"Un"perfectness of PowerBook G4

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by yamadataro, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. yamadataro macrumors 6502

    I've owned two PowerBook G4s and I had always thought it was as close as it could get as a notebook computer.

    But after spending a couple of years with PBG4, I've changed my mind.

    Here's my impression: Is Apple's definition of good design "looks beautiful when you buy it, and get so messed up after a months of use"??? Guys! Thinks of their design of recent years:

    - PowerBook G4 works super but the paint chips off like hell!
    - iPod works super but it scraches like hell.

    I, as a former Industrial Designer, have to assume that they know what happens when they PAINT metal. Of course it chips off! I can NOT give an agly computer like this to friends, let alone selling it!

    I own a PowerBook G3 and its scraches are not distinct and there's no chip-offs. So in terms of its appearance after years of use, G3 is the winner.

    I've always thought that G4 is so perfect that Apple will have a big problem changing its design marketing-wise, but now I think G4 is so not perfect! Man! My PBG4 is getting so chipped off!!! I've bought TiPaint, but it should have been unnecessary from the begining!
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    From what I've read and heard the one major downfall if the Ti is the paint problem, which is such a shame.
    Have they fixed this problem at all over the different generations of Ti's? How are the brand new ones getting along?
    It's time to step forward Ti owners, and tell us just how badly chipped your Ti is :)
  3. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Well...... I've owned my PowerBook G4 since they were released (mines from the first shippment into the UK) and mine still looks brand new........no scratches!!

    I know some people have experienced problems with the paint finish of their TiBooks, but this doesn't affect every machine made!!

    But what is the alternative with Titanium??? un-treated Titanium marks as soon as you touch it, and it's incredibly difficult to clean your paw prints off! If they change the material then it loses one of it's major gimmicks and appealing selling points!!

    Maybe if people took alittle more care of umpteen thousands of $ worth of hardware, then the problem of scratches wouldn't really arise... If you treat anything like ***** then it'll get damaged, if you take alittle care then the TiBook will look as good after 20 months of hard use as when it was new!! (mine does, eye's did) In this respect it is no more different than any other product on earth!!

    Because of all that care, I've not had one ounce of a problem finding a buyer for mine and getting top-dollar for it... and I look forward to receiving my new PowerBook in the next couple of weeks!
  4. Falleron macrumors 68000


    Nov 22, 2001
    I dont have a TiBook but I thought that they were a lot better than they used to be. As long as your are really careful with your laptop then you should not have a problem. Just make sure you have a decent case for carrying it around.
  5. Megaquad macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2001
    I want to buy Ti 1GHz but these things scare me a lot! Maybe those new Powerbooks dont have the problem?
  6. yamadataro thread starter macrumors 6502

    As I understand, people who does NOT bring ther TiBook all over the place and people who takes care of it like hell, have had no problem with pait chipping. I know this woman in Japan who's objective is to selll her Book when she switches to a newer one. Her machine is totally fresh bacause she has bought all sorts of protection products (e.g. trackpad film, alminum body protector etc). But what the hell is the point of owning a TiBook if you have to buy tons of protection and don't take it around!!!

    I think the paint issue has been resolved a little. But my new 800MHz model has started to chip like a month ago. Painted body is still a painted body. I assume newer 1GHz one will have the exact same problem.

    I must admit that silver body looks nice as hell, but what's the point of it when it starts to look SUPER agly after a couple of months of heavy use. I took my PowerBook G3 to backpacking trips to Europe and to SouthEast Asia, but it still looks fine. But G4 after the same kinda single trip down to Bali is a desaster.

    I'll try to post a photo of my first TiBook 400MHz (2 years old) later.
    Only then some of you will know what we are talking about here...

    Well. Don't take me wrong guys! I'm happy with my TiBook. I'm just against the "perfect notebook computer" nonsense. It's not perfect. And that makes me expect Apple to release something better.
  7. yamadataro thread starter macrumors 6502

    I've owned Duo210, PowerBook 2400, PowerBook G3 and PowerBook G4 over the last 10 years. And of course I take decent care of it by putting them in a anti-shock carry case all the time. G4 is the very first one I've ever had this kind of bad paint issue though.

    I'm under the impression that Apple is moving toward good-looking "fragile" machines. scrachy-scrachy G4 Cube and iPod as well as my TiBooks has made me realize this Apple design trend.

    As a hardcore design industry guy myself, these machines are dairy tools rather than art pieces. I expect them to be tough enough. I know Apple can do it better.
  8. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    my first reaction to all this was, don't worry about the appearance when you have an awesome machine!...but i maybe i don't know exactly what it looks like, a picture would be helpful. I don't have a tibook, i have an ibook that i practically beat up and not a scratch is on it
  9. yamadataro thread starter macrumors 6502

    Ah, this is a nice thing to hear. Maybe I'm worrying too much.

    I usually don't care about my machine's appearance. But I take it to presentations at my clients' and when I have a beaten up TiBook it doesn't look so professional.

    It's kind of like a dirty shirt. When you are at home wearing it, it's OK. But you can not wear it to your clients'.
  10. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Not so. While there are many stories of people who haven't had a problem, there are still many who have, even if their TiBook was only sitting on a desktop.

    I have owned my TiBook 667 for over a year no, and it looks fairly beat up. The first time I brought it to work, people 'ooh'-ed and 'ahh'-ed. Last time I brought it in, people immediately said, "What's with all the chipping paint?"

    The good news is Apple will fix this if your computer is still under warranty. While it has not been reported here, it has been at MacNN, PowerPage, and elsewhere. Apple has apparently discovered a problem in the preparation process that has led to bubbling and chipping in the paint. Here is a related story at PowerPage.

    I purchased the extended warranty with this in mind. I'm planning on bringing it in in the next week.

  11. yamadataro thread starter macrumors 6502

    Wow! Are you serious about this???
    Mmmmm, I'm seriosuly thinking about buying extra warranty now.
    Thank a million for the info, Chris!
  12. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Apple will only repair it under warranty if the chipping is caused by a fault in production, not if you treat it rough.... exactly the same as motor car manufacturer warranties, they won't fix paint work under warranty if the damage is caused by gravel etc etc..... They'll be able to tell the difference between flaky paint and chips caused by impact damage etc!

    I can only speak from my experience with my TiBook and it still looks pukka..... I don't have anything special to transport it around.... just a standard black leather padded laptop bag and I put my TiBook in a bubble wrap sleeve that Apple Care and DHL supply when you have to send it in for repair!! But it does get dragged around everywhere with me, through London Tube rush hour every day (worse than your average Grid-Iron), and is used everywhere from offices, to parks, to beaches, to trains to bars... literally everywhere!! I wipe it down once a week with 'Mr Muscle' glass cleaner!! It is used as a total desktop replacement machine and it certainly see's hard use (I'm a freelancer, different offices everyday)

    Obviously the Tonka Truck PowerBook G3 will be tougher, it's much thicker, much heavier, part covered with rubber and plastic...... but I very much doubt Apple could every have manufactured the PowerBook G4 from the same materials as the PowerBook G3 and made it as strong as its current form!! The R & D that has gone into the PowerBook G4 is huge.... it's obvious just from lifting the keyboard the length Apple went to in terms of engineering!!

    I personally don't feel that the TiBook is fragile, or as fragile as people would think judging by the thinness of it, but I'd always take the TiBook over the hulking piece of Tonka Toy that was the PowerBook G3...... I've owned both and I don't see any reason to consider the PowerBook G3 as a better everyday portable!

    Maybe it's my DHL bubble-wrap that keeps mine looking young and stunning!! heh heh!

    Although I'd love Apple to offer a hard-chrome version of the TiBook.... that'd totally rule!!
  13. yamadataro thread starter macrumors 6502

    Uh, yeah, that would be nice!

    Up until Apple comes up with a new design, maybe I should just sand off all of the paint and kiss this paint agony a good-bye :D

    Huh, where was my sanding paper???
  14. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    Doesn't someone sell some sort of wrap, or soft shell for the TiBook? Maybe a soft velvet padded-sleeve that you slide the book into before you toss it in your bookbag? Anyone happen to have a link to something like this?
  15. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    When people first started to complain, Apple regularly told people they were treating their Powerbooks too rough. Now they know that's not the case. Too many people have had this problem. The fact that a few have not proves only that they were able to get it right occasionally. They are now covering paint damage--period.

    This is a recent change. It's great that Apple has stepped up and made things right. My TiBook is my favorite computer of all time. I'm looking forward to it looking like it did when I bought it.

  16. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    I have one of the originial 500MHz TiBooks. I take it all over the place and it sometimes takes a bit of a beating. It has no scratches on it. I don't see any problems at all with it. It has been in a bag with books and notebooks and they did no damage to it. I don't see what is so wrong with the paint. Maybe mine is the exception to the rule or maybe you'll are extremely rough on your Ti's.
  17. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    You'll probably find that there are more machines with NO flaky paint damage than those with the production paint fault!!!

    But if I had a machine that had that problem I'd want a replacement....... as long as I hadn't been treating like a tw@t that is.... heh heh
  18. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Hard to say, really. If you look at the forums at PowerPage (a site that "specializes" in portables), people almost universally complain about it. However, it is also possible that the people without complaints are less likely to write anything. I think the fact that Apple has acknowledged a flaw in production is pretty telling, though.

    I have owned three different laptops and have never had any scratches or dings on any of them. I have treated this one more carefully than those, and it looks more damaged. This problem is extremely well-documented, so I think it's stupid to blame users. I'm not sure why it would matter if it is happening a majority or a minority of the time. It's happening a lot. That's unacceptable. Apple occasionally makes a mistake.

  19. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    A scratch is very, very different to flakey paint though.......... if you're (every man, I'm not referring to you specifically) scratching your machine be more careful...... if your laptop paint is flakey then send it back to Apple and reject it, but as you say, those that don't have problems have nothing to report about, so out of all the PowerBooks sold, is there over half of the sales represented in complaints to make it a majority manufacturing problem?? Apple isn't faultless no one has ever said they were, but I personally don't think this problem is as widespread as we're made to believe!!

    Now I'm very much aware that the problem is well documented, but some of these reports sound like people are expecting the PowerBook G4 to be bulliet proof... or to be as scratch resistant as a moulded coloured plastic laptop, even though they are aware that it is a coated metal finish and thus that it is more susceptible to damage (just like cars are!!)

    Just because Apple have acknowledged a flaw on certain batch models it doesn't mean that it is inherent throughout the entire production run (it certainly isn't), then Apple is no different to a BMW or Mercedes with a faulty paint finish, this does occur on certain cars produced on a certain day but doesn't mean that every particular model was affected!!

    With regards to your other laptops......were either of those laptops Titanium??? if not.... you can't really compare them!!

    But if your laptop is as battered as you say but not through ill treatment then send it back to Apple and get them to right it!

    Problem solved! Same goes for the other guy with the scratched TiBook!!
  20. Choppaface macrumors 65816

    Jan 22, 2002
    pick up a tom binh monolith, cut some plastic panes to reinforce the corrugated plastic (especially for the sides), and you've got a pretty solid, light case that's hardly bigger than the computer. (this is what I did for my 800)


    I agree, they could've put more work into making the thing sturdy.. I beat the crap out of my lombard (lost all feet, even the rubber on the top is partially scratched off..dropped it a few times) and it still looks reasonably fine, but more importantly it still works great. I don't think the tibook could take the same beating and still work, much less maintain its aesthetics to the same extent. apple's making trophies when there are still a lot of users that want tools. i read that jobs turned down making the painted carbon fiber piece metal because it showed fingerprints....just include some sort of polishing cloth then... at three grand and basically no software package, they could throw some extras in there..
  21. shadowfax0 macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2002
    if you get a nice carrying case chips shouldn't be an issue. My father brings his all over the world with him and uses it all the time, and by simply having a nice, compact little laptop sleeve his looks brand new -- and his is the first TiBook production (500 MHz)
  22. Rajj macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2002
    32° 44' N 117° 10' W
    Apple really takes care of individuals when it comes to warranty repairs… for instance, My screen on the TiBook started to pixilate, so they replaced it super quick, and they noticed that my case was scratched and chipped, so they replaced it without me saying anything about!!;) :D

    BUT the only Beef I have with Apple on the TiBook is, the Goddamn Airport reception, especially in Tokyo…it really blows, compared to Las Vegas!!!! There is too much RF interference in Tokyo!! (It really pisses me off!!):mad: :mad: :mad:
  23. digitalgiant macrumors regular

    May 29, 2002
    Knoxville Tenneesse
    the paint on mine is coming off where my wrists sit. And on some other places but what really gets me is where my dog stepped on the lid right next to the apple sybol. She put a nice little dent on my nice little PB. But even with all the paint comming off it and the dent I just think it has charater. My Dad and I can tell whose is whose by the way the paint is comming off our laptops. Its still the best computer I have ever owned and would give it up for anything (well mabye a faster Ti).
  24. DreaminDirector macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2002
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    no problems yet...

    I have an TiBook 800 and I can't wait for the paint to peel. Mind you, I am not doing anything to speed that process, but I want to do some custom painting on my TiBook. I was thinking of painting it a gun smoke silver or even a deep red. There was a thread about this a few months back, when some member (I forgot thier name...) painted thiers and posted pictures. I'll try to find the thread and post it here. It is, of course, dangerous and voids the warrenty (I think....)
  25. moby1 macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2002
    Sunny San Diego

    I've owned 3 G4 PowerBooks; 500, 550 & 800.

    None of them had any scatches.

    I'm looking forward to ordering my 4th G4 PB soon.

    Just buy a good tote like the Brenthavens and take reasonable care of your machine.

    If you can't take 'reasonable care' buy an IBM T-series - also titanium and a bit sturdier...but then your stuck with a PC.


Share This Page