Has Apple improved their Quality Control since 2007?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smiddlehurst, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Hey all, not sure this is a question so much as a debate topic but I'd love to know your thoughts.

    I've got a Mid-2007 17" MBP that's in need of replacement. However I really have been very very disapointed with this machine. In a little over two years it's had five trips to the genius bar for repairs (broken keyboard (two trips, one for diagnostics, one to have the part fitted), bulging battery, replacement battery going from 92% health to 8% overnight and now a broken Magsafe connector) and the odds are it's got a bad logic board too (gaming for more than about an hour causes either a case that's too hot to touch or a complete hang). There's also a host of minor cosmetic issues (the wrist rest is pitted, the keyboard STILL doesn't fit in the case properly, the bottom of the unit creaks and groans alarmingly... the list goes on). The only reason I ended up with the 17" in the first place is I went through three 15" LED-backlit MBP's when they first came out trying to find one with a screen that was working properly. I also had a MB issued through work that had to go back for replacement when the wrist rests cracked where the lid closed. Bear in mind that my kit is treated with the utmost care, the 17" MBP for instance has only been out of the house about ten times in its life (one of those while moving home) and is used on a stand to ensure decent airflow.

    Don't get me wrong, the Genius bar has been nothing but helpful (the last one told me to run games constantly until the logic board fried so he could order a replacement... gee, wonder if there's a known fault there) but it's a 40 mile round trip to the nearest store along stupidly busy roads and usually takes at least two hours to get there, sort the problem out and get back. For a machine that costs nearly two grand this isn't really acceptable reliability in my book. It is, by far, the least reliable computer I've ever owned and I really don't use it for much other than office work, iTunes, photo management and web site management.

    Now I'm looking to replace with a 13" machine but, even with education prices, the 13" MBP is around £800. That's a LOT to invest when you've had that sort of experience with Apple products. Looking around these forums there still seems to be common issues with Apple products and things don't seem to be getting better, although of course forums will always reflect the worst examples of a product. Don't get me wrong, I love OS X and have a lot invested in it but I won't stick with it blindly at the cost of unreliable hardware.

    So I was just wondering what everyone thinks - are there still 'serious' and regular issues with Apple kit? Are the new unibody laptops more reliable than their older brothers? Or are there still a whole mindfield of issues knocking around? I know it's not really a topic that's going to have a definitive answer but might be interesting to see what people's experience is.
  2. ricof macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2009
    The Garden of England
    Where to begin?

    I wouldn't sat the 2007 MBP is the ideal system to game on, so of course the processors are going to struggle, and heat up in the process.

    That said, my MBP (in my sig) has handled me playing through COD4 from start to finish in one session, and the peak temperature according to iStat was about 82 degrees. Thats good considering i spent about 5 hours playing games!

    The quality of my machine is excellent and I've been nothing short of happy with it, in the short time I've had it (about 6 months). From reading these forums, it appears that the bigger screened Pros have the most issues out of the Pro family.

    I got mine with the student discount and would never go back to a Windows laptop.

    Not sure if that was of any help, just my opinion!

  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    While I can understand your angst and frustration, I don't think their quality is all that bad, in fact I believe its about the best in the business. I like my 08 MBP and its been very solid. I'm not sure what else I can say, other then that I am happy with my purchase.

    You have to decide yourself if its worth the expense, given that its your money.
  4. smiddlehurst thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007

    Thanks, and opinions are always helpful! Besides, I have no idea where this thread's going anyway so anything helps :D

    The laptop isn't my primary gaming platform by any means (the 360 does that quite nicely) but as it's got the 8600 GT GPU it does (well, did) occasionaly get used for that purpose. The problems I found stopped me doing that of course.

    I do wonder if I just got really unlucky and got a lemon...
  5. SolRayz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Maybe I can add to the question here as I have had my fair share of issues with my Santa Rosa. Has reliability increased with the new unibodies?
  6. smiddlehurst thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Thank $DEITY, I'm not alone! :D

    I've just got done preparing a couple of unibody MBP's and they certainly seem sturdier and less prone to ramping up the fans than my SR machine (although the knife-like edge of the wrist pad is a bit of a bugger). Not that that means anything long-term of course but initial impressions WERE good... which is what makes the choice so bleedin' difficult!
  7. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    I can definitely attest to the fact that the unibody reduces the issues that "may" occur in comparison to for example a powerbook.

    That being said, I had a screw fall out (on its own) from my first generation unibody macbook. And I can't screw it back it it seems.

    THe unibodys are very very solid though, my macbook fell on the floor a couple of times (Im careless :D) and the thing didn't show a single scratch or dent. Huge huge improvement over the older macbooks and pros.
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    My 15" 2007 MBP has been nothing but great!
    My best friends 17" 2007 MBP too, until he soaked it in red wine half a year ago :p

    The 13 inch MBP low end model won't be an upgrade tho,
    my brother has one and in all tasks that uses GPU my MBP crushes his and in every other tasks they are pretty much even.
    (His has a bit faster RAM and bus, but the 2007 has more cache).

    When it comes to the 2007 keyboard, you must have been really unlucky, since the trend is that most people praise that keyboard!

    I type a lot, and I'm using my computer every day, usually typing at least 4-6 hours a day, seven days a week, and my keyboard is as good as when it was new!

    It's far better than the one i had on my first iBook (clamshell), which i wore out one within a year. Also my PowerBook Duos (had three, replaced keyboard several times too) had to change keyboard at least once a year.

    I did never replace keyboards on my PowerBooks G4 (had two 12 inchers), but I never had one more than a bit over a year, before they got replaced.

    This MBP has taken a serious beating, dropped a few times. Been with my every day to the university in my backpack (and im biking back and forth!).
    I've spilled water in it, had to take it apart to dry it.

    I have replaced one battery tho, but that one had 610 cycles (still holds about 50% charge), one mobo (my first gfx card stated to act up after 6 months of use) and one screen (LED was fading on one of the corners, got it replaced for free).

    I've had a total of 9 laptops over the years and this is the far best I've had!
    I just see how my laptop still feels faster than my friends brand new PCs, it does 4.5 hours with dimmed screen under lectures taking notes, and it looks great!

    I was thinking of replacing it last summer, but I couldn't justify the cost of a new MBP, since the upgrades wouldn't be much really.

    I guess when the new quads are out I might replace this one, although it's been a great machine and still are!
  9. Ringfinger macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    St. Louis
    I have the mid 09 MBP 17" and I am on my 4th one. First two had hardware issues, third one the LED backlighting would develope two wide "teeth" that would go from the bottom of the screen (right above the two fans) to the top. Very common issue. Unfortunately when I took my fourth one home and opened the box the packaging was completely destroyed on the right inside of the box. I'm thinking it was probably dropped. MBP powered on and Apple had my previous machine for over 3 weeks so I am just dealing with it. And this one also has the same LED backlighting issue. : (

    This is my first Apple product and I must say I am not happy. Previously I had cheap Dell desktops and NEVER had an issue. I would expect a lot more quality for $2500.
  10. SolRayz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale
    ^ughh...I don't want to hear that. I am really hoping that Apple improved quality control in the last few years.

    But judging by the threads over the past year, it seems like the unibody mbp's may be less prone to QC issues than previous revisions.
  11. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I've had notebooks from several manufacturers and they have all had problems--Apple included. I still prefer macs however because when there *are* issues I find that Apple is generally easier to deal with and I like being able to take my computer to a physical location if I want and speak directly with a human being. The design, materials and usability of the mac are all much better than its competitors.

    As for reliability, well I can't say they are any better than anyone else.
  12. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    I can only speak from my personal experience and that of friends and family, but the unibody machines do seem to improve upon previous generations in terms of quality control. I had an absolutely unbelievable number of problems with non-unibody MBPs starting with the first iteration and continuing through each generation until the unibodies were released. I still had to return one unibody Pro for serious screen issues, but the one I'm on now has been perfect. My wife's unibody MacBook, aside from just having a generally crappy screen that reflects poor choices on Apple's part rather than an actual QC issue, has also been without a single issue.

    The QC still isn't where it ideally should be for such a pricey machine, in my opinion, but your question was whether it's better than it was. I think it is.

    I wish my experience had been the same. I've found that service quality varies a lot with Apple, but the one universal seems to be that Apple tries to do everything possible to avoid honoring their warranty. I know others will disagree, and I'm glad that at least some people are being treated by Apple the way they should.
  13. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    I think the unibody design is much better than the previous design. My Early 2008 MacBook Pro broke down to the point of sending it in 3 times in 2 months. Hard drive failure, trackpad failure x3, logic board failure x2, then fan failure. This machine was only 4 months old when it started to fail.

    Then Apple sent me a Unibody MacBook Pro. I had a case of a bad delete key (defect in manufacturing). Sent it back and got the key replaced. Since then, it has been working well.

    So hardware wise, I say that Apple is doing better.

    Software wise, the quality control has slumped. Way too many easy to reproduce bugs with Snow Leopard that should have been easily been caught before hand, the SMS bug with the Mid 2009 MBPs that would cause them to beep, along with a bunch of other bugs that were found in their various products.

Share This Page