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A Design Flaw Behind MacBook Pro’s “Stage Light” Effect [video] (youtube.com)
260 points by dsego 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 153 comments



Meanwhile the hinge in my £600 Lenovo ideapad broke after 4 years of carrying it to university pretty much everyday. After a quick phone call they agreed to fix it free of charge (including return postage to Germany). This was because Lenovo had independently determined that my laptop model suffered from weak hinges. A year on, I am typing on that very same laptop. It is starting to show its age and its price. And you know what? When I do finally replace it, it is probably going to be another Lenovo. That is great customer service.

Meanwhile the richest company in the world fails to acknowledge a significant design flaw in their expensive, "Pro" laptop. Really, they should be willing, if not eager to replace the screens in every affected laptop free of charge. A laptop that fails after opening and closing the lid for a year or two is defective. There is should be no doubt about that.

I don't know how the laws stand in the US (it probably varies state by state), but in the UK with the 2015 Consumer Rights Act, customers have potentially up to five or six years to make a claim irrespective of warranty: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-...


I'll add that I have 3 T-series laptops. All are over 6 years old and still in great shape. The worst I've ever dealt with was a lose monitor cable after a drop. Build quality is only one of the reasons that I continue to recommend them over any other laptop.


I have an ASUS that i have had for 5 years. At some point the keyboard stopped working, so I popped it open and played with the ribbon and it works fine now. I don't mind fixing things, stuff breaks, but the thing needs to be serviceable.


And even if the keyboard breaks at some point on a Thinkpad it's easy to replace it. A new replacement keyboard for the T480s currently costs $50 on eBay and it doesn't take longer than a few minutes to install it.


I had a tech come over and install and he was done in like 3 minutes. I asked him how he did it and he lead me through it... so I guess now I can do it myself?

Either way, it's insanely easy.


Lenovo even has official videos on YouTube that describe how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7FI_y4FXdA


I am still using several T61 and T420 for web browsing and light work. Compared to those thin and flimsy modern ultrabooks those the old T series are almost indestructible.

And if something breaks you can easily replace everything with a screwdriver and cheap replacement parts.


And service manuals. Don't forget that at least for the business lines Lenovo seems to have great availability of service manuals (pcsupport.lenovo.com)


I'm a web developer and lately I've been using less and less Photoshop, which was the sole reason I kept using a mac as my main dev platform.

I'm really wondering if my next machine is going to be a mac. I'm pretty sure I could be as productive with a beefy IBM Thinkpad or a Dell XPS running Ubuntu.


Breaking the chain with Photoshop is a good idea if you are a web developer rather than an artist. Most of what you need to do with images is best done on the command line or even within your IDE. Creative endeavours are also best done with HTML + CSS instead of the desktop publishing way.

I could not imagine life without Photoshop but nowadays I much prefer process rather than Photoshop wizardry. Everyone mocks Gimp and Inkscape for not being professional, same with Open Office Calc. I think that in web developer world it is the other way around, these open source tools are far better if you are fundamentally dealing with data that you are going to be coding with. They also obfuscate, for instance with SVG graphics it is much better to do them with the open source tools for HTML elements such as logos and icons. You don't get to actually understand the principles with the Adobe product so that 'magnifying glass' icon is some path made of hundreds of points listed to nine decimal places instead of two lines - one for the circle and one for the handle.

Ubuntu is also a good idea, your webserver is running native and there doesn't have to be some waste of time building a 'vagrant box' or whatever. All the instructions work too, so if you want to get things done with some linux application you just install it as per online instructions rather than find a paid for tool/software as a service workaround.

There is a lot of FUD regarding what works for Ubuntu and who would spend $$$ not knowing if they have wifi? In reality it is fine on linux whatever box you get.

The consumer Lenovo devices are a better bet than the Thinkpads, you can do well with built in Intel graphics if you are a mere web developer and the screens on the Yoga things are gorgeous. If the keyboard suits you and has backlights then you should be fine. As for the Dell, go for the refurbished and save yourself the $$$. You won't regret the saving particularly if you can get th 4K display for the price of a non-touch lame-display.

Don't even bother with dual boot as Windows is a waste of space on a dual boot Ubuntu machine as you will never use it.


Ubuntu is also a good idea, your webserver is running native and there doesn't have to be some waste of time building a 'vagrant box' or whatever. All the instructions work too, so if you want to get things done with some linux application you just install it as per online instructions rather than find a paid for tool/software as a service workaround. ... Don't even bother with dual boot as Windows is a waste of space on a dual boot Ubuntu machine as you will never use it.

I will note that Windows 10 (Pro at least, not sure about Home) on laptops with appropriate virtualization capabilities can do a heck of a job of running Linux VMs with basically trivial setup. At a quick glance, the Microsoft Store (for installing software in Windows) includes VMs for Ubuntu, Ubuntu LTS, Debian, SUSE Enterprise, openSUSE and Kali.

One downside, I'm not sure how it is for spinning up multiple instances.


Actually you just reminded me what Windows is good for in web development - testing on the 'Edge' or 'Internet Explorer' browsers.

Rather than run Windows native you can download and run the Virtualbox version Microsoft offer for free just for web developers to test browser compatibility with.

With Windows the file system is nowhere near as fast as Linux due to design considerations made in the MS-DOS and Windows NT days. If your code base has thousands of files then reading them across the file systems is a pain meaning that everything runs slow in Windows, the VM or both, particularly with Vagrant type setups. Native Ubuntu is like a breath of fresh air if you have had to work with compromised development arrangements where company policy dictates a slow Windows machine.


I can believe that NTFS is slower than most Linux filesystems, though I'd be curious how much of that relates to things like use of ACLs, etc. Regardless, both security-related and filesystem-related speed differences on developer systems should be effectively negligible except in edge cases.

If filesystem differences are making a significant difference, it's time for someone to suck it up and spend a few hundred dollars on SSDs for the developers (and not the cheapest ones available, which frequently lack DRAM and can have their own speed issues).


It is probably worth noting I purchased the laptop from a major computer retailer sans extended warranty.


The problem is that anecdotes are not data. On the internet Apple stores are ‘famous’ for giving people the newest model MacBook Pro or iPhone in trade for an old model because their old model has some obscure specific problem that can’t readily be fixed. Or someone has had their crackedscreen replaced free of charge. However, 99% of these things happen only in US Apple stores. Geniuses in the Apple stores in Europe would laugh you out of the store if you asked for similar treatment, and would’ve told you to just wait for a few days until the replacement part / device has arrived. This leads to contentious discussions and flame wars about Apple having alternatively crap or amazing service. The same is probably true for the majority of manufacturers: some people get amazing service whilst others get dicked around. Sometimes it depends on geography. Sometimes the customer service agent was grumpy (or happy!) that day. You simply cannot base your purchase on these stories.


Again, anecdote. I've had a very minor problem with my MacBook Air(the case was making a creaking noise when pressed in one place) and got the entire case replaced without any question at an apple store here in UK. That was the best customer experience I've ever had with any company. My point is that I'm not sure why you say this kind of treatment is only limited to US.


I had a problem with a MacBook Air (the hinge had an issue)... They asked for $800 to fix it. Never dropped, everything still worked, the hinge just would not stay up.

I'm in Canada :(

I guess Apple gives better service in countries where they dominate mindshare? They dominate the US market and presumably the UK market.

In Canada, they're still fairly strong... but I also see a ton of Surfaces everywhere.


They replaced the whole display on my old [2017] MacBook Air because the plastic creaked. Didn’t even buy the device new...


Everybody makes mistakes, and that's fine. The issue itself can be forgiven for a technical design flaw. BUT, what is NOT fine is trying to censor customers who have paid a lot of money for these products, trying to voice their concerns. There is simply NO excuse for doing that.

I'm absolutely disgusted by how anyone can delete forum posts that have not violated forum rules simply for exposing the company's design fault. Why have an open forum in the first place then?

I can't believe what the morale amongst the Apple employees running these forums must be whose day job is to shut the voices of these customers on no valid basis. They probably got their orders higher up in their chain.

Absolutely appalling. I will NEVER recommend Apple products to anyone around me although I'm already invested with almost all of their computer products.


This has been going on with Apple for as far as I can remember. Apple puts out a new product, a significant number of people are affected by what seems to be a manufacturing defect, Apple suppresses mentions of it as much as they can, and a year or two later, they offer some kind of a remedy (usually free repairs) to whoever didn't rage sell or return their defective product. And because their machines are barely repairable, users can rarely fix the issue themselves.

This seems to work well for them, people keep clamouring for more overpriced apple hardware and are happy to run on Apple 's treadmill to buy the new iteration every year or two, while running the risk of getting a lemon yet again. So I'm guessing that's a valid strategic decision for Apple and that's why it continues unabated.


Man, how is it defensible that they delete forum posts talking about the issue? Same with denying keyboardgate, this firmly puts their products in my do-not-buy list, because they'll even deny being terrible product engineers when their products break and turn your money to paperweight.


Same thing happened during Radeongate, the GPU problem that affected thousands of 2011 MBP models.

My top of the line MBP 2011 died in 2013, 2.5 years after buying it. At that point Apple denied any problems.

Over a year later, with a couple of class action lawsuits on its back, Apple started a repair program. Of course I had already bought another machine to be able to work, so after repairing the 2011 I found myself with a very expensive MBP that was about 4 years old at this point. I didn't have a use for it and of course nobody wanted to buy it at a decent price because of its infamous problems. The expensive investment I made in 2011 went down the drain.

The repair program was just a dick move to avoid legal problems.

If Apple had wanted a fair compensation to their customers they would have taken those machines back and given 60% of the price paid in credit for buying Apple products, which is what a 3-4 year old Mac sells for.

After that I lost all faith in Apple and am much more careful with what I buy from them.


Probably close to a year ago, someone posted a cynical fictional example timeline of discovery of MBP problems, (deleted) threads in Apple's forum, Apples' (lack of and) eventual response and the fans' denials and acceptance throughout. It highlighted the stages of denial, censorship, acceptance, revision, etc. It was pretty snarky but would up being pretty on the nose given what happened in the subsequent months as it was more discussed, officially acknowledged and then somewhat addressed in a hardware revision.

I think about that comment every month or so when another MBP article pops up here. I'd be grateful for a link if anyone knows the HN comment I'm thinking of.


there's always been something odd about Apple's forums. You'll see that almost any post detailing a problem is immediately replied to by apologists telling the OP that somehow _they_ are at fault.


You're looking at it wrong. It isn't a dent, it's an aesthetic mark to help differentiate your device and deter thieves. OMG you just don't get it do you? You must use a personal computer.


Apple never denied the keyboard issues.

They offered an extended warranty and fixed the core issue in a subsequent design.


No, they didn't. First, they pretended the issue didn't exist, while charging people hundreds of dollars for new keyboards. Then, they announced a "quality program", where they'll replace your broken keyboard with another, equally defective one for 4 years. So after the 4 years is up, your keyboard is going to break again, and you'll have to pay again or get a new laptop.

While they did change the keyboard design in 2018, there are still reports that the "improved" keyboard is failing as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/applehelp/comments/9w6vk3/macbook_p... https://www.reddit.com/r/applehelp/comments/9w6vk3/macbook_p... https://twitter.com/kapeli/status/1090640259921166336


"improved" was a non-sealing dust jacket and even then apple was too chicken-shit coward to say it was an attempt to keep foreign particles entering the hinge. Apple called the addition a noise masking element, in my opinion an attempt to avoid giving evidence for any litigation against them that may come up.

Maybe this is all great business sense, but it really makes me consider if buying another apple laptop is a good idea.


It is great business sense. It keeps from giving the opposition ammunition in their lawsuit...

It's just a shame that good business sense isn't exactly good for the user.


"Never" is the wrong word here. They offer "quality program" long after the issue was discovered like:

- MacBook Air 2008 broken hinge issues

- image retention issues with Retina 2012 model

- GPU issues with NVIDIA GPU in Retina 2012 model

only to name a few that I personally faced that they later admitted to only after you likely fixed it out of pocket yourself (or sold the device) and with threats of lawsuit.


>2012 model

Don't forget the infamous 2011 model! And it's less publicized but a similar GPU issue affected the 2010 models as well.


I was personally affected by all those three I had listed, among other things. To add, I also personally faced:

- The 2016-2017 keyboard issue on all MacBooks of that generation I had (5-6 devices).

- The MacBook Air 2008 "core shutdown" issue that the machine thermally throttled itself to a grind and shut down all but a single core.

- Most recently, I faced a water damage issue with iPhone XS Max (the device is advertised as water resistant). Class action lawsuit, anyone?

My face gets grim when I have to admit that I am still a customer, even an advocate, because all the competitors produce mostly crap, insecure, poorly-made and/or invade your privacy. I have, however, started to break the ecosystem chain.

There's been obviously plenty more. Especially on the GPU side it was super annoying. Most of these things will break even after they "fix" it under their quality programs.


Honestly there are lots of solid alternatives. I had macs from the 90s to the 2007ish MacBook. After that I got frustrated with how unrepairable they became so I've been using dells and lenovos since and there are a lot of good options.

One credit to Apple, I had an imac that lasted forever. I loved that machine. But finally the disk died and I had to take the whole thing apart and the screen out just to replace the disk. That was the last Apple in my life. Good riddance! :)

But you can spend your money as foolishly or thoughtfully as you want. That's your call. Just try not to be suckered into thinking there aren't alternatives.


> I am still a customer, even an advocate, because all the competitors produce mostly crap, insecure, poorly-made and/or invade your privacy

Not true. There is hardware that is better made and more reliable than Apple (e.g. ThinkPad) and operating systems that are far more secure (e.g. Qubes).


Love the build on my ThinkPad laptops, and the customer service I've received when I've had minor issues has been amazing.

They sent a tech to my house to fix one device that was delivered with a badly fitted bottom cover, even though I had a return to depot warranty. I had a keyboard that died, I asked to replace the part myself and they happily posted it out. When one of the rubber feet came off another laptop they couriered me a brand new battery overnight (the foot is glued to the battery).

And, if I want more memory or disk, I can do that myself no trouble. No seals, no glue, no warranty stickers.


Lenovo is a manufacturer that shipped spyware to the users. No thanks, I’d rather do business with Apple. To be fair to Apple, when their devices work, they usually work fine. The issues that they don’t resolve are engineering defects that are present across the entire fleet. One-off issues they are mostly good with and the warranty experience overall is better than any other brand I worked with. That said, I believe Apple Retail leadership is bankrupt and the Apple Store experience has gone to shit. It feels like Nordstrom not Apple.


The first thing I do with any computer I receive is to install Fedora. I suppose BIOS/EFI is still scary though.


Apple is rapidly losing trust.

I see no evidence that anyone at Apple cares.


They're a massive company, and they can't justify anything by saying that they're the underdogs.


Also the 2007 model Nvidiagate issues


I'll refer back to this post next time someone repeats the canard the apple hardware was perfect until Jobs died.

Also the 2008 era white plastic MacBooks whose shells cracked and flaked off into sharp edges.


Apple only offered the extended warranty and fix after they were sued multiple times including class suits.

It took them almost two years after the first faulty laptop shipped for those steps to be taken. Let's not re-write history here.


As much as people love to exaggerate issues with Apple's products, Apple itself isn't particularly great when it comes to acknowledging hardware issues.


Neither is Microsoft, I owned a Surface pro and it was barely usable. Lots of people having the same experience, Paul Thurott being vocal about it. Microsoft remaining in denial. Not sure if the denial had any effect on people purchase decisions but I would never buy another Microsoft computer again.


I had an insane amount of network issues with my Surface Pro 3, and it received 35+ software updates regarding the marvel adapter over years before it started being reliable.


I have the most recent 2018 MacBook Pro and I still get stuck keys.


Stuck keys are an issue on every laptop if you get something under the mechanism.

The problem in the 2016/2017 models was that you couldn't fix the issue because the dust etc was firmly embedded.

The 2018 model has a membrane underneath so you should be able to fix the keys with compressed air.


Over the past 20 years I have owned various laptops from HP, MSi, Acer, Apple, and also (for my desktops) external keyboards from a number of additional vendors. The only keyboard that ever had any trouble was after I gave it to my 4yo and over time he got all sorts of food inside it.

My work 2018 mpb showed a stuck key after 2 weeks (no food near it), and it obviously is not bad luck on my part.


If I ate a sandwich over my old thinkpad and crumbs got under the keys, I'd just push the keys harder to crush the crumbs into dust. Total non-issue for the better part of a decade.

It's only when keyboards become thin and delicate that durability becomes a problem.


I'm convinced the problem with these keyboards isn't always debris under the keys. I've noticed it's often E and R, the keys right above the heatpipe system, which suggests that heat could be warping or damaging the contacts. This is even worse.


Yes, if you used to get a bit of toast stuck under the keys of an old Thinkpad you just bash the key a couple of times and the crumb breaks up a little. Problem solved. Clear out any crumbs, dust and accumulated pet hair every now and then for neatness.

Only '16 and on model Macbooks seem to require a cleanroom for the keyboard.


The membrane still has holes in it, letting dust get trapped inside the delicate parts. It just reduces the risk of dust getting inside in the first place


I have owned five Apple laptops and six Apple keyboards in total.

Two of those I used hard enough that keys fell off.

This latest is the only one which has had issues with the keys not working. Even the ones missing keys, there was a small nub left that still worked.

The main key failure has been the left Command key, which is an utter disaster. I’m furious about it.

Not quite furious enough to give up 15 years of the Mac. But close.


Same issue with the Command key on mine!


Maybe, but I've never experienced that problem on any laptop I've owned. I've been buying laptops for almost 20 years.


I returned a 2018 MacBook Air with the membrane because it failed with the same failure mode. Then I got duplicate key presses.

I now use a thinkpad.


I've tried with compressed air and it's only a temporary fix. Same issue w/ 2016-7 MacBook Pros.


Magic keyboard also suffer from this design


Really? I thought that they were using the same design from the original Magic Keyboard :(


It’s defensible because people who have had a first gen of every new r/MBP for the last five years who experience no problems whatsoever (such as myself) do not take to the Apple support forums to post their counter anecdata, and Apple is a hardware vendor, and it would be terrible for people prior to sale to visit the Apple website (ie the support forums) and get a wildly inaccurate picture of hardware reliability from only seeing posts from a small fraction of people having problems. It's (self) selection set bias.

As a shareholder, I entirely support exercising this type of control of the message (on their own website). It is the right thing to do. Nobody has any right to have their words hosted on apple.com except Apple, and I would prefer that anyone with a sample size of less than ten not post negative things about their products on a site potential customers visit.

You may not agree with it, but this is a legitimate defense of what they are doing.


people understand that forums are there to get support, and that five-year owners with no issues don't post. but taking down posts that expose a design flaw is terrible customer service, and borderline unethical.


The determination of whether or not it's a design flaw is subjective. It could be a manufacturing flaw; millions of touchbar retina MBPs have been sold, and it seems that the issues are affecting hundreds or perhaps single digit thousands. A design flaw would manifest in a much larger percentage of machines, would it not?


This is just awful. I would like to throw my hat into the ring with an anecdotal story that Dell was good to me in the past. It was a few days before the warranty gave out and a printer shorted the USB to 240V, a bang, flash of light and the magic smoke was gone. I contacted them asking whether the USB bus had poly fuses and they told me I had warranty (this was a second hand laptop and I wasn't aware of this). I sent it away, one week later a large number of components (motherboard, USB buses, sound board, webcam, etc) were replaced, as well as the keyboard that I hinted was unreliable.

My point is, something that was clearly accident and not a result of their product being faulty, they fixed the device for me with no questions asked. For that, a tip of the beanie and a future customer. I wish more customer-company relationships were like this and I hope that Dell don't change.

On a different note, can we please pass laws globally that:

1. Allow for the right to self/3rd party repair - where you can't sign an agreement to waiver those rights

2. Replacement parts at a sane price (markup), especially if the part to be fixed is the result of an engineering design fault

3. Prevent device manufacturers from making the process of dismantling a device a destructive one, i.e using glue, welds, etc

4. Internally used service materials should be freely available with the device (even if proof of ownership is required to access them) in the language of the Country being sold to

5. Increase the warranty for parts that shouldn't break quickly (modern laptops should last for at least 5 years) - i.e. the difference between a battery (expected to wear faster) and a CPU (not expected to wear)

6. Damage markers are not to be used to void warranty (i.e. Apple's water damage markers that can even be triggered by humidity)


Right to repair laws are currently being considered in 15+ states that would accomplish #1-4.

https://repair.org/stand-up/

There are hearings in three states on the topic this week: WA, SD, and NH. Get involved! Repair.org has a simple tool to write your legislator.


Maybe instead of trying to develop some laws that may or may not help to solve the issue, we will simply stop buying Apple products?


I think OP was trying to come up with realistic solutions, not platitudes like "vote with your feet".

Laws have been really effective in the past at putting Apple's "heart" in the right place.


Sorry but I don't think they are realistic at all. OP writes about global rights that:

1. "Grant the right to self-repair": Maybe someone would want to have a product that doesn't allow 3rdparty repairs? I.e. user would want to be sure there were no unauthorized repairs when buying some used hardware because user would like to have confidence the last repair wasn't sloppy or the used product contains only original parts? Why would you want to deny that possibility? Medical equipment, weapons, devices used in expensive mass transit like planes, I'd say to leave repairs of those to the proper companies.

2. "Replacement parts at sane price": how would you want to control the price of a part that is actually expensive to manufacture? Should prices of other, cheaper parts be bigger so that the expensive part will be cheaper? In such case, if I never own the MacBook with a design fault, but I will need the cheaper part, why should I pay more so you can buy your expensive part cheaper?

3. "Prevent using glue, welds": Isn't it cheaper and produces devices that have less moving parts? It allows quicker assembly and allows automatization during production so again, cheaper devices. The adhesive used in the phones are not as bad as people think, I've replaced batteries and screens from multiple phones, it's a PITA but nothing that can't be done. Also Chinese kids are also doing it on the streets in few minutes.

4. "Service material should be distributed on the same market as the device": Again, more costs. The customer will pay for those costs, not the company. The devices will be more expensive.

5. "Increase the warranty for parts that shouldn't break". I have no idea how anyone would be able to pass the law that already knows what part will break in a new device in the day of bringing this device to the market.

6. "Damage markers are not to be used to void warranty". What about vehicle crash sensors? Hard disk sudden motion sensor?

The problem when a user tries to think of new laws is always the same, those laws only address user's problem and nothing more. Just please, leave the law alone, imagine it's kernel mode programming and you're a web designer.


>Sorry but I don't think they are realistic at all.

Not complete, but I think they outline some general ideas that would be useful for most customers.

[1]

>Maybe someone would want to have a product that doesn't allow 3rdparty repairs?

Perhaps, but I don't see how you could ever possibly stop that from happening. Even with Apple's very tight control over the repair market, repairs are still made to their laptops, phones, etc. When you buy from the second hand market, all bets are off. If you own the device from new and it is from the manufacturer, you can guarantee that repairs are carried out how you want them.

>Medical equipment, weapons, devices used in expensive mass transit like planes, I'd say to leave repairs of those to the proper companies.

Again, if you want to make those guarantees, you would have "trusted" re-seller markets or purchase new. Hell, go a step further, have the devices pulled apart and manually checked for their fitness for purpose.

On the other hand, one only needs to look at an iron lung or an old military device needing restoration to realized why the right to repair is important even in those cases. Manufacturers can die, parts can go out of production and manufacturers may not always be incentivized to make the right repair (for example in cases where the right repair costs them money).

[2]

>In such case, if I never own the MacBook with a design fault, but I will need the cheaper part, why should I pay more so you can buy your expensive part cheaper?

The parts would be cheaper for everybody by forcibly locking in the cost of replacement parts. One would expect that the replacement parts in total not cost more than a multiplier of the original retail price of the device. For example, it shouldn't be more expensive to replace a part of a machine that to buy one new.

[3]

>Isn't it cheaper and produces devices that have less moving parts? It allows quicker assembly and allows automatization during production so again, cheaper devices.

Yes it is. So is making use-once e-cigarettes. Electronic waste is a massive problem and should not be encouraged at any level. Manufacturers of expensive devices should make said devices fixable. Most of Apple's competitors somehow manage to build devices with screws whilst delivering on a lower price, so I don't believe for a moment Apple is incapable of also doing so.

[4]

>Again, more costs. The customer will pay for those costs, not the company. The devices will be more expensive.

A well known secret: The devices are priced to be a multiplier of the customers annual disposable income. Besides, devices being slightly more expensive but being more repairable is a good trade off.

[5]

>I have no idea how anyone would be able to pass the law that already knows what part will break in a new device in the day of bringing this device to the market.

Parts have an expected life time. Most vehicles have an expected life time of 10 years. Depressingly, mobile phones are ~1/2 years. Other than some agreed degradable parts, such as batteries which depend on charge habits, one wouldn't expect the processor to give out in less than 1/2 years with normal use. If it did, it would point towards a design flaw. Of course not all design flaws can be seen before production, but these can be reduced with better prior testing and more easily replaceable internals.

[6]

>What about vehicle crash sensors? Hard disk sudden motion sensor?

In both cases, there is either damage or there isn't. If a vehicle crashes and there is absolutely no damage at all - what's the difference? Of course this calls on better testing of devices being returned, but this should be the case anyway. It shouldn't be that difficult to build a bed of nails to send out to repair centers to test whether a motherboard is damaged.

--

>The problem when a user tries to think of new laws is always the same, those laws only address user's problem and nothing more. Just please, leave the law alone, imagine it's kernel mode programming and you're a web designer.

This is a very poor attitude to have. We should be having open discussions about everything - who knows where the next best idea will come from. Elitism usually turns out bad.


It's more complicated than this. For quite a number of people this isn't a choice. Many companies are locked into a hardware platform, many average users are locked into a hardware platform because of social expectations (i.e. all of my friends/family using Face Time, my office uses OSX office documents, etc).

This, and the problem that users are being told that _they_ are the problem. Keyboard breaks? Stop getting dust on it. Light show on display? Stop opening and closing the lid. Signal cuts out? You're holding it wrong.

Capitalism only works with regulation - you can't have a completely free market devoid of strict regulation to uphold some kind of minimal standards.


What bothers me about Apple [since 2013] is the showboating about environmentalism in their corporate marketing, but the complete disregard for such things in their designs.

Their designs since 2014 have been the least environmentally friendly out of any company; encouraging consumers to throw heavy metals into the ecosystem without the slightest hope of repair. The 2012 Mac Mini was the same chassis as the 2014 but the repairability level is next to nil. The same story is on the current line of MacBooks.

E-Waste is the largest and most harmful stream of consumer waste an Apple is leading the way. It doesn't matter how many of your data centers are running on solar panels if all of that energy is being used to destroy the environment.


Apple will collect any of their devices for recycling in most countries, https://www.apple.com/recycling/nationalservices/

From what I understand they built special-purpose robots to disassemble the past several phone versions and recover most of the content. I imagine they can recover the glass and frame from laptops; not sure what happens to the microchips.

It would be interesting to see some data about how long a typical device from each manufacturer continues to see active use, and how often they get repaired. I am skeptical that e.g. the typical consumer-owned Dell/Asus/etc. laptop stays around any longer than typical Apple laptop. Anecdotally I know a bunch of people whose PC laptops were pieces of junk when they bought them, and didn’t last more than a couple years before they threw them out for a new model, and also some people who mostly buy used 3–4 year old Apple hardware.



Interesting. 60% of the recycling collected by Apple in Illinois in 2013 was televisions? https://video-images.vice.com/_uncategorized/1492713617275-S...


Finally someone mentions this! If Apple would really care about the environment they would make their devices easily serviceable!


I can't take any of that environmentalism seriously as long as they keep manufacturing simply badly designed charger/lightning cables.


"But we use PVC-free plastics!!!!11"

It reminds me a bit about the whole "biodegradable" movement. Instead of making things that essentially destroy themselves after a short time, how about simply making things last longer and be more durable? Of course that would reduce their ability to keep selling you new products. It's quite a genius idea: making things that self-destruct but are "environmentally friendly" means they get both planned obolescence and to advertise the fact that they're "environmentally conscious"...


There are lots of laptops which have better price/quality ratio than MacBooks. HP ZBook is one example, there are of course more. I've bought my previous HP EliteBook 6 years ago which was already in used condition, had better performance than MacBooks for fraction of their price. I had to switch to a newer HP model only because I've needed more than 8GB of RAM.

Some EliteBook/ZBook models have 2 slots for hard disks plus a DVD tray, which can be replaced to 3rd HDD slot. They can be plugged to a docking station that give them plenty of ports, even old ones like LPT or PS/2 should anyone need them. I really see no benefit of using a MacBookPro with 2 multifunction ports that requires buying expensive cable converters.

Enterprise-graded laptops (like EliteBooks) often allow upgrading the graphics card inside the laptop, because they often use the MXM slot.

I won't even mention the fact that RAM is never soldered in and can be replaced / extended if needed.

Keyboard is changable, so if a key will be damaged, user can buy a replacement keyboard and switch it after unscrewing 3 or 4 screws. Bought a laptop from Scandinavia? You can change the keyboard to your local one after buying it for $25.

Apple products quality is good, but they're overpriced to a level of ridicule.


Not to mention that the service manuals are public and very well written. The laptops are made to be serviceable. Not that one may need to, as the standard warranty is 3 years, on-site, worldwide. I was issued an elitebook at work. Liked it so much I bought my own, got stolen, bought a zbook. I cannot recomend them enough.


I love the service manuals from Dell/HP/Lenovo!

Examples:

Lenovo P52 hardware maintenance manual: https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/tp_p52_hmm_en...

Dell XPS15 service manual: https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/xps-15-9560-laptop_setup-gui...

HP ZBook 15 G2 maintenance and service guide: http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c04493862

They're well-written and easy to follow. It's great.

All of these are public and freely available on the website of the manufacturer. They're also in PDF format (or similar) and can be opened easily in full in a browser.


I am currently having issues with my 2018 Touchbar. The display has these quick, thin lines which flicker and appear. The anomalies are lines and checkered patterns composed of many different colours which appear for much less than a second and disappear quickly thereafter. I should note that the checkered patterns are across the whole display and uniform in colour, typically a shade of white or grey.

I have sent my Macbook Pro for repair three times now. Apple has replaced the board and display (as well as the keyboard for a different issue with the “E” key double-typing) and the issues are still present.

Apple told me to wait for a software update.

I bought a 2011 Macbook Air which I still use today. What are the odds that my 2018 laptop serves me until 2025?

Are the days of high resale values for Macs over?


Previously (374 comments from 10 days ago): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18968940


The Pro I'm using right now is the 15" 2016 model, bought it brand new off the shelf, and had used several other models years prior to purchasing this one.

After less than 2 years of usage, the keyboard has hardly any buttons left that I haven't had to take out and clean out, and as a result -- break the clippings that hold them together.

There are also strange cracks below the screen area which makes me think the fabric is much cheaper this time around. And this whole touch bar thing... what a waste of my time and money. Absolutely unnecessary and horrendous.


If you watch Louis Rossmann's channel, who runs a component-level repair shop in NYC and campaigns/ed for Right to Repair, you'd know modern MacBook Pro's were poorly-designed, designed to wear out, and are expensive and difficult/impossible to repair. Memory: soldered in, SSD: soldered in, battery: glued-in in several pieces, board diagrams: proprietary, test tools and utilities: proprietary, service knowledge-base and forums: exclusive, genuine parts: exclusive.

Older Macbook Pro were better but still have their issues. I have an A1278 MBP that sleeps spontaneously all the time because, in the palm rest by the HDD bracket, either the Hall effect sensor wore out or the bar above it (ferrous metal or magnet; magnets are around the screen) became too magnetized. Also, the screen hinges must be loosening or self-polishing, so the screen is getting floppier. I'll try tightening the set screws and maybe even Loctite them. https://www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup


Louis Rossmann spends countless hours talking about what he perceives as "design flaws" with Apple products but never offers anything resembling context. He is looking with a microscope—both literally and metaphorically—at tiny details on a circuit board which don't seem to be a problem for >99% of Apple's customers.

Are these points of failure really any more common on Apple devices than their competitors? Are other major manufacturers' products substantively better in any of these regards? Has he ever spoken to anyone who actually designs laptop circuit boards?

One of the interesting things I've noticed is that Apple product owners have a near-universal expectation of long life and durability, whereas owners of PC laptops are more likely to treat them as unfixable and/or disposable. I think this unspoken bias is playing deeply into the Rossmann perspective.

Now I don't doubt that a lot of what Louis says is technically correct, and if everyone in the independent repair industry was as competent as Louis is in 2019, he would probably have a point. But they're not, so he doesn't. Given the shoddy low standards that dominate the independent Apple device repair industry, it's unsurprising that Apple doesn't do anything to help them.


I'm not sure he would -need- to talk to someone who designs boards to have a valid viewpoint. There's a case in point where the older Macbook display connector had a spare way or two between the high voltage and lower voltage signal connections. This isn't present on newer models, and leads to a connector failure meaning the display controller gets fried. This is simply bad practice. There was a commenter on one such video saying 'well, one guy does the spec for the connections needed, another guy does the connector pin out', but that just shows that people aren't doing their jobs as well as they should be - if you're designing something but ignoring an important part of that design such as physical distance needed to ensure long term reliability, then you're not doing your job well.

There are plenty of reasons that I love my 2017 MBP, but it most certainly isn't a 'Pro' piece of kit. It needs to be handled with kid gloves to avoid it damaging its own screen (which was replaced by Apple TWO DAYS before the warranty expired, thankfully) - if you close it without something between keyboard and screen, the glass gets damaged. I've had cheap laptops which have put up with years of abuse (including being thrown in the back of a rally car and doing an entire International event!) without this sort of damage. The lack of ports is a problem (I don't mind them being USB-C, but two isn't enough), lack of replaceability or upgradability, etc.

I didn't expect it to last forever, but I -did- expect it to last longer than any PC laptop I've bought in the past - the previous record was 5 years out of a fairly run-of-the-mill Acer which got used every day, sometimes for 8-10 hours, and not always by me. I was hoping for about 7 years out of it, which works out to about £250/year. I'll be -very- surprised if it makes it that far, alas.

I'd never buy another Apple device.


Any 1000€+ laptop should last at least 3 years. In the EU 2 years warranty against manufacturing defects is standard, in some countries it's even more. This POS breaks after 1 year, and thanks to videos like the one from iFixit it should be easy to prove a manufacturing defect.

Apple got sued by several governments for trying to get out of their obligations under this warranty and instead manipulating customers into buying AppleCare.


Hinges are no. 1 wear sensitive component in flip phones and laptops. They must be properly engineered. Even some cheap flip phones had slip rings for display connection 15 years ago, why Apple can't do the same?


As much as I want to agree with you, those old phones had low resolution, low refresh rate screens. You need a much higher quality connection to push UHD video down, and I doubt you can get a slip-ring to reliably carry signals of that high a frequency. The capacitance and signal reflection issues would be tricky to work around.


That's at least not a problem for a two lane displayport (10 wires,) which is quite high frequency


I have taken apart my 2018 MacBook Pro and there is no glue and it's no more difficult to repair than any of the other models. Provided you can get the parts of course.

Also the A1278 is at best a 6 year old machine. I would imagine it's pretty normal for there to be some wear/tear issues.


I have an IBM X60 from 2006, and the only problem it's developed despite heavy (mobile) use for the past decade-and-nearly-half is that it's lost some of the paint on the case around the edges and bottom.

A friend's MacBook (the plastic ones of the time) started cracking its case within a year, and shortly after that the HDD failed.

Apple has always presented their products as being premium, and their aesthetic isn't bad, but IMHO they're not really as well-built as they claim to be. They are better built than the cheap HPs and Toshibas, however.


> They are better built than the cheap HPs and Toshibas, however

Yep, what I've learnt is that quality is less about brand, and more about whether you buy a premium or a cheap range.


I still have a fully functional Thinkpad 240 from 1999. Runs Linux even. Only thing showing actual wear is the battery.

Slow as heck though.


I mean I get it, it's popular to hate on apple because it makes money on youtube with the tech crowd. But what is most of the market facing?

Most of the market isn't upgrading ram. They aren't upgrading SSDs or batteries. They want their apple care to do it for them. I mean how many of these threads that self-select people with problems with their macs do we need? What are the real numbers?

It's not like Apple has a monopoly on laptops. There are plenty of other options. The competition is there. Yet Macbooks seem to be doing quite alright?


It's not about upgrading, it's about repairing when it gets broken. Which no matter how well made SSD, batteries or memory is, it will in a few years (at least on average).

If it's soldered on instead of simply connected, that means repairing it requires much more skill, and can easily result in damage to other parts. What it means really is that fixing a broken macbook costs way more then it should if they just used a normal connector.

In the case of this specific example, the fact that the display cables are part of display itself means that "a 5$ repair by replacing a cable turns into a 500$ replacement of the display". Which basically equates to a 500$ yearly subscription on a 2000$ machine.


> it will in a few years (at least on average).

Ok, this is what I'm looking for. What statistics back this up in any way?

I have a 2010 macbook pro that is still kicking quite well. No issues at all. I'm sure you have some anecdote about some Dell too. But you say on average, in a few years, all laptops will break. Where is the evidence for this?


They have a monopoly on laptops that run MacOS (without a lot of hassle).


Microsoft has a monopoly on game consoles that run Xbox games.

Cisco has a monopoly on networking gear that runs IOS.

LG has a monopoly on TVs that run WebOS.

The world is full of devices that are not open platforms for alternative operating systems. And the world is full of operating systems that are not open to commodity hardware. If you don't like Apple's choice in focusing on their particular solution which involves intimate software-hardware integration, the answer is to buy from a competitor that focuses on commodity products.

Personally I'm pleased that Apple is making their operating system the way they do. If Apple changed to suit your priorities, that would come at the expense of my priorities.


This is exactly the position I take. I love Macbook Pros and I'll buy nothing else as far as laptops go. The integration of MacOS, the hardware, and the rest of the Apple ecosystem is hard to beat in many ways.

I can afford them, they're extremely reliable, high quality and most of the issues people complain about are overblown (I don't mind the Touch Bar at all, and the keyboard is just fine - you get used to it).


I'm actually not against the way Apple is making their operating system. My point is just that it's not so simple to buy an equivalent product from a different manufacturer.


"Poorly-designed" seems to be the sort of thing that is incredibly subjective, and often declared with little objective truth. Even this stage light ribbon thing -- does anyone have any empirical numbers showing it's an actual problem? An anecdote is not data, and for any large scale manufacturing they generally test it for some huge number of activations/swings/opens/whatever before going with a design.

I don't want to be an Apple apologist -- their current laptops, one of which I purchased one week ago well into this stage light fiasco, are grossly overpriced (and AppleCare+ basically seems mandatory, so that was another $400 on my bill) and I wish they were more upgradable, but at the same time as much as we bemoan non-upgradability in practice extraordinarily few ever upgrade anything. At all. They just get their next laptop.


>"Poorly-designed"

Poorly designed because there were large number of similar problems and they were not fixed in the 2017 and 2018 iteration. It is not subjective, but objective truth. And it isn't just about the hinge.


Prior errors, even if we accept that, doesn't make every incident evidence of poor design.

I'm saying that the evidence of this "flexgate" being a design flaw is incredibly suspect. And it's worth noting that soldered in memory, hard drives, and heavy integration likely improves the long term reliability of those connections, in the same way that a display-connected ribbon cable removes one more point of potential issues (yet another connector interface).

Having said that, I absolutely think that Apple should offer a three year manufacturing defects warranty to all purchases, and their one year warranty (geared to push AppleCare+ which is priced primarily to cover the accidental damage coverage) is ridiculous for a high-end piece of hardware.


I just picked up the latest MacBook Air. I can literally see the display ribbon cables in the hinge area. They do not appear to be under as much tension as the Pro in the iFixit video, but I wonder if my Air will exhibit the same issue at 366 days after purchase...


Hope it goes well and looking forward to the 366 day report on that. :)


The recent Macbook Pro's models are beginning to sound synonymous to "design flaw". How can such a super expensive highly sophisticated computer be unreliable that much. I guess that Apple now has hit the level-of-integration wall.


Yeah, it makes all of apples marketing about being environmentally friendly seem pretty disingenuous.


I wish I could get away from Apple products.

I use macbooks. The display is great and I do like that macos typically just works. No futzing. I'm on iOS because I trust Android less.

It's the lesser of two evils, unfortunately.


I love apple hardware and still have a $5000 latest-gen laptop from them and haven’t had any of the commonly described problems of the last half-dozen years... but I still find myself using my 16gb Pixelbook at least 5x more than my touchbar retina MBP while on the road. Something about the case, the keyboard, the aspect ratio... also ChromeOS is secure like iOS, and can run Real Linux in a VM. It’s an excellent machine. The only thing I super miss is iMessage and Facetime.


I would really love to buy a Pixelbook (or another Chromebook) because I really like the software stack. But the fact that Google never updates the kernel on those things (you're stuck with whatever kernel version was on it when you initially purchased it) is a major reason for me to not get one.

On my Linux laptop I can always run the latest software. On my Macbook Apple will stop to provide software updates at some point, but in practice the hardware is probably going to die before that anyway. On a Chromebook parts of the software stack are never going to be updated. And while most of the users probably don't care about the kernel version itself, a lot of Chrome OS features are dependent on the kernel version: with an older version you're going to miss some features (such as being able to run Linux apps), although the hardware itself would be capable of supporting them.


I don’t know the kernel versions on my phone, my Pixelbook, or my rMBP. They are all up to date from the vendors.

I don’t understand this argument.


On iOS macOS the kernel version isn't an issue as Apple ships OS updates with the latest version of Darwin.

On Chromebooks the kernel version doesn't matter if you only use basic features. But for more advanced features the kernel version determines which features are available. For example, Linux app support for Chrome OS isn't available on kernel 3.14 and older.

Chrome OS devices usually ship with a certain kernel version which isn't updated later on. So you could have a device where the hardware would be perfectly capable to support a given feature, just to not be able to use it because the vendor refuses to update one of the core components of your system.


It seems to me the design flaw may actually be in the material of the ribbon cable itself; Apple has always been using slightly different plastics formulations (presumably for environmental or maybe cost reasons) than other manufacturers, and have had past issues with cracking and such.

I'm not sure what the material is, but the black cables they use don't look like regular (Kapton) ribbon cable to me. Ironically, it might be better being thinner, as then it can handle the same bend radius with less strain.

Edit: replacing the cable in the top half is very difficult yet probably still possible, judging by what the various Chinese phone repair shops have been able to do with glued-together screens.


I wanted a macbook pro but then keyboard issues stopped me. I was absloutely sure I would buy the new air, but I had seen some youtube videos where some keys would behave abnormally. So I'm still with my old air. Old one has served me well, and I guess I will just have to do without the retina display.


I was a mac user for 13 years - last year I switched away to Thinkpads. I really hope that the ones making decisions for the new mac mini are in charge of the next macbooks - maybe they become tenable again at some point. After all this, they still haven’t learned with the Air.


I love older thinkpads and have one as myback up/secondary device. However given the reapeated malware issues with Less, I would never purchase a new one.


Would Thinkpad / Lenovo create an extended warranty for an issue like this?


I think most companies wouldn't have an issue to fix a design defect for free because most laptops can be cheaply serviced.

On a Lenovo you can easily replace the keyboard becuase it is not rivited into the main case. You could also replace the display without the entire case.


Beyond what is required by law or contract?


Back in 2014 they issued a recall for batteries... They expanded it in 2015. IIRC it's still valid today if your battery is the original one. IIRC there wasn't any issue, but there was a risk in the design that could pose a safety hazard.

They also recalled some devices for a battery enclosure problem again in 2018. Same deal: no issues, but there was a manufacturing defect that could have resulted in an issue. It was a loose screw.


“Stage light”! Thank you! I’ve been struggling to find help on that one.

I‘ve had that problem on a lot of my MacBook; I’d say most of the models 2012-2015. (I haven’t upgraded since.) I’m happy to pay for repairs: I just did on my power cable, the second time for that model, roughly every two years. Most of the time, I notice the problem at the peak of Summer, when I’ve been working like crazy, and internal temperature is likely far from bounds.

My biggest issue isn't design flaws (yes, you would expect fewer for a machine at that price) but findability. There is a ton of help online but it’s useless if I don’t know how to describe it in a search engine. I can’t take a screen capture; photos don’t show it well. Given the patterned look of the problem, the fact that I had it on several machines, I knew it was something explainable. I simply could not. Because it’s intermittent, bringing it to the Genius Bar is unhelpful.

If relevant posts are being deleted, that’s horrible. If Apple wants the problem (and the independent repairmen) to go away, offer a high-production description of the problem on your Help page; if you really feel the need to add some scaremongering that it’s too high-tech for independent shops to deal with it, but give that symptom a name.


From an environmental and ethical standpoint, I find it quite abhorrent how unrepairable these machines are. As iFixit said, this would be much less of an issue if the display cable could actually be changed.


Keyboard ( 2018 3rd Generation Butterfly keyboard Still have the same issues )

Now the hinge, or Flexcable.

Thunderbolt 3 / USB Port frying.

Just what more to come from these 2016+ MacBook Pro TouchBar.

I am typing this on a 2015 MacBook Pro with AppleCare running out next year. Not entirely sure what happens if this laptop have problem. I surely don't want any of the current MBP.


(Disclosure: I own a 2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar whose moving parts have not had any problem but whose sound/speakers [technically moving?] has been sent for warranty repairs twice.)

Another way of looking at the Touch Bar MacBook Pros is that the design of their moving parts is so flawed the entire product could probably be categorized as defective.

This is unacceptable and made even worse by their SOP of removing posts that expose them to liability.

Apple has not had hardware problems like this since the Sculley years and I'm very worried things will get worse for their general-purpose computing devices before they get better. (iPhones, for now, do not seem to have the same show-stopping usability issues.)

EDIT: add missing conjunction to first sentence. Replace closing parenthesis with square bracket.


Wouldn’t it be great if there were compartmentalized laptop designs, with standard-sized places to snap in whatever accompanying hardware that you want?

You can essentially plug a desktop computer into whatever keyboard, mouse/trackpad and display that you want; or at the very least, you have a lot of options. Why, in modern laptops with some of the most advanced industrial designs ever, is the entire experience now a pain in the neck?

A significant number of annoyances with modern laptops are not in the computing itself but in the surrounding components that are just too damned unreliable. What’s worse, these surrounding components have an entirely different useful lifetime than the interior.

I want a Mac laptop but I want to be able to “slide in” $MODERN_MAC_MOTHERBOARD under an existing robust frame that has whatever keyboard/trackpad I want. This could well include a frame that isn’t broken yet from a previous generation, and would definitely exclude unwanted “innovations” like Touch Bars. I want to slide in new batteries. I want to unhook the entire top display and replace it with a new generation of display. And if repair is required, I want to be able to go into a store and borrow a temporary display module (say) that I can slide in to my own laptop, while mailing in the broken display only.

I have a really hard time believing that there are any technical reasons not to design laptops with this kind of flexibility.


It adds a lot of affordances and interface requirements that add the cost for everyone and more opportunities for something to go wrong.


I convinced myself that Mac was the best laptop to buy in 2015 after comparing all available options.

The design, beautiful. Technology unmatched at the time, Magsafe was genius, Retina display and build quality fantastic.

I was soon to be an Apple fan boy and decided to buy the next model of MBP, hoping for just minor improvements on CPU RAM etc.

I stopped myself when I saw 2016 MBP. I take Apple negativity with a lot of salt but even for me, it seems Apple has compromised Mac's quality year on year in so many ways. I still await.


Apple just wants to sell you AppleCare I think. Joke's on them, though, my ThinkPad X1 is still going strong after 4 years of heavy use. I'm otherwise in the Apple ecosystem, I have the latest iPad Pro, iPhone 8 and Apple Watch 4. But $3K for a laptop that doesn't have esc key and craps out if I drop a bredcrumb on it or _open the hinge_? Give me a break.


This thing needs more exposure. Apple fix your reputation!


Are there any other manufacturers of metal laptops ? Seems like there are no competing metal-bodied laptops with a good centrally-mounted trackpad.


Why does your laptop need to be out of metal? I would think features such as performance, battery live, etc. would be most important and not what material it is made out of.


it feels nice


This is the gist of what Apple's customers are after: luxury, vanity, fashion.


Aesthetics and good design are not mere vanity.


They are when they take top priority. Also: "design is how it works."


Don't worry. With Tim's money driven approach we might see macOS XR on Lenovo targeting the Chinese market


Quit buying Apple products already.


And do what? I’ve used Linux as my sole OS for a couple of years and it was a terrible user experience where I spent way too much of my time trying to get things to work. This was before I bought a 4K monitor, so it wasn’t even as intolerable as it would be today.

I actually want to like Linux by the way. The philosophy and the fact that you can use it on environmentally sound (and repairable) hardware is exactly what I want. Unfortunately ease of use is more important to me than that. Apple has that. Everything works out of the box, from the shared Callander, notes and reading iMessages across devices to plugging into a 4K monitor and having things just work.

I mean, even if you don’t care about the repairable hardware, the surface book is frankly a cooler piece of hardware than a MBP. Sure it’s more expensive and has no thunderbolt port, but it’s really damn sexy. Unfortunately it runs windows and that’s an even worse user experience than Linux.

So I buy Apple products, not because I really want to, but because they are the lesser evil when you want unix that just works.


Apple products are easier to use until it is not. How can they not fix the keyboard for 3 years now? Linux actually also just works, it's just adviceable to do very short research before you buy hardware for it.


> Unfortunately ease of use is more important to me than that.

Why even mention "environmentally sound" hardware if the only thing you care about is convenience? When it comes time to ask yourself why you didn't do the right thing you already have your excuse: it was just so convenient. No shit.


I’d like to say you had a fair point, but what is the “right” option? There is a reason I outlined environmental and repairability as two separate things because unfortunately there isn’t always a correlation between the two.

It’s sad but sometimes the non-repairable options are actually better for the environment, even if you have to replace them[0].

And this is assuming the repairable option will even last longer, which isn’t always the case. It’s anecdotal but when I bought my 2018 MacBook Pro last October it was to replace my old 2011 MacBook Pro. The old one still works by the way. In a shorter period of just five years I’ve gone through three dells at work. Despite the dells living mainly in docking stations and being repairable two of them are dead.

To me it’s a priority list, and you are certainly free to disagree with how I prioritise, but my point was that Apple fits my list better than the other options.

https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/reports/greener-electronics-2...


If I can run OpenBSD on half of Lenovo's lineup, surely you can run Linux on all or nearly-all of it.


Absolutely fascinating analysis. Makes the hardware engineers at Apple look like rookies.


Apple consumerist NPC followers will find excuses for it anyway.


Apple's decisions are really unforgivable lately. Soldered on RAM, soldered on SSD, irreplaceable display cables... what the hell ever happened to modular design? How can this be anything but Apple wanting to shut down DIY repair and even third party repair shops? I wonder how much of their revenue is repairs...


I wonder how much of their revenue is repairs...

I don't think they repair much, but they'll be certainly happy to sell you a whole new replacement.


I remember that the version of the Macbook Air with an Apple symbol light on the casing. It has the unfortunately flaw that over time the light burns into the screen, it looks like someone has put a large mug of hot coffee on the closed laptop...


That doesn't make sense. There isn't a dedicated light for the logo in any of Apple's laptops -- what you see is the LCD backlight shining through a cutout in the case. This has been the case ever since they started doing that with the Powerbook G3 (iirc).


The logo was translucent and also allowed light in from the back. There was a logo-shaped burn issue but it was caused by ambient light shining through the logo. At least that's how I understood it.

Edit: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3476393


+1. I can imagine someone leaving the laptop in full sunlight, and it burning through the logo - but it feels more like user issue, you don't leave electronics out like that.


I'm using that version of the Macbook Air right now. (Been vaguely wanting to upgrade for a good long while, but am too much in love with the magsafe connector and SD card port.)

The light doesn't permanently 'burn in' as you describe, but if there's sunlight shining directly on the back of the laptop I can see a (very faint and blurry) outline of the logo on the screen. Putting a sticker over the logo would fix it, I suppose, though it's rarely noticeable. (If the light's bright enough to shine through the screen, it's also bright enough that I'm squinting into the sun and wanting to sit somewhere else.)


Curious where Apple warns you not to do that. Seriously, we have users who this has happened to, and I don't believe they were in full sunlight. They work in an office.

You had me curious so I did some searching; I did find a few support threads discussing this sort of problem; consensus seems to be that it's not burn-in (which I'd find really surprising: I sit outdoors or by windows and work in bright light as often as possible (seasonal affective disorder yay) so I'd expect if actual screen burn-in was a thing, I'd have experienced it by now.) Instead it's pressure damage:

> If you carry laptop around and it's squished between books or whatever, that's how you get that. My first unibody macbook developed this issue. Now I use a hard case.

> What I suspect happened here is you had laid something heavy on top of your air so the logo disk in the lid embossed the defuser sheets.

...etc.

https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/256877/Why+do+I+have+a+c... https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/7ph5bi/apple_logo_ligh...




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