New 12" ibook owner - yippee, but build quality?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by quad, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. quad macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Bucks, UK
    Hi MacHeadz

    Just bought myself an 12" 1.33 iBook, my first mac. And the first one I've used since working at a university department where OS 8 was the new thing. All the old crashing turned me in to a Windows-phile for a good few years. :eek:

    Nowadays all OSs are a lot better, and a iBook would do nicely as my second machine, the lowest spec being enough to enjoy the OS. The purchase was greatly helped by a mate with Edu discount, while on a trip to the US. A free iPod mini thrown in - fab!! :D

    So here I am, typing on a thing with the (according to posters here) reputation of up and down build quality. Here's my rundown of the imperfect things on the book's build.

    1/ close lid to sleep, centre of lid looks more depressed in the centre by the latch. only a mm, but on a white box it shows.

    2/ lid closed, rear edge near the hinge looks funny - left side has a gap between lid and base of 1 mm, the right about 3 mm. Reading around, this sounds quite common. Picture: [I can't seem to insert it in the post]

    3/ Battery sticks out a bit.

    Sound like some here have sent the book back under warranty for these defects. I'm not too worried, but like everything, I'd like a perfect box too :) Would you send it back?

    More worryingly there's been a couple of glitches, i'm not sure if these are common [on XP this can be normal :)]:

    1. Set to sleep, AC plugged in. A day later, the fan is going crazy. Pick it up, unplug, open up, no sign of life. Power on, and reboots as normal, all is fine, fan dies down. But I could have lost stuff....

    2. wake from sleep, play some tunes for a minute. Stop playing, leave for a few minutes, it goes to sleep... but no flashing light. Close lid, open lid, no sign of life (fan normal). Power on and reboot.

    OK what happened here?? Only happened twice but is this the sign of things to come?? Should I hammer it with real intensive tasks soon to see if it breaks.? Use every bit of of hardware to test (like 56K, CDR, Eth) that so far hasn't been touched, I've only really used Safari (v impressive) and the tunes, and the dino game. Any good 'burnin-in' apps to try folks? Problem 2 may have been simply not enough battery - I've had it once where plugging in and it would awake fine. But what was going on with problem 1?? :confused:

    Attached Files:

  2. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    Your problems sound a bit odd, especially the sleep one's if i were in your position iw ould call up apple and report your problems and see what they have to say,

  3. Winstonp macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2005
    no way would apple take that back. They are bastards when it comes to "cosmetic" issues. I hate applecare.

    don't waste your time, and just learn to live with it.

    Also: in terms of your sleep/fan issue: youll have to send the unit in, and unless they can make the issue re-occur, it's their word over yours, and you just wasted time.

    My girlfriend waited 1 week for a powerbook that was not repaired at all because they couldnt make her intermittent keyboard issue reoccur.
  4. stefan15 macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2005
    Congrats on the purchase. I was right about to buy the same one myself, but then also came across posts re: these build issues... as well, I heard about the Oct 12 possiblity of upgrades. So I'll wait a bit.

    Despite your grievances, does it still justify the price tag, in your opinion? For me/student it's $1200CAD which is generally fairly good for a notebook, but I haven't had much experience on the latest iBooks.
  5. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Wilmington, DE
    What version of MacOS X is loaded on the iBook? You could be kernel panicking when the iBook goes to sleep, but it won't be readily reported unless you are running 10.4. You will have pull up the Console application and look through the panic.log file.

    You might try clearing out the energy saver preferences and resetting the PMU on the iBook and see if that makes a difference.

    And for general maintenance, gives Onyx a run. Clear out the system and extension caches and run some general maintenance.
  6. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    My hinge-hind-end of the iBook looks EXACTLY the same. I HATE it. iBooks are inexpensive, plastic computers, though... and despite little things like that, still extraordinarily beautiful in design and elegance. Maybe next time spring another $200 for a PowerBook? We shouldn't obsess.
  7. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    #7 iBook 12" 1.33 doesn't have any of the problems you described. It won't hurt to try and return it, even if it doesn't work.
  8. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Those issues (except the battery) have to do with the little rubber stoppers on the top of the screen.

    Not a big deal. I wouldn't even worry about it. I have had mine iBook since the update and I never even noticed these issues until this thread. I have the same issue by the hinge but I don't have the latch or battery issue.
  9. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    You know, what the threadstarter is talking about is soooo petty. C'mon, does the machine work fine? So it doesn't wake up from sleep in a Microsecond everytime? Deal with it. Every machine is going to have a slight difference in this or that.

    And they are bastards when it comes to cosmetics???? ITS PLASTIC, plastic bends differently on all the machines, so again if you are going to bitch about something so mundane as the case not closing into an infinite gap then just go somewhere else with your stupid banter. Apple makes a great product, but don't look for miracles.
  10. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i had little buggy problems like that when i hand an iBook G3, i figured a lot of little bugs would have been taken care of when they got to the G4s. i had sleep problems with my old iBook and i had to go to the apple menu then sleep to make sure it went to sleep properly. also i noticed that sometimes when closing the lid the screen would press the mouse button and try to wake up the computer and when i opened it again it had the same problem you are saying. so try putting it to sleep through the apple menu then see if the mouse button is being pressed when you close the lid. i know its kinda easy to do on the iBooks b/c they are all plastic. (and it is still relativly easy to do on the PB as well!)

    as for the cosmetics, there isnt anything you can do. yes, the iBooks dont always line up exactly, but they are still ok. the PBs are even worse though, b/c as the metal heats up, it has a tendancy to warp! but do realize that your iBook looks about 50x better than the standard wintel laptop out there!!! then you wont feel so bad about a little spacing off here or there.
  11. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    My Powerbook has no warp. I've read about it but have never actually seen it on my or my friends' Powerbooks so I disagree with your statement.

    The iBook is a nice unit, I tend to agree though that it is terribly frustrating to buy something and it's not as you expected or as displayed. Especially when it costs so much.
  12. itsbetteronamac macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2003
    From a powerbook user, who tends to be very conserned about manufacturer cosmetic problem...

    1) The center of the screen beeing tigher than the corners, it like that on almost all apple notebooks. Because the only clasp is small and in the middle The center of the LCD is th only part being pulled down, and the rest of the screen is being pulled away. And because both PLASTIC and metal have some flexablilty there will be a slight bend that increases as you get further away from the "pull point."

    2) As for the spacing difference on either side of the hinge, many apple notebook have them, and it just has to do with the slight variances in the manufacture process. And, that when they are attached the "pieces" don't fit perfectly all the time. Some more than others, but rarely perfect. Mine was screwed up until every external part got replaced. (Long story)

    3) As for the sleep issues, (itunes example). This is somewhat normal, sometimes you computer may go into a half sleep (HD stops, screen sleeps) Just press anykey or powerbutton and it should turn on. Also, opening and closing a screen very quickly, or multiple times in a row (While it's tring to wake up or fall asleep) confuses your system. And often times it takes a good minute or to for it to sort it self out. Just close the lid or keep it open, and it will do the rest.

    4) Battery sticking out, has happened to a few people including my self, and there is nothing you can really do about, except try another battery. I returned my 1st 1.67ghz 5 days after buying it because it had video card issues and it was easier than getting it repaired; it had the "falling out battery" but the next one I got was fine.

    5) About the A/C in and the fan roaring... I don't know what to tell you. Was the computer sleeping while this was happening. Also... when plugging and depluggin the A/C from your ibook. Wait 2 seconds before doing anything, your computer's energy setting are changing, and any comand you give it could possible be executed wrong.

    Hope this helps... I feel you fustration. Sorry life isn't perfect.
  13. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Just out of habit and an awareness of how precious the iBooks and PBook's mechanisms are, I never really close the 'books all the way unless I am taking them somewhere. To keep dust off, I always have on iSkins and at night, I leave the screens at half mast.

    I think I have developed an awareness of how much stress goes on inside our laptops' hinges and all the important cables that run through there; also don't need it shut all the way if I'm not taking it anywhere.

    This may have been a habit developed on old Tibooks who had the "fingertip oil on the screen" problem when the lcds touched the keyboards when the powerbooks were closed.

    So I just don't put undue stress on my laptops. Also have them on ice pads or stands when using them on my desk, this keeps them cooler and fans RARELY turn on. Usually only when I forget to turn on the air conditioner or the old hot chrome art deco desk lamp near my computer heats up the air a bit too much.
  14. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    Seems odd that Apple are "bastards" when it comes to cosmetic issues since their entire product line relies on "cosmetics" to sell them. Sure, its not "all appearances" but its largely so.
  15. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    Idk I got my 14inch ibook and I notice just about all the things you said (except for the fan going wacky thing) But thats the thing I didnt notice them at all until you called them to my attention. I think the cosmetic issues you are talking about a very insignificant nothing is completely perfect. If I were you id look into the strange boot stuff though, could it have to do with what botton your pressing or the screen being completely darked out.
  16. quad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Bucks, UK
    thanks to all the posters

    well thanks for all the replies, you sure got this subject covered.

    I will indeed learn to live with the build imperfections. I never noticed the space bar thing until some other thread mentioned it. I guess the thing is all the 'books looks so nice they stand up to close scrutiny. Standard PC laptops are mostly bland, so you don't look closely. Production defects we should expect. The big question, would you let Apple off if you bought any of it's most cosmetic products - iPods. ;)

    The crazy fan reboot thing still has happened only once. Next time I might call apple. Console and Spotlight can't even find a panic.log, guess it's doing fine. There's no extensions on it yet, bar SSD, the only apps are MS Remote Desktop, pixel tester, and Stuffit expander (20mb! - WTF??)

    I like the tip about not closing the lid fully.

  17. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    I had that happen once; it doesn't seem to be a chronic problem or anything to worry about, so long as it's just a rare occurrence.

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