Researching 17" PB: having second thoughts...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by tyoelin, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. tyoelin macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2005
    This is my first post on these forums...

    Well after a quick trip to the official Apple forums for 17" G4 PB users, I found a long list of threads with mostly negative feedback for apple and apple products. Now I also realize that most people that are posting on those forums are obviously people having problems with their Apple PB and the people who have no problems aren't posting. At least, I would like to believe that was the case.

    Within 5 minutes I found a few people on the forums not only having some major recurring problems with their brand new 17" G4 Powerbooks, but they are also having problems with other apple products. I would understand if there were an unlucky few who got dud PBS (or as I've found you apple enthusiasts call them, 'wonky'). But these people didn't only have problems with their PBS, they had issues with their mini ipods, ipod photos, shuffles, cinema displays, etc.

    Now I personally know three people with the G4 powerbook, and only one of those three people have not had any problems so far (with the powerbook). The other two both had problems with discolorations on the screen, touchpad malfunctions, keyboard malfunctions, and heat issues. One of the two people have owned multiple Apple laptops over a series of years and he claims to have had three laptops completely fail on him within the first year.

    So far all I have heard about the Apple lineup of laptops and accessories has been that they don't offer any less problems than PC users experience. So now the reason why I am planning on purchasing a $3,000 system is in jeopardy.

    Could some of you please tell me how getting service done on your Apple works? Does it take days, weeks? Do they pay for the shipping of the laptop to the factory for repair? When would I qualify for a replacement laptop if so much goes wrong? Make my mind at ease! I want to feel confident when I purchase a PB!
  2. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Experiences will vary widely, but I think you'll find the people that have problems are the exception, not the rule.

    I've had my 17" for almost 2 years and have had no hardware problems and have never had to format and reinstall. It runs better today than when I first got it (because of software improvements). Try finding a PC user that can say the same thing. :)

    As for Apple's support, they have been excellent whenever I have called. I've only called for random software questions and they have helped me out every time. Apple consistently gets far better Support ratings in things like Consumer Reports. Far better than the other PC companies. you can probably do a web search and turn up some of those results.

    I think my experience is far more typical than that of your friend who claims to have had several computer "fail" on him.

    EDIT: BTW, this is my first Mac and I'd never go back to PCs.
  3. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    If you go looking for problems you'll find them in any forum- (That's why forums are so fun...)

    I myself have had the JOY of sitting with my 17" powerbook time and time again and have never really had any problems with it (Except the painted "PowerBook G4" has worn off a little so it looks like "Powe Pook" but that's nothing). If there is any problem with (hopefully) your purchase of the PowerBook, just give Apple a call and they will help get you going again.

    Don't base your decision on other's issues... (most are probably user realted anyway).

    As far as Apple Care Experiences on problems it matter's on what the problem is exactly... (and you will find horror stories if you go looking for them)... Generally in my experience they pay for shipping and send you the packaging material, they fix it and send it back, as long as the warranty is there and not tampered with it will be cost free, for the exception of the time without the 'book.
  4. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2002
    Anywhere but here
    Well I had my powerbook tibook for three years and had nothing but problems with mine. During the first week I had it, I noticed some discolorations in the screen so apple gave me a new powerbook. Nearly a year later, I started to notice a pinkish tint on my screen so apple gave me a new screen. Now after my warranty has expired the pinkish tint is back.

    I am sure as with any product, people's experiences will vary. I am just a bit disappointed in apple's quality control as of late. I also have a g5 tower whose motherboard went bad on me three times. One more time, apple will have to give me a new computer.
  5. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'll second that. Its been said before that Macs are idiot proof... if you can break one, that proves you're an idiot. j/k :D
  6. tyoelin thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2005
    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I've had my same PC for 4 years and have re-formatted once. Although I consider myself to be a very advanced PC user, I don't know what the learning curve for the more advanced features and settings in an Apple computer would be. My PC has ran perfectly smooth and fast since day one four years ago, and continues to run the same speed today... it definately takes the user to keep their computer happy. My parents have killed PCs in only a matter of months.

    I'm hoping that my experiences with Apples will be just as good, and should be better, than my PC. I'll keep researching, but so far things are looking decent.
  7. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If you've gone through the trouble to keep a PC running that well for that long then you obviously take very good care of your machines. I think that would be rewarded even more with a Mac. Good luck on the continued research.
  8. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I'm still very much in love with my 17" PB after 13 months.
    I've switched several mates since...and three thought it might be too big - and they also had read several forums.

    They ended up getting 15" and are very happy with it - but if they lost it today and had to rebuy - they all say they'd get a 17"!
  9. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    I love my 1.5ghz 17 PB, that i bought second hand, without warrannty, I really trust on apple products, I have had apple since 1992 and never had any harware problem.
    If my powerbook where stolen, I definetly will go for another one, if i had the money, maybe a 15", but really my powerbook rocks (and i dont have warranty of any type)
    Now I have a new 2.3 G5 and it rocks!!!!!!
    Stop complaining and enjoy your beautiful computer!!, thats arocksolid one!
  10. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    I've got a rev A 17", and it was a complete lemon when it arrived (my fault, never buy rev A hardware...) Apple took it back and fixed it 2 months after I got it and I'm now on my second PSU and just waiting for a new battery, this is hands down the best PowerBook I've ever owned for features and user-experience, I'll not be changing it for anything other than another, quicker 17"...

    G5 PowerBooks next Tuesday.... :D ;)
  11. polsons macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2005
    The question should be 'Why are you even considering a 17" Powerbook?'

    No doubt the 17" PB was cutting edge when first released, but mid 2005, it nothing more than a grossly overpriced door-stop. Until Apple issues a major update of all Powerbooks -and that won't happen until sometime in 2007- only a moron would consider buying one.

    As you have obviously had a PC for the past 4 years, why not make the obvious choice and go with Compaq's or HP's 17" offerings. They don't look as good as the PB, but they certainly offer more substance, and at substantially lower cost. Final Cut Pro is not that much better than Premiere Pro -if at all- and OSX won't remain that much better than Longhorn to justify the exhorbitant cost of inferior Apple hardware.

    I used to like Mac's as much as any other Mac user, but when Apple can no longer deliver the good's then it's time to look elsewhere. In 2005 Apple only want's to sell iPod's, so as far as SJ is concerned, every non iPod user can accept the antiquated **** Apple keep's dishing up, or they can go and get stuffed. As long as suckers keep buying iPods, SJ really doesn't care.

    Do you really want to waste your money on a PC from a manufacturer who really doesn't give a f..k. I know I won't be.
  12. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    If you were an alien and the first place you visited on Earth was a hospital, you'd think everyone was sick. For every 99 satisfied PB owners, there's always 1 who has problems and usually they are the ones most vocal.
  13. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    I am still in love with my 2 year old PB 17" 1.33. I did have the logic board go bad - twice. AppleCare replaced it the first time with a bad part and fixed it the second time with no problems. Both times AppleCare had it back in my hands 2-3 days after I dropped it off at the Apple Store. Like many other PB 17" users absolutely love this machine. Would I buy one today if I didn't have one - maybe. Would I buy one today if my current one was destroyed - sure I would. I don't think I'll be buying another PB until the Rev. B Intel PowerBooks. I'm sure I can make this sucker last another 2-3 years. I may consider getting SafeWare insurance when AppleCare runs out though.
  14. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    I have had my 15"PB 1.25ghz Rev. A for almost 2 years now, and the thing has been an absolute dream. Regardless of the dislike for Rev. A machines my comp has been first rate. I did have the problem of white spots, but this however was covered under Apple's warranty after they noticed this problem occuring to often. They extended this warranty for an extra year after their normal time period. I took it into an Apple store, they took one look at it, ordered a new monitor and installed it within 30 minutes. So now I have a young screen that should last me an extra 2 years. I also had headphones that blew out within the first 3 months. I called Apple they asked if i had gotten them wet, I said no, they said we will mail you new ones. Now I called on a Tuesday at 11:30am or so. They were in my mailbox, free of charge on Wed. at noon my roommates told me. I am extremely satisfied with both occurences with Apples help department. Good luck making the right choice.
  15. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    My friends and next door neighbors have had two ibooks for about a year now neither of them has had a single problem, my sister owns an emac and except for a minor issue with the airport anttena not being properly attached to the card (3 min fix) we have never had a problem with it which is far more than I can say for the pc's in our house we have had two laptops. An hp that has actually worked fairly well throughout the last two years not to say it hasnt had many problems *list of problems:even new batteries only hold charge for about an hour and a half :eek: , weve had to replace the battery tree times, Had to replace charging cord twice, had to refourmat twice, and this is the one I say has worked fairly well :eek: . Next the compaq which we had for about a year or a little less this computer litterally has FALLEN APART the computer is in bits down stairs. And finally the xpc cool looking computer that it is we have owned it for less than a year and have already had to refourmat five or six times :eek:
  16. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    Actually, about a year from now, Intel PowerBooks will have been released. That will be a major update.

    And you're calling a lot of people on this forum a moron :D

    Think different. If you want some bulky plasticy *****y looking laptop, by all means go ahead and buy an HP. Apple is the only company that can deliver a 17" laptop that is 1" thin. And have you forgotten how Mac OS X is simply more appealing, more productive, more fun, and simpler to use than Windows XP all at the same time?

    Did you get fired from Apple or something?
  17. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    My when I bought my latest PowerBook in April I had to return it twice, the first time the keyboard was broken, and the second time the DVD drive was faulty. The 3rd one seems to be fine so far.

    I bought mine from an apple store (not online), if you buy from an apple store then you can take it back if you have problems, and if you take it back within 14 days they will replace it on the spot with no hassle.

    Previously I had a Sony Vaio with major problems and it took about 3 months to get them to acknowledge that it was faulty and give a refund.

    Ok, so their quality control is obviously not that great, but I'm still very happy with my PowerBook and the support that I've had from Apple.
  18. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    If you're good with PC's, then Macs will be no problem. Working with a PC is like swinging a weighted bat before stepping into the box. ;) If you e read the forums and explore around, you should be good to go in a week or two.
  19. forumBuddy macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2005
    I personally would recommend not buying current line of Power Books and wait for Intel revision - go from there. There is just no value in current Apple offerings - G4 chip was the same competing with Pentium II - and that was over 5 years ago. Buy a good PC laptop or save your money. When Longhorn and Leopard comes out - you'll have opportunity to compare both platforms and make an educated decision - maybe even run both on the same machine. But today's laptop offerings are not worth the asking price - so unless you have money to burn - wait before a switch.
    I aslo would recommend analyzing whether all the software you want to use available on Mac platfrom.
    Good luck.
  20. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    While I partially agree that it might be worth waiting. With Apple you never know how long that wait might be.

    The current G4 PowerBooks are still very good, mine compares very closely with a 1.8 centrino, but no 17" centrino can complete on battery life and features, and of course no 17" PC laptop will be so small light and good looking. I've also not seen a PC laptop with a backlit keyboard!

    Longhorn/Vista is still 2 years away Tiger is here now. I make Windows software for a living, but I use OS X at home.

    Sure when Intel PowerBooks come along, I will probably be one of the first to buy one, but I would never recommend that someone buy a Windows PC in the mean time :eek:
  21. polsons macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2005
    No... I didn't get sacked from Apple, I've just become a realist. Having to animate 3D on a platform that really hasn't evolved much since the age of the dinosaurs, tends to have that effect on you.

    What was the G4 equivalent to, oh that's right... a PENTIUM 2. Granted, your PowerBook might look great on the outside -and I won't dispute that fact for even one second- but internally it's 5 - 6 years old. That's not what I'd call cutting edge. In 2005, I can't imagine any PC user getting excited about the prospect of HP's new 17" Pentium 2 notebook, but Mac users still salivate at the very notion they are sooooo.... fortunate to be able to waste their money on such obsolete and outmoded technology.

    2 years ago, Apple was at the forefront, today it is at the bottom of the heap, and Steve Jobs really doesn't give a f..k. Need a new Mac, buy an iPod instead. Apple makes more money that way and that's what Apple 2005 is all about... PROFIT and nothing else.

    So as a Mac user why would I suggest buying a PC. Because in 2005 Apple is saying wait till 2007 when we'll really have good hardware. In 2008 Apple will say maybe our 2007 hardware wasn't that great after all as everyone is still buying Dell's, so we've decided to become a software business. And in 2010 Apple's response will be that it's a bit too difficult to continue development of OSX because Dell doesn't want to support it, so we've decided to support Windows instead. Heck, we really only ever wanted to be an iPod business in the first place.
  22. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    polsons, where is all this negativity coming from? Relax ;)

    I have 3ghz P4 and a 1.67ghz G4 at home, my PowerBook doesn't feel any slower than my PC, and on my PowerBook I don't have constant screen redraw flicker and other irritations that come with Windows.

    Sure I could get a faster Windows laptop, but I can't get a faster OS X laptop and if I'm happy with the current speed of my PowerBook what's the problem?
  23. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    Agreement, here. The green. The bottom line. That's obvious. As long as you can continue fooling the 16-19 demographic into overspending for their pink accessories around their neck (and spend their parents money doing it) why not? The Cram/Jam & Student Union deal is indicative of this. Give out these ipods at will -- they're not worth much anyway. But --- mind control --that's what Jobs is all about. Make them think that they're "thinking different."
  24. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    I'm not so sure what's busting your bollocks right now, but you seem to have some anger issues with the Mac community.

    As for 3d animation, I'm not sure but that SJ's other company, that little Pixar startup, uses Macs for all their modeling and animation. I'm not saying it's the fastest, but the stability and scalability of unix allow much more efficient workflows and farming setups. Seems to work for the #1 studio.

    As for design, I am sitting at my graphic design job right now with a 12" PB (external screen of course) sitting pretty with full connectivity to file servers, web servers, and the ever important RIP engine. I see no need nor have a desire to bring in an incompatible and therefore useless system to work.

    Besides, where is the ease of use and fun that comes with an OS as easy to use as OS X? Mac hardware is a reflection of the spirit of computing. Beige boxes with blah OSes, even with fast hardware, inspire nothing in the user. Macs may not be the fastest, but they are great at what they do. I would gladly downgrade my hardware to get an enjoyable user experience. I'd rather wait an extra 2 seconds for a raster than use Windows. I have a PC and it runs ubuntu 95% of the time, then dual boots into windows (OS X skinned by fly a kite) to play counter strike source. That's all I need it for.

    Besides, if you really hate Macs, you don't have to get one. People here are dedicated to helping others with their buying decisions and hardware and software issues, not bickering over differing opinions. No one here really cares if you think we are morons, we like our computers and will tomorrow as well.

    Why don't you head on over to the amiga forums and pick on them. ;)
  25. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    I have one of the first 17" Powerbooks to be released ... and after 2.5 years of heavy use I find things to be working fine. I did have to replace the HD which failed on me two weeks ago, but I have used this laptop extensively. I even dropped it once, denting one of the corners.

    The DC-in board seems to be loose as the lights don't light up anymore, but it still charges, and my battery is now dead after so many cycles.

    But these are regular laptop problems ... your mileage will vary. Otherwise, the laptop is in excellent shape, and I expect 2-3 more years with it.

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