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I'm working on a review of the new Apple 12-inch aluminum PowerBook G4s. The unit Apple sent me to review warped slightly on the top right front after a few weeks of using it. It's clearly a warp, not a hinge problem.
A colleague pointed me to archives at Macintouch in which readers report their first-person experiences with either units they've had that have warped on the top and/or bottom, and walking into Apple Stores with obviously well-used 12-inch models that show warping.
Here's the problem. I don't want to report that the PowerBook warps. That's unfair. I have about 10 accounts and my personal experience. That's anecdotal. As a journalist, I can't make an assumption about hardware based on that little information. It's unlikely that unless Apple planned a recall and case replacement or other substantial move, or they acknowledged that a specific run of cases had a flaw, that there will be a way to gather comprehensive information on a statistical level.
So I ask the community: anyone have any ideas about either confirming or rejecting that warping is widescale? anyone have suggestions on how to cover this?
Of course, I may chart my own course, but it seems irresponsible for me to not report my first-person experience. Apple is sending me a replacement unit to look at. We'll see what it does.
Posted by Glennf at April 3, 2003 8:37 PM
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Tracked on February 23, 2004 8:58 AM
I'm curious as to whether or not the warping problem has been eliminated in the new line of powerbooks which begin with the 12" 1ghz. It seems that the last poster is having some problems with his new 12".
If anyone is experiencing similar problems with the new line of powerbooks, please post and let us now. I'm looking at the new powerbooks, but may just end up buying an iBook, if it turns out the warping is still a problem. In the end I'd rather have a less powerful computer, if it means less hassle! Wouldn't want to end up having to send my laptop back 1 to 3 times, like some of the posters here have had to do!
Posted by: Alex at October 20, 2003 6:15 PM
I have just bought a 12 inch 1 Ghz.
The lid is not flush and gaps are appearing between the shell and the trackpad platform.
Is this common in Rev2 of powerbooks?
Are all powerbooks made in Taiwan?
Posted by: Tak at October 18, 2003 8:30 PM
Glennf, it's real. Read my other post just below yours. Apple has a bad design here and though I love the look and feel it's a tool that is currently nonfunctional. I have lots of pictures of warped laptops as we are documenting everything so that we can get them replaced.
Posted by: James Cox at October 7, 2003 10:57 PM
Yes, the warping is more than real. I am the technology director at a small private school and we purchased 176 12" G4's. One was DOA. Then with in one week of use we were seeing massive problems especially with warping. We are three weeks into using these computers now and I have over fifty with signs of warping. Two have warped so bad they will not start. We are also finding that they get so hot that they donít operate well. In fact they slow down to the point that 500 mhz iBooks runs OS X faster. We are also getting lots of kernel panics.
Apple at first agreed to replace all 176, then they accused me of damaging the computers.
I was not happy. We are currently still negotiating and I am considering going back to the iBook for our school.
Posted by: James Cox at October 7, 2003 10:49 PM
My PB-12" started bowing at the front right side of the mouse button, and it rocked on the desk. Then the final straw was the latch not working.
So I took to to my local ASP and they sent it off to Apple and 4 days later I got back a fully repaired laptop. No bowing, whole new screen assembly and it doesn't rock. !
Posted by: Mark - UK at October 7, 2003 12:59 AM
Hi. Just wanted to add that my brand new 15" Aluminum Powerbook is indeed beginning to warp on the right side. I'm crazy about my Powerbook, but this is completely unacceptable. I'd expect this from some other laptop manufacturers, but not Apple. I hate to gripe about what seems so trivial, but come on. It's a Mac! I want it to be wonderful on every level, including cosmetically. A genius at the Apple store in Germantown took a picture of it to send to Apple, so I'd better hear something soon.
Posted by: Neal Bowen at October 3, 2003 10:10 PM
The warping issue is real. I agree with several here that it's more of an annoyance than a functional problem since I use mine 12" Al on my lap. I did send it into the factory for a fix, and they returned it with some improvement. Perhaps, I'll send it in a few more times during the warranty period.
Meanwhile, I can't figure out how to replace the HD. The cover design doesn't appear to be the same as earlier G4 models...Anybody have any experience with this?
Posted by: Alan at October 2, 2003 10:32 PM
I received my 15" Al Powerbook a week ago. I noticed the lid warping (on the right side) and the difficulty in closing it, before installing my software to transfer any data to it. I immediately sent it back to Apple and notified them about the amount of users complaining about the same thing, not just on this site, but also on macrumors, etc.
I think that awareness about this problem has been circulating only in small circles such as these, but someone should write an article about it and send it to the media.
I think they should admit that they have to correct the structural design problem. They need to compensate for thermal expansion and/or to reinforce the frame.
Posted by: sml at September 27, 2003 9:30 PM
just to followup, to be exact both battery and plastic trim have a 500 micron imperfection, and were like this when it was bought.
Posted by: vasudeva at September 27, 2003 7:57 PM
Bought my PB 12" 867 in July. all around excellent machine, done everything ive asked and fouled up only when i pushed it hard twice. noticed when i bought it that the plastic trim along the left screen and keyboard did not perfectly sit with the frame, by a matter of 100's of microns. not too big a deal. i have experienced no warping but it does produce enough heat on the left that is almost too hot to touch, and this occurs only during high processing. ive used certain software that uses the maximum amount of processing power several times (fan full blast) and the extreme heat produced from this still didnt warp it in any way. a friend with the same software and a 15" doesnt get hot so am assuming that his isnt venting heat as well due to the lack of aluminun framing (which is an excellent heat sink). battery is not flush with the frame, also by a matter of couple hundred microns. opinion on these things is, if the pieces to put it together arent exactly perfect it doesnt go together right, and its hard to get the precision needed for this thing every single time.
This thing has been like a toy to me unlike any windows based hassle.
Posted by: vasudeva at September 27, 2003 7:51 PM
I would also like to note that the CDs make funky noises when playing and sometimes scrape against the side when ejecting.
Posted by: Jomei at September 21, 2003 2:07 PM
WOW... I have been arguing with apple for the past two and 1/2 weeks. After googling and googling I finally found this. Now I see that it really is a defect if this many people are having a problem. I AM GOING TO PRINT THIS AND BRING IT TO THE STORE.
Here are my problems:
I bought the power book for work from the apple store here in Los Angeles. I own an iBook as well, I moved over all my data. After about a week, the keyboard stared to feel odd. Then the keyboard started to bow on the right side. Then the battery started to pop out. Now the battery will not seat correctly, the screen is warped, the case is warped so bad that the thing will not sit right on a table and is anoying as hell to type on, and the two halves of the screen are comming apart on the top left. They keep telling me that they can send it in for repair. For what? So I can wait a week, then have it come back broken again? OR Have it come back unbent and even worse? Forget that. I would like to exchange it for a new one. It is pretty new. Only about two months. The major thing that is ticking me off is they have been rude to me at the apple store and told me that they do not cover it. They can send it in and have the case "unbent". If you ask me, I think it is a manufacturing defect if there have been this many people complaining.
Posted by: Jomei at September 21, 2003 2:05 PM
I've had my 12" PB since May and I noticed it start to warp within the first few weeks of use. Today, it the metal is bulging out just above the right side of the screen latch. I must admit, I don't always use it on a desk though - I like the convenience of being able to work with my PB on my lap - though it gets so scorchingly hot that I can't set it on bare skin without it burning! Does anyone know how to fix the bulging metal above the latch? Will Apple fix this?
Posted by: Sheri at September 20, 2003 3:25 PM
I have had my 12PB for 3 months now. I noticed the gap in the closed lid immediately but accepted it as a minor defect not worth worrying about. A couple of weeks later I noticed the rocking of the base as I typed. Initailly I suspected an uneven surface but eventually realised it happens on all even surfaces. I have considered attempting to bend the thing straight but have decided not to in case I break something thus voiding my warranty. I am also wary of returning it to Apple (I purcahsed direct from Apple) because of the inconvenience and the expectation that they wil just bend it back anyway. After reading these posts however I think I will return it and hope for a speedy and effective result. Love it otherwise
Posted by: steve booth at September 18, 2003 10:22 PM
I think Apple has a minor problem with a few of it's 12 inch Powerbooks and they will make it right. It might look like they have a widespread problem from the number of comments on this site, I think we all just found each other here via Google.
That being said mine is about to go back for the third time for this same issue. The first time they did nothing, the second time it looks like they sanded down a couple of the feet and tried to bend the case back to shape. It does not wobble. But it is far short of the kind of craftsmanship I would have expected from Apple. If you close the unit and stare down the front edge the distortion of the bottom case is obvious. I too got the bulge out of the strip of metal on the right side, and the DVD slot is distorted as well.
So, at this point my only gripe with the unit is a lack of straight lines and symmetry on the bottom end of the unit. This is a sharp contrast to the product I took out of the box. I marveled at the lines and perfection in manufacturing. I want my 6 week old Powerbook to look like that! After a year or two of use I'll accept the normal wear and tear and get over it.
I am sending mine back a third time and insisting that they put it back the way it was when I first took it out of the box.
Posted by: Erin Clerico at September 9, 2003 1:46 PM
day 17: I've recently had some fairly drastic problems with my 12-inch... far worse than any of the warping i've seen on the web and i was wondering if anyone had seen anything similar.
It wasn't dropped but has developed a very large and drastic warp next to the power in- it looks like someone has stuck a screwdriver into it- obviously apples immediate response is that it must have been dropped- but it wasn't- all i can think is that after being plugged in all night a flaw in the power-in circuit from the mains may have resulted in lots of heat and melted the Al? any ideas?
Posted by: Peter at August 15, 2003 10:28 PM
I've had my 12" G4 for three weeks now (one of them at Apple for repairs). My computer came with a serious bulge above the latch on the front. I pointed it out to the guys at the Genius Bar, who promptly sent it off to get replaced. It came back looking fine, but now I get the infamous "rocking" whenever I set the computer on a flat surface. Odd, after Apple had to have replaced that part.
Posted by: Tristan Nelson at August 12, 2003 11:43 AM
Recently all my powerbook feet came off except for the one on the battery. The one on the battery is very different from the others as it is mounted differently. I decided after weeks of waiting for My Apple Reseller to get their act together or at least call me and let me know that they are too lazy to scratch their arses I decided to go to a Hardware Store and purchase some transparent 3M Self Stick Rubber pads (No.18). I placed them just inside of the original positions. These are about 3.55mm (0.14inch) high and 12.7mm (.50inch) wide, these have kept my 12inch cooler but not stopped the warping. They also compliment the Little lappy so iím happy now. Apple should have used these sturdy stable feet in the first place! let hope the heat doesnít kill my laptop!
Posted by: Alex at August 8, 2003 5:00 AM
Where can replacement feet be found? How are they attached?
Posted by: Zoe Trope at August 3, 2003 11:13 AM
I'm starting to see the warping on my new 12" G4. One comment...the warping is real. Some guy, earlier, mentioned the melting point of aluminum and suggested that the tempurature that the powerbook heats up to is no where near hot enough to warp the powerbook case.
First of all, aluminum has an inherent elasticity and certainly does not need to reach melting point ( the tempurature needed to change a solid to a liquid) to "warp" or provide more elasticity. And what about the plastic trim?....the plastic isn't melting either...it is warping!
Posted by: Chris at July 25, 2003 6:53 AM
I just got my 12 inch PowerBook, my very first mac. I was aware of the heat issues, but i could hand that for the power boost of the iBook. I opened out of the box and it wouldn't lie down flat, at first I thought it might have been the surface i was setting it on, but after a full day of use and setting it on multiple surfaces I knew the problem was with the unit. I immediatly called Apple and they gladly set me up with a repair option. This pleased me that apple treated a minor defect with great importance. From searching around on the net I feel that the problem is not with the heat of the unit, but when it is being manufactured. The reason i feel this way is that it doesn't happen to every PB and it seems to happen within a few days/weeks of getting the PB.
As far as the heat, I wish apple would update the firmware of the PB so that the fan kicks in at a lower temp, thus getting some of the hot air out of the book. Other than that I love my little mac.
Posted by: Ian Anderson at July 12, 2003 11:43 PM
My trackpad button sticks when my G4 12" is cold, then as it warms up it no longer sticks. Has anyone measured how much the case expands as it heats up? Presumably those extra few tenths of a millimetre are enough to release the sticking which I suspect is caused by inadequate clearance. Is stickage more common in cold countries I wonder? Also, has anyone noticed problems with the sound input port as the PB gets hot? I was recording using SoundStudio the other day and the sensitivity of the input circuit increased on the right channel by more than 6dB as the computer got hot. The input port is right under the left palm rest so presumably gets a full blast of processor / graphics card (or whatever) heat. Fascinating beasts, these Powerbooks, aren't they?
Posted by: Damian Gamble at June 17, 2003 3:31 AM
I bought my powerbook about 2 weeks ago and today before reading about this problem noticed a wobble. then i noticed a bulge below the latch button on the battery side. i was able to follow the instructions from one of these posts to fix the wobble but have not yet managed to fix the bulge. thanks for the post. hopefully apple will have a fix to this problem soon.
Posted by: Jacob Lauzier at June 13, 2003 8:40 PM
Hey guys...well after reading this thread im starting to feel alittle better. I bought my PB 3 days ago and had noticed the wobble which almost everyone seems to experience. I was alittle concerned b/c I had suspected that the store I bought it from had sold me one that had been on display or had been returned. I guess im not the only one that gets this so I dont think ill rush off to return it right away. However I think getting AppleCare is a really good idea.
Posted by: verbal at June 11, 2003 6:29 PM
I bought my 12in baby about 3 month ago.
I noticed the WARP, the same as everyone else. The front right corner refuses to meet the table.
I trimmed a couple of the rubber feet with a scalpel until it sat without rocking.....Then it started rocking again... I removed all the feet and place it diagonally across my leg. I pushed with moderate force a couple of times checking it on the table. It now sits straight.... and I need some more feet!
Anyways, I love my PB, and hope it dont develop any further probs....or back it goes!
Posted by: Andrew Burn at June 5, 2003 5:46 AM
Same problems here...just got my 12" PB about three weeks ago and it's already warped on the bottom. Was fine out of the box, but now, even on a flat glass desktop the front-right corner is up in the air about 1/16th of an inch, causing an annoying wobble. And the aluminum palm rest panel is bulging up in front of (and to the right of) the trackpad. I can push it down and it springs back up. Annoying things for an $1800 computer!
Posted by: chad at May 16, 2003 3:16 PM
Hi, just my five cents on the subject...
The problem with warped cases and faulty battery locks, seems to be quite common!
I bought one myself two weeks ago and turned it in because it was rockin' noticiably when placed it on my desk. One of my friends also bought one, and on his model the battery was misaligned with the bottom with several milimeters!
And i've heard of others that had have similar experiences.
This is, obviously totally unacceptably, and it's about time Apple does something to fix this gross manufacturing and/or design flaw!!!
I've havent recieved a new PB yet, but i will turn that back in as well, onless it can stand firmly on my desk on all four "feets".
Posted by: Michael Madsen at May 8, 2003 6:49 PM
I received my 12" PB on Feb 5, and it wobbled on my desk right away. I just figured it was my cheapie desk. Then I went into the SOHO Apple store a week or two later and put the laptop on the Genius Bar to ask about something else, and noticed it wobbled there too! I asked one of the Geniuses if there was anything he could do, and he said yes right away, and whisked the laptop off to the "back room" as if he did that all the time. It didn't wobble when he brought it back, but it was wobbling again within a few days and has continued to wobble since.
The bottom of my PB also gets SCORCHING hot. I haven't taken its temperature, but I sometimes can't set the machine on my lap/legs if I'm wearing thin pants because it's too hot and it hurts me.
Posted by: Jennifer at May 4, 2003 2:51 AM
Warping or Bending? Just catching up with this thread. My PB12 wobbled on a flat surface about a week after receiving it. Much as discussed earlier, I simply put a post-it pad in the middle of the bottom and gently pressed on the two offending corners until it was level.
I have also noticed a bulge above and below the screen opening button. The bulge below may be a distinct weak spot in the case design. If you remove your battery and follow the outside edge toward the release button you can see that the frame is reinforced just until you get the area the houses the airport card. This gap is only about 1/4 inch but, it was exactly where the case bulged out and it was simple to push it back into place. I have a habit of picking up my computer from the from right corner (with the screen open. I believe this where my warping/bending problem is occurring.
My sense is that Aluminum is too soft without more reinforcing. That makes the 12 inch Powerbook G4 (and my bet, the 17 and ultimately the al 15 inch models VERY delicate computers. No one said aluminum was a strong or durable metal, did they?
Posted by: john at April 28, 2003 3:55 PM
I first bought my Powerbook G4 about a month ago, only to return it a few days later with a horrible wobble and warp. The warp was so bad that the case had started to come away from the powerbook itself. I'm now on my second powerbook, only to find that it has developed the same problem, and I will now attempt to return this one as well. This really sucks because I love the unit and use it daily, but I am somewhat upset that I have to continue to return it only to find I have the same issue over and over. I called AppleCare and they just tell me to return it to the store, so does anyone know of Apple taking responsibility for this defect? This is not something I think should be an issue with an Apple product, especially for the price of this unit.
Posted by: Jonathan at April 18, 2003 9:10 AM
I will try to post this to my blog when I have time (as you may see it's gotten a bit stale, check for photos of my machine when new though if interested in my first post there). Nevertheless, please read this post if you obtained your 12" PowerBook with a minor "warp" to its base, and/or the lid is slightly raised on one side when closed. I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Out of the box mine came with a slight wobble when sitting it on a level surface, and the lid closed with the right side sticking up slightly higher than the left on the front (latch) side as described here previously. This is either an engineering issue with some of the early models (I was one of the first in Seattle to have one), or a packaging/shipping issue. Let's admit it folks, it doesn't take much force to bend thin aluminum. I thought nothing of this. I simply (carefully!) bent it back into shape! This took only minutes for both issues. I'm not trying to be an Apple apologist here and say they don't need to keep an eye on this kind of thing, but I did not want the hassle of sending an otherwise reasonably fit machine in for "repair" -- when all repair techs would likely do is bend it back to spec themselves, and I didn't think this was a big deal since it didn't affect the performance of the machine and it was an easy fix for me. This does not speak to issues mentioned elsewhere here where it seems that some units are bending due to heat, nor does it address issues with plastic molding out of alignment. How did I bend my "unit" back into shape? For the "wobble" issue, I sat the LID OPEN PowerBook upright and diagonally on a stack of documents such that the high side(s) of the machine were hanging over the edges of the stack. I then (gently, ever so slightly) flexed the machine such that most of my pressure was exerted above the diagonal "high" feet on the base of the machine. It took me two times of doing this after checking it on a level surface, and it was perfectly level after the second "flex". Don't push hard! Just do this a little at a time and keep checking. The idea is to distribute the force across the base of the unit, so no one part of the case flexes a bunch. Your mileage may vary! As far as the lid issue, while the lid was open I (gently, carefully) started at the latch and used my fingers to pull the top of the lid toward me with my thumbs on either side of the latch side, the rest of my fingers on the top (back) of the lid, obviously pulling the right side a bit more. I worked especially my right hand out toward the top edge of the right side of the machine, "massaging" and keeping the gap between my thumb and fingers large to avoid bending the lid too much -- SUBTLE bending over a large distance is key here. I actually overcorrected the first time and had to bend it back a bit so the latch would release easily as the right and left edges being to close to the case made the center too high, thus too much upward pressure on the latch (lid was a little bowed, higher in the middle). I believe I saw this tip on Macintouch, the former was my own idea. The base of the machine is still very flat after 2 months and the lid fits very nicely as well since I made that correction. Otherwise - while my machine can get extremely warm, it is never uncomfortable in the way I use it (even with my left palm occasionally resting to the left of the trackpad). Admittedly I am more concerned about the machine overheating someday rather than it burning my lap or wrist. Regarding battery life, two resets of the PMU with respective heavy use during charge and then complete discharge of the battery between PMU resets has increased the battery's charged life by 20-30 minutes since upgrading to 10.2.4 (had been around 3 hrs. prior to OS upgrade) -- my average battery life is now around 3 hrs again with iTunes use, etc. All this said, I am very happy and impressed with my machine... it has done everything I have tried with it, including burning DVDs, with aplomb. I love the size, power, etc, see my blog for more info.
Posted by: Craig at April 8, 2003 2:55 PM
I bought mine a few weeks back and it's been to Australia and back with no problems except the following cosmetic ones:
- Both batteries I bought take a lot of effort to get into their slot.
- The plastic moulding has definitely warped, and it's gone back to apple for this reason. They didn't do anything frankly, as I got it back just as I left it. Useless.
- I've noticed it get's almost burning hot in the memory slot and left palm rest. This seems to be when I'm playing games. normal use doesn't let it get that hot.
- Then there's the freaking battery. It charges up to 88%, then the comp thinks the battery is full, which it isn't and keeps pumping power into it, thus turning it into a furnace.
I'm pissed off because it's such a frigging expensive unit, and apple usually makes great gear. I think we deserve to get a 10 out of 10 unit. Not 7.
Grrr. Apple, ADMIT THAT YOU SCREWED IT!
Posted by: Peter at April 7, 2003 8:40 PM
I've had my 12" PowerBook for about a month, but only been using it for 2 weeks because it spent to the first 2 weeks of ownership at Apple for 2 consecutive rapairs (ill-ftting battery). In the 2 weeks I've been using it now, though, I've definitely had some warping going on. Fortunately, no wobble has emerged, but the sides of the case hace begun bulging outward a bit. Specifically, this is happening on the left side along where the keyboard is, the right side, along where the DVD slot is and in the front where the latch is.
This warping has caused a few problems, so it's only a matter of time before I'll have to send it in for repair. First, the plastic trim isn't fitting tightly anymore in the areas mentioned. On the left side of the keyboard, the trim actually seems to have twisted or tilted some towards the keyboard. If you look at the gap between the keys and the plastic trim, the gap is now smaller next to the shift and function keys than it is by the esc and ~ keys (though that gap used ot be even). Second, in the front, there is a permanent bulge in the aluminum at the latch, making it more difficult to press the latch. Just tot he right of the latch, there's also a gap in the seam of the case where the upper half of the case and detatched from the lower half of the case. I can press it down and hear it click back into place, but then it just pops back up again. Also, the plastic trim right there is loose, so i moves under my hand/wrist all the time now. Thirdly, I have experienced screws in the case coming loose. A few days ago I happened to tough one of the screws only to discover is was so loose I could turn it with my finger. So I promply got a mini screwdriver and tightened all of them, several of which turned out to have been loose. I believe this is happening from the constant puffing out of the aluminum (from the extreme heat during recharging) and retracting of the aluminum when it cools down. Oh, and lastly, my battery has never foit flush, but it was pretty close--no real gap, just a slight raised edge. Now, there's a gap in the front edge.
Sorry for the extensive write-up, but I thought detail might help you out in your research and looking for common issues among owners.
Posted by: Tonya at April 6, 2003 9:42 PM
Add another name to the warped list. My 12inch pbook warped after a couple weeks. A nickle under the front right side fixes it, but it's still a bummer.
Posted by: Derek M. Powazek at April 6, 2003 2:01 PM
The heat is mostly from the graphics chip, hard drive, and when plugged in, recharging circuit. The G4 processor runs warm, but not nearly as hot as these other components.
Perhaps Apple should consider making the next batch of PowerBooks a bit thicker to allow for more of an air gap inside, this would keep the surface much cooler. Many PC notebook makers already use this technique.
Posted by: Joe Molina at April 5, 2003 1:26 PM
I'm reading a lot of comments about warping and heat problems. First of all, Al is a good heat conductor and perhaps this is a good way to dissipate the heat from your procesor. Also, I've read reports of temperatures up to 101 degrees (I'm assuming fahrenheit since it was not specified. This is equivalent to approx 38 Celsius which is just about body temperature (if you have the flu). Folks, that is not hot, that is lukewarm. The melting point of Al is 660 Celsius my conversion tables don't go that high so I can't give you the fahrenheit figure). I hardly think that low temperatures such as 38 Celsius will cause warping of the powerbook.
More likely, the warping reported is due to the differences in surface on which the powerbook is placed. Placing the powerbook on the same surface periodically (one on which it does not rock) would be a good way to check for warping (of course, any change could also mean uneven wearing of the rubber feet underneath).
I have noticed on my model, a loose fitting tab running around the front of the PB. This was how it was delivered and I'm not too concerned about it. The latch is also a little tricky. But these are very minor concerns to me and are not detracting from the enjoyment I get out of my 12" PB. I'd love to hear of any real concerns about warping.
Posted by: Malc at April 4, 2003 10:24 PM
no warpage on my new 12" albook. only cosmetic/mechanical 'flaw' is that when latched, the right side of the screen is lifted or raised up about 1/2 a mm as compared to the left side. you have to put the front seam at eye-level to even see this.
also, it does not get as hot as i had feared from reading reports. it does not get much if any hotter while charging than the bottoms of the tibook/400 and tibook/800, the latter of which i traded in towards the albook.
Posted by: Guy Teague at April 4, 2003 3:26 PM
Having played with the 12" PowerBook at Macworld Expo, I knew two things: I wanted one, and that they got pretty darned hot. In fact, I was worried that it would get so hot that it would mar the finish on our dining room table, which is where the computer is most of the time. So when I bought the computer, I also bought a Traveler CoolPad, which at least keeps the thing off the table. It's still quite hot, especially when plugged in. The other day, I put my kitchen thermometer's probe on the part of the PowerBook above the keyboard, near the power connector, and it read 101 degrees. On the palmrest right above the hard drive, it was 99 degrees. I'm running the Folding@Home software on it, so the processor is always running full blast.
I've experienced no problems with warping. Perhaps that's due to the CoolPad. Still, I love the machine. I thought my 500 MHz Dual-USB iBook was great; I like this PowerBook even better. Though because of the heat, we've nicknamed it the fryBook. I am worried about the long-term effects of the heat on the computer, so I will be buying AppleCare for the thing before the warranty runs out.
Posted by: Tom Negrino at April 4, 2003 1:14 PM
Hey Glenn - props to Damien for adding a link to your site in order to comment. It is really odd- on certain surfaces it rocks, but others it does not. I guess it depends on how level the surface is. I know a place with a granite slab so I can verify this completely once I place it on the slab (experiment with the apple being cold and hot to see if warping does occur. Now as for the heat, It is really bad when the powerplug is plugged in and the battery is charging. I have heard that removing a preference file and resetting the power mgmt before restart is a way to recalibrate and reset so as to prevent the fan from unnecessarily turning on. Overall the annoying thing for me is my trackpad button sticking...its driving me mad!
Posted by: mark at April 4, 2003 11:40 AM
Glenn, The 12" PB that I bought for my girlfriend had a warp to it from the get-go. It would wobble on any table we put it on, metal would "sproing" as it heated up, and the track pad button would stick a bit.
We were prepared to live with it, as we love the computer, but then the spare battery we ordered for it showed up, and we found that after removing the original battery neither one would go back in and lie flush. You could literally shake the battery out.
Called Apple and screamed bloody murder and they took it back and replaced both the top and bottom cases and it works like a charm now. We do love this computer.
Posted by: John Morrison at April 4, 2003 9:28 AM
I have a client who purchased a 12" on Feb 14th. Within four days, the case had warped so badly (ostensibly due to an overheating processor or HD) that it had bent the optical drive mechanism inside; it would no longer cleanly eject CD's. I sent it back to Apple and they replaced the optical drive mechanism but not the case, which only helped the problem instead of solving it. CD's still don't eject cleanly. It's back at Apple again.
Posted by: Damien Barrett at April 4, 2003 8:25 AM
Let's say I work someplace where I've seen a lot of 12"ers go out the door (maybe hundreds). I've seen 3-5 come back with minor warp issues (and they were exchanged with little fuss). So it seems to be very few and far between. Hasn't stopped any employees from buying some themselves, and raving about them.
Posted by: anon at April 4, 2003 8:22 AM
i've had my 12" pbook for almost a month now and have not noticed any such warping at all. the battery does get a bit hot at times and it usually takes a little longer than i'd ike to boot up, but no warping.
i love it.
Posted by: drew at April 4, 2003 8:21 AM
Glenn, I got my 12" PB in mid-February and noticed within 2 weeks that it had started to warp. When I set it on a flat surface (like a table) it rocks noticably. It has not warped to the extent that the battery has fallen out or CDs/DVDs don't eject, as others have reported, but as soon as (if) it does I will be calling Apple and asking for a replacement.
To remedy the problem I just stick some paper shims under the rear left corner until it stops.
I hope that Apple acknowledges this obvious engineering mistake and offers a recall or replacement units. It's the honorable thing for them to do even if it costs them a bundle. There's no excuse for rushing engineering quality assurance just to meet a production deadline.
Other than the case warping and heat issues, I love the 12" PB and continue to use it daily.
Posted by: Cameron Barrett at April 3, 2003 9:26 PM
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