12" Powerbook Durability - ehMac.ca
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Old May 28th, 2003, 12:17 AM   #1
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Hey all,

Quick question for you....I just bought my first laptop machine, and I wanted to know just how durable these things are? Can they withstand vibrations (like the ones that will come from being in the trunk of my car driving over heavy potholes and stuff like that)? Im curious about this cause I dont wanna break the thing, but I dont like having to be overly careful with a machine especially when its a laptop...

Anyways, any feedback would be cool...

Jack
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Old May 28th, 2003, 02:09 AM   #2
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I've got the same Powerbook which I got in March and it's working out great. It's a little too early in it's life to be sure how durable it'll be overall...but I can tell you it's been in the cab of a tractor-trailer several times, the front seat and the rear section of my extended cab pick-up truck, the crew cabin of a A300 Airbus and lugged around continuously since I got it...

...not to mention over-handled by curious and admiring friends and strangers. [img]smile.gif[/img]

I'd recommend getting a good case with a removable padded sleeve. I got the Brenthaven case from Apple and I'm very happy with it. Sometimes I take just the sleeve and put it in another case or bag. There are several manufacturers that make cases for the Apple line of Powerbooks.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 09:18 AM   #3
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It's not fine china, but it's not a rugby ball either.

I think if you just treat it with the care and respect you'd give anything that costs that much, you'll be fine. As kps said, get a good case to transport it in, and leave it in the case when you're not using it. Use it in a clean environment where it isn't risking falling.

I've had a 15" PowerBook for just over a year, and it's still great. The keys are a little worn in now, and there are a couple of worn spots in the paint (where my palms rest), but there isn't much in the way of chipping or anything, like I've seen in pictures online. It's still one of my best friends [img]smile.gif[/img] , though (shhhh) this 17" iMac we just got gets a lot of attention when I'm at home.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 10:22 AM   #4
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Reliability Notes:

I never drag it on the desk, and I carry it around in a Brenthaven 12" bag -- this bag will protect it just fine in your trunk - go to their website and see!

My 12" powerbook rubber foot came off, don't know how or when. Apple wouldn't replace it under warranty, even though I really pushed for it. I haven't even asked for the repair price but I was told the job involves replacing the entire lower part of the case. Instead I have attached self adhesive clear spacers - don't have to remove the old feet because the new spacers are higher - this also provides better cooling.

When picking one of these up, you must grab by the corners (assuming it is closed), or else the screen bends inward, possibly touching the keys. That's no problem, you get used to it.

Some people find themselves forcing their latch to close. Don't let this be you! I believe these people are closing the lid too slowly. It's a timing thing, hard to explain. It's not hard to do the right way, and when done the right way there is no resistance and it's actually a pleasurable user experience.

Expect some hard-to-ignore heat from the left palm rest and the area around the power supply when making heavy use of the optical drive and/or the hard drive. This heat is not enough to warp or damage anything, in my case. However you may leave salt stains from sweat on the palm rest and keys, which can be easily wiped off. In my case this situation is rare - it requires at least a couple hours of heavy use.

As with any computer, I wouldn't recommend moving it unless hard drive and optical drive are not spinning, which means I put it to sleep before moving it (takes between 1 and 10 seconds). It takes less than a second to wake it up. I might be overly careful though.

There is nothing flimsy about these laptops, but they are not the toughest you could buy either. Some PC laptops are built for toughness. But if can take a little care as I mentioned above, then no worries, and enjoy your super-mobile OS X station. Or, throw it around, drop it and take your chances, just make sure you back up your hard drive.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the helpful info all! Much appreciated!

Take care,

Jack
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Old May 28th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #6
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My pal's 12" PowerBook has also lost 3 of its 4 feet...

And despite my constant and, no doubt, annoying advice, he continues to carry it around in a vinyl bag with the rest of his manuscripts / papers / etc.

And yes, it's damaged already. The rear-right corner has a dent on the speaker grill, and more significantly, the thin line of metal above the CD slot has been bent outward (due to whatever impact dented the speaker grill). Sigh.

What a world. He needs a machine like mine (bulletproof polycarbonate clamshell iBook) and I need one like his...

M.
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Old May 29th, 2003, 05:07 AM   #7
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I should have mentioned this in my previous post...

CoolPad

Best accessory for any powerbook or PC laptop, I bought both the large one and the traveler.
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Old May 29th, 2003, 01:12 PM   #8
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I own both a bronze Powerbook G3 400Mz and an iBook G3 500Mz. I travelled extensively before I retired and the Powerbook was kept in a soft sided canvas carry all. It rode in the trunk of my car for three years while travelling about 40,000 k's per year, much of it in rural Albert/ Sask/ BC. I took it on about 100 flights per year as well. It ran on my lap or on the fold down table in the plane while I watched DVD movies. It never once failed me and belive me it bounced a lot. One thing though, it ran too hot in my opinion, as does my iBook. I simply used velcro to hold down two strips of 1/2 x 1/2 inch by 12 inch wood on my desktop about the width of the little rubber legs on the laptop, and set either laptop on the wood when I use them. The machines both run much cooler with air circulation both above and below, and I believe they will last longer than running as hot as they did. My two cents worth about laptops!
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Old May 29th, 2003, 04:37 PM   #9
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The more feet you put on your PowerBook, the better :

Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet
Maximum storage altitude: 15,000 feet
Maximum shipping altitude: 35,000 feet
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Old Feb 7th, 2005, 01:28 PM   #10
 
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I dropped my 12" PowerBook today (ARGH!!!!!!) and, even though it was in a padded computer backback and the drop was from about 1.5 feet, the corner got dented. This buckled the front piece out a bit near the latch but, luckily, everything still works and closes. This was a minor drop and dent.

However, the machine has a bit of a bend *down* on the front right corner now that causes it to wobble -- but then again, it has always wobbled a bit, depending on the perfect flatness of the surface it was sitting on, since it's such a small footprint.

Anyway, feeling like crying I went to a local repair shop and was told ~$650 to repair it, which consisted of ~$250 for the part (the entire lower outer aluminum shell) and ~4 hrs labour -- 2 to take it apart (whatever!) and 2 to put the guts into the new shell. Since it's cosmetic I doubt I will throw that kind of money away but I am going to go cry for a while now.

Damn aluminum, so soft! Bring back titanium!!!
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