Which is more likely for problems; Apple Laptops or Desktops?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by visvaldis, May 4, 2014.

  1. visvaldis macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    I was torn between a used Apple laptop or a new Mac-mini and eventually bought the latter.
    For some reason I believe that laptops develop more technical problems and they happen earlier than desk tops. Also, that laptops are tougher to accurately trouble-shoot and fix problems. Aren't laptops more flimsy in construction?
    What do you think?
  2. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    You have to think of it this way. A desktop system rarely moves, whereas a laptop is constantly on the go. It depends on how you treat the laptop. I think the MacBook Pro is a very solid built laptop, but as with anything, it is only going to take so much abuse.

    I have had laptops that are 5 years old and still looks almost new. But I also carry them in a proper case and make sure they are handled with care. As for troubleshooting a laptop compared to a desktop, I really do not think there is a huge difference. I can fix problems with my MacBooks as quickly as I can my iMacs.
  3. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    The Mini seems to be rock solid, and I'm sure benefits from a bit less miniaturisation and a bit more 'breathing room', but you can't really compare the reliability of a static 'separate' with that of portable device with integral keyboard and screen. The laptop has more to go wrong, and unless it never leaves your desk it has a much more physically demanding life.
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Considering Apple sources all of their parts from the same manufacturers, both would have about equal chances of having issues that aren't your fault. You could argue that mobile components get more wear than their desktop counterparts because of poor air ventilation. Apple products have some of the best heat management systems out of any laptop manufacturer, and are known to underclock their processors and GPUs, increasing lifespan. Any other "technical problem" is because you somehow damaged your computer.

    As for the desktop/laptop repairability and troubleshooting, desktops win by a small margin because they are slightly more accessible than the current lineup of Apple laptops, but really not by much, especially since 2012. On the software side, they are exactly the same.

    And yes, laptops are more "flimsy" than desktops. You are more prone to damage them because you are carrying them around. Apple laptops are very sturdy though, and in comparison to other laptops, they hold up very well. If you are concerned about the longlevity of your machine, Apple is the way to go.

    Please note: Just because a company has the least faulty computers doesn't mean there are not any faulty ones. All computers will fail at some point, Apple computers just last longer on average. If you are this concerned, definitely look in to getting Applecare.

  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have had several Mac minis and several Mac laptops. I've had problems with two of my minis and with none of my laptops.

    Mac minis are aimed at a lower cost point, especially the older ones like I had. Meanwhile my Mac laptops were two Macbooks and the rest were all Macbook Pros. Of those pros, only one required service because my son spilled a drink on the thing. Mine never moves and I use it as if it were a desktop so I have the best of both worlds. I have a more robust, higher end machine that is designed to handle being moved around and I almost never move the thing. It also helps that I have an SSD inside so it's robust even if I do decide to move it.

    I almost never buy Applecare on my Mac minis and I almost always buy it on my Macbooks and Macbook Pros. The reason is I want a little extra coverage on something that (might) get carried around. To me it makes more sense to compare a rMBP, MBP and an iMac as being somewhat equal. A Mac mini is still considered a low end entry model Mac so to assume the same robustness or performance might from a Mac mini that you would get from a MBP or iMac not be quite fair.

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