Potential switcher getting cold feet - reassure me if you can!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alFR, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Having been persuaded of the benefits of Macs by a couple of friends who have them, I started reading around to research my potential purchase (C2D MBP) a bit. It all looked great - glowing reviews in the mags, also in the vast majority of the online reviews I found. Then I found MacRumours: initially it was fine, a great source of info on potential changes coming up etc. Then I thought "I'll have a look at the forums to see what users are saying", which is where it started to go horribly wrong....

    If you read the "pro" reviews, MBPs are great - superb screens, well-made, suitable for pro use, "A Mac laptop exudes class" as one UK mag said. On the other hand, if you read here it's like they're the buggiest, worst-made thing ever, with grainy screens that can't display millions of colours properly without banding and people needing to go through 3 laptops before they get a working one etc. etc.

    Now I know that any product will have a percentage of DOAs, problems etc. and that forums tend to attract people who have complaints rather than those with no problems. It's just that I really can't see how some of these issues like the screens got missed by the pro reviewers if they exist. However, if the machines are as good as the reviews say, why are so many people complaining about build quality, the screens etc.?

    Basically I can't reconcile these two opposite points of view and I'm getting put off switching by all the negativity. Maybe I shouldn't have started reading here at all.....
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Don't forget that people aren't likely to post or start a thread to say how pleased they are with their new Mac – it's those who do have a problem who are likely to post, either letting off steam or seeking a solution. For every post about a malfunctioning machine there are a lot of other folk quietly enjoying their perfectly working new Macs.

    It's highly probable that your new Mac will work just fine – and if there are any problems, that's what your warranty is for. ;)
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I have a perfect 17" C2D MBP (stock). Most delivered are fine. People don't tend to post good news, so the overall impression through forums isn't going to reflect the total number delivered.

    You can buy it in a Apple Store, and examine it there before taking it home. I've done that on my last three machines. Several stores in my area totally support doing that. Bring a pixel test program on a flash drive (Pixel Check).
  4. TheBobcat macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2006
    East Lansing, Michigan
    Well, as you noted, any product will have build quality problems to an extent when it's produced. However, its only when those problems become very widespread that you should be concerned.

    I got my MBP in August for college and I never looked back. If you're really freaking out, get Apple Care, and do what the other person mentioned- check out for dead pixels and other things while you're at the store.
  5. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    All fair points, thanks.

    I suppose that maybe some people are more demanding of their hardware than others too and, of course, everyone's needs differ. It is some of the subjective issues like screen quality that have worried me more than simple "that bit's broken, please mend it" things. It's hard to know from playing with the display models in the store how you're actually going to get on with the screen etc. when you're doing real work.
  6. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
    People come here (and the Apple Discussion Boards) with problems. This is my opinion only, but I get the sense that people who post here have more obsessive-compulsive tendancies when it comes to hardware / software.

    If you are looking for an objective measure of problems in Apple quality, or (perhaps more importantly) how responsive Apple is to problems, information from 3rd party reviews may be a better source (although they may be subject to their own biases). For example, Consumer Report, etc.
  7. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    I have a 15in C2D ordered the day they came out...absolutely perfect. It did have a squeaky space bar, but that has worked itself out.

    Have you ever seen those threads "Whose MBP is perfect." They pop up occasionally and *hundreds* of people respond that theirs are working perfectly. They represent the minority of MBP owners that come to this sight when nothing is wrong with their computer.
  8. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    Are you sure you can look at it before taking it home? Do you buy it first and then open it in the store cause I don't think they open factory sealed boxes and then try to pass them off on other customers if the first person didn't like what they saw?
  9. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    In the US you generally have to buy it first. In Europe you can often examine it first. Tell the people at the store that you are worried and ask what their policy is.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    In this case then you will NEVER buy any new computer. Pick any hardware forum you want and most of the posts there will be by people who have a problem they want to solve.
    Also Apple customers tend to be critical. They bought an Apple because they wanted more then just a cheap PC and they expect the best People who buy a $400 e-machines box expect the fan to make a lot of noise

    If you hang out in a doctor's office long enough you might think that all humans are sick because all of them you see are. It's a "sampling problem" Both here and at the doctor's office you are not seeing a random sample you are only seeing the very small minority of people who choose to be there

    Apple sold 300,000 notebooks in November 2006. I would not be surprised if 1,000 of them had problems That would in fact be quite good if only that few did. But still you'd hear 1,000 people telling you about their problem. But when you think about it, 1,000 is a darn good number. So if you only read 20 or 50 problems here that is a very good number
  11. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Yeah, this is a small sample, you're right. I think you might also be right about Apple customers being perfectionists. :)

    Thanks for the support, hopefully I'll be posting in the new year telling you how great my new MBP is! ;)
  12. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I'm sure, at least at 3 different stores in my area. If you open it, and it's defective, it gets sent back. If you reject it and they can't recreate your complaint, it'll probably get sold as open box, at a discount. Either way, they get a happy customer. I'm very picky, especially on the dead pixel issue, and all the stores I've dealt with have no problem examining the machine at the store. They do require you buy it first, however. Just explain to them it's your intent to do the check out there. It hasn't been a problem. I have a friend that's just as picky and same story at yet another store.
  13. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I switched in January. Currently run a MacBlack and an iMac. Both fantastic. Both have zero issues. I was definitely a Windows power user. Now I don't even run Parallels more than once every two weeks. Bye bye Windows, a really vulgar environment to work in.
  14. Xenesis macrumors regular


    Sep 3, 2006
    And just to make you feel a bit better: Apple's top half of it's line is of a very high quality. I bought a top of the line iMac in 2000, and it still works practically perfectly to this very day (Just a few issues that result from having a computer running practically every day for 7 years). It's actually what I'm typing this post on.

    My iBook only lasted 3.5 - 4 years, and to be quite honest I was pretty rough with it once it was more than 2 years old (Don't stuff laptops in Backpacks! Hint! Hint!). If you get a solidly working Mac, and take care of it, you can continue to use it for years after.
  15. savanahrose macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2006
    greer SC
    Go for it. I was just like you. I was all set to get an imac. I came up here and started to read and ask questions. Then as time got closer to get one I started to change my mind (due to the other posters and problems with their macs).

    But thankfully I got it. I don't regret it one bit. It is frustrating at times and I would love to throw it out the window. But I have to get used to it and see what everything does.

    I went on my old gateway yesterday and i could not wait to get off of it and go to my mac. I only have had my computer for 10 days now and like i said I dont regret it for a moment.

  16. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    What you have to remember is that this is a Mac enthusiast site. For every person that has significant problems the MBP, there are probably a thousand with working computers. If your computer works perfectly, there is no need to go on a website and start a thread about it. You only hear about the faulty ones, thus giving you a false notion of the number of lemons out there. My friend just bought a new MBP and it doesn't show any of the problems people are complaining about. I don't think he's alone either.
  17. amd4me macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2006
    And to calm your nerves, go to any pc forum and look at the threads, EVERY thread in every category is about someone having some sort of problem.
  18. aljlin macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Well I just got mine and love it, though there are small things, like battery being a lil loose, and the ram case being in, but it's not that big of a deal, love the laptop, and it's pretty cosmetic so it's not that big of a deal. Other than that, I reaaally like this machine. it's great! Now when you are thinking about who posts here, you have to think about the people who posts at forums, and i'm not saying it's a bad thing, but a lot of the people who goes to these forums are more fanatics about macs(and other subjects) and are more likely to be picky. Plus, the more a person dislikes a product, the more likely he's going to vent and complain about the issues, but the more a person is at peace with his computer, the less likely he's to post. "OMG i love my machine" :p I mean it would just get old really quickly. The problems, are more interesting (though disturbing) since it gives us a place to not only figure out how to fix, but also a way to let us know that this may happen with our machines and what we could do to fix. Applecare is pretty much the way to go if you are unsure about quality, but for the most part, I haven't ahd problems, and i'm sure the actual ratio of problems to good machines is pretty drastically different than what is represented here.
  19. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    There's even more to the 'sampling error' problem: Apple have very few product lines.

    For example, they only have one consumer notebook line: the MacBook. If there is a common problem with the MacBook, loads of people will have that same problem, and you'll hear them all reporting it.

    With PCs on the other hand, not only are there more manufacturers, they each tend to produce more different models, which will each have their own subset of manufacturing problems.

    So with PCs there may be just as many problems, but they are all different, so their appearance on forums (or news articles, or lawsuits!) are more dilute. If there is a common problem with a particular model of Mac, you'll see forum entries with hundreds of people complaining that they have the same issue.

    This is another thing that will make Mac problems *appear* worse than they are. There is actually an advantage to this: if there is a problem with one of Apple's products, the sheer proportion of consumers experiencing that particular problem means there is more pressure to fix it.
  20. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Thanks for all the feedback. I went ahead and got a MBP about a month ago and am very happy - fit and finish is good, it's fast and I have no complaints about the screen (which is well-lit and doesn't have any noticeable grain unless you're looking from about 6 inches away). We'll see what the future brings but I'm a happy switcher for now!
  21. ronni3 macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I think all you need to know is Parallels & Fusion. Both of these Mac applications are capable of running Windows in a window, and soon enough the application will support Full 3D Graphics Hardware, which will pretty much allow anyone on a Mac to run Windows in a window without ever needing a real Windows machine again.

    Nuff Said!
  22. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    I like Macs, use one daily. I like PCs as well, use one nearly daily.

    This isn't an earth shattering decision. Chances are, you will be happy with either.
  23. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    If you have to be reassured that much then you're probably better off with a Dell or something like that. Honestly I never understood why anyone really felt the need to be reassured about buying something like this from a site of strangers. You know the arguments and the problems. Each OS has their share of problems but one works better than the other imho. I say screw it, don't buy it. Now if you do I'll know my advice was given in vain. See the point?
  24. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Er why does no-one ever (a) look at the date on posts or (b) read the whole thread? If you had you'd see that my original question was asked last November and I bought a MBP a month ago.... BTW my original question had nothing to do with the OS, it was related to the over-representation of hardware issues on this and other forums.
  25. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Apple users tend to be a wee-bit more demanding and exacting, that's why they moved away from windows!

    Ok, maybe more than a wee-bit :)

    If I were you I'd wait 1-2 months more, at least until April to get the best bang for my buck with Leopard. By the way the current MBPs (especially the 15", which I own) do have piss poor screens that are a disgrace along the likes of what Dell and Leveno have been including (I am not even naming brands like Fujitsu, LG, and Sony VAIOS which totally destroy the Macs on screen quality), so it is one issue that I hope to see address in the next release.

    It is not bad, and entirely subjective, but as we speak my Macbook Pro is going onto eBay, so YMMV...

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