17" PB: Flimsy Hinge & Auto-Brightness Pet Peeves

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I am seriously considering buying a PowerBook 17", but I must tell you that the three 17PBs I've reviewed hands-on had flimsy hinges in comparison to the 15". The hinge on the new 17 is horrible. One of the models I played around with would not even stay in the desired position I wanted it at! I asked Apple if there was any way to tighten up the hinge and to my amazement the rep. said "No...and that is my ONLY complaint about the new Powerbooks...the hinges are not as sturdy."



Another pet peeve is the auto-brightness. I covered up the speakers with my hands to see if I could see the keyboard light up (I could not) and the brightness went down. This is a nice battery saving feature, however I like a bright display at night and would want the keyboard to light up but do NOT want the brightness to go down. I looked though the settings and could not see separate controls for this and did not see anyway to accomplish this. Does that annoy anyone else?



Please tell me your thoughts and experiences on these issues. Thx!



Arondale

www.arondale.com

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,148member
    Initially I saw the 17-inch and thought it was too big. So I got a 15-inch 867 TiBook. My friend got the 17-inch PB and when I was able to use it hands-on, I must tell you that I thought the hinge was vastly superior to the one on the Tibooks. It's very smooth and glides easily to the position that you want. Perhaps some models are loose. I've only used this one.



    As far as the screen brightness thing and the ambient light sensor is concerned, I tried to do the same thing you did. My first observation was that the backlit keyboard wasn't as impressive as I thought it should be. Then again, I wasn't in a dark room and my friend said it's really impressive in the dark. Regardless, I'm pretty sure the screen brightness reduction feature is one of sound medical principle. I'm pretty sure it can be harmful to your eyes to look at a very bright LCD in a dark environment.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    jcjc Posts: 342member
    the auto screen dim is one of the best features on the PB. when you test it in a light room you see it dim and complain, "Argh I dont like that to happen. Look how dim it is!". But if you carry your PB into a dark room you would not even notice the dim. Because your eyes ajust to the dark letting in more light. If this did not happen the screen would seem to get brighter and would cause eyestrain. and if you want to turn the brightnes up you can always hit the brightness up and down keys on the keyboard which is F1 and F2



    The backlit keyboard is awesome. Again not designed to be effective in a bright invironment. but, open this baby in a dark resturant and wow!, light comes on just when it needs to.



    the hinge:

    a 17 inch screen is a lot heaver than a 15(lots of glass). I am not sure that the 15 would be any better. the 12 inch does not have that problem and it is the same hinge.



    I had a 15 inch TI which I sold to buy the 17. I like the 17 a lot better. It seems much more durable. the 15 inch case tended to flex a bit and if you held it with one hand it could crash. also if you pressed the back of the TI screen it would dent the screen. the 17 has been far more stable. though the 17 gets a bit hotter on the bottom than the 15 I have never had to restart the 17 and i had to restart the 15 2 or 3 times a month. I was worried that the 17 might be 2 big but I got used to it very fast.



    my opinion is that the 17 is a better machine hands down. although you could probably get a 15 on eBay super cheap. Yoi may want to wait a month or two for the 15 to be upgraded into a AI case.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    jcjc Posts: 342member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by arondale

    ...and the brightness went down. This is a nice battery saving feature, however I like a bright display at night and would want the keyboard to light up but do NOT want the brightness to go down. I looked though the settings and could not see separate controls for this and did not see anyway to accomplish this. Does that annoy anyone else?www.arondale.com



    I found out that you can turn off the auto brightness by going to System prefs/Display and the uncheck auto adjust brightness as ambient light changes
  • Reply 4 of 5
    I am sure you are right about not really noticing the brightness changes in a dark environment and it does make sense that I might benefit, from a medical standpoint, with the auto-brightness feature enabled.



    As far as the hinge goes...I agree that when you touch the back of a TiBook you can see it on the LCD and does not with the less flexible Al surface. This is good. However, I would still prefer to make a little more effort in adjusting the screen into position than with a delicate push of my pinky. I would much rather have a tighter hinge. I am not saying that the design of the hinge is weaker than the TiBook. I think the 17" PB's hinge is better in strength but it still does not compare to the TiBooks ability to hold a screen position better IMHO.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    jcjc Posts: 342member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by arondale

    I I think the 17" PB's hinge is better in strength but it still does not compare to the TiBooks ability to hold a screen position better IMHO.



    I agree with you on this point as i like to tilt the copputer up on my knee as i recline. and it sometimes tries to close at extreme angles. I also like the way i could open the TI all the way up at a complete 90 degee angle. However I do like the way the screen opens up and back.

    These are my complaints as well. In fact this may well be my only complaint. I do not feel that apple will fix this though. These are things that i am willing to live with.
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