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Users feel the pain of being early adopters, thankfully Apple gives hope

Apple has been doing quite well lately, especially when it comes to drumming up support for new products. It's MacBook Pro is no exception to the rule -- but rightly so. The popular notebook has been receiving praise from various publications and orders have been flying.

Despite its popularity as a "must have" Apple product, the MacBook Pro is encountering a lot of issues. Many users are reporting similar issues to the ones I pointed out. To recap from my blog:
  • AirPort does not automatically rejoin a preferred network after waking up from sleep mode. This does not happen with my PowerBook. Settings are the same.
  • AirPort would drop down to nearly 1 block randomly once in a while. This also does not happen with my PowerBook.
  • At the lowest screen brightness setting (one block), the LCD's backlight flickers noticeably. This is pretty annoying.
  • Heat is a big issue. The MacBook Pro gets so hot that I cannot place it on my lap if I'm wearing shorts. And even if I am wearing pants (instead of shorts), it's still very uncomfortable. Using the AC power, the palm rest area becomes very warm, and the area above the F keys is very hot. I do not notice this with the PowerBook.
We have confirmed with several MacBook Pro owners that these problems do in fact exist, and are not just isolated issues. While being at the forefront of technology is great, early adopters often find themselves with products that have shipped with a few quirks yet to be addressed.

I spoke with Apple over the weekend, and to my surprise, some of the issues are well known. Known well enough in fact, that Appe has already started addressing these issues in updated MacBook Pros. According to Apple, it has begun replacing the mainboard inside its MacBook Pros with a new revision. It calls the udpated product "revision D", which is identifiable by product serial number.
  • Serial numbers starting with W8611: revision D
  • Serial numbers starting with W8610: revision C
Apple said that revision D MacBook Pros have many issues addressed and improvements made, including fixes to the above mentioned issues. We were also able to get a hold of a MacBook Pro that just arrived during the week with a serial number starting with W8612, which did not exhibit any of the above issues. Many users are also reporting that their MacBook Pros become extremely hot to handle, especially in the area above the F keys and underneath the notebook itself. In fact, my MacBook Pro gets so hot that placing it in your hands is almost unbearable, and leaving it on a bare lap is next to impossible. According to Apple, the MacBook Pro should never become hot to the point of being uncomfortable. The representative I spoke to said "that should not happen. If it is, bring back your MacBook Pro and we'll give you an updated version."

Besides the problems that we are seeing, other users are also reporting that their MacBook Pros create a very uncomfortable whining noise, which is fixed by launching a widget or by using PhotoBooth -- oddly enough this solves the problem until the next reboot.

Those who are having issues with their MacBook Pros should first check for the identifying serial number, and then contact Apple to address the issue.




"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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