MacBook Pro 17″ 2.6GHz ordered

Since moving house I have been using my MacBook Pro 15″ 2.0GHz at home, for contracting and even for the odd diagnostics and organization in the office.

The last 20 months have been a bumpy ride with the logic board being replaced twice once for whining and the second time when the inner memory slot went dead. The battery has been recalled and the power supply cable started melting and the paint started flaking off the enclosure but thankfully Apple sorted out all these problems rather swiftly with advanced replacement parts and speedy repairs through local service centers iQ Guernsey and Guernsey Computers.

Every company has problems with products, especially first revisions, but how they deal with them is important and one of my logic board failures was a couple of months out of warranty but their customer services department authorized the replacement anyway. Such service counts for a lot in my book and so now I have outgrown my notebook another MacBook Pro will be it’s replacement…

My paltry 100GB disk space got eaten up with an extensive music library and plenty of 10 megapixel RAW digital camera images. Subtract a 15GB Boot Camp and I was soon looking at external storage. Parallels and Visual Studio 2008 meant I needed to up from 2GB to 4GB of RAM and I found myself constantly missing my 24″ Dell monitor. I also need to be able to test 64-bit applications now that I am developing Cocoa apps.

The Apple Store UK just added the 2.6GHz processor and 200GB 7200RPM drive options this week and although Guernsey is barred from The Apple Store UK local re-seller iQ matches their ex-VAT prices on Pro gear so on Saturday I ordered my new dream machine complete with the high-resolution 1920×1200 anti-glare LCD (no glossy mirror for me thanks).

They also have friendly shop staff unlike Guernsey Computers (although Vernon in their service department is helpful if you can get to him). One thing I really can’t stand though is Apple’s pricing policy on RAM.

To upgrade from 2GB to 4GB they want £450 extra! Crucial UK will do a 4GB kit of the same spec for just £98. I’m not alone in this observation.

It’s just insanely ludicrous.


8 responses

  1. Avatar for steve

    It does concern me a little that the Macs seem to need so many repairs. Hearing about how many times yours has been fixed, and now mine busting after 3 months, compared to my previous laptop experience where out of 4 machines in the last 10 years or so, only one gave me trouble (an Acer, which I vowed never to buy again because the build quality was terrible and their support services apalling).

    It's good that iQ fix the machines locally, although it's been over a week now when they originally told me 2 days. They're nice chaps though and they seem to be having some staffing issues so I'm hanging in there.

    steve November 4, 2007
  2. Avatar for Damien Guard

    Well the only other laptops I've owned were Dell's and the experience was much worse.

    The 5000e arrived with a dead LCD, whole machine swapped out, wrong video, swapped again. Motherboard died, 2 week repair, hard drive died, 2 week repair, intermittent crashing and had to threaten legal action which resulted in a brand new 8100 replacement and I got to keep the 5000e which went on to have the PCMCIA slots die and the hard drive die again.

    Hard drive in the 8100 died too and if I remember correctly both were the recipient of battery recall programmes.

    Damien Guard November 4, 2007
  3. Avatar for Kezzer

    I've had my Acer for 4/5 years now and the only problem I've had is that the hard disk died which I replaced myself. I've never had to send it back to Acer for repairs. I know it's getting on now though, some hardware such as the wireless card is giving up I think, although that could be driver related.

    It's alright for some though, I'd love to get a MacBook Pro. All in good time ;)

    Kezzer November 4, 2007
  4. Avatar for steve

    I burned out 2 Acer notebook motherboards within a year because the thermal design was awful - they had good specs but if you did a lot of GPU work it seemed like it would eventually fry the machine.

    My other experiences were with Compaq (ages ago), a 3rd-party UK system builder called Paco, and Sony Vaios. The Vaios get flak because of the software bundle but in my experience the physical construction of the machines is impeccable.

    The only machines I've ever had to return were the Acer (twice) and now the MacBook.

    steve November 5, 2007
  5. Avatar for Damien Guard

    I think part of the death of the 5000e was due to thermal design - I was running Asherons Call on it quite often when it started playing up. If they can't cool it enough to run 3D apps then don't advertise it as having it ;-)

    Damien Guard November 5, 2007
  6. Avatar for Damon Stephenson

    I bet Damien will get much less problems with the new MBP. As product lines get older bugs are ironed out :P Even CPU's have bugs etc. I'd like a Mac Pro when they are ever updated. Also, if I ever get enough monies for one ;)

    Damon Stephenson November 6, 2007
  7. Avatar for Damien Guard

    Yeah the first logic board replacement was in fact caused by the whining on-battery CPU bug on the first Core Duo chips.

    /me crosses fingers

    Damien Guard November 6, 2007
  8. Avatar for Ken Egozi

    I've had a great experience with Dell. A Latitude LS (PIII 400MHZ / 128MB) that I had baught second hand, still work. Can run WinXP Office2003 with no problems. VS2005 is overkill due to low memory.

    This buddy sufferred a cuppa tea. lcd went off, but after 2 days left open, the thing went back to life.

    So I guess that Dell Latitue = great, Dell Inspiron = crap. It should be the same for all vendors. Fujitsu Amillo are shaky, while the lifebooks are solid machines. I now own a Toshiva Tecra A3. I've had bad sectors on HD (apparently OEM HD in toshiba has only 1 year warrenty so I had to replace it myself). Also, the mother board does not like 2MB memory for some reason, so I'm using 1.5 only. besides that, it's working great. it's almost 3yrs old, yet the battery can still juice almost an hour with VS and WiFi

    have a good luck with the new MBP. 17" on laptop - sounds great to me ..

    Ken Egozi December 6, 2007