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12" PowerBook Wobble? 158

Posted by Cliff
from the minor-design-defects dept.
RedWingsSuck asks: "I recently purchased a 12" PowerBook from ADC. I absolutely love it, but I have noticed an interesting little issue. As it warms up, other users have said the case gets as hot as 120 degree F, it develops a wobble on a flat surface, like a table or something. As it gets warmer, the wobble gets worse. When I first noticed it, I thought I had lost a rubber peg from the bottom, but apparently my problem is not that simple. While on spring break, in San Diego, I went to the Apple Store there, and I was told that a few other people have had this problem, and that if I had purchased the PowerBook from there, they would have replaced it with a new one. Then I called Apple Care, and they told me that they were just informed of this problem. Has anybody else had this problem, if so, what did Apple say about it?"
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12" PowerBook Wobble?

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  • You need a Cool Pad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @10:53AM (#5834007)
    Cool Pad [coolpad.com].
  • nasty (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Herbaliser (660976) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @10:54AM (#5834008)
    If the heat is enough to warp the casing, I'd hate to think what it might be doing to some of the other components.
  • Simple Fix (Score:2, Funny)

    by one9nine (526521)
    You need an adaptor.
  • I've got it, too... (Score:4, Informative)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:00AM (#5834077) Homepage
    I have the 12" PB and it does indeed wobble on flat surfaces, esp. as it heats. Overall, it's a pretty minor thing, but I gave the local Apple Store (Towson, MD) a ring to see what they knew.

    They said that they hadn't heard of any problems with it (are all the feet there?) but if I wanted to bring it in, they'd be happy to have a technician look at it.

    Really, though, it's a fairly minor annoyance, though it's probably the biggest "problem" I'd say the machine has. I've had it for about a month now.

    • Same thing happened to me. I ended up returning the 12" for the 15" and I've been pretty happy about it (though I miss the smaller size). My 12" got amazingly hot on top where you place your hands to type. So hot it would make my hands sweat while coding. The wobble absolutely got worse the hotter it got.
    • The reason it annoys me, is when I type, it bounces up and down, its easily fixed by putting my screen guard under it, but its annoying. I went into my local Apple Store, and they had 2 12" AiBooks on display, one wobbled, the other didn't, so maybe its just luck of the draw so to speak.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:06AM (#5834126)
    I've had a similar issue. So have many, as the Apple forums indicate. Slowly the rubber feet have been coming off and recently the last one fell off so my powerbook is completely with the rubber feet. It's since stabalized, but now it slides around a little more easily. I called AppleCare and they will replace the rubber feet for a $6 charge when they have the rubber feet marked for the 12" powerbooks which will be soon. They mentioned that the rubber feet are exactly the same as the 15" model, and if you can get hold of those, either by a friend ordering through applecare or a 3rd party vendor, that should work. I've also read about people completely replacing the rubber feet with ones they bought at a hardware store.
    • I am ticked off about Apple's seeming lack of desire to resolve these issues. As a early adopter of the first 15" TiBook model (first month it was released) I am really annoyed they still haven't bothered to fix this simple and glaring issue.

      They are glued on with something that has all the bonding power of a Pritt Stick. Also, I found the feet were too tiny to be much use for heat disippation in any case - it makes the Powerbook look thinner, but I added my own reasonably sized feet (with Superglue) and i
      • When you actually spell "Vaio" correctly you will see that Google returns around 70,000 hits. Also, the Powerbook in all it's incarnations has a longer production history. How many of those Powerbook results actually point to a problem with non-G4 models?

        Bad argument.
        • When you actually spell "Vaio" correctly you will see that Google returns around 70,000 hits.

          Oops, honest mistake. Still it was just an observation as I pointed out...(daft name IFYAM, just like 'Clie')

          Also, the Powerbook in all it's incarnations has a longer production history

          True, but then their are a lot more Vaio laptops around than PowerBooks.

          Thinking about it I've had (personally, or though work) a Sony, two Compaq's, a Twin Head and a TiBook. The Powerbook was the nicest (also the newest) but
        • A lot of them probably talked about the famous "flaming powerbook". The 5300 series originally came with a Li-Ion battery that, under very specific circumstances, would burst into flames.

          The entire 5300 line was probably the single worst line of laptops that Apple has ever made. Problems with the case, AppleTalk, the AC adapter, the trackpad, the battery, the power management circuitry in general, and myriad other issues plagued them.

          However, I still own one and it is actually pretty reliable now that A
      • It would probably help if you spelled "Vaio" right.
      • That's very interesting. Try 'sony laptop problem' and you get 90,900. Still not as much as 'apple laptop problem' but Apple's been making laptops for many moons longer. Though sony actually made the the Powerbook 100, if I remember correctly. So it's almost ironic.
    • Just wish that they would have fixed this problem. I have had two of the G3 models, and both have had their rubber feet fall off. I imagine that it's because they have some adhesive that gets much less adhesive at the temps that the system is running at. It seems like they need to find an adhesive that performs better.
  • I'm a Sucker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tarus (655418) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:20AM (#5834269)

    Okay, this is a real long comment, but since you brought it up, here is my 12" Powerbook story.

    I support an open-source network management product, and a friend of mine turned me onto OS X (which is one of the operating systems we run on). I was just about to buy his iBook when the new Powerbooks came out. I fell in love with their styling, and I "switched" big time (loaded Powerbook, iPod, Soundsticks, warranty, etc.)

    It took a month to arrive, and everything about the packaging, the look of the machine, etc., was pure Apple. If I were to ever buy a new Mercedes, this is the feeling I would hope to have (only more so).

    But the honeymoon didn't last long. While it worked great on my lap, when I put it on the desk it would wobble. Cold or hot (and it does get hot), there was an obvious wobble.

    Then I noticed that whenever I pressed down with my right hand, there would be a "click". Closer examinination found that the "palm rest" on the right side of the mouse was actually bent. You could see it and definitely feel it when you ran your finger along the ridge between the mouse and the keyboard. If you close the unit, the little rubber pad on the left side of the screen met nicely with the rest of the laptop, but there was an obvious gap on the right side. Finally, if I put the spare battery in place of the original (which goes in on the right side) it seemed to require a lot more effort than it should to get it in.

    Conclusion: Bent laptop.

    Having purchased the warranty, I called Apple, and they told me that, yes, they knew about the wobble (they also told me it was worse on 17" Powerbooks) but that they didn't know what they were going to do about it yet. As far as the bent palm rest, they told me to take it to the Apple Store and have them send it in.

    At the Apple Store I dealt with some rather nice people, but became very worried when one said "oh, they'll say this is abuse."

    Abuse? I hadn't had the thing long, I normally take care of my laptops very well (I travel a whole lot, so they have to work) and I have taken even better care of this unit. Luckily, that never became an issue.

    So I sent it off, and they kept it for over a month. I would call in weekly and hear things like they were waiting for parts (one time I heard the word "mainboard") but eventually it arrived back on my doorstep.

    It was the same laptop I had sent out, with the same wobble issue, but someone had spent a lot of time getting everything to fit the best they could. The bend is gone, but you can still see that things don't quite fit well on the right side, the screen still has the gap, and if you look under the keys in front of the mouse, there is some sort of plastic film that is buckled - as if it doesn't quite fit.

    But these things are too minor to do without my laptop for another month. I took a razor and trimmed one of the rubber feet down to fix the wobble, and I'll just live with the other problems.

    The downside for Apple is that I will be hesitant to buy another product from them. For much less than the $3500 I shelled out, I could have gotten a small Linux laptop that would function to meet my needs. The reason I bought an Apple was for the "fit and finish" and quality I used to associate with them, and I am very disappointed. I still like my iPod, though.

    My name is Tarus. I'm a consultant. And I'm a sucker.

    • Get an old ThinkPad (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Wee (17189)
      I've got an "old" 700MHz ThinkPad A20M with Linux on it. I drag it everywhere. It's built like a tank (though not as tough as a ToughBook [panasonic.com]). You can find them online [ebay.com] for between $300 and $500. Red Hat 9 will detect every piece of hardware in them save for the WinModem. Suspend works fine (make sure to turn off xscreensaver), but I haven't tried hibernate.

      I've been coveting a Powerbook (pretty much every geek friend I've got has drank the Apple KoolAid) but just haven't been able to get past that impe

      • Solid advice. Where were you in January? (grin)

        My old laptop was an A22m, and before that I used a T20 (which I loved). The A-series is just a little too big and heavy for me (to watch DVDs on planes is kind of a pain in coach).

        I have thought about selling the darn thing, but I haven't decided yet. I really like OS X.

        • "Really liking OS X" is exactly why I haven't shelled out for an Apple. :-) I know that once I do, I'll have a very hard time trying not to pay the Apple Hardware Tax for a real spiffy OS. If Apple ported OS X to x86, I'd definitely buy it. I'd even pay for software (rather than troll freshmeat for freeware that does what I need doing).

          It's very hard to resist going over to the dark side, but my wife's habit of closely following our finances has certainly helped.

          -B

      • There's an old law, and it's still a good one.

        "Thou shalt covet no laptop other than an IBM Thinkpad."

        I'm on my third Thinkpad, an A21m. I use it everyday for work, no problems whatsoever. I still have my other two thinkpads - a 365cs (486SX/33 with 12 megs RAM) and an i1450 (Pentium 266/ 64 megs RAM), and both still work perfectly.

        And trust me, when you unwrap a Thinkpad you get that "I just bought a Mercedes" feeling.
      • by RevAaron (125240) <<revaaron> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:15PM (#5834924) Homepage
        If what you need is a "a decently fast Unix-ish laptop with 802.11b," an iBook would more than fit the bill, and not have the heat or wobbly problems of the 12" PB. iBooks are also a helluva lot cheaper than a PowerBook.

        For me, I don't really see too much appeal for the price in a PowerBook. I mean, yes, they're incredibly machines, but I am perfectly happy with my 500 MHz 12" iBook. I've had no problems with it for the two years I've owned it, and it was pretty darn cheap to boot. I can safely say that this is the best computer I've ever owned.

        And I still end up without much of a dent in the wallet, along with the side effect of getting a very nice, tiny, fast enough machine (naturally, the newer 0.9-1 GHz iBooks are faster) that does everything I need to do well. Having come from Linux/x86 prior to this, I also get a bost in productivity in a number of areas.

        Besides, who in their right mind buys computers with a loan? Maybe I'm just safe with my money, but I never buy anything that I can't afford with real money, a house or car excluded. (and I have no car, thank the lawd)
        • I agree. I have a 500 Mhz iBook, and I am now upgrading to a 900 Mhz iBook. I just don't see having a G4 over a G3 as being that valuable. Screw the TiBook. The real reason I am upgrading from the 500Mhz iBook is the crappy video card in that machine. The 500 Mhz iBook shipped before Quartz Extreme, and the video card in it can't take advantage of Jaguar's optimation. Who wants to do the genie effect in a 500 Mhz CPU???
          • I'd like to have a nicer video chip and a higher MHz, but I can't rationalize the money spent considering the fact that I don't play games and that the Genie effect works perfectly. I actually usually use Scale, but they both work fine. Hell, they work fine on my girlfriend's Rev B iMac, zooming along at 233 MHz. QE would be fun to have for other stuff, but nothing to rationalize any sort of upgrade for me.

            The PBG4 would be great if you needed the screen space of a 17" LCD, but I prefer a smaller 'book to
        • I've had a 500 MHz iBook for about a year now. I beat the hell out of portable hardware, and the iBook laps it up with no visible damage. I've dropped it off tables three times so far, once while it was open and running - that time I bent the place where the hinge mounts to the screen. No crash, I was able to straighten it out without permanent damage, and it's still running.

          The only time I've wanted a G4 book instead was when I tried to run Virtual PC on it - it was basically unuseable. For my major u
      • > And after hearing the friends with TiBooks complain
        > about the finish coming off, heat, the case cracking, etc

        I've had plenty of PowerBooks over the years. I started with a Duo 230, then a G3 (Wallstreet model), then a G3 (PDQ model), then a G3 (Pismo), then a Titanium G4 (Rev B, I think). I've got a 17" PowerBook now. Crap, I've owned a lot of PowerBooks. Anyway on the whole they've been pretty sturdy.

        With my 15" TiBook before this, and I had absolutely no problems with the paint flaking off, ca
      • by jo_ham (604554)
        All I really need is a decently fast Unix-ish laptop with 802.11b.

        How about one of these [apple.com]?

        Mine's like a tank. I take it everywhere, use it heavily every day and it still looks and feels as good as the day I bought it.

        Bonus feature, the Airport antenna is in the screen, and there are no other bits, doors, levers or switches poking out.

        It also doesn't cook my lap, like my friend's 15" powerbook did while I was playing Medal of Honour. heh.
    • Re:I'm a Sucker (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Klaruz (734) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:44PM (#5835232)
      You compared an apple product to a car, which is pretty close to the truth. Apple's quality is usually pretty good, but, it's a good idea to wait for the second revision of the product before you buy. If you look back in the history of apple's notebooks you'll see random problems that they've fixed show up (the battery fire one sticks out)

      I have a second generation 15" powerbook (known as the DVI) that fixed several of the problems with the first gen. I think some of the major diffs are the paint, less titanium in the hinges (less brittle), and the heat sink and main board designs.

      I checked the same things when I got my car (first rev was 99/00, second rev that fixed problems was 01/02, I have an 02). Of course this is no good if you need a computer right away and can't just wait around for apple to fix the known problems with the hardware. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I'm ready to upgrade this one and the only notebook shipping is a brand new model.

      Overall though, apple's generally really good about eventually admiting a problem and making it right for the owners. IBM may be the only other OEM that comes close, but they still have problems sometimes. The good thing about apple is they're under a microscope, would you see an article like this about an IBM or a Toshiba on slashdot? Maybe, but I doubt it. At least you know that others have problems and not just you.

      *shrug*
      • Re:I'm a Sucker (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ZxCv (6138)
        I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I'm ready to upgrade this one and the only notebook shipping is a brand new model.

        Check out www.powermax.com. They sell new, refurbished, and used macs of all kinds. Many times in the past, they've still had a stock of new previous gen macs while the newest ones are being sold along side them. One company I did contract work for outfitted almost an entire office with previous gen quicksilvers that they purchased from powermax.com and wouldn't stop recommending the
        • Yeah, but the prev gen macs aren't as good as the news ones as far as features go... In fall 04 when I'm ready to upgrade the powerbook (I alternate desktop/laptop upgrades every fall, fall 03 is time to upgrade the athlon) and apple just started shipping a new line of ultra cool 64bit 970 laptops, I'm not going to want an 'old' G4, but I don't want the problems associated with a brand new design. Just guessing, I'm thinking I may hit it right. If 64 bit laptops come out this comming winter, a revision shou
    • Alas... mine has the same issue. Your story is exactly what I was afraid of. After waiting over a month for the PowerBook to arrive, when I first ordered it in February, I didn't feel like sending it straight back for another month of service, On mine, the aluminum is also bent beside the latch. This is how it arrived... it's bent even when it's cold.

      However, I thought about it and figured that what with me throwing it in my backpack every day, dropping it on the floor, and generally knocking it around
    • i would just take it in again after a little time passes.
      i've had an ibook that kept having a problem with its screen.. took it in about every 2 months, if they say its abuse you just insist it isn't. 6 times of being repaired in the past year and the thing finally works properly, and everything just about has been replaced inside.
      and if you've called and they acknowledge the issue at apple HQ then sooner or later to employees at the store will hear about it
    • The downside for Apple is that I will be hesitant to buy another product from them. For much less than the $3500 I shelled out, I could have gotten a small Linux laptop that would function to meet my needs.

      Yup. Growing feeling among folks trying Apple's products...
    • For those of you recently tuning in (I've been on Macs since ~1988) this is more a historical issue with Apple that can be traced to one thing:

      Apple is an early adopter:

      Cube - lots of complaints about "scratches" and manufacturing issues.

      TiBook - manufacturing issues.

      AiBook - manufacturing issues.

      Consumer computer hardware mass-produced on a pretty quick turnaround to market might impact QC a little. The fact that they have a relatively low market share doesn't help matters.

      But that is the Appl

    • The downside for Apple is that I will be hesitant to buy another product from them. For much less than the $3500 I shelled out, I could have gotten a small Linux laptop that would function to meet my needs. The reason I bought an Apple was for the "fit and finish" and quality I used to associate with them, and I am very disappointed.

      I know this doesn't help you but I have found your situation to be very, very rare with Apple. I have had to get a few things fixed over many years of working with Macs and

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:23AM (#5834288)
    that's why I stay away from v1.0 anything. The 12" is a new design(as is the 17"), the rev 2 & 3 machines should fix any issues.
    • by bckspc (172870)
      Mr. Coward speaks the truth. I had all kinds of trouble with drive corruption on my rev 1 15". It was an utter nightmare. I've been on a rev 2 15" now for a couple of months and have not had any trouble at all. It's a dream.

      (Knock on wood.)

  • See here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Erect Horsecock (655858) * on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:25AM (#5834317) Homepage Journal
    They already now about this [apple.com]

    Well to keep it short the reader basically explain how to BEND THE CASE so it no longer wobbles.
    Also see this thread [infopop.net] on Ars Technica that is about the 12" and its wobble issue.
    • Re:See here (Score:4, Funny)

      by GigsVT (208848) * on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:47AM (#5834580) Journal
      Man, those Mac users are whiney bitches. "I'm already on my third laptop because the first one had three dead pixels, and the second one didn't latch just right".

      No wonder Macs cost twice as much, they have to pay for all the returns from the users who RMA for petty little crap.
    • Re:See here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gumbi west (610122) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:59PM (#5836024) Journal
      I don't see the bend the case post, but this person [apple.com] appears to have fixed one with the slightly less drastic procedure of replacing the foot on the battery.
      Justin...and others: When you get the new feet, check to see if they are the same size as the one in the battery. I was looking at a machine in a local retailer today that exhibited the wobble. I was talking to the salesperson and we decided to do a littel experiment on the display model and found that if you replace the 'foot' on the battery the machine sits nice and level! the foot that came in the battery was simply too short. Reading many of these other posts, it seems this may be a common problem...much better than the 'battery is warped' theory...
      • Ok, Here are the instructions for wobble problem.

        1) first determine if the wobble is major or minor a) is the wobble really bad? meaning more than 1/4 inch if so, do try to do anything
        b) If it is minor. then try this first before calling apple support.

        2) determine where the wobble is Such as if it diagonal or left to right If it is diagonal from left to right. or vice versa. then you can try the following...

        3) Turn everying off...

        4) Open up the screen..

        5) Lift up the entire powerbook. ( do

  • Materials? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by red_dragon (1761) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:29AM (#5834369) Homepage

    I don't own a PowerBook (only a G4 Cube), but from what you describe, it sounds like the different expansion rates of the materials that make up the case are great enough to cause the bends, much like how a bimetallic strip bends at different temperatures. If the laptop were out of warranty, I'd suggest that you loosened the screws that hold its case together, and turn the computer on. If the case stays straight that way after it has warmed up, tighten the case back up immediately, and you should be OK. If it still wobbles, you might have to loosen the PC board inside.

  • by Cecil (37810) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:36AM (#5834462) Homepage
    I've found that propping the left rear corner with a nickel works just about perfectly. Not under the rubber foot, just slid in until it presses against the side of the rubber foot.

    I am surprised to find that this is actually a problem with the laptop, I had just assumed that it was my cheapo desk that was warped. Although I hadn't noticed this problem with my last laptop, it had much bigger, more flexible feet that I assumed had compensated for the sucky desk.

    While we're on the topic of Powerbook annoyances, I am disappointed that they removed the battery backup capacitor from the 12" Powerbook. My friend has a 15" Powerbook, and he can put his computer to sleep, remove the battery, to put in a fully charged one, and the computer does not have to be shut off. They apparently removed this feature from the 12" Powerbook, what a shame. That was one of those tiny but oh-so-nice features that made me want to buy an Apple rather than a PC.
    • Hmm. I swap my battery out of mine while in sleep all the time. You might want to have that checked out.
    • While we're on the topic of Powerbook annoyances, I am disappointed that they removed the battery backup capacitor from the 12" Powerbook. My friend has a 15" Powerbook, and he can put his computer to sleep, remove the battery, to put in a fully charged one, and the computer does not have to be shut off. They apparently removed this feature from the 12" Powerbook, what a shame.

      This feature is missing in the 12" iBooks as well (perhaps the 14" models?), and considering that the 12" PB seems to be based hea

  • Out of the Box (Score:2, Informative)

    by mizidymizark (669232)
    I work for a center that has one of the 12" Powerbooks and coming out of the box, the computer wobbled. After giving it a minor twist, it seemed to fix the problem, but it definately comes back after it heats up. Now when it cools down though, the wobble does go away, so it appears a little twist may solve the problem. Although the only reason I did that is because it isn't my computer and it is under warranty.
  • by sobiloff (29859) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:15PM (#5834923)
    I've had my 12" PB for a little over a week now, and it hasn't exhibited this problem at all. The only problem I've had with it was the "B" keytop wouldn't stay attached to the keyboard. I brought it in to my local Apple store and they replaced a broken plastic bit underneath the keytop in about 30 seconds (and for free).

    Which hard drive do you have? Its the hard drive that generates the heat folks complain about. I have the 60GB hard drive, and I've measured 110 degrees (F) at the worst. It doesn't really bother me since my hand tends to rest on the outside of my palm, where the case is much cooler, but I can understand it'd be bothersome for others.
  • 120 Degrees Fahrenheit? I think I finally figured out how Natalie Portman got hot grits!!!

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    Slashdot Trolling Academy
  • Another story... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flamingweasel (191775)
    I don't have the wobble, but a related problem: my battery isn't flush with the rest of the chassis. It was flush when I pulled it out of the box, but the after the first time I pulled the battery off, it never reseated properly afterwards. Two trips to Apple haven't resolved the problem, so I've learned to accept the millimeter edge around the battery.

    That said, I still love this thing. It's my first Mac since the Classic II, and it's an amazing little box. It gets warm, but certainly never 120 degrees F.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:37PM (#5835145)
    I'm pretty sure it's the rest of the universe that is warped. Just stick a towel under one corner. If you don't understand, then go shove a fish in your ear.
  • I've always wanted a powerbook (the first one I really lusted after was the 3400), and ever since they introduced the tiBooks (now aluminum books, I hear) I've wanted one even more. I like the design, I like the weight and thin profile, etc. I won't be getting one anytime soon though. I have heard lots of stories of the case chipping, wobbling, warping, etc. And those things get hot! I have known a few people with tiBooks before and I noticed that using it on your lap can get pretty toasty. Normally Apple
    • This problem isn't inherent with the metal casings- the 15" PBG4 doesn't have this problem. Why not? Because they've had a few revisions of that design and have worked out the kinks, whereas the 12" and 17" versions are brand spankin new. It will be fixed with the next revision I'd be willing to bet.
    • The reason they can use metal is the G4 isn't a space heater, unlike another anonymous cpu family that might have an 86 in the name, and possibly an x....

      Hot laps with an Apple, but no burnt penii as far as I know.
    • For the record, my 12" is fine. No problems. I've had it since they became available. The advantage of the metal powerbooks is that there is none of that bending plastic case sound when you pick it up, move the screen, etc. It is rock solid. Getting a coolpad is probably a good idea though if you use it all day.
  • Grab the handle... (Score:3, Informative)

    by nettdata (88196) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:45PM (#5835246) Homepage
    I'm not sure if they've made them for the non-15" PB's yet, but I _HIGHLY_ recommend grabbing yourself one of those aftermarket Ti Handles (as seen here [macworld.com]).

    My whole development team has 15" PB's and they "suffer" from heat issues (no wobbly stuff reported) but that has all but disappeared since using the handles. (It gets the laptop up off table allowing for a bit more cooling).

    Now the fan only kicks in when doing a monster Fink compile for an hour or three.

  • PowerBook experience (Score:3, Informative)

    by elliotj (519297) <slashdot@elliot j o hnson.com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:58PM (#5835379) Homepage
    While we're all trading experiences, I'll share my thoughts on my TiBook 800Mhz.

    Executive summary: I love it. It is the best machine I have ever owned.

    Caveat: You need to add a few things to it for it to become truly great.

    Heat was/is an issue with this laptop as with all powerbooks. Fortunately, the TiBook doesn't have the drop back screen so you can add a tote 'n tilt handle to give the undercarriage lots of room to breathe. Believe it or not, but this handle means that my system fan now only ever comes on if I play a 3D game or DVD. Otherwise, I run cool and silent. Say that about your 12" AlBook if you can!

    Airport could be better. If this becomes an issue, you can get a PCMCIA wifi card to boost signal. No worries there anymore.

    Other than that, I tweak this heck out of OS X using themes, CodeTek Virtual Desktop, Fruit Menu, ASM and other great haxies.

    In all cases, I believe (as one tends to) that my additions ought to be part of the base system. But that's ok. At least I can add them. So far I haven't seen a viable, portable solution to the heat, wobble problems on 12" 'books and that's a shame b/c they look so cool, and I honestly believe the Apple Powerbook line is the very best laptop line on the market. Certainly the TiBook is.
  • No wobble here (Score:3, Informative)

    by bpb213 (561569) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [enrybpb]> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:30PM (#5835671)
    My powerbook is only about a week old. (12").

    I havent noticed any wobble when using it, but i also havent really encountered any "scorching" tempuratures yet. (ie, yes, it gets really hot, but i can still hold my hand on it)

    I have noticed that the plastic lining around some of the edges doesnt quite meet the metal shell, but thats a small issue.

    But as it stands, I havent seen or felt any real distortion in the case.
  • I've not had it... (Score:4, Informative)

    by paploo (238300) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:43PM (#5835853)
    Just to help keep reports balanced, neither of the 12" PowerBooks I've owned have had the wobble problem. They get pretty hotsometimes (although resettin the PMU seems to help with that sometimes), but mine always sits flat.
  • How strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ilsie (227381) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @02:27PM (#5836307)
    My friend has the exact same problem in reverse. His 12" TiBook wobbles like crazy when it's cold, but once it heats up, it gets level.

    I guess there is something to be said for the plastic casing on my iBook. Totally unrelated, I heard that the iBook casing is bulletproof. Is that true?
    • Re:How strange (Score:3, Informative)

      by jo_ham (604554)
      Not exactly true, no, although that would be cool!

      The iBook's plastic case is polycarbonate, which is the same material used to make bullet proof glass. You have to make it in a certain way (resins and laminate layers) for it to be bullet proof though.

      The iBook case is a single layer, solid piece of polycarbonate, painted white on the inside. It is more brittle than ABS (the cheap plastic used in most plastic things like PC laptops, cellphones etc), but it is tougher. It's slightly less elastic too, and w
      • i'm not sure what you mean when you say "It is more brittle than ABS...but it tougher." This seems to be a contradictory statement. Could you please elaborate?
        • Re:How strange (Score:3, Informative)

          by jo_ham (604554)
          Toughness and brittleness are two different properties of a material, at least in an engineering perspective.

          It's possible to have a very tough material that is very brittle - like ice for example, or high carbon steel.

          It's also possible to have a brittle matierial that isn't all that tough, like glass.

          On the other hand, you can have tough steels that are not very brittle - like plain carbon steel. The trade off for losing that brittleness is a reduction in hardness in this case. Cobalt chrome is like th
    • Well, there's one way to find out...

      Remember, guns don't kill iBooks, people do!
    • ... but they are really tough [slashdot.org].
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @03:21PM (#5836860)
    That's just where the Reality Distortion Field(tm) meets Euclidian space. Think of it as a karmic wave front. :)
  • I originally posted this about a month ago, but nothing has really changed. I called Apple Care, and they said that they were still looking into it. Hopefully, something will happen soon. As far as the heating goes, my AiBook doesn't really get overly hot, I have just read reports of them getting up to 120 F. I love this little PB, even with the wobble, currently I just stuff my screen protector under it, but I don't think that I should have to. I have read the suggestions to "bend" it back into shap
  • I set up a yahoo group for i2 inch powerbooks a few days after I ordered mine in Feb. We have been talking about this issue off and on for months now. Some have taken theirs back and gotten new ones, one person had an apple store employee actually "bend" it back into shape, others talk about the battery being the issue. I am on the phone now trying to get a missing rubber foot replaced through Apple Care. I must say, like many others have, this is the only issue I have had. I love my PB12. The yahoo grou is
  • by Zhe Mappel (607548) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:51PM (#5839407)
    While on spring break, in San Diego, I went to the Apple Store there, and I was told that a few other people have had this problem, and that if I had purchased the PowerBook from there, they would have replaced it with a new one.
    Let's not jump to any conclusions. However, what you describe above is, in fact, close to the substance of the allegations in one of the three pending lawsuits brought against Apple this year by authorized dealers (i.e., resellers, not Apple Stores). One of the claims holds that Apple treated dealers with prejudice when it came time to handling customer problems under warranty. Surely, if the product is under warranty and was purchased from an authorized dealer, and if Apple Stores are replacing defective units, then you ought to investigate a possible exchange, too.

    IANAL. I am -- knock on wood -- a happy iBook owner, and I make no claim either way about the veracity of these suits. I'm merely noting a point of similarity; draw your own conclusions:

    http://news.com.com/2100-1040-983350.html

    • I stopped being an Apple Buyer for my college's bookstore shortly after the policy was implimentd, and long before the Apple Store, but Apple had implimented the concept of "closed box" and "open box" returns. Returns were allowed based on a percentage of purchases. So you could return say 1% of your purchases as "open box" returns w/o problems. These "open box" returns include exchanges and consumer returns. This may be influencing the return policies of retailers, as exchanges due to manufacturing iss
  • by Dr Reducto (665121) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:56PM (#5839440) Journal
    I think I heard somewhere that 120 degrees is the point where aluminum gets pliable, and after a while, picking it up after running it for a while can cause some slight bends. I haven't heard about the 17 incher having problems, but that is probably due to the huge amount of surface area on it. Summary:The 12in is so small and powerful, that this pushes the aluminum to the edge. If anyone has any metallurgy experience, please shed some light on this.
    • Aren't bikes and Laptops made with aluminum alloys though, I'm sure there's a lot of different ingredients in there along with the aluminum. Maybe the AlumBook is made with a 'wimpy' breed of alloys.
      • Whimpy?!? The AlBooks are made with aircraft-grade aluminum. Those are some of the strongest alloys available. It is a far better alloy than the CP-titanium crap that Apple used to use.

        IAAMSBMSINM (I am a materials scientist, but my specialty is not metals), I would be shocked if these alloys annealed at 120F. You can anneal 2024 aluminum at 920F, so I doubt 120F is doing anything.

      • I didn't say it WAS, I was asking.

        Aircraft are supposed to be very flexible so they don't shatter under stress. Aluminum made for aircraft must be more pliable than that used in bikes or other rigid bodies. Apple probably did us all a great favor by making the AlBook a 'bender' rather than a 'breaker' but some folks are naturally gonna get their books bent.
  • i just wanted to chime in and let people know that i love my 12" g4. i actually sold my 15" 1ghz powerbook on ebay because it was too noisy. i then picked up this little beauty and a samsung 17" lcd. couldn't be happier.

    initially i was worried about the heat the palm rest was generating while it was recharging, but the 10.2.5 update took care of the excessive heat. and it now gets warm when plugged in and just slightly tepid while on battery. certainly tolerable.

    i also had a problem with my airport card d
  • Here's my powerbook 12" story... It started on March 4th, and it STILL hasn't ended. I go to my University's (Queen's) computer store, interested in buying a 12" powerbook. They have one in stock, and reluctantly unpack it from the factory case so that I can look at it. Its tiny size, fit, and finish challenge and excite me, so I pull out my credit card, ready to buy! But on the way out, the saleswoman notices a scratch on the screen - a very large one. They try cleaning the screen (with a swiffer pad),
  • 15" (Score:3, Funny)

    by WebfishUK (249858) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @04:22AM (#5841269)
    Fortunately, as the owner of a later revision 15" TiBook I only get case deformations upon re-entry into the earths atmosphere.

  • I've had my 12" powerbook for maybe a month now. I leave it on 24x7.

    It is the CD-RW/CD version, with 640MB of RAM in it. I run distributed.net client on it so the CPU is working a lot. It does get warm, it just hasn't wobbled yet.

    But I've only had it a month.
  • I have recently become the owner of a 15" TiPB 867. This machine is a fantastic machine -- I've loved it since the day I took it out of the box. This machine has a very special property: the design is mature, having been around several years, and has undergone many revisions. As a result, most of these little annoyances have been worked out already. The moral of the story? Avoid pilot or first revision/generation hardware.

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