Mac notebook reliability

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ardizzo, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. ardizzo macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2006
    I have been a PC user for my entire life but the release of the macbook pro has caused me to try the switch to an apple notebook, more specifically the macbook pro, which I will be ordering very soon. My question is about the reliability of apple notebooks. As a PC user, I am really not familiar with the lifespans of apple products. For sure I will get the applecare, but will I need to use it? Can I expect this macbook to last for two to three years without too much trouble? I understand that it may be difficult to tell with this new notebook line but any insights are appreciated.
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    my first apple laptop (purchased in december 02) still works fine. I recommend applecare, even though you may not need it. I can't tell you about the MBP, but the powerbooks and MBPs will have enough power so in 3 years (in my case) or more you will still be able to use it. If you treat it well, it will work for a long time. If you get the top of the line computer (as was my powerbook) it will be able to work for years. Just i recommend getting extra RAM and more speed if you want it for a longer time. HDD is also reccomened. You will love Macs. But i would wait to see reviews of the MBP before you buy. If you start out disappointed, you will switch back before realizing the full potential of Mac OS X. If the MBP is a great machine (as i expect), you'll love it.
  3. hcuar macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2004
    I think that reliability of a laptop is resultant from a sum of factors:

    A: How good is the initial build of the laptop. Even Macs have their... umm.. bad apples?

    B: How are you going to use the machine? Is the machine a desktop replacement that never moves, a road warrior machine, or an internet browsing machine that is used while in your lazy chair.

    C: How clumsy are you? Are you gonna drop it? Is your five year old going to stuff peanut butter in the slot loaded DVD drive.
  4. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2006
    Athens, Georgia
    I switch recently too. I just wanted to let you know that RAM is one of the more important components on a Mac. It is far more important on a Mac than a PC. It has to do with the OS. The more RAM that you can get into the system the faster it will FLY! It will make all the difference in the world. I have done 256, 512, 1GB, and 1.25 all in the same computer before. It does make a world of difference. There is nothing that affects the speed of a Mac more than RAM. You really should upgrade the RAM. Make sure that you read the FAQs that are posted all over or even get used to Mac from a friend if you have a chance. It is not hard by any means. I generally suggest Macs for those that have problems with computers and find them difficult to operate. But I just want you to have the best Mac experience. So team up with someone that knows the ropes and have them show you what it is all about. Spend about an hour or two with it and get a feel.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    In general, as far as pure "reliability" metrics go, Apple, alongside IBM, is consistently at or near the top of the pack, in terms of low rates of defects and high customer satisfaction with quality. :)

    They're not invincible, and they don't have a zero percent defect rate. But they're very nice.
  6. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    Virginia Beach
    My iBook which I bought in July of 2002 has had a logic board replacement and a hard drive failure all within the applecare 3 year warranty though. I didn't really mind the issues, anything for MacOSX.
  7. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2006
    Athens, Georgia
    I have never had issues with a Mac but know a few that have. But there is one MAJOR difference between Mac and another company. Mac will fix the problem then and there with the Apple Care. They will replace a system if you are not satisfied with the course of Repair. They will even upgrade you for free if that is what it takes. I know someone that got a 17" Intel iMac for free because there 17" iMac G5 had a video card.
  8. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    Consumer Reports compiles data on computer reliability, both laptop & desktops.

    In laptops, Apple is tied with 3rd, with 17% of their laptops being "repaired or having a serious problem." (In desktops, Apple was #1 at 11%).
    However, the total range for the group (Sony, IBM, Toshiba, Apple, HP, Dell, Compaq & Gateway) was 16-19% and the report states that differences of less than 3% are "not meaningful" for laptops.
    I take that to mean that essentially all of the manufacturers are about equal when it comes to reliability.
    Obviously, you'll hear from many people on this thread who report how reliable their individual laptop is, but ultimately that is anecdotal evidence.

    If you're thinking about switching, though, you'll be happy to hear that Apple consistently rates at the top of Consumer Reports' ranking for tech support & customer servcie.

    Ultimately, I think most people here would agree that Apples are durable computers. For the majority of users, I think that they will hold their functional life for at least 2-3 years, if not longer.
    If you decide to switch, I really think you won't be disappointed!

    Good luck & I hope to be congratulating you on a new Apple laptop soon!
  9. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    I've had a PowerBook - my 1st Mac - for 2 years with no problems (apart from an OS crash caused by Norton Anti Virus - I brought my PC habits across until I learnt better).
    From what I have read here, however, avoid the first release (Rev A) of a new Mac if you want to decrease your chances of a defective laptop. As mkrishnan said, Macs are not defect-free (otherwise they would cost a great deal more) but as with other gadgets the first release seems to have more defects than subsequent revisions.
  10. MacMosher macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2006
    baa zing

    yeah these machines are incredibly reliable Im not sure if I would go for apple care or not, I mean its good but theres better alternatives in my mind.

    Also I would wait for the reviews of the MBP
  11. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    My Macs are all reliable to date

    I bought my first Mac, 550 Mhz Ti PowerBook about 4 or 5 years ago in Buffalo, NY. I was sucked into Mac because its notebooks are beauty to behold. I has been in action even now and I have upgraded it to 100 GB hard drive from the OEM's 20 GB. It is still functional and I use it for iTune and synching with my work PC via SMB. I have handful of macs (pls. see my sig) and all of them are serving me very well. Knock on wood; no repair as of today. I think Macs are build very well compared to the run-of-the-mill PCs.
  12. ardizzo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2006

  13. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    the faraway towns
    The laws of laptop care and feeding.

    Apple's laptops are very reliable and have always been good to me. However, a few caveats for any laptop owner:

    1. AppleCare is a great investment for laptop owners. Things rarely go wrong, but when they do a MacBook Pro will be prohibitavely expensive to fix.

    2. Get a good sleeve. Something with decent padding and a good tight fit. This protects the laptop from occassional bumps and knocks and allows you to use a bag you like rather than the atypical laptop bag.

    Also, for any laptop owner keep these things in mind:

    a. When moving the laptop make sure to close it. An opened laptop will always be dropped and will land such that the hinges or LCD is broken. This is 4x more likely to happen if the laptop is running an unsaved project minutes before deadline or porn. This is the law of 'here look at this.'
    b. Water, beer, or soda within 100 meters of the laptop will spill. Crumbs will get in the keyboard, and strawberry jam inexplicably will end up on the mouse pad.
    c. Any cord connected to the laptop will be tripped over. This is a physical law. Plan accordingly.
    d. A machine will fail at the worst possible moment, often coinciding with the end of the AppleCare coverage. This can be mitigated by backing-up the hard-drive using a triply redundant system including off-site backup and cuniform tablets. This machine will run until the Sun explodes.
    e. You will drop it.
    f. You will scratch it.
    g. You will dent it.
    h. A computer placed on the floor will be stepped on.
    i. A computer covered with papers on a desk or table will have something heavy and angular placed on top of it, including feet.
    j. If you own a cat, it will be pushed off the desk at least once. They love to watch you flip out. Two cats guarentees one will upchuck on the keyboard.
    k. If you own a dog, the laptop will be drooled on. See b.
    l. A laptop carelessly tossed into a corner will survive. A laptop gingerly placed on a velvet couch inside a glass case will not. The gods are fickle. See d.
    m. If a PC user sits next to you, never scoff, laugh, or otherwise berate their machine. Yours will crash at that very moment. Macs like their users humble.
    n. If your significant other wants something done quickly, doing it on the computer is cool, but will always take twice as long as usual. This is not exclusive to laptops, but just about everything.
    o. There are more laws. You will figure them out when you get your laptop.

    So have fun.
  14. asherman13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2005
    SF Bay Area, CA
    That was amazing.
  15. Krevnik macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2003
    This should be amended with: Even if it is closed, if you are running an unsaved project minutes before a presentation, it will drop, and it will come open, leading to the LCD being broken.

    Yes, I had that happen to me, not kidding.
  16. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2005
    Unless you get a lemon Mac, Macs are generally able to last several years longer than PC's, both in hardware terms and in software terms. (I know a few people who use Rev. A iMacs from 1998 as their main computers!)

    However, in both PC's and Macs, notebooks won't last as long as towers or other desktops. Keep that in mind.

    The only thing of which I can think is that Macs are pickier about RAM than their PC brothers. That's just the way they are. (But on any machine, it's good to make sure you get the exact RAM specified - Apple just makes sure of this.)
  17. ibidiem macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2005
    Portland, OR
    my experiences

    I have documented my one and only sort of worrysome experience with my ibook G4, in folksong form, here. This happened after a full day of running various demanding multimedia programs, and... but I'll let the song sing for itself.
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    My iBook survived for nearly 4.5 years until recently the cable connecting the base to the screen shorted/became loose and the screen no longer shows an image. It survived my time living in Siberia and being hauled around for graduate school.
  19. Xephian macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    United States
    Pretty much all Macs have had a pretty good reputation for surviving many things and lasting for a very long time.

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