PK’s Apple MacBook Pro Review – not happy

Has the MacBook Pro lived up to all the hype? Am I still as happy about it as I was when I posted my longest blog post ever?

In One line: Still rather be on a Mac, but not enjoying the return of nervousness.

It is no secret – I am a convert. I love all my Macs and even bought my wife one finally so she could be computer problem free / virus free / spyware free and overall have more time for the rest of life…. but am I still as happy as NOW as I was in the picture above when my MacBook Pro arrived?

no.

I really could have waited, and maybe I should have. Now don’t get me wrong, I am as passionate as ever about the Mac, and am still convinced that anyone who loves time, enjoys productivity, and hate viruses/spyware/virus software/ and constant problems should still switch to Mac…. and their life will drastically improve, BUT while I am still very pleased with the OS and all the integration of software on the Mac, my MacBook Pro has significant issues that make me wish I could return it and go back to my G4.

It has lots of fun new features. The Photo Booth is a hoot! The bult in iSight camera has many fun and practical applications. (Sit at your computer and record a training workshop!) I still like everything IN the Mac, but this MacBook Pro has NOT lived up to one of the reasons that I switched to Mac…. the ability to not worry about your computer. For two years I have not had to worry about my computer. I still needed to save regulary (yes, software could once in awhile crash or ‘hang’ ) but in general (99.999% of the time) it was extremely trust worthy.

not any more.

Here are the issues I have with my MacBook Pro:

  • It crashes. But it is a beautiful crash. A nice horizontal line moves down your screen fading it and then a nice black box comes up that basically tells you in several languages that your computer is screwed. To prove just how unusual this is, the first time it happened at a conference, my PC using room mate ran and grabbed his camera to get a picture of the Mac version of the ‘blue screen of death.’ So I snapped one too. Instead of a blue screen, it is a “lovely faded transparent multiculturally polite screen of death.” It has now crashed three times, once on screen during a workshop at CPC. (I know PC users might laugh at complaining about three crashes, but that is very unMac!)

The MacBook Pro Death Screen

Mulit-Cultural Polite Death Screen

Message after you reboot. DUH. I guess because they don’t write many error messages, the ones they do write are pretty lame.

  • It often won’t come out of sleep. One of the things I LOVE about Macs is that you almost never have to reboot. Once in awhile when you install something or run an update, or occasionally if you’ve been running LOTS of applications, a reboot might help speed the system up, but in the two years that I’ve owned my PowerBook G4, I probably rebooted less than twice a month. AND when you open the lid, it is fully restored in 1.5 seconds and online in under 3 seconds. Gotta go? Just shut the lid. Returning? Just open and before you can count to 2 you are back in business. NOT ANY MORE. I open the lid and get a nice black screen OFTEN. The system restarts, but the screen stayed black. I know it is working, because if iTunes was playing on sleep, a tap of the space bar will start the music again. I have had to crash the computer by holding down the power button and restarting at least 8 times. Again, PC users might laugh at this complaint, but for a Mac user… that is A LOT of reboots!
  • The CD drive ejects at random…. constantly. Whether there is a CD/DVD in the drive or not, constantly while working the CD drive just ejects all by itself. If there is no disc in the drive, it just makes noise trying to. If there is, it spits it out even if I don’t want it out! It has not ejected a disc in use, but if it is in there idle, it will most likely get spit out within the hours. VERY ANNOYING!
  • THE WORST: IT HAS A VERY HIGH PITCHED WHINE/HUM THAT IS PAINFUL AND IRITATING. Even co-workers have complained from across the roo. So I have to keep music playing any time I am working to hide the painful whine, but it is stil there and is giving me headaches. I get about to smash this thing. But then I realize I’d have to use a PC, and even with these problems, it was far worse on a PC.

NOTE TO SELF: Never be the first to order anything new again. Let some other suckers sufer through the bugs of new technology.NOTE TO FRIENDS: Do not rush out to get a MacBook Pro. Stick with the PowerBook G4 for awhile. The new one is not really worth it yet.

NOTE TO BILL GATES: Before you blame Intel for all your PC problems and say, “See, now Mac has all the same issues as PC with Intel inside,” during each of these problems, Microsoft applicaations were running, and the review below from a friend sites a problem with Miscrosfot software on the Mac as well.

A FRIEND, WHO I CONVERTED TO MAC, who also was one of the first to get the MacBook Pro, reported to me, “I like it overall. It’s been a good thing for me. There are a few things that I don’t like. It seems like it’s slower at times. A lot of times in Entourage I get the round rainbow circle while it waits to pull images up on emails and stuff. It’s the most frustrating for me in Entourage…. (he didn’t have any of my issues) I give mine at 80%. I gave my last one a 95%.”

Another interesting review: A twist on ‘fire wire’

I would love any feedback on any of these issues. Please don’t bother with Mac bashing. I don’t bash PCs… I just don’t waste time on them any more. :) Honest critics or praise are welcome either way.

UPDATE:

I got it back. They changed LCD display and CD superdrive, but I am shipping it back again. I am asking for a new laptop or my money back. “Intell inside” is “PC inside.” (NOT GOOD)

It still:
a) wont come out of sleep
b) CD tries to eject at random
c) THE WORST: has a painful high pitched sound that makes working on the laptop almost unbearable.

I’d rather go back to my problem free PowerBook G4 than put up with this. It’s like having a PC all over again. :(

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Kidologist

Karl Bastian is the founder of Kidology.org, the creator of ToyboxTales.com, and the author of OrderoftheAncient.com. His personal website is Kidologist.com He is Big Kid with a passion for equipping and encouraging those who minister to children.

16 Comments:

  1. Ahhhhh, sorry there, buddy!

    Mac not worky = Much Unhappy Time! Unfortunately, it sounds like you got a bad Mac though. Rick recently got his ordered MacBook Pro (I still happy with my 17″ PowerBook, until Apple releases a 17″ MacBook Pro and Adobe comes out with a Universal version of Photoshop, so that the machine won’t have to translate the code on the fly)… but unlike you, he hasn’t had any of these problems yet!

    I can’t boot with it from a Firewire drive, unfortunately, but aside from that, no problems whatsoever to report. I have had that “multiculturally polite screen of death” before on another Mac (though probably due to my own crazy tinkering – but that’s another story), but otherwise, a very solid computing experience from Apple over here. Seriously, mate, I’d call them up and explain the problems – it seems like it’s just a bad machine, if there’s problems with crashing, sleep mode, the CD drive, and especially that hum.

    Woe upon us for such horrible Mac problems; God must be punishing us for the greater sins of overly depending on Intel Inside instead of Christ Inside for our computing, coveting thy neighbor’s computer, and offering up ourselves in worship to the minor deity named Steve Jobs.

    Dagfuey.

  2. UPDATE: Apple is requesting my MacBook Pro be returned to ‘the Depot’ (new term for me) for study. Good thing I still have my PowerBook G4, seems I will be switching back to it for at least a week. Backing up all my data now.

    You know, I really didn’t have time for this. :( This was why I left the PC world… i guess in the end, it is still a machine. I’m eager to love the MacBook pro, but at this point I am still a huge fan of the software/OS, but I’ve struck out big time on hardware this time around.

    I’ll update here what happens, I REALLY HOPE they give me a new machine!! PRAY!!

  3. I’m sorry to hear of your computer trobles. This morning 30 mins before Kid’s Church my PC locked up (which also locked up mY iPod!). I hope you end up with a working MacBook pro!!!

    Oh you’ll be happy that I am planning on getting a Mac desktop this fall for my video editing. My PC can’t hack it.

  4. My 5 year old desktop PC is doing just fine, thank you very much.

  5. I was dreaming to buy a Mac Book Pro but I guess I’ll wait a bit. :)

    Dennis

  6. UPDATE: Not good. I got the MacBook back. It has done the ‘wont come out of sleep twice.’ It still tries to eject a CD when there is no CD in the drive. (3 times so far) and the high pitched whine is still there. I will be calling and sending it back. I want a new one or my money back. The G4 worked better. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr not happy. I’m really REALLY wanting to love this thing, but it is letting me down. I love the sofware side still, but the hardware is disappointing. GRRRRRRRRRRRR

  7. I am shipping it back again. I am asking for a new laptop or my money back.

    It still:

    a) wont come out of sleep
    b) CD tries to eject at random
    c) THE WORST: has a painful high pitched sound that makes working on the laptop almost unbearable.

    I’d rather go back to my problem free G4 than put up with this. It’s like having a PC all over again. :(

  8. I am in the process of returning two new intel mac minis for the exact same problems you’re describing. I’ve also seen a MacBook Pro throw a politically correct crashing fit for no apparent reason. v1.0 of IntelMac is not good.

    Funny thing is that windows XP ran great on one of the minis! :)

  9. UP-DATE: I was so mad yesterday! The story was, I had to re-install my OS. I refused. I didn’t switch to Mac to waste my time reinstalling the OS, when any moron knows that won’t fix my issues. The tech was patient and polite with me, but I could tell I would get nowhere. I gave up and said good bye,

    I called again today and was on the phone over an hour (while painting!) and talked to six different reps/techs/etc. I was polite but firm and in no hurry, I wasn’t getting off the phone until they a) gave me my money back b) gave me a new MacBook or c) solved my issues.

    They wouldn’t let me return it, but did offer me a $75 credit for my troubles, or an accessory. (I got something free for my wife for Easter for her iMac)

    They won’t give me a new one. Duh.

    It MIGHT be resolved. A tech finally took me through some steps that might have resolved it. I didn’t work on it enough today to tell, as I’m painting all day. (see post 3-30-06) But I will report here.

    What a PAIN!

  10. i just wrote up a review as well, i wasn’t to happy about it either.
    take a look: http://www.skattertech.com/2006/03/macbook-pro-problems/

  11. Hi there,
    Like yourself I am a Mac addict. Like yourself I was using a g4, a powerhouse 17″ powerbook. I bought the new macbook pro. All kinds of problems. The main one? The video, screen would scramble. I purchased the unit at CompUSA. Solution? I had 21 days to try it, I returned it to compusa and purchased a brand new Powerbook g4 17″ upgraded to 1.5 gB of ram and all is well. I think Apple will eventually get it right, but overall, I’d wait until the second or third revision.
    Best regards,
    Mitch
    msantell@mac.com
    http://moviecapital.typepad.com/

  12. Hello,

    I bought a MacBook Pro 2 days ago, spent a few weeks researching which hardware to go for – either a PC with XP/Linux dual boot, or a Mac with the best of both worlds.

    First impressions were good, beautiful hardware, nice OS, shiny eye-candy. The truth? It crashed twice on the day I bought it (graphics go all fuzzy, gotta press and hold power button), and again on the next day.

    Today… I was playing World of Warcraft on it (fast, beautiful resolution!), it crashed all of a sudden. Now when I reboot it, it starts loading the OS but stops at an all blue screen… nothing I can do solves that problem. Tried disk repair, nothing.

    I terribly miss Linux.

    .Mischa

  13. I was having similar problems as you with DVD drive, now it won’t let me eject a DVD

    Check this out:
    MacBook Pro CD/DVD ejecting problem
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=2092900

  14. Hi there…I am right there with you. I love my Mac but my Macbook Pro has had all the same little problems as yours but even worse my wife was using it yesturday and it crashed…not the nice little “please restart…” crash but the could not even get it to firewire anything over to another computer so I could save all my stuff of the computer crash. My wife had to bring it in the shop for me and I will try to give you the update. This thing runs really hot and I can only imagine what it is doing to all the wires inside running that hot. All the best and it’s funny because I had an old powerbook g3 500 before I got my Macbook Pro and I could not really notice a difference in speed…crazy I know but in the end…I still like macs better. I may feel different when or if I get my computer back??? I hope not. Cheers!

  15. Pingback: Kidologist.com » Karl's iPhone Review

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