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Macbook Pro Reliability

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I am a potential switcher that is very close to pulling the trigger on a new Macbook Pro. However, in doing some research I have become very concerned about the reliability of these machines. I see surveys that indicate as many as 1/3 of these have been in for repairs. I also see lots of links about the random shutdown syndrome. Is there any word on whether these issues have been resolved? I haven't really seen an explanation for the shutdown problem or any indication that it was resolved.

Even with these reservations, I had my order form all filled out on the Apple store when I decided to add an extra Magsafe power adapter. I've always had two power adapters for any laptop I own. As I glanced at the description, I notice that the user ratings were very low. I started reading some of them, and was shocked that there was one failure after another with these adapters, far too many to be ignored. Now, I am hesitant to go through with an order. The Macbook Pro seems like a very elegant design, but I don't want the headaches of an unreliable product.

By the way, it is a foregone conclusion that I would get the Applecare warranty with this purchase. However, I need this machine for work, and I can't afford to have it off being repaired. Does Apple make any guarantees on turnaround if a repair is necessary?
post #2 of 41
I have a new MacBook Pro C2D and have had it for about three months. I was a switcher myself, and had read many of the same reviews about problems they were having but I am convinced they have all been cleared up. I have it on almost everyday, all day except for restarts for software updates and haven't had a single problem with it since the day I bought it. No random shutdowns, no power adapter issues, no heat or noise issues. Not a single issue come to think of it. I would whole hardedly recommend buying the MBP! Hope this helps!
post #3 of 41
I have a core 2 MBP. No problems. RSS was a problem that affected the first MBPs that had Core duos. Nonetheless, I believe that has been straightened out on those machines.
post #4 of 41
I bought my 17" MBPro C2D 3 months ago. It goes with me everywhere, used for hours on end and with absolutely no problems. My previous laptop was a Titanium Powerbook, it lasted several years of serious abuse. I can only hope this latest addition will survive so long. Good luck!
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post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by markel View Post

By the way, it is a foregone conclusion that I would get the Applecare warranty with this purchase. However, I need this machine for work, and I can't afford to have it off being repaired. Does Apple make any guarantees on turnaround if a repair is necessary?

Apple is usually pretty quick, but maybe not quick enough for you if you have to have it every day. I don't know if arrangements can be made for a "loaner" or not.

BTW: After nine months, I had my magsafe adapter replaced. Basically the pins didn't push out properly anymore. I wonder if I ought to pack silicone grease into the pin seats if corrosion was the problem, but if it is particulates, I suppose grease might cause more problems.
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I hope that RSS is indeed gone. The Magsafe adapter issues are frustrating, but easy to workaround. I hear good things about Apple customer service, but the nearest Apple store for me is an hour away. In general, I'm guessing that service issues will be shipped to Apple. The loss of my machine for even a few days is hard to stomach. I work on my current windows machine all day every day. I will keep it as a backup, but because I'm switching I don't know that having a windows machine around is that much help.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by markel View Post

The Macbook Pro seems like a very elegant design, but I don't want the headaches of an unreliable product.

Then don't buy it.
I've maintained a few powerbooks and mac book pros for several clients that rely on the machines everyday and the quality of these Apple products is at all time low right. Not surprising considering Apple is not using very good OEMs to build their machines.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatman View Post

Then don't buy it.
I've maintained a few powerbooks and mac book pros for several clients that rely on the machines everyday and the quality of these Apple products is at all time low right. Not surprising considering Apple is not using very good OEMs to build their machines.

I'm reading similar QC complaints about some new digital cameras. Sometimes having everything made on the cheap in China isn't such a good thing. Do you have any experience with the regular Macbooks? I'm trying to get my Mom to purchase her first computer at the same time I switch to a Mac myself (am waiting for Leopard to take the plunge). I just don't want to talk her into getting a new computer that's going to break down on her, especially after I try selling her on the idea of paying more for a Mac because they don't break down like Windows computers do (I guess maybe it's just the software side?) I guess we have to pay extra for Apple Care and hold our breaths?
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post

I'm reading similar QC complaints about some new digital cameras. Sometimes having everything made on the cheap in China isn't such a good thing. Do you have any experience with the regular Macbooks? I'm trying to get my Mom to purchase her first computer at the same time I switch to a Mac myself (am waiting for Leopard to take the plunge). I just don't want to talk her into getting a new computer that's going to break down on her, especially after I try selling her on the idea of paying more for a Mac because they don't break down like Windows computers do (I guess maybe it's just the software side?) I guess we have to pay extra for Apple Care and hold our breaths?

It's important to remember that the pcs are made in China too. They aren't being put together at a Mercedes plant in Germany. Buy Apple care and don't look back.
post #10 of 41
[QUOTE=backtomac;1046723]It's important to remember that the pcs are made in China too.QUOTE]
Oh I know. It's hard to find anything that isn't these days! Just wondered if Macbooks were any worse than other laptops.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post

Just wondered if Macbooks were any worse than other laptops.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2006499,00.asp
post #12 of 41
I bought a second-hand 17" MacBook Pro four weeks ago. It was six months old so still under warranty. The display had the patchy discolouration fault some people have reported, so I took it in to get it replaced under warranty. Sure I had to wait a week to get it back but I've got a perfect brand new display so I can't complain.

Moral of the story...most faults will become apparent within the first year under warranty. If you're not satisfied with that get the extended warranty. I have NOT experienced anything like random shut downs or other problems. This is a great laptop that I'm sure will last for for years if treated well.
post #13 of 41
I wouldn't let those reports stop me. I have a C2D and have had no problems. I think some of the earlier ones had potential issues, but I think they are likely cleared up by now.
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post #14 of 41
I, too, am quite suddenly in the market for a new MBP; my PB has called it quits after 3 years of serious abuse (the MagSafe adapter should keep my next machine functioning longer than this one)... Thankfully I have a backup of the HD on another disk that I can then use to migrate to a new machine.

I perused Apple's Discussion Board and did not find that many problmes (a couple of very boisterous complainers on a couple of machines, but I have also had my bad runs).

What is the current status of the MBP? Buy or Don't Buy?

Also, how soon do we think an upgraded version will be out and what is the play call for Leopard?

 

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post #15 of 41
Macintouch regularly does reliability reports and this is what they have on the MBPs.

SDWs machine falls into the second set which had far fewer repairs. NAy new buyers would be in this group, too.

http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/macbooks2.html

 

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post #16 of 41
Any recent MBP buyer feel their screen is grainy?

My wife's MB's screen is better than my 23" Apple Display... (IMO...OC)

 

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post #17 of 41
Berg,

I've a MBP core 2 and it's been fabulous. If I needed one now I'd get it. I know Santa Rosa is around the corner but from what I read on another thread it doesn't look like something I'd wait for if I were in the maket for a MBP. The most important feature improvement may well be the better integrated graphics and that's a non-issue if you're looking at a MBP. Yes the faster clock speed, up to 2.4ghz, and faster FSB are nice but I wouldn't hold out for them. My 2 cents.
post #18 of 41
Do you have the matte or the glossy screen?

My wife's MB is glossy and it is fabulous at home; had a few minutes at a shop today looking at a matte 17" and it seemed a little dull in comparison but didn't reflect the lights that were behind me.

The main reason I have to consider the MBP over the MB is the size of my hands. The MB, being almost the same size as the 12" PB I used to have, is painful to use (nowhere to rest my hands beside the keyboard). Of course, I also like the real estate; I use Aperture a lot now and the bigger the screen the better (but not 17").

 

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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Do you have the matte or the glossy screen?

My wife's MB is glossy and it is fabulous at home; had a few minutes at a shop today looking at a matte 17" and it seemed a little dull in comparison but didn't reflect the lights that were behind me.

The main reason I have to consider the MBP over the MB is the size of my hands. The MB, being almost the same size as the 12" PB I used to have, is painful to use (nowhere to rest my hands beside the keyboard). Of course, I also like the real estate; I use Aperture a lot now and the bigger the screen the better (but not 17").

I've got the matte screen which I like but it's just a personal preference. I've some pc laptops at work with the glossy screen and I wanted to try the matte screen. I think I like the matte screen better but I could easily work with either. How do you like Aperature? I thinking of trying it or lightroom.
post #20 of 41
I went with the matte. I was really considering glossy, and it does look fabulous. I just think the glare would drive me nuts.

As for my machine, it was purchased in October. It think that would put in the first batch of C2Ds?
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post #21 of 41
Thread Starter 
I can't speak for the Apple glossy vs matte displays, but I see PC laptops with the glossy displays frequently. They are nice for some things, but in an office environment, they drive me nuts with the office lights. I know it's a personal preference, but I find the glossy displays extremely irritating. I can only work at certain angles with them.
post #22 of 41
SDW... I was going by the upper chart on Macintouch's page... there was a huge difference in repairs btw the first round of MBPs and the Core 2 MBPs (5.7 versus 18.2 percent needing repairs).

-----

Is anybody's machine exhibiting the display problems that have appeared on some discussions with the MBPs?

 

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post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I've got the matte screen which I like but it's just a personal preference. I've some pc laptops at work with the glossy screen and I wanted to try the matte screen. I think I like the matte screen better but I could easily work with either. How do you like Aperature? I thinking of trying it or lightroom.

Though really a discussion for elsewhere, a quick answer here:

I picked up Aperture right after the update to 1.5 and love playing with it. My new Canon EOS XTi exports images under-exposed and not as sharp as I would like, so I use Aperture to quickly bring them up to my prefs. The biggest features, however, come in the organization cabalities and the vault (backup). I have thousands of images that fall into several dozen main categories but are taken over months; it is easy to slip them into folders and also back everything up. Right now I am running Aperture on my G5 dual 2.0 at home and it's a bit sluggish at times, but it does the trick.

Am hoping to put Aperture on the new MBP so that I can organize and preview my photos over lunch on my long drives (the rare free day I have is spent as far away from civilisation as possible). The new specs should handle it as well or better than my G5. (hopefully)

 

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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

It's important to remember that the pcs are made in China too. They aren't being put together at a Mercedes plant in Germany. Buy Apple care and don't look back.

The last time checked, all Fujitsu and Panasonic notebooks, as well as higher end Sony and Toshiba notebooks are made in Japan or USA.

Quote:
I'm reading similar QC complaints about some new digital cameras. Sometimes having everything made on the cheap in China isn't such a good thing. Do you have any experience with the regular Macbooks?

Only when other CS peeps ask me for help.

Quote:
especially after I try selling her on the idea of paying more for a Mac because they don't break down like Windows computers do (I guess maybe it's just the software side?) I guess we have to pay extra for Apple Care and hold our breaths?

That's an interesting idea... spending your own money and then holding your own breath hoping it doesn't break?!
Where did this notion that Mac doesn't break down "like PCs" do? Just don't buy a crappy PC like a Dell or HP/ Compaq and you won't have a problem.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatman View Post

The last time checked, all Fujitsu and Panasonic notebooks, as well as higher end Sony and Toshiba notebooks are made in Japan or USA.

OK you got me there. How about Dell, Lenovo and HP?

Apple is at least as good(from reliability standpoint) as anyone else and probably a little better. Maybe they aren't as good as they were 5 years ago. Nobody is.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatman View Post

The last time checked, all Fujitsu and Panasonic notebooks, as well as higher end Sony and Toshiba notebooks are made in Japan or USA.



Only when other CS peeps ask me for help.



That's an interesting idea... spending your own money and then holding your own breath hoping it doesn't break?!
Where did this notion that Mac doesn't break down "like PCs" do? Just don't buy a crappy PC like a Dell or HP/ Compaq and you won't have a problem.

It just seemed like from what I have ben reading here, Macbooks had a real problem and wondered if they were any worse than other brands. As far as reliability being a selling point for my Mom, I was more refering to the reliability of software (Mac OS vs Windows) and lack of virus/spyware problems.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post

It just seemed like from what I have ben reading here, Macbooks had a real problem and wondered if they were any worse than other brands. As far as reliability being a selling point for my Mom, I was more refering to the reliability of software (Mac OS vs Windows) and lack of virus/spyware problems.

It's really hard to tell. We'll have to wait until the next PC World survey is released, but usually Apple is rated at least a point ahead (out of ten) of the rest of the PC industry in terms of problems & support. Much of that may simply be software not causing as many problems.
post #28 of 41
The way I see it, almost all consumer electronics now days will have problems. Its a fact of life. I've known people that have gone through multiple mp3 players, printers, cameras, etc. I don't think that Apple is any better or worse than any other company in this regard. The people who get lemons always yell louder than those that are 100% statisfied. Its a fact, although us Mac fanatics yell pretty loud when something is awesom

Anyways, the way I see it, you've already convinced yourself that you want a MacBook Pro. If you buy anything else you'll always wish you had gotten the MBP. I say just get it and deal with any problems 'if' they come up. There is no guarantee that the Dell/Gateway/HP/Sony won't have problems either.

All this being said, I made the switch to Mac a little over a month ago and got a 15" MacBook Pro. I've had 0 problems with it. No heat issues, no grainy disply, no dead pixels, no uneven display. Its a perfect specimen.
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post #29 of 41
Had mine For some time now C2D, love it. Honestly the best machine I've ever owned. 100% reliable, no trouble with it.


(15" C2D 2Ghz 2gb ram)
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post #30 of 41
An upcoming major presentation series dropped on me yesterday has forced my hand so I ordered the 15" glossy 2.33 with the set 2GB RAM and 256 graphics memory.

The machine should arrive this Friday, if not before. Apple will now certainly release something within a few weeks (probably the 32nd day after I receive my machine)8) .

 

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post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowboarder389 View Post

I have a new MacBook Pro C2D and have had it for about three months. I was a switcher myself, and had read many of the same reviews about problems they were having but I am convinced they have all been cleared up. I have it on almost everyday, all day except for restarts for software updates and haven't had a single problem with it since the day I bought it. No random shutdowns, no power adapter issues, no heat or noise issues. Not a single issue come to think of it. I would whole hardedly recommend buying the MBP! Hope this helps!

My experience is the same. I have had mine since November and it just works! Fast, reliable, and so far, problem free!!!
post #32 of 41
I have a first-gen 15" CD2.0 GHz purchased 2/2006, and it's been a great machine. No problems at all. As for AppleCare, I have some experience thanks to my old laptop: a 600 MHz white iBook that had to be returned to Apple three times for logic board replacements. From door to door, the longest it was ever out of my hands was 5 days - and that was over a holiday weekend. I was superbly impressed with AppleCare service. Not so much with the logic boards (until they finally fixed that dang bug in them), but the service was exceptional.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatman View Post

The last time checked, all Fujitsu and Panasonic notebooks, as well as higher end Sony and Toshiba notebooks are made in Japan or USA.

They might be assembled in Japan or USA, but most of the components are made in China or another Southeast Asian country. (the custom-design Sony parts like the motherboard might be manufactured in Japan/USA, but the components on the motherboard are still most likely from SE Asia)
post #34 of 41
Received my MBP (glossy) today and set everything up, brought it home to update software and that's when I saw it: a dead pixel in the lower part of the left upper quadrant of the screen, pretty much right where lots of stuff happens. What is Apple's policy on this?

Other than that, the machine runs far cooler than my old PB15 and is pretty nice. It will be going to work tomorrow.

 

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post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
Sorry to hear about the dead pixel. I thought the industry had mostly moved past that problem. I have not had a dead/stuck pixel on a laptop or monitor in several years (which is at least 8 or 9 screens). I assume that it is only happening very rarely today, and I thought that companies would immediately offer an exchange.

Given Apple's excellent customer service reputation, it would seem inconsistent to not exchange such a machine. I would call them and be firm. If that does not work, I would ask for a manager and be firm. For me, a dead/stuck pixel would always be an irritation which pretty much ruins the sort of experience Apple is claiming to deliver.
post #36 of 41
Thread Starter 
Ok. I just got back from my local Apple store (actually an hour away, but I was passing by). Anyway, according to the manager, the official policy on dead pixels is that they are handled on a case by case basis. In other words, there is no official policy that they will put in writing. I find this to be very discouraging. The manager said that if they did not allow some dead pixels that the prices of these machines would be much higher. I think that is nonsense. I thought that several of the monitor manufacturers had now gone to a zero dead pixel policy (can anyone confirm this?). If so, Apple can do so too if they choose.

End result: I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping to place my order for a 17" MacBook Pro this week. If I get a dead/stuck pixel, which I realize is still unusual, it appears that my only recourse is a 10% restocking fee. That's $300+ for a machine with 3GB of RAM.
post #37 of 41
Thanks for the feedback, Markel. I too am a bit disappointed...

Last night I read the Apple help page on dead pixels, which reads like a clause that allows them to create sub-par products and get away with it.
"pixel anomalies": (this appeared on the site after somebody filed a lawsuit)

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=22194

---

Called Apple Japan this morning and, well, again, I was under-impressed. Their policy is under 5 dead pixels and they won't even look at the machine and they ask the customer to continue using it. Two reps, one who was pretty rude, posed as a manager though he wasn't one and had no phone manners whatsoever, and then a recommendation that I call the customer service center, but they aren't open on weekends, and I still have a sub-par "pro" machine.

I tried being very polite (until the second rep blew my mind and I spoke a little more frankly), but they were very firm in saying there was no way they could repair or replace my machine and I would have to live with it. I received it yesterday, it is under warranty, but they say this is not an issue covered by the warranty eventhough they do not say this anywhhere on the Apple Store homepage prior to purchase. I had to leave for work so I apologized for puchasing an Apple product that had a problem and for trying to get help with that problem from the call center and then hung up.

Once again, I regret purchasing an Apple product, and for trying to get a problem with it resolved. Dealing with Apple Japan is a truly exasperating experience that leaves me saying no wonder Japan sales are laggging and the stockholders are complaining. The comapny is so messed up it is really incredible.

 

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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by markel View Post

I can't speak for the Apple glossy vs matte displays, but I see PC laptops with the glossy displays frequently. They are nice for some things, but in an office environment, they drive me nuts with the office lights. I know it's a personal preference, but I find the glossy displays extremely irritating. I can only work at certain angles with them.

i don't think all glossy screens are alike. the screens i've seen on windows laptops at bestbuy are ridiculously glossy. to the point where you can't even see the content of the screen in the store environment. i have a few friends with glossy screened macbooks and they're not nearly as reflective as those windows machines. the gloss of the apple screens seem to be just about right. granted, i don't use them personally on a day-to-day basis.
post #39 of 41
Am trying to work a trip to an Apple Store into my schedule, but the nearest one is almost 6 hours away (round trip) by bullet train and subway and I can't find any seminars in that city that I need to attend, so it may be a while. Will try customer relations tomorrow morning... something I am not looking forward to.

Fielded the MBP today for the first time and it worked like a charm and was much cooler than my old PB. The glossy screen is much better for photos than a matte one, so I am very happy to have it, even with the pixel. Managed to create user profiles for my most used apps that will place a bar or border of some sort over the dead pixel to keep it from being an irritant, so I can wait until I have a chance to talk more with Apple/ get to a store. My sense of humor returned today (talking to Apple Japan would destroy even the sturdiest of comics) and I named the HD something suitable for the occasion.

 

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You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #40 of 41
Thread Starter 
I finally pulled the trigger. My 17" MBP arrived today (first Mac ever). I got it with 3GB because I will need to be running several Windows apps under Parallels at the same time as my Mac applications. I also went with the matte screen as a matter of preference.

Anyway, I looked carefully and could not find a single dead/stuck pixel. Obviously, I'm pleased although I still don't like their policy on this. Machine is downloading the 10.4.9 update right now. I will start installing other apps (Mac and Windows) later today.

Thanks to all for their advice!
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