As much as I have loved playing with Mac OS X for the past year and a half, it might be time to switch to a PC laptop. A couple days ago, I was reading email when I heard a loud snap and my screen collapsed right in front of my eyes. The titanium metal snapped clear off the LCD screen, right above the left hinge.
I’ve heard that the Tibooks were fragile, but all the stories I heard involved dropping it from height, slipping off a table, or dropping something on top of it. My Tibook was sitting in my lap when the metal just up and severed itself. I couldn’t believe what I saw, but in searching around I found many, many stories of people experiencing similar problems. I expect things to eventually wear out, but I’m surprised a 2 year old laptop that was handled gently for its life would up and break in such a big way. I have read story after story about other Tibooks, some just a couple months old that suffered broken hinges from sitting on a desk.
Looking at the parts I need to replace, it’s looking like a $600-$800 repair. I love Apple’s design, their products look great and usually function well, but I find it disconcerting that they know this problem exists and still sell Tibooks that suffer this failure.
The reality of the situation is that for nearly the same price as the repair, I can either buy a faster megahertz, but G3 chip iBook, or a 1+ Ghz PC laptop. While I have enjoyed a few mac only apps (like iPhoto and iTunes), none of them are key to my getting work done, and in actuality I could always get web development work done faster on a PC with Homesite and a few other tools. It was a fun diversion while it lasted, but when I get tired of always propping the LCD against a book or my leg it will probably become an apache development server and mp3 streaming server to my other machines.