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Print 27 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on May 5 at 6:19 PM

More problems arise with Apple's MacBook Pro

If current issues plaguing Apple's MacBook Pros weren't enough, a new problem concerning batteries has now cropped up. Apparently, early MacBook Pro batteries are not beginning to show problems ranging from the following:
  • Going from a full charge to 90% capacity and then immediately losing power
  • Losing significant capacity
  • The battery meter LED blinks at 1 block or doesn't respond
It's being reported that MacBook Pros with serial numbers earlier than W8608, such as W8607, are affected by the faulty batteries. It is unknown currently how many users have faulty batteries but according to some customers, Apple has issued a cross-shipment capture of the associated batteries. As of now, MacBook Pro owners with a serial number starting with W8609 and higher are not affected.

Currently, the MacBook Pro suffers from various issues such as an infamous whine, AirPort Wi-Fi connection issues, excessive heat, and other minor issues. While the issues do not affect all MacBook Pros, a quick look on Apple's discussion forums for the MacBook Pro reveals that a significant number of users are experiencing issues.



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Two sides to every story
By maxplanar on 5/3/2006 1:51:27 PM , Rating: 1
"an infamous whine, AirPort Wi-Fi connection issues, excessive heat, and other minor issues"

I'd just like to present another perspective on these problems. The whine (caused, it seems by CPU throttling) is certainly no worse than on the previous AI Powerbook, and is a sound that is no more intrusive than the soft whine from the drive. It's a problem that's really been overhyped. You can't hear the sound in most environments - in a completely silent room, yes, otherwise no.

As to Airport connection issues, yes, they exist. Currently many users have to manually select the WiFi network when awaking from sleep, which was not neccessary on the previous generation Powerbooks. I have this problem on my MBP. However, anyone who believes this is anything other than a software rev. away from being fixed is a conspiracy theorist - this problem is certain to be rev'd out of existence within the next month or two. And it's not like it's, uh, a major hindrance to my workflow.

Heat? I find my DualCore 2.16GHz MacBook Pro to be no hotter on my lap than my 2003 1.25Ghz G4 Powerbook. They both get hot. Whatever. If it's a problem, it's certainly not a problem specific to this new architecture, and any thin, high performance laptop will suffer from the same problem until power management on laptops is improved. I used a friend's Vaio the other day for a while and it got pretty damn hot on my lap after an hour too. This issue is FUD.

The battery issue? Well, that sounds like it may need some attention, sure. But I don't have it and none of my three other colleagues who own MBP's have it.

People need to maintain some perspective, really.

Take me to the store and point out any brand or model laptop that has absolutely zero issues and I'll show you my giant many-headed Polar Bear.




RE: Two sides to every story
By TomZ on 5/3/2006 2:14:36 PM , Rating: 4
Sounds like you are putting up with and tolerant of a number of issues/inconveniences. I never have had anything of the sort with my ThinkPads.

I know that a lot of folks are in love with Apple, but I tend to see them as just another company. Companies all have some good qualities and bad qualities.


RE: Two sides to every story
By maxplanar on 5/3/2006 2:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sounds like you are putting up with and tolerant of a number of issues/inconveniences.


You missed my point - they're not inconveniences at all.

quote:
Companies all have some good qualities and bad qualities.


I completely agree! And well done with your Thinkpad, I'm happy it's been good to you. They're great laptops, though personally, I need more precise cursor control than is remotely possible with a small rubbery blob, but each very much to his/her own. And I'll bet if you edit video on it all day, it too would get kinda hot underneath?


RE: Two sides to every story
By TomZ on 5/3/2006 2:27:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You missed my point - they're not inconveniences at all.

If you say so - a whining power supply, flaky WiFi connection, and a hot bottom plate sound like inconveniences to me. This is the kind of quality I would expect out of a cheap laptop, not a premium priced one. Maybe you are blinded by the love.


RE: Two sides to every story
By maxplanar on 5/3/06, Rating: 0
RE: Two sides to every story
By TomZ on 5/3/2006 3:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll trade you one of my hot laps for one of your spyware and virus decontamination sessions.

Zero viruses, to date, after 10 years of use. I occasionally run a free scanner to make sure my computers are virus-free, but I don't otherwise use a virus scanner. Since most viruses are either user activated or acquired by visiting "unsavory" web sites, I don't think they should be a serious problem for anyone trying to avoid them.

The number of viruses is proportional to the market share of the software. So, if OS X becomes popular, it will have its share of viruses. It's not like OS X is inherently different in its architecture to where viruses would not be possible.


RE: Two sides to every story
By maxplanar on 5/3/06, Rating: 0
RE: Two sides to every story
By Pirks on 5/3/06, Rating: 0
RE: Two sides to every story
By Pirks on 5/3/06, Rating: -1
RE: Two sides to every story
By maxplanar on 5/3/2006 5:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just mount my hdds to the folders on the main hdd, so my \data folder for example is my second hdd and so on


So if you put an entire project on an external drive and bring it to another computer, it will appear as /data on that computer too? That's great. Would that computer have to have exactly the same mount points pre-established for it to appear as anything other than E: though? I'd be really interested to know how you do that, it sounds very useful.

quote:
How about if I trade YOU my cheap and fast Athlon for your ability to natively run Call of Cthulhu in Mac OS X


Call of What? Sorry, I'm over here working. Is that a game? Does it have scary monsters in it? OOOoooh!

And who cares about prices? If I can get quality goods, I'm MORE than happy to pay for them. I'm still running my 1992 Powerbook 180 as a 24/7 mail server running OS 8, so even though it cost me ~$4k then, that has worked out as a $300/year computer.

ehehhe.


RE: Two sides to every story
By Pirks on 5/3/06, Rating: -1
RE: Two sides to every story
By maxplanar on 5/3/2006 6:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Same question, same answer :)


As I'm sure you know, any drive in OSX can be named whatever you want, e.g. "Johnny's Big Beer Project w/ knobs on", detached from your system and attached to any other OSX system whereupon it will appear with the same name. Across the board. Makes for great asset management and archiving, something you'd know all about in your world. I actually used to be in CG myself, Softimage and FGS before that. Gave the whole shooting match up when Maya came out. It's fantastic software though.

quote:
Are you working and playing on different boxes?


Not at all! Excuse me while I fire up Tetris!


RE: Two sides to every story
By Pirks on 5/3/2006 7:56:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
any drive in OSX can be named whatever you want, e.g. "Johnny's Big Beer Project w/ knobs on", detached from your system and attached to any other OSX system whereupon it will appear with the same name


Yeah, I can assign volume labels since PC-DOS times, and now they have space for 32 letters... gee I wonder what is the limit in Mac OS X? More than 32 letters for a volume label?

Volume labels is one thing and mount points is another. What about mount points in OS X? If my hdd named "Lovely 3D artwork by Pirks Inc and his buddy cat" was mounted on /var/local/pirksyart in OS X, and then moved onto another Mac where I have no rights to /var/local at all? What happens then? Where is my mount point then?

quote:
Are you working and playing on different boxes?

Not at all! Excuse me while I fire up Tetris!


People who play Tetris are happy people, 'coz they can play and work on same box whether it's a Mac or Wintel. The story is different for more demanding folk though.


RE: Two sides to every story
By plinden on 5/3/2006 6:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you say so - a whining power supply, flaky WiFi connection, and a hot bottom plate sound like inconveniences to me. This is the kind of quality I would expect out of a cheap laptop, not a premium priced one. Maybe you are blinded by the love.

Well, my work supplied me with a maxed out Dell Latitude D810 just before Christmas. I believe it cost > $3000 back then, and even now I think it's $2500 on the Dell store configured to the same level ... so it's by no means cheap.

It has a whine, noisy fan and VERY hot bottom plate. There's no serious burns or sizzling flesh, but it's so hot I can't hold it one handed or on my lap. This laptop is half as thick again as the MBPros and made mostly of plastic.

Yet, having worked with non-apple PCs for so long, I am just not surprised and expect this. I'm not complaining about it. I did have an IBM Thinkpad T41p which also had a whine and noisy fans, but wasn't hot.

None of the MBPros I've played around with in the store have come close to this temperature. Some may have an individual problem, but I don't think it's any worse than most other laptops out there.


RE: Two sides to every story
By RandomFool on 5/3/2006 2:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agreed that some of the issues may be a bit overhyped but they are still issues; however minor they are, you shouldn't have to deal with.


RE: Two sides to every story
By Trisped on 5/5/2006 6:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apparently, early MacBook Pro batteries are not beginning to show problems ranging

Pull the "not" Tuan, it should be "early MacBook Pro batteries are beginning to show problems ranging..."

I would expect a 2.16 GHz to be quite a bit hotter then a 1.25 GHz processor. The problem with the apple books is that they are way to hot for their power.

While I appreciate your detailed comment, I feel it important to mention that Apple prides its self on quality as well as appearance. Most like the latter, but the former has been lacking for some time. Now that Apple is playing in an open x86 market instead of a PowerPC market I hope they will start to return to their roots.


Your no fun!
By joey2264 on 5/3/2006 5:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
Your supposed to whine and insult me with ridiculous charges, come on!

Seriously, I am glad you are having no problems with your macbook. While the problem is very widespread, there are certainly some units that aren't having the problems, one of which seems to be yours. Nevertheless, this is a unacceptable problem, made even worse by the fact that if you do get a defective unit, you are very unlikely to get a replacement that is not defective due to apple's repair policies.




RE: Your no fun!
By PrinceGaz on 5/3/2006 7:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
You can hardly expect a Mac zealot to admit in public that his computer is less than perfect. That would be heresy to him! :)


RE: Your no fun!
By maxplanar on 5/3/2006 8:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
Not true. It is indeed less than perfect. It has never, EVER, made me lunch.


yikes
By RandomFool on 5/3/2006 1:12:25 PM , Rating: 3
If it wasn't for all the trouble they were having I'd almost consider buying a macbook pro. Hopefully they'll release an updated version that has less problems sometime soon.




RE: yikes
By Wahsapa on 5/3/2006 10:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
the new unreleased ibook will do better than the macbooks because they'll have learned a couple things on how to build x86 notebooks, why else would ibooks be taking so long.


The heat problem is unacceptable
By joey2264 on 5/3/2006 5:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
I am glad for you that you can tolerate the heat of your MBP, but the heat issue is an extremely serious one that most MBP users have, even if they don't want to admit it. Many people with MBP's (these are Mac fanboys mind you) report that their skin would literally be burned if they touched certain areas on the outside of the notebook for more than 2 seconds during load. This is simply unacceptable, especially because of the reason for this, that Apple has been using ridiculous amount of thermal paste on their cpu's. When some intrepid souls took apart their MBP, scraped off the ridiculous amount of thermal paste, and put on an appropriate amount, they discovered at least 12 degree improvement in temperature, sometimes amounting to as much as a 20 degree difference. And it is not like you can expect to return your MBP to Apple and expect to recieve a replacement that does not have this problem. The scans from the Apple repair manual clearly show that Apple believes an entire tube of thermal paste should be squeezed on each die (cpu, gpu and northbridge), and the picture shows as much. (The correct amount would be a grain of rice sized drop). Apple refuses to acknowledge this critical flaw in their machines that could be easily fixed in the manufacturing process. This is inexcusable. I repeat, the current fix is to completely take apart the MBP, scrape off the current paste, reapply, and put the whole thing back together again. This is not acceptable. I hope you enjoy your expensive defective system.




RE: The heat problem is unacceptable
By maxplanar on 5/3/2006 5:44:22 PM , Rating: 1
Running Compressor for a few hours ripping MPEG's pretty much cranks the CPU's to the max. and generates as much heat as you can possibly get out of it. I can (fairly) comfortably leave the MBP on my lap during this. So although some people may have the problem, I can only relate my own experience.

quote:
I hope you enjoy your expensive defective system


I really, really do.


By PrinceGaz on 5/3/2006 7:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
The heat issue may not bother you, but not all of us wear thermal-protective clothing while using laptops without a convenient table.


Merom
By bnme on 5/3/2006 1:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully most of these issues will be resolved by the time Merom is released.

However, I'm wondering if the newer revision models (if you build one at Apple.com) have less issues than if you just select one at a default configuration?




Never buy Rev. A ...
By IsDanReally on 5/3/2006 1:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
This just makes another case for never buying any revision A product from Apple. This happens time and time again with them.




No trouble at all
By tthiel on 5/3/2006 2:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
I have an intel iMac, MacBook Pro, and intel mac Mini and have had no issues with any of them.




"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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