Variations in QC for MBP...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tyroja00, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. tyroja00 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Does anyone know if there is any quality control differences in regards to stock vs custom OR online order vs Apple in-store?

    Well, I ordered a C2D MBP CTO w/ 160 HD and glossy screen. I was guaranteed a screen with no dead pixels. Oh course when I got it, I had some dead pixels (my only main sticking point), gaps in frame (which I don't mind), uneven keyboard (which I don't mind), and the uneven backlighting (dark on right side). So, they graciously exchanged it. I had to wait a week (no biggie). But, when I got the replacement, it not only had dead pixels (the dead pixels were faint though, don't know why), but it had an even worser frame gap and banding. In addition, text was grainy and watching DVD's was grainy (it was the same on the first as well). I was going to keep it b/c I didn't want to wait anymore (closest Apple store w/ edu disc. is 3 hrs) and I could get over these pixels (they probably blended in with the graininess).

    However, I stuck a CDR in the drive and this thing just freaked out on me, grinding and vibrating like crazy. So, needless to say I was depressed :( . I just figured that Apple has slacked and I was going to have to use my 12" PB till they got their act together.

    But, immediately my girlfriend suggested driving to the Apple Store and making a road trip out of it. So, I called the Apple Store Manager and told him that I needed a dead-pixel free MBP. He said that he would give me ONE free return (not including my online orders). He said that he very rarely ever hears about dead pixels (he was aware of the dead pixel policy) and is always willing to let a customer return once just because it is so rare.

    When I got there, I purchased and proceeded to open my MBP. While opening, I have no idea but, I immediately felt that this laptop was put together a lot better. I proceeded to test it out thoroughly and yes I did look like a weirdo sticking my nose up against the screen running pixel check (but I drove 3 hrs!!!). This laptop is totally perfect. No gaps, no dead pixels, no banding, no graininess (I can't believe the difference in DVD's between this and my previous 2 MBP's), absolutely perfect, except it has the 120gb HD rather than the 160gb HD that I wanted.

    Is there a bad assembly line for custom orders vs. stock orders? Does the Apple Store get better QC? Anyway, has anyone else had a similar experience or was this a coincidence?
  2. Anthony8720 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2005
    Obviously i dont have any inside info to give you. However, from what i have seen on various forums, cto machines tend to have a higher occurence of fit and finish issues. I think its because they literally take a completely put together base model, open it up, and then add your custom components. The extra step introduces another chance for manufacturing error, and thus there is a higher occurence of problems. But, like i said, those are just my thoughts..
  3. macman2790 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2006
    you would actually think that they'd be careful while taking it apart and putting it together. I just hope that mine doesn't come like that because i ordered with student adc, and i'd have to send it off for a repair.
  4. tyroja00 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Although that seems so silly to do and not very efficient, that would at least explain the over-tightened screws and misaligned casings and keyboards. I have taken these apart before and if you are not taking your time it is hard to get everything flush especially if you are getting paid at a cheap rate, especially above the drive, and you tend to over-tighten the screws when you do it manually b/c you don't trust that they are secure.
  5. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    You sure they take apart a fully-assembled stock model to fit custom options? I would have thought it'd be easier to either build from scratch to order (which AFAIK is what Dell etc. do if you go for options, at least that's what happened with my last Dell laptop) or to make batches of each custom option then send them out as required - there aren't that many options, with only 3 different HDs and 2 screen choices (RAM is just a plugin, no diasssembly required) for the MBP.

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