Build Quality on New MBP vs Old Gen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Aelyrin, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Aelyrin macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Missoula, Montana
    I have a 17 inch MBP 2nd gen, 2.33 C2D.

    My main complaints with the computer were:

    • Screen joint strength was very poor, if you picked it up with the screen open to take it into another room the screen would fall shut. (Very annoying).
    • The latch would randomly "pop" and the screen would come open.
    • The screen shell doesn't sit flush with the base of the case.
    • Poor screen quality, badly lit areas in corners, low brightness (on matte, haven't tried glossy).
    • Aluminum Pitting on palm wrests, sometimes it seems like I have acid rain for sweat.

    Otherwise the machine has been nothing short of exceptional. Before I made the switch from Windows based machines to my mac I had been a chronic updater, going through 2-3 computers a year. The day I purchased my MBP I had no idea how much product satisfaction I would experience and to this day am still pleased with the machine as a whole.

    That being said, the main issues I had seem to have been addressed in this product update which is nice as well as the other hardware updates. It appears the "build quality" of these new machines exceeds the previous generation laptops significantly. The "brick" manufacturing process seems very neat and I am hoping that when picking one of these up it seems more solid than my current machine.

    I will be curious to see exactly how much stronger the hatch pivots are and whether the aluminum pitting issue has been worked out.

    All in all, as a product update they have increased performance as much as possible given the architectural limitations that a thin notebook inherently suffers from. Less ports is not a surprise really, it is apparent that with the introduction of the MBA that Apple (as well as current technology) are moving towards making laptops more portable by reducing the number of doo-hickeys that we have to carry around.

    For the people who feel like they just cant survive without XYZ connection and don't want to carry around 15 adapters to fit their current hardware, if we don't continue to move forward in technology and are constantly keeping ports/connections for every piece of hardware that has ever existed, it will severely limit what can be done on new machines.

    If you are at home with your external monitor, external HDs, or whatever it is that you have, through use of hubs and adapters you can still have all of these things and you likely don't travel with all of the doo-dads anyway, so leave the hubs/adapters/doo-hickeys at home.

    My sincere hope is that the build quality has been improved significantly in this release and from my toying with the macbook air in Apple stores it seems that they have taken care of my major concerns.

    No matte screen may be an issue, I am not sure how this will change the way I do design work, worst case scenario I will purchase an external screen with Matte finish and it won't matter anyway.

  2. Aelyrin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Missoula, Montana
    Another concern I have with my current MBP is the keyboard.

    While I like the minimalistic look and feel of it, it was prone to getting things under the keys which can cause an inability to depress certain things, after fiddling with it for any length of time I would find out there was something under there, wander around the house looking for my can of compressed air, find it, realize it was completely out of air and have to take a trip to the hardware store.

    I am hoping that with the new keyboard and Apple's claim that the key slots fit the keys exactly this will no longer be an issue.

    The images on and in other places make it look like there is a "gloss" on the aluminum bezel, can anyone confirm that? If it is some sort of treatment that stops the aluminum fitting then I am excited!

    Granted I am only looking at online pictures but everything I see so far screams of superior build quality that should be expected from a notebook priced at these levels.

    Not that I am a form over function type person, but from the price paid for Apple products, I expect the form to be top notch by default. We can pay more for more processing power, ram, etc. The base models should have top quality form by default.
  3. Aelyrin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Missoula, Montana
    Compiled List of issues and differences between new and old MBPs:

    Old Build Quality Issues
    • Aluminum Pitting on Palm Wrests
    • Weak Pivots on Monitor Hatch
    • Poor Screen Quality/Brightness
    • Hatch does not sit flush with Base
    • If picked up, the laptop feels slightly flimsy
    • Keyboard prone to getting debris underneath keys
    • Weak latch, screen always popping open
    • Trackpad gets "goop" around edges and button
    • Hard-drive difficult for some to replace

    New (hopefully) Build Quality

    • Protective Coating or different finish that prevents pitting?
    • Stronger and will remain in position if laptop is tilted during "transit"
    • Bright, Vibrant colors, Instant on display, (the bad - Glossy only)
    • Flush all the way around
    • Solid "brick" like feel
    • New keys are flush with outer casing preventing anything from getting under them.
    • Magnetic latch, stays shut when it is supposed to
    • No more button, hopefully no more goop
    • Easy to remove and replace Hard-drive

    Anyone have anything that I missed? The new stuff is speculation and cannot be confirmed until we actually get to handle the new ones. As you start to see them, can you let us know? I wont be in an apple store til tomorrow.
  4. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    The new macbook/macbook pros will have awesome build quality for every single one produced because of the new unibody.
  5. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    That's one of the main things I'm looking forward to on the new MBP. A solid brick feeling computer. The older MBP and event the Macbooks to some extent always felt flimsy(Don't even ask about PC laptops). I'm really hoping for a solid feeling notebook. Anyone know if one of the popular sites who went to the event have said anything about it being solid feeling?

    Because it is the same process as the Macbook Air, I'm fairly confident that it will be very solid feeling. When I picked up the Air for the first time, it really felt like a very solid piece of engineering. I'm really hoping the Macbook Pro is the same.
  6. Aelyrin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Missoula, Montana
    Has anyone handled one of these yet?

    Hoping to get some confirmation, won't be able to hit an apple store until tonight.


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