Build quality of Powerbooks

drake

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 5, 2005
532
0
Figure we should have a thread on this since there's one on the iBook.
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
0
Melbourne, Australia
I have the current PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz 15" I'd say the build quality is pretty much perfect. Battery time could be a little longer, but I don't really care. Other than that for normal use it feels just as fast as the 2 G5s I have here (iMac and Power Mac Dual G5).
 
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bursty

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2004
1,001
3
My build quality is superb. Have run into ZERO problems so far and have owned it for almost 2 years now. Absolutely best purchase of my life :D
 
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EJBasile

macrumors 65816
Apr 20, 2004
1,304
2
I would say the build quality is excellent.

My 12" feels completely solid.

I am a little upset that my new battery (from after the recall) doesn't fit as well as #1.
 
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kasei

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2003
564
12
Los Angeles, CA
I have had my 17" PowerBook for over a year and it is still ticking. The keyboard and trackpad are holding up pretty well. Nothing broken thank God. I just wish Apple would make the feet on the bottom of the laptop stay on. I lost one while I was on a business trip in China and the rocking of the laptop drove me nuts.
 
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law guy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2003
997
0
Western Massachusetts
Good in ways. Not great in others.

Keyboard is okay on my 15" - year and a half old. Has some noisy keys around arrows. Not the bullet-proof feel of a ThinkPad.

The cover has a single latch - my cover is not flush with body, leans up on one side a little.

You'll want to take care of the PB as it's a little more sensative to how you treat it to keep it looking good. I keep mine in a Timbuk2 computer bag. Some PCs are a little better adapted to rough treatment - again I compare my thinkpad with the rubberized top.
 
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40167

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2004
202
0
crazydreaming said:
Um... Extremely good. Very solid. Not cheapo plastic like windows.
Since when was windows made of plastic? and not all PC notebooks are plastic, they got carbon fibre and what not too :)
 
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wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
I definately like the solid feel it gives me over the iBook.


What I love most about is... HOW SEXY IT IS!!!!
 
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northernleitz

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2005
45
0
Rural Alaska
I've got the last iteration of the Titanium Power Book. It's going on three years since new. I've had a few software problems, most brought about by that worthless disc utility from Symantec, but never any hardware problems, not even the problems this model is "known" for (display hinge, firewire controller). I am probably more likely to install a bigger hard drive and/or faster SuperDrive than buy a new model.

I imagine if I get a new Mac any time soon, it will be an iMac, but only if Apple's next model includes a firewire 800 port, like my Power Book does... er, thanks to the PC card slot and eighty bucks for a fw800 card....
 
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ctsport1234

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2005
236
0
The fit and finish of my 15'' is perfect and Iam a really picky person. (Picky about details etc.)

The only grip I have is the 3 hour battery life. But I do have an extra battery so its not too bad. :p
 
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devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
I have that lazy 12" PB latch that doesn't always want to close w/ the first try. Also, it's not completely flush so that it just slightly 'rocks' on a table top-- eh, nothing too bad though, but a bit dissapointing considering I haven't had any problems w/ my iBook.
 
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kalisphoenix

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2005
1,231
1
kasei said:
I have had my 17" PowerBook for over a year and it is still ticking.
Steve Jobs must get down on his knees everyday and thank $DEITY for giving him a massive contingent of customers who think it's noteworthy when a $2000+ computer survives a year of ownership :p
 
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CandyApple

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2005
9
0
The build quality on my 12" PB is so-so.

Problems:
Motherboard got fried somehow during normal usage - had to be replaced under apple care.

Second motherboard had similar problems - would lose cached data when awaking from sleep and cause comp to crash - also replaced.

Bottom of PB is not level - and it has all the rubber pegs, but it has never sat completely flat since day 1 - I get a bit of rocking.

Latch does not close on first try most of the time.

The good:
Keyboard and trackpad are great.
Whole machine "feels" solid.

Powerbooks are nice systems in all, but you have got to be pretty careful with them. I saw a friend of mine drop his (while in a Booq case) from less than a foot onto pavement, and it really did serious damage to the aluminium ($800 for Apple to fix, by the way) but his system still works fine.
 
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berns19

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2005
9
0
A few small things

The biggest thing with my 12" PB was that the casing near the front latch started popping out not long after I got the machine: when I could start seeing inside, I convinced an Apple tech to somehow fasten the casing back - not aesthetically perfect, but definitely sufficient.

Also, the metal tends to blacken a little over time, partly from the presence of body oils on your hands on wrists - I've noticed a little, even though I've been fanatic about avoiding it.
 
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dkeninitz

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2003
182
0
Germantown, MD
Very high IMHO. I have a 3 year-old TiBook 15" that works great. It still looks pretty good too, other than for a few paint scrapes. The display remains excellent and the keys are fine. I also have a new PB 12" that feels very solid. The screen could be a tad brighter, but that's my only complaint.

I've used a lot of different laptops over the years, including machines from Dell, Gateway, Zeos, Compaq and Toshiba (never had a Sony or an HP). I have a Thinkpad T41 right now. To me, the Thinkpads are the only other laptops that can compete with the PowerBooks on build quality. One test I use is to press down firmly on a couple of keys in the center of the keyboard. On virtually everthing besides PowerBooks and Thinkpads, the whole keypad depresses and flexes.

Case quality is another factor: the Thinkpad uses carbon fiber for part of the case, along with titanium hinges. Apple uses aluminium and also has quality hinges.

I'm speaking only of PowerBooks. To me, iBooks, while nice machines, suffer from a lot of the same build quality issues as their PC brethren.
 
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robx2

macrumors member
May 27, 2005
69
0
Love the Powerbook, but there are two things that are constantly annoying.

1) The latch is worthless. It's like a cruel joke. You push it down, think the machine is closed, then it pops back open a second later. Always pops open in my carrying case. I'll be in class or on the subway, and I'll hear my Entourage reminder "ding" from inside the bag. I miss the old G3 Powerbook -- now that was a latch.

2) The A/C adaptor. I'm on my fourth. Eventually, the connector stops making the connection despite twisting, coaxing, and manipulating. Fortunately, Apple care covers it.

Great machine, but some of the little details are lacking.
 
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crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
robx2 said:
Love the Powerbook, but there are two things that are constantly annoying.

1) The latch is worthless. It's like a cruel joke. You push it down, think the machine is closed, then it pops back open a second later. Always pops open in my carrying case. I'll be in class or on the subway, and I'll hear my Entourage reminder "ding" from inside the bag. I miss the old G3 Powerbook -- now that was a latch.

2) The A/C adaptor. I'm on my fourth. Eventually, the connector stops making the connection despite twisting, coaxing, and manipulating. Fortunately, Apple care covers it.

Great machine, but some of the little details are lacking.
What powerbook do you have??? I've never heard of any of these problems, and haven't had any myself. As to the latch, I carry mine around in a backpack everyday, and it has never opened on me.
 
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katie ta achoo

macrumors G3
May 2, 2005
9,167
2
Mmm, PowerBook.

IMO, they're SOLID. I could heave mine across the room, and..


ok, it would break, I was thinking about my shuffle! :)

But I prefer how this feels sooo much more over the iBook.

Maybe I just really like free stuff.

...yeah, free > pay for.

but the PB is nice. Feels like a brick, in a good way.

I have a way with words.

the only thing I've ever had an issue with is my HD died and got it replaced under applecare. (I actually got an email from Apple about this, asking me to take a survey about it. I wrote in the comment box "GIVE AARON DAVIS A RAISE!!!" aaron is the genius. Man, I love him; he's the man!)
 
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ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
Top notch build quality, except that I've had one keyboard issue where a key malfunctioned. After applecare replaced it, everything was good again. Looks great, feels great... Just overall a good experience.

However, I've heard about people who have had their palm rests on their PBs corrode over time, so I'm taking extra care to wipe things down every week...
 
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