that for about 26 months before it developed a loose connection inside the computer where the power supply connects. After that I had an 800mhz G3 ibook. I had hte logic board replaced in it once, then after about 20 months of ownership, I was driving to my dad's house and somebody on the highway stopped short in front of me and the ibook was on the passenger seat. I slammed on the brakes and it slammed into the dashboard. Shattered the LCD. So i ebayed that and bought a powerbook 15" 1.5ghz. I kept that for about 9 months before i did any serious damage to it. I was at my girl's house and she has one of those futon frames that rolls up and down. She had it in bed form, and I thought if there's any safe place for my laptop, it's under the futon. She rolled up the futon thing and it put a huge groove in the aluminum - a crease all along the back of the LCD. It did no damage to the LCD and the computer still worked fine, but that sucked. Sold that on ebay a few months later cuz i just got sick of the heat.

    So yeah, I've already dropped my new ibook a few times and it's still looking decent and working fine. We'll see how it holds up after my 1 month visit to china...

    Oh and to conclude, yes I think the ibook is quite reliable and durable. The logicboard issues seem to be in the past, so outside of those problems, the only issues I've had with my ibooks have been due to my irresponsible abuse of them - abuse that no laptop could be expected to withstand.
     
  8. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #8
    Superb info, Maxterpiece, thanks for that!
     
  9. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a

    rosalindavenue

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #9
    I have an August 2005 12" ibook. I fell down my stairs while carrying it and and it landed on the floor with a very loud slap. It was completely unharmed. Here's the thread on the fall.

    I can't imagine that any other notebook would have survived that.
     
  10. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #10
    Configuration options

    Would you say it would be wiser to configure my 12" iBook with 1Gb RAM and an 80Gb HDD or 1.5Gb RAM and a 60Gb HDD? I know this is an open ended question, but some views would be appreciated.
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11

    It's potentially easier (and therefore cheaper) to upgrade the RAM later so maybe get the bigger hard drive now and leave the RAM until you have enough money to get the extra 1GB stick. Having said that, if you have an external drive then maybe you don't need that extra 20GB of internal space...
     
  12. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #12
    Accidents do happen, I believe. But, I am so careful with my machines, I have not dropped my Macs yet. When I take it outside, I will put them in the proper computer bag (which is padded very well).

    Even though I am not planning to put my iBook through abuses, it is good to know someone has already tried this quite extensively and proved iBooks in general survive those abuses without noticeable damages.
     
  13. dambro1978 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #13
    very robust

    I have an ibook G3 600 with 8mb video almost 5 years old, it hit the ground 3 or 4 times heavily, the case is now deformed of a couple of degrees from one angle to the other, but still works perfectly. incredible. outer case is very scratched. the only thing that annoys me is that the screen lock is gone. I'm not able to keep it closed properly anymore, it just happend a couple of days ago, a plastic ring in the lower case under the trackpad is broken.
    I'm going to substitute it in January, perhaps new ibook intel or powerbook 15 actual specs..
    I think nothing will be as robust as this white ibook...
     
  14. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #14
    Very durable, my wife dropped our ibook with the screen open.
    It landed on the floor on the corner of the LCD
    The plastic around the hinge cracked a bit and has to be replaced, but the computer still works perfectly.
     
  15. plasticparadox macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    #15
    Yikes. Am I the only person here who's never dropped their iBook? Worst damage so far - transporting it in a carry bag (man purse) without a foam sleeve. It was scuffed a bit.

    I'd never drop this thing!
     
  16. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #16
    Yeah that's what I was thinking. I have a 60Gb ipod photo that doubles as my external drive...
     
  17. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #17

    Remember that iPods aren't the greatest form of back up or data storage though. They can be easily lost or stolen and the fact they're so portable makes it more likely they'll become corrupted and the hard drive may fail. Of course, they're better than nothing though. :)
     
  18. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #18
    Hmm, maybe I should go for the 80gb/1gb combination then. Do you think I'd notice a big difference in performance between 1 and 1.5gb RAM?
     
  19. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #19
    What exactly are you using it for?

    Could you get the standard 512MB now and then buy a third party 1GB stick (to make 1.5GB) when the bank balance allows? The benefit of this is that you get the best possible specs plus when you upgrade that RAM it'll give the Mac a new lease of life. It's the cheapest way to make an older computer feel like a new one.
     
  20. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #20
    I'll initially be using it for browsing the Internet, e-mail, music (playback, plus transferring to my W800i and iPod photo), and image editing. I may also do some work with video, both from my digital video camera and also from DVD backup.
     
  21. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    You'll want as much RAM as possible for that video editing. Aim for the 1.5GB for sure. :)
     
  22. maddav macrumors 6502

    maddav

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #22
    Personally, when it comes to the iBook, I made the mistake of not maxing out the "difficult" things (Hard Drive). I think you should max out the HD, and buy any extra RAM later, as it's simple to fit, and cheaper than Apple RAM.
     
  23. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #23
    My ibook (14-inch) survived spilling an entire can of soda on the keyboard (link).

    Yeah, they're tough.
     
  24. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #24
    iBook fer sure!

    I've had 3 Apple Laptops, my first was a 333mhz Lombard, which although I might be biased I think looked the best and was indestructable. I had a 900 mhz G3 iBook and I just returned a PB 15.2, 1.5 Supedrive. The iBook G3 is still running strong (my wife has it now) scuffs and all and some not so delicate drops from my students or off of my desk. The only thing wrong is the crack by corner with the battery, which was a design issue that apple has since addressed. I had the PB for 2.5 months, before it died. The battery was a joke, even brand new, I'd top out at 3 hours, while my iBook still gets 3 - 4 hours! The airport reception was at least 50% of the iBook. After very careful use, always transported in a very good/padded laptop bag (brenthaven) it was scratched and had a very small dent - which I have no clue as to how it was acquired. Let me just say it this way, I had the opportunity to buy another powerbook. I passed and my new 12" 1.33 iBook shipped today and I'm waiting for my new iMac to ship. Both computers for about the cost of one PB. I'd say if robustness is a major concern, it's a no brainer, iBook.
     
  25. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #25
    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    I placed my order for a 12" iBook with a 60Gb HDD last night. I'll try it out for a while and if I feel I need more performance, I'll bung in a 1gb RAM stick later.
     

Share This Page