New 15" powerbook defects

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mashinhead, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #1
    I was considering purchaseing a new 15" PB. But i have read around reviews and macforums and i've heard horror stories about it, like:

    • latches that may or may not close.
    •Gaps between the screen and keyboard. short battery life.
    •Dead pixels and white spots on the screen.

    Just how common are these problems!!! How many people have defective ones and how many have PERFECT ones? Also i was going to get one BTO, whats apples return policy on BTO Machines?
     
  2. vin
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    NL
    #2
    don't worry

    I think you shouldn't worry too much about the stuff you've been reading. I read most of it too, but don't want to take it all too seriously.

    I've ordered a new 15" 1.25 last week, BTO. Didn't want to wait for panther. I think most machines will be more than fine, the people receiving the good ones you won't hear. The stories about the PB's with defects end up in forums like these, which makes it look like all of the new PB's have a problem.

    In other words; there's only one way of finding out for yourself; order one!

    Cheers!
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #3
    First of all, as with any first revision product, you really do take a risk (especially with Apple as their products are always on the cutting edge of technology IMO).

    As far as a gap when the lid closes, I think this is omnipresent in the 15" line at least. I personally, don't see a huge issue here.

    Yes, latches can be a problem. However, if you order a stock configuration you may be able to return it to an Apple retail store with the right negotiating.

    LCD displays, well, they always have a tendency for dead pixels. So getting a laptop is always risky there.

    Personally, I think my 15" is perfect. The lid closes each and every time (knock on wood), I have no dead pixels that I can see, and I don't see too much wiggle when my lid is closed.

    You really have to weigh the pros/cons and then see if you are ready to take "the risk". If you are easy going and go with the flow go for it, if you are a true perfectionist then I would say wait..

    Just my 2 cents..
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    #4
    Mine is Perfect

    I got a perfect one. There were some problems with early production models but mine has 0 defects. Upgrading to 10.2.8 before calibrating my battery is giving me 3.5+ hours of battery (not only indicated but real life, with airport on and screen half brightness and set to longest battery life). Also, make sure you read the manual before you calibate the battery, it's in page 20. First you charge all the way, and then you drain all the way till it goes to sleep. Good luck. If you have more questions, just ask. Ill answer as many as i can.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Weehawken New Jersey
    #5
    Not necessarilly horror...

    I have followed up on some stories and they are all normal technical maladies either due to shipping discrepencies or just factory oversight, When ever you purchase a Mac you have one year guarantee and the folks at the Apple stores are more happy to take the machines back if you feel you have a less than optimized unit, for that reason its always better to shop at the Apple stores, if there is no one close to you it is recommendable for you to express your dilemma to the salesperson or to the store manager and to really clarify what is the extent of their policy regarding these very few glitches, you may even print some of the complaints and take the pages to them. Im considering buying an 15' Powerbook and I would not be able to deal with some of the complaints such as the white spots or latch issues I would immediately take it back (not in anger but in a need to resolve, so please keep tempers in check) I can deal with the battery issue which some have already seen fixes and with the advent of Panther with its superior power management protocol, the battery issue will be easy to configure, but it is recommendable that you learn as much about battery issues as you can, since I have noticed battery issues resulting in old and well-used units and the fix-up has been a simple PRAM zap. So dont regard it as a bad experience but an opportunity to be a keen shopper and to really communicate with the salesperson or manager of the store, I will wait until Panther ships with the PB, and keep on educating myself about the powerbooks and not only about the bad experiences but the positive ones aswell, you will see that they will motivate you to make a sharp purchase. remember this is a high priced item and the level of communication that you need may need to be very precise.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    #6
    My AluBook

    My powerbook seems to be perfect except that the UP arrow key seems weird... like, one side sits higher then the other side. I didnt even notice it for a few days, but it kinda bothers me.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #7
    I have had all the reported problems with my new powerbook, and have fixed or resolved most of them. The latch I fixed with some bending, the lid gap I have ignored, the battery life is better with lastest update, and the dead pixel I have is in the upper part of the screen and is almost invisable under normal usage. The last problem I have remaining is the DVD drive. While resting my palms on the powerbook, the drive makes a metal twang noise. If I lift my palms off the "rests" the drive makes a metal twanging noise, it quite irritating. Any suggestions? I have checked out a couple of powerbooks at the Apple store, they don't seem to have this problem.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #8
    I don't have any of those problems and my battery lasts nearly as long as Apple claims on their spec page. The only thing it does "have" is that small 1/10" gap with the lid closed, which seems to be intentional anyway.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #9
    Got mine just over a week ago.

    Love it.

    It's perfect.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #10
    Love the pic, Stoid! Homestar rules! (well, Strong Bad is better.. :) )

    I don't think dead pixels are nearly as much of a concern these days as they were. I've never bought a laptop with any dead pixels. That includes a Dell Latitude D800 with a 15.4" WUXGA screen with a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels. Not a single one of those 2,304,000 pixels was defective... so the odds are in your favour.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #11
    Re: My AluBook

    Try to gently push down on the key.....it should click into place.

    The genius on the apple store simply pulled off one of my keys off the KB when I brought in my 15 Al for a not functioning backlight. The keys simply pop off and click into place and the key he clicked back into place did not sit even the first time. When I showed him that he just pressed on it a little firmer and it clicked in to line up with the others.

    davida
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    #12
    WOO

    Davida,

    I did as you said it corrected the problem. I has thought about popping off the key before but I wasnt sure if they were structured like a regular laptop because of the backlit keys......

    but I just popped it off and then back on and now it looks perfect. Thanks for the tip.

    Now my powerbook can be considered perfect... no kbd problems, no display or warping issues, and no latch issues.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #13
    You are welcome. I am glad I could help.

    davida
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    #14
    my screen has white spots on it so i had to send it back to apple but there really good on returns like my firends pb he messed up his cd drive and he sent it on tuesday and got it back on thrusday so thats great timing everything wiht apples overnight cuz they value you as a customer. im not a apple rep just saying what i know

    i love my 15" pb missing it already
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2002
    #15
    I have 2 dead pixels, not enough for them to do anything.

    I have a broken latch, which I went and complained about, and there's a notice to replace all displays where the latches don't work, so they're ordering a new one.

    TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE!
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    #16
    I recently upgraded to a new G4 15" 1.25 Ghz PowerBook and have encountered the following battery problem that I'm seeking a solution to (no, I've not yet had a chance to contact Apple directly).
    1) I first read the manual prior to interacting with the machine (though restraint was trying) and discovered on page 20 that you are to first calibrate the battery. I did so following the instructions (AC to 100%, drain until machine goes to sleep, AC back to 100%). This appeared to work at first, as the machine properly indicated a full 100% charge upon reconnecting to AC and letting it charge to full capacity. I then upgraded to 10.2.8 after reading Apple's information about battery issues.
    2) However, approximately 2 to 2.5 days later, while the machine was on continuous AC, always shutting down after usage, the battery charge indicator indicated a loss of percentage of 1 to 2 percent. I have been loosing roughly one percent of battery capacity every 2 days.
    3) I discovered a command-line tool on the web that allowed me to gain a more accurate profile of the battery (http://www.mitt-eget.com/) that has yielded the following information (my own personal log):

    Last login: Thu Oct 16 09:59:08 on console

    Battery 1
    Battery: battery installed, above warning level
    Charger: charger connected, not charging
    UPS: UPS not installed
    Voltage: 12.316V
    Current: 1.200A (approx 3:09)
    Capacity: 3.788Ah of 3.944Ah (96.0%)

    Last login: Sat Oct 18 10:19:19 on console

    Battery 1
    Battery: battery installed, above warning level
    Charger: charger connected, not charging
    UPS: UPS not installed
    Voltage: 12.276V
    Current: 1.200A (approx 3:07)
    Capacity: 3.756Ah of 3.944Ah (95.2%)


    Last login: Sun Oct 19 07:48:36 on console

    Battery 1
    Battery: battery installed, above warning level
    Charger: charger connected, not charging
    UPS: UPS not installed
    Voltage: 12.264V
    Current: 1.200A (approx 3:07)
    Capacity: 3.748Ah of 3.944Ah (95.0%)

    Last login: Sun Oct 19 16:30:19 on console

    Battery 1
    Battery: battery installed, above warning level
    Charger: charger connected, not charging
    UPS: UPS not installed
    Voltage: 12.259V
    Current: 1.200A (approx 3:07)
    Capacity: 3.744Ah of 3.944Ah (94.9%)

    You will notice that the battery continues to drain, even though on AC (machine has not been off AC expect when moved back and forth to work and home).
    There has been some suggestions on various web pages that calibration of the battery may need to be done more than once, this I've not tried yet, but may consider it soon (perhaps after speaking with Apple).

    Any further insight is appreciated.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #17
    After upgrading to 10.2.8, I've noticed that in Energy Saver, it always says the battery is at 97% when it is at full charge. Not sure if that's just Energy Saver being inaccurate, but it doesn't seem like the battery is losing its life since it has the same basic battery times whenever I use it on battery.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    #18
    battery charge less than 100%

    Recent Apple portables won't charge the battery until the level falls below 95%. Check out Apple KBase article # 88344 "PowerBook G4, iBook: Battery Does Not Show Full Charge in Mac OS X." Apparently this helps prolong battery life by avoiding short charge cycles.

    Losing 1% of charge every couple days doesn't sound very alarming. One longshot possibility that could be causing the battery to be used while plugged in is if you happen to be using an older power adapter. The old 45 Watt adapters (silver tip) may not provide enough power for computers that shipped with 65 Watt adapters (white tip). Anyway, I still think that it's not unusual for the battery to lose a little charge from day to day without any use or recharging.

    Hope that helps.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    #19
    Gap in screen

    I definately dont think the gap in the screen is anything to be concerned about. It is true of ALL new Al books. My guess is that they solved the problem old Ti books had with grease from the keyboard (our fingers) getting on the screen and causing little square lines on the screen. I know that was a problem on the old models.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #20
    If You are concerned about defects You will always have 90 days to return it
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    15" AlBook Screen - Yellow tinge

    Just taken delivery of a 15" AlBook. So far it looks like a terrific machine. But, one little problem. Small rectangular areas of the screen are sometimes tinged with yellow colour. This is often induced by moving or resizing a window. Sometimes, there's nothing there, other times a number of residual fragments of these yellow tinted areas. Anyone seen anything similar?
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee
  23. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #23
    I'm sorry to hear about all the problems people are having with the new PowerBooks. I'm personally lucky to have gotten a good one from the start I guess. Good luck getting it taken cared off.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    aethier

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #24
    The only problem i have with mine, is that the "D" key often pops out, and when i first received it, i had to bring it to the Apple shop to have surgery (yes it was a BTO) the screen needed to be replaced, not for dead pixels, but because in shaded areas there was a lot of red hue. My new display, along with its deceased brother, does not have a single dead pixel :)

    aethier
     
  25. macrumors regular

    weev

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

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