Is the Macbook worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rankgain, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. rankgain macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    I've been thinking about getting a Macbook soon (either the one coming out or the current one discounted when the new one comes out), but after looking through these forums, it seems that Macbooks are really unreliable hardware wise.

    Problems I have seen so far are:
    Hard drive failures
    Case defects
    Heat problems
    Display problems
    Optical drive problems
    Bluetooth/WiFi problems
    Logic board problems
    Battery problems
    MagSafe problems (melting, burning, catching on fire...)
    Etc., etc.

    Everyone says that you MUST get AppleCare to make your purchase safely(+$250). Another thing that is disturbing is how some say that your Macbook is bound to malfunction sooner or later.

    I've had a Compaq Presario desktop for 5+ years and I've been waiting to get a laptop. I've never encountered any problems such as hard drive failures and such, and all these Mac problems are disturbing to me. Is a Macbook worth the investment? I personally want OS X and the goodies that come with it, but is it worth it?
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    This is a place where people come for help with problems. What you don't see are the thousands upon thousands of happy users with no problems.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Those with problems are a small sampling
    Remember, many come to the board seeking help,
    so there is a larger number here for that

    Most people with good experiences don't post "hey, things are great"

    The MacBook is an awesome machine
    It will serve you well

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    You only see the bad on a HELP forum. People don't come here to say, "Hey, my Mac works great!" There is no point in doing that and it's no fun for us.

    I do not advise you to get AppleCare regardless. Change your generalization. :cool:

    A MacBook is very much "worth it"... but there are updates soon. If you need it now, buy it now.
  5. NotFound macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2006
    1. You are looking at an enthusiasts forum, and a niche group. People are going to come to a Apple Macintosh forum to complain about their Apple problems. They aren't going to go to a car forum, or a cooking forum.

    2. When I had my white macbook I never had a single issue, ever. The build quality was exceptional and I was thoroughly pleased with it.

    If you think it fits your needs, and you need/want it, pull the trigger. Apple's build quality is pretty phenomenal. I would be more worried about purchasing the next Macbook when it comes out for fear of problems than today's current lineup of Apple laptops. And that's really the reason I chose the current MBP.
  6. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    I agree with the users above. This forum is like a defect horror story magnet. I would say the times you need to be worried about quality are when apple issues mass recalls of their products (which we have seen they have no qualms of doing).
  7. rankgain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    Thanks guys, I feel much better about the Macbook now that you've opened up my eyes that this is a help forum.
  8. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    Hard drive failures were due to one line of Seagate HDDs. The issue is now resolved.

    Case defects are still around, but its taken 2 years for the plastic on my MacBook to crack, and I don't treat my MacBook gently.

    Heat problems were a major issue in the first revision or so of the MacBooks. Some of the issues were caused by a slip of plastic which was left in front of the air vents near the hinge of the display. Other issues were caused by incorrectly applied heat paste on the CPU. Both these issues have been resolved.

    I've never heard of widespread display problems with the MacBooks

    I've never heard of widespread optical drive problems with the MacBooks

    I've never heard of widespread bluetooth problems with the MacBooks. Wifi issues were a bug in the early revisions of 10.5, and I understand it has been resolved.

    Logic board problems were caused by bad heatsink design in Rev A macbooks. The heat from the heatsink short circuited a wire, causing the system management firmware to shut the computer down. This issue was resolved by modifying the heatsink design. As a result, it was fixed by Rev B.

    Battery problems affected early models, and it was due to Sony putting out a batch of bad batteries. The problem affected every computer manufacturer who used Sony batteries (including Sony and Dell). The issue is now resolved. I'm still getting 3-5 hours on a 20 month old battery (mine was one with issues. I had the battery replaced under warranty 6 months after I bought it)

    I could be wrong, but I reckon many of the magsafe issues were caused by user error. A lot of users tend to pull straight out on the plug, which of course is going to expose wires, and possibly fray them. If they fray enough, wires cross over, and sparks will fly. I've always removed it by lifting the plug up, and i've never had any issues with fraying, burning, etc.

    Applecare is recommended because a notebook is always going to take more abuse than a desktop, and it has smaller parts in it, thus it is more likely to break sooner than a desktop computer. This is the case with Macs as well as PCs. I personally don't have it, and almost 21 months after I bought it, I still don't have any issues.

    If you got a MacBook, it would break sooner or later. It's not completely indestructible. I can't say how long the MacBooks will last for, but I'm expecting mine to be in working order in 5 years time.

    What techound1 said is completely true; you're not going to come to a forum with people singing praises about how awesome their new MacBook is. It's just like you won't see stories on the news about how a day has passed with nothing interesting happening.
  9. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    You can get by without Applecare.
    Get it if you have the cash, but it isnt going to save you sometimes. Most people break their computers through accidental damage- spilled liquids, droppage, etc. Applecare isn't gonna cover that anyway.
  10. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    A Macbook is a wonderful machine. A problem I've had though is that because it works so good I find myself raising my expectations so high that when the smallest thing goes wrong I get really picky.

    You just gotta put it into perspective and keep your expectations reasonable. A computer will have problems if you ask too much of it, and no system is ever 100% bug free.

    So yeah, Macs are not perfect, but they're pretty damn good. You will have problems, just that the overall experience of using it make it all the more enjoyable.
  11. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    My first Mac. It's been a week and I love it. I like that it is small and very portable.

  12. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    I would not recommend buying any laptop without some sort of extended warranty coverege. Once your 1-year standard warranty runs out, and you encounter any hardware related problem, your going to be stuck spending big bucks. You may skip on spending the $250 for AppleCare today, but couple months down the road and your hard-drive is dead; your repair will probably cost more than AppleCare coverage would have been. :)

    I believe it also costs more to repair an Apple product/computer then say a product by HP or Dell. Don't quote me on that though.

    The MacBook is a wonderful product. It's a solid little machine that does its job quite well. But make sure you play around with it before buying it, I've found the screen isn't that great depending on what angles your looking at it. For a portable machine however, it's brilliant.

    Good luck with your purchase! Let us know how it goes.
  13. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Why pay money on something that may happen? Buying any extended warranty is like betting money that it will break. Hardware will get cheaper as the laptop age. IMO, no need to spend $200+ on something you can not take home and use immediately.
  14. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Hardrives are extremely easy to swap out in the MB's. I'm going without
    applecare since my ibook is 5 years old and never has had any problem.

    I also think in its pricepoint you can economically take the chance. I don't
    feel like paying 20% of its cost for insurance.
  15. rubberball macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    Denver, CO
    As others have said the MB's are EASY to upgrade (RAM and HD), though I see your concern I am the proud owner of a great BlackBook, and have referred literally 15 of my friends to get one also, and have had no complaints for them.

    For sure get the AppleCare for the sake it is a good step to take to protect your investment...

    I love my MB and wish I could keep it, but the screen is going to be a problem this fall when I start my Masters in Accounting. I am SO excited to stare at spreadsheets.
  16. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    By buying AppleCare, your paying for a peice of mind. Do you want to be worrying 24/7 about how you could potentially create a problem that won't be covered?

    I would purchase a warranty on something like a computer for sure. Mainly because it gives me a peice of mind to use my product without being worried about something happening. eg) I wouldn't be afraid of using my computer for 6 hours doing a project, not having to worry about something overheating and frying is important to me.

    It's really upto you, I'm just sharing my opinion. :)
  17. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    Not to be picky, but if it's just the hard drive, the repair is unlikely to exceed $250 (assuming, of course, you do it yourself). :) However, I still do recommend AppleCare, although you can wait until near the end of your first year to get it, and you can often find it cheaper on eBay rather than directly from Apple. It's most useful for big, random failures--like the time the power suppy in my iMac G5 failed months after my standard warranty ran out. You can bet I wished I had AppleCare then, since I believe the repair at the time was about $200 (and that was from another Apple-certified technician, not directly from Apple, which would have undoubtedly been more expensive). Had it been the logic board it could have easily been $400 or more.

    To the OP ... as for my MacBook, I've had it for almost a year now and no big problems. My MagSafe Power Adapter decided to slowly stop working (glad it was just he adapter and not my DC in-board!), but I didn't have any signs of fraying or anything--not sure what was going on, although being a student I did wrap it up (I know, not the best idea...but I tried to do it loosely, and they do give you those hooks on the adapter itself!) several times a week and take it with me to the library and whatnot. Anyway, that has been replaced and it is working fine.

    The only other issues I've had were my own fault--spilling water on the keyboard (luckily, it worked fine after drying out, and luckily water is about all I drink, so it wasn't messy!) and another time I got a little in the corner of the screen that caused a bright spot, but that quickly dried up and went away.

    I also have some hairline craking on the front of my case, but it's barely noticeable. I probably could get it fixed if I wanted, but it doesn't really bother me, and I'd have to drive quite a ways to get to an Apple tech around here.

    So I guess I've had a few issues, but definitely nothing major--most people I know are really happy with theirs (myself included), and Apple is normally really good with service (I just haven't taken advantage of it--although that's another place where AppleCare comes in handy, as it gives you three years of free phone support as well as warranty).

    Good luck with your MacBook if you do decide to purchase, and I definitely can recommend AppleCare--but remember that you have any time within your first year to buy it.
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The 3 kinds of thread you'll find are:
    - Need help
    - Decision / Speculation
    - I just got…

    So no worries.
  19. MattKanzler macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2008
    all those problems are less likely to happen then to not happen. I love mine. It is great.
  20. kaiwai macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2007
    I've got an iMac and MacBook.

    Wifi, I'm sitting in my room where I used to have my old Windows XP desktop in - the wifi continuously dropped out; the laptop I had with a Intel 4965 Wireless which used to drop out continuously with Windows Vista, Ubuntu and OpenSolaris. Take these wifi horror stories with a truck of salt - most don't have a clue on how wifi works and what can cock it up. Prime example, there was an individual on the wifi thread who finally changed his channel on his router and now experiences no more problems.

    Regarding hardware quality, again, no problems here. I did have an issue with my keyboard; took it in, and came back at the end of the week and it was all fixed. I've yet to see the issues many people here seem to be plagued with. I'm either a very lucky man or I simply don't stuff around with things that don't need stuffing around with.
  21. jbstew32 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2007
    The arguments for not getting apple care sound pretty logical to me, but I have to say that I did buy it and have used it twice.

    I've had a battery replaced because it randomly stopped holding a charge, and I've also had the entire top panel (palm rest, keyboard, trackpad,etc... area) replaced because of the plastic stand-offs on the lid cracking it to hell.

    Was all that worth $250? probably not. Was all that plus having quasi-peace of mind (accidents not covered) for a few years worth it? I think so.

    I guess you could buy the Mac from somewhere like Amazon, and use all that money you'll have saved in taxes to buy Apple Care! hahah you know, if you need to rationalize it like that :)
  22. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    Get one they are a great machine. Treat it well and it will do the same in return
  23. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    I got a 1st generation MacBook and have suffered;
    ...but worst has been the terrible Apple after care service.

    A working MacBook is a fine thing, although I think Sony does better hardware, but I would never buy Apple again without getting AppleCare as standard, IMO it just has to be factored in as part of the cost of owning Apple hardware.
  24. sammy01 macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    i don't think so...

    well,I've been using my MacBook for my stuffs and I don't see any problem with it.I find it worth it because your paying for the hardware not the operating system.and it works very well actually.
  25. psudude macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    I"ve had a macbook since Oct 2006 and have yet to have any problems with it. either i have some freak one that works, or you all have a "bad apple" from the bunch

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