? about MB durability compared to peecee lappys

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JNB, May 3, 2007.

  1. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #1
    I've followed a number of threads on the topic of the various & sundry damage to MB's, cracked/split cases, broken/missing keys, split screen shells, etc. Now, I do understand that this doesn't necessarily represent a broader QC or design issue, but, I gotta wonder.

    I'm on my third company-issued lappy (Toshiba, Dell, Dell), with a three-year replacement cycle. I travel about 150K miles a year with them, running them through the TSA's gentle hands about three or four times a week, using them in everything from conference rooms to telco closets to one-handing them on construction sites, and I have yet to have a single material problem with any of them.

    The only problems my coworkers have encountered seem to be the occasional dodgy drive, requiring reimaging periodically, but even that's rare. In other words, the physical quality of the machines has been perfectly acceptable, and sufficient to handle the day-to-day abuse of my travels.

    I'm not too keen on a MBP (budget and performance needs don't really justify it), but as I'm looking to make this the "one machine to rule them all", replacing my company box and the at-home G5 simultaneously, I can't afford to be wrong.

    So, my question is - for those that can provide head-to-head comparative experience - whether you feel that the MB durability & general ruggedness is what you'd expect and reasonably demand in a laptop that gets used for extreme road travel. In other words, what it was ostensibly designed for.

    Or am I just being a Nervous Nelly?
     
  2. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #2
    In general I think Apple's recent laptops are not as durable as they SHOULD be - nor are they as durable as many PC laptops. The culprits are: weight, thinness and beauty. Apple obviously is more interested in selling their computers than making sure they last and look beautiful for a long time. Thinkpads or most ugly HPs are like tanks in comparison. We pay the price for beauty in that we have to baby our laptops like fragile eggshells to keep them nice looking - I'm embarrassed to admit it to my PC friends that I actually don't want scratches on my computer. I watch with envy when they just toss their laptops in their overfull bags and bring them out with scratches. It's almost like magic to me, coming form Apple laptops.

    Will a macbook continue working during those trips of yours? MOst likely it will. Will it still look beautiful? No.
     
  3. JNB thread starter macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #3
    Actually, that's a positive sign. The current Dell (Latitude D600) is due for replacement in a few months, it looks very well worn, and little things are starting to get a bit flaky, mechanically speaking. That being said, it still runs as well as a three-year old WinXP Pro install can be expected to.

    Looks? Feh. It's just gotta work reliably.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #4
    My MB C2D is better built and "probably" (touch wood) more durable than my Compaq Presario laptop (what got nicked). The plastic certainly feels less brittle and there is no clamshell catch to break (it was failing on my Compaq). Just one more data point for you.
     
  5. maxp1 macrumors regular

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    #5
    A couple things to remember. First, nobody is going to post a thread "My computer is 3 years old and running great". That's not news, it's just the normal experience of 95% of apple laptop owners. So the 5% who are having trouble have a louder voice and it seems like there are more troubles than there are. The same is probably true of PC laptops.

    Second, there's always a chance that you're going to get a bad apple (or PC). I know a guy who has endless trouble with his. I know another guy who has had endless trouble with his PC laptop. It just happens sometimes and you hope you're not the lucky one. It's when it seems to be happening all the time that you have a problem. But if you look at Consumer Reports ratings for quality Apple is at the top. Has been for a while.
     
  6. bill4588 macrumors 6502a

    bill4588

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    #6
    I'm always afraid of breaking my Macbook because it just isn't sturdy enough. Whenever I pick it up, it creaks, and when I put my hands on the palm rest, the case bends in. Not to mention, the keys feel like they could just be pulled out with your fingers. I really think that the MB and MBP's designs were the reason for creating the mag-safe adapter, because if the computer fell just one foot it would break.
     
  7. maxp1 macrumors regular

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    #7
    Well, I don't know about the MB, but my Powerbook has survived a 3 foot drop onto concrete (although that did put a small crack in the screen, which is pretty much to be expected) and several similar height drops onto my hardwood floor (no damage). Yes, it does creak a bit, but I'd say it's rock solid.
     
  8. ready2switch macrumors 6502

    ready2switch

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    #8
    I don't really understand the mentality of having issues with your computer not being able to come out of the trauma of a fall unscathed. These aren't Nerf computers, they're expensive pieces of equipment. It's like finding your children playing frizbee with your good china, and then getting mad at the china because it breaks when they drop it. You want a frizbee, buy a frizbee (or a cheap plastic plate at Wal-Mart for $0.89).

    Normal handling, travel, and appropriate bags? Yes, they should be sturdy enough for that. Just don't get mad at the china for not being a frizbee. :p
     
  9. alawrence101 macrumors member

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    #9
    My previous laptop (iBook) survived 4 years, living on 4 different continents with me. There was considerable lagging back and fort (both in day-to-day use and across the world). It was still going strong when I retired it and got my MPB (which, by all indications, feels even more solid and durable).
     
  10. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

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    #10
    Are you kidding me... who talks like this? :eek: lappy?:confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #11
    Ned Flanders
     
  12. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

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    #12
    :rolleyes:
     
  13. JNB thread starter macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #13

    I apologize most profoundly for jarring your sensibilities with my casual use of a term that annoyed you.

    In future posts, I shall earnestly endeavor to make proper use of the language, if you would so graciously deign to provide posts that add something of value to the thread. The inner dialogue should remain just that. ;)
     
  14. alana22 macrumors regular

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    #14
    John,

    You're asking a question about the reliability of a machine that is owned (and virtually worshipped, even) by many people here, so the feedback will be biased. I've dealt with quite a few laptops, and most recently got my first Apple (see sig). I love my Macbook, but yes it is a fragile notebook and not something I am ever thrilled to leave the house with. I bought it thinking I'd use it to take notes in class, but I don't feel confident leaving the house with it. I've also seen plenty of fellow students have problems with their Macbooks. Oh.. and a scratched Macbook looks so ugly.. For some reason a scratched PC laptop looks perfectly fine, but the sleek look of the Macbook must be preserved. I've managed to keep my black Macbook in pristine condition, but I've seen other blackbooks around campus that are beat up and scratched and wow... ugliest thing ever. The white ones seem to fare better against blemishes, but not by much. I also have a Dell laptop. Not "sexy", not impressive, not good looking, not chic.. but I feel 100% confident leaving the house with it. It is built impressively, very sturdy (no screen flex at all, as opposed to the Macbook), very firm all around. I run Ubuntu on it which I like even more than Mac OS X. Plus if something bad happens to my Dell, I make a call and the next day someone comes here and fixes it. If something bad happens to my Apple... oh boy......... lots of phone calls, lots of trips to the dreaded Genius Bar. I still have nightmares of all those florescent "hip urban kids" spazzing out to their iPods on every screen of every Mac at the Apple Store. *shudder*

    Regardless, I love my Mac. Just pray you don't get a lemon. And keep it inside :)
     
  15. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

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    #15
    Thank you on behalf of the rest of the world :D
     
  16. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    #16
    My macbook held up great but for scratches, my beef was all the issues I bought a cheap HP and it much better in build quality....
     
  17. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    #17

    Just my thoughts
     
  18. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    #18
    It does get to a point where i think, "um, i don't want a Mac laptop that 9mm thick".

    I do prefer chunky laptops, more of a solid feel to them.

    Don't want heavy though.
     
  19. coledog macrumors 6502a

    coledog

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    #19
    My first Mac was a white Macbook. Just from everyday use it had a lot of tiny hairline scratches on the cover in a week.
    My second (and current) Mac is a MacBook Pro. I'm amazed at how I've treated it and it still hasn't scratched. I've had it for about 2 months with only one scratch on the bottom (from a grain of sand on a desk).
     
  20. JNB thread starter macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #20
    <<snipped for length>>

    Good points, I know what you mean. I think I would be more sensitive to the appearance of the MacBook compared to the issued laptop for both the fact that (a) I paid for this one, and (b), it's an Apple! I gotta admit, I went into a funk with the first nick on my iPods :eek:

    I had been anticipating going to a protective covering; whether a shell or skin, I don't know, so many arguments pro & con for each.

    My bottom-line concern, though, still boils down to whether a 'Book will withstand 150K miles a year of business travel, and if there's substantial & reasonable doubt on that, if I should just bite the bullet and go Pro.

    Actually, if i could turn a Mini into a "Briefcase Mac", and use the laptop display, keyboard, and touchpad as a dumb terminal to it...

    Hmm...
     
  21. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #21
    That's not bias, that's a useful sampling.


    Now, for Beatle, I've had my MacBook Pro for all of 1 month, so I really don't know how reliable this machine is, but if the life of my Titanium is any indication I'm not worried.
    My Titanium, which was by all accounts on this forum flaky, easily twisted, and constantly sloughing off it's paint, still worked and looked decent after 5 years of use. The wireless was mediocre and it survived several batteries, and the screen had keyboard scratches, but after 5 years of heavy use, I can't imagine anything being in good shape.
     
  22. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #22
  23. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #23
    Look at the guy on the left! He is using his lens as a prop! :eek: Several thousand dollars of glass, plastic and metal!
     
  24. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #24
    LOL, quite the shock the first time you see that one! :eek:

    I'm sure i'd NOT be doing that, even if i could afford the glass!
     
  25. alana22 macrumors regular

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    #25
    Precisely. The whole aesthetic with Apple is a sleek and streamlined experience. It's evident not only in the software but in the look of the actual product as well, be it the iPod, iPhone, Macbook, etc. This elevated importance of appearance is highlighted moreso when the product is damaged or tarnished in any way. A scratched up Dell isn't that bad because it was never beautiful to begin with. A scratched Macbook or iPod, on the other hand, looks awful. It's like a Ferrari that's been keyed.. you just want to look away. I love my Macbook, especially when it sits at home on my kitchen table where no cruel elements from the world outside my front door can damage it, much like the car fanatics who keep their nicest cars in their garage, only taking it out for a spin on those very special occasions.

    This is merely my opinion, but for a workhorse computer that will travel with you, go through the hands of airport security, etc, etc, etc... a Macbook probably isn't the ideal choice.
     

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