Macs & Low Quality Hardware
Over the past few years (I’m still amazed that I’ve been writing in this space for years), I have discussed virtues, myths and tips for Macs. Using a Mac at law school won’t put you at any disadvantage. The operating system is super stable. There are many more viruses, worms and nasty bugs that attack Windows. And the biggest myth: Macs are more expensive. As Michael Gartenberg writes (the article is from 2003, yet prices are about the same today):
Though Apple is certainly not a discount brand and will almost never offer the cheapest computers available, Macs are certainly price-competitive with PCs. Users do pay some premium for both the Apple brand and the innovation that goes into the company's often brilliant hardware design, but the premium isn't out of line with what users already pay for name-brand systems from vendors such as Sony, Hewlett-Packard or IBM. In many cases, comparable Apple systems are priced similarly, and in some cases they're even cheaper than the competition.Anyhow, I’m not here to talk about the virtues of Macs. In fact, I would say that, I am currently not impressed with Mac hardware and reliability. My PowerBook G4 (the same computer that I gushed with praise here) has had every major component fail. Yes, that’s right: everything.
Here’s a rough sequence of events:
Purchased my PowerBook G4: May 2004Note that I purchased the machine in May, 2004, so all the components failed after the first year. Hence, none of the repairs would have been covered by the complementary warranty. Thankfully, I purchased AppleCare and so all the replacements were covered. (In retrospect, it was money well spent. The $250 for AppleCare paid for $2400+ of service and parts.) Also, I was very fortunate that none of the major components failed during exams.
Hard Drive failed: June 2005
LCD Display replaced: July 2005
Battery replaced under the Sony recall program: October 2006
Optical Drive failed: December 2006
Logic Board failed: December 2006
But I must confess: I can no longer vigorously endorse the purchase of an Apple computer. The components on my laptop should not have failed so quickly in the first place. It seems that their effort to cut costs and compete with the PCs, Apple has sacrificed quality.