Wednesday, June 18, 2008

bad apple

My MacBook died while we were in San Antonio.

It was the logic board again. At least that is the closest I could guess, Apple Care was not overly forthcoming about it.

It was no longer under warranty as I thought $250 for and extended warranty was way too much for a $1300 computer (my last computer, a $1500 Sony, had an extended warranty of only $140).

I was annoyed.

Second major hardware defect in two years.

I called to make an appointment at a (somewhat) local Apple store to have a tech, sorry, I mean 'genius' have a look at it.

On Monday I brought it in and after 15 minutes or so of history and poking around, it was decided that the problem could not be fully diagnosed or repaired at the store.

So now I ask the dreaded, 'how much will this cost' question.

This is where things start getting a little brighter, the tech (sorry, I mean genius) says there is a flat $280 repair fee.

That is still a lot, but that covers any problem they might find. And it's a firm figure, I know what I'm looking at cost wise. And, really, the chances of getting any electronic equipment fixed for less then $250 is pretty slim. I got the impression this flat rate only applied to repairs where there was a manufacturer's defect, but I'm not certain.

Ebay tells me this Mac is worth about $600, so it's a no brainer, I tell the genius to pull the trigger and get'er gone. He boxes it up and ships it to the repair center.

That was Monday, mid day.

On Wednesday, FedEx tries to deliver a package at 9:32 am, but we are not in to sign for it.

On Thursday, I take deliver of above package.

It is the repaired MacBook.

I am $300 poorer and behind in my work having been without my tool for more then a week while I was traveling, then having it repaired. The repair was to a part Apple should have done a better job of engineering. I am annoyed and angry.

But, because Apple really does seem to go the extra mile with their customer care, I am not seething with rage.

When I bought this MacBook, it was a couple of hundred dollars less then a comparable Dell, though this is no longer the case. There are both Dell and Lenovo (IBM) ThinkPads that are similar but cheaper. Except the MacBook is still one of the very few notebooks in it's class that has a DVI port (a requirement for a desktop replacement).

So the question is, would I buy a Mac again... maybe. The size and power are good, but it lacks some basic features like a graphics card and a PCI slot. But that DVI port is a must, and not many notebooks have it. And of course, there is the advantage of being able to run both OSX and Windows on one machine.

P.S. I have a white MacBook, the picture is gray for effect only. Apple still charges a premium for the black ones, so as far as I am concerned, they can keep them.

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