Apple Chinabook Pros - So Tired of Dealing w/ Repairs.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by groove-agent, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. groove-agent macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    A couple years ago I decided to go all out and order a new 17" Santa Rosa Chinabook Pro. Right out of the box, the mouse button wouldn't click so they had to replace part of the chassis. The next thing that happened was the logic board (8600GT) died and it had to go in again. Strangely, my laptop was coming up with strange error messages only to find out that certain folders and files were gone. I reinstalled and everything seemed ok. Next my battery starting swelling up 2 inches off the chassis. Apple would not cover this under warranty so I ordered another one. Meanwhile the unit would not boot while warm without the battery inside so to start it, I had to put the battery back in just long enough to jump start it! While I was at Starbucks, I logged out and back in again, only to get some serious error messages. All folders beyond the first level were gone! I reinstalled the OS and all seemed fine again. I had a class to teach in 2 weeks and could not afford this to happen again, so I had no choice but to go out and buy a unibody chinabook pro despite how much I hate glossy screens.

    The first unibody locked up consistently when doing 3d stuff so I bought another unit from a different store and swapped the hard drive to confirm it was the hardware - it was. I sent the original back for credit and continued to work on the new unibody. This one started to spontaneously BSOD (black screen of death) whenever closing windows rapidly (I've seen posts from people with similar problems). Eventually this condition diminished from an update (or so I thought). Now, this unit is starting to do the screen flicker problem many are reporting. You have to be kidding me.

    After my class was over, I took my 17" in to an authorized repair center. The replaced the hard drive, and reset some kind of PRAM in hopes that the unit would boot without the battery while warm. It still wasn't fixed. I had enough and called Apple about my $3000 17" Lemonbook Pro and talked them into replacing it which made me happy despite all the time lost messing around with defective computers. Unfortunately, it has been almost two weeks and I still haven't received it, and the agent I'm supposed to be dealing with wont return my calls, return my emails, even to acknowledge at least he received a fax he requested. Fortunately I still have the original agent's number I have been dealing with who seems to be more on the ball. Once the replacement gets here, I'm going to dump this glossy Chinabook pro as soon as I can.

    I've owned so many apple computers that I can't even begin to count them all (I often upgrade yearly and use multiple computers in my teaching business). It has only been in the last 3 years that I've been getting nothing but problems with their products. If it wasn't for some of the software titles (Bento, Notebook) and the nature of my teaching business, I would definitely reconsider going back to PC. I miss the days when taking my Mac into repair was rare. Now it's practically non-stop, and the local repair facility knows me by first name.

    When did Apple outsource their labour to China? Apple products used to be known as "professional products' now their trying to cut corners, and reduce costs to please the consumers. They took out the firewire on the Macbooks, removed the matte option and the expresscard on the 15s, cheap feeling keyboards, sharp edges on the unibodies, only a 24" glossy cinema screen. Of course, enough people complained and they put some of these features back.

    I can't say I'm happy with some of their decisions and it doesn't give me a lot of confidence in Apple as a provider of professional products.

    Flame on!
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Apple has been building their computers (and everything-else) in China for a while.

    Seems to be working out for them...
  3. Thunder82 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I agree, having all of their computers built in China doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me either.

    In Apples defense, your problems (GPU & Hard Drive) can't really be blamed on apple as they don't manufacture these items. The 8600GT issue plagued many different manufacturers, (Dell, HP etc) and obviously Apple doesn't make hard drives.
  4. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    I think the thing is that Apple tries to differentiate themselves as the "It just works" computer, as seen in the Mac vs. PC adverts.

    From a hardware end, it isn't really true. The hardware is the same. They use OEMs like everyone else. The only machines that were in a different class were the old IBM Thinkpads and Panasonic's ToughBook.

    Regarding the operating system, most of the time it is down to PoS components or bum memory in Windows. I run both Windows and Mac OS X on several machines. The only time I have had BSoD issues in Windows were down to bad memory or a very shoddy nVidia driver. For me, there is so little difference between the two when they are properly set up (besides Vista's hideous boot time). Quality components from manufacturers that write good drivers makes Windows a breeze. Virus software isn't a big deal (if Mac continues to gain market share, this will become a necessity as well).

    Mac OS X makes my life easy in Pro Tools and video editing is still easier on a Mac (though Windows 7 is going to level things off a bit).

    Mac OS X makes my life easy for certain things, but the ability to customize a powerful system for low cost (for productivity and HTPC needs) makes Windows nice for things that the user decides are important, not the designer (like HDMI output with audio).
  5. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    stop it with the made in china discussions already, the quality control levels are up to apple and not the manufacturer. China can and does create quality goods, you just have to be prepared to pay the price. People keep abusing apple's return policies which jack the prices up.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You could always buy a dell, hp, gateway, acer - oh wait they're all made in china.

    Seriously, as others stated. Made in China does not equate fail. In fact most products are now made in China, whether its a computer, or a child's toy.

    Personally I'd love to see a return to manufacturing here in the US but it isn't going to happen.
  7. simonshek macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
  8. simonshek macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Actually not all the components are made in China. Apple does telling the truth: Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China. ;)
  9. wankey macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    Um, I'm quite sure most of the components are made in China... save for the chipset which is probably made in Israell, and a few other high value commodities.

    But everything from the aluminum to the printing on the keypad is definitely printed in China (or Taiwan) and assembled there.
  10. klee1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    If MBP's were made in the US and A they will probably cost 50% more than what they cost now.

    Stop complaining - it's about quality control, not the country where it was made.
  11. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    They'd only cost 50% more if they were made by Mexicans immigrants - else they'd cost 300% more :p

    It's about quality control and money - we get our printed circuit boards made in Western Europe for small runs - there are still soldering errors etc - even when using good suppliers. We have someone from our company to do an optical inspection on the products received from our suppliers, before final assembly and test at our premises. It's a thankless job and things do still get missed, even when the person only does, say, 50-60 circuit boards over the course of a day, once every few days.

    AOI (automated optical inspection) is increasingly being used...
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Actually I think you're incorrect. Many people who complain about it being made in china do so because they regret the loss of manufacturing jobs here in the US. At one time this country made everything it needed. Now we make virtually nothing and that cannot be good for an economy.

    So generally speaking people who gripe about made in china, or made in x care less that its made elsewhere and more that it wasn't made by us.
  13. shambo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    You have a damn good right to feel angry but no doubt the fan-boys will say you're lying are a troll or should just shut up and put up with it. :rolleyes:
  14. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    ... or they'll tell me to buy a dell instead. Oh wait, I think they did.
  15. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    It's not good you had so many problems, but I don't think it's correct to blame production in china.

    Building them in US would only make it cost a lot more, and also US build quality is mediocre at best. If I'd could choose where I would get my machine built it would have been Japan or something.

    Just look at f.ex the car industries. American cars have over twice as much build errors than european and four times as much as the ones built in Japan..

    I really don't believe that the regular american working on an assembly plant is more motivated and better at assembling something than a chinese.
    People in rich countries with low salary jobs usually do a less than adequate job as far as my experience goes.
  16. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    First, I'm going to say that just because it's made in China does NOT mean terrible quality. To say otherwise is racist and economically stupid since 99% of what we use daily is made in China or some part of Asia. From the clothes you wear to the car you drive to the airplane flying you to a business conference. Everything is made in China/Asia.

    Second, I'm starting to doubt you because my MacBook Pro was/is perfect from Day 1. I've bought 3 Apple notebooks in the past few years so I've gone through a few major product cycles. iBook G4 > MacBook > MacBook Pro. I've also gone through many major iPod cycles. iPod nano 2G > iPod touch 1G > iPod touch 2G > iPod touch 3G (in the mail). So far, I've had only have one problem and that was a small light leak between the chrome backing and rubber screen seal of the iPod touch 2G. And my local Apple store replaced no questions asked.

    And a logic board does not mean the same thing as the 8600M GT. One is a GPU and the other is the entire system board. I doubt the whole board died. The 8600M GTs were known to be faulty due to NVIDIA, not Apple.

    I doubt you not personally but statistically. It is near impossible for something like this to occur; bad logic board, bad gpu, bad battery, and bad hard drive all in one machine. There are only so many parts in a MacBook Pro computer.
  17. klee1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough - I was referring to the economics in the first sentence, and quality in the second. Sorry about the confusion.
  18. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    That article made me laugh thanks.

    fat American pig.
  19. Ping Guo macrumors 6502

    Ping Guo

    Oct 5, 2008
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    There are several fallacies here. First of all, "Made in China" is synonymous with poor quality because the majority of manufactured goods are, in fact, garbage. Take it from somebody who lives here and works in the export business, and deals with Chinese suppliers each and every day. The vast majority of goods never reach American shores, because they would not comply with US safety regulations, they are in violation of intellectual property laws, and/or American consumers would never accept the level of quality. Quality control is a nightmare.

    Second, there is a huge difference between products made by Chinese companies, oftentimes for the domestic market, and products made by Japanese, Taiwanese, and US companies using Chinese labor for final assembly. The former are generally cheap knock-offs and disposable junk. The latter are where Apple falls, as well as all other PCs, consumer electronics, and manufactured goods destined for Western markets. These goods are subject to the quality control of the parent company, and strict standards must be enforced to keep quality within acceptable parameters.

    Third, disparaging remarks against Chinese goods cannot, categorically, be racist, because Chinese isn't a race, it is a nationality.

    Fourth, China just began testing it's first commercial jumbo jet, so passenger planes are not made in China, with the exception of the Airbus A320 which is being made as part of a joint venture to supply the domestic Chinese aviation market. The tail section of the new Boeing 787 is being made here.
  20. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    Er, when was the last time you flew on a Chinese-built/designed/produced airplane? Sorry, but that was one of the worst possible examples you could choose. Last I checked, Boeing was still building 737s in Renton, widebodies in Everett, and Airbus was building in Europe...that makes up the VAST majority of planes one routinely flies on in the US.

    Also, about 90% of the clothes I own are NOT made in China, my cell phone was made in Finland, my watch in Switzerland, my car in Japan...shall I continue? Sure, I own some Chinese-made stuff...but I make a concerted effort to minimize it. Also, there's nothing racist about highlighting the correlation between goods made in a country/region and the output quality--it's just called honesty.

    Finally, lumping Asian countries together in your analysis only hurts your'd take a fool to think that China and Japan or Korea are anywhere close to the same level. Notice, for example, that high-end Panasonic TVs are made in Japan--while the Wal-Mart models are Chinese.
  21. monkey86 macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2008
    ohhhhhhhhh nooooooo a fanboy troll! aaaaaarrggghhh!
  22. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    What IS a troll? (apart from a hairy thing that lives under a brigde scaring billy goats)
  23. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...this should read the "Japanese cars made in the USA plants overseen by the Japanese quality control" for most of the USA market (and some of the Japanese market)...
  24. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    Depends on the cars in question. Most of the Lexus models are still built exclusively in Japan, as are some Hondas/Acuras (S2000 etc). That said, the Japan-built cars are generally better than the American-built Toyotas etc...try looking at the fit/finish of a Japan-built Camry and comparing it to a Kentucky-built one...neither is bad, but there's a clear difference.
  25. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    Hoookay, let's lay of the Fine Chinese People Who Will One Day Rule Us All With Their Work Moral And Glorious Leadership. (Do I need to spell out sarcasm on these forums?)

    Anyway, when it comes to "shoddy quality", I have to agree that lately it has become worse with Apple laptops. Unfortunately, this is the case across the board. At work we use Lenovo, HP and what here in Norway used to be called Fujitsu Siemens machines back in the day, and are probably just sold as Fujitsu now. They all have just as much problems, and the only thing we can do is order the best warranties we can get, and hand the problems over to the companies.

    See, that's what you have to look for now - quality support. I don't care how long the screen lasts as long as it gets replaced fast when inevitably it dies. And that's where Apple shines IMO. Even Lenovo (renowned here for their support) pale in comparison, and if our biggest customer, the school district of Oslo, had a deal with Apple instead of HP and Dell, our work would be MUCH easier.

    Just my 2 cents, rounded up to about 15 "øre", which is 15/100th of a norwegian krone :)

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