I think I am postponing my PowerBook purchase

by Volker Weber


I was planning to buy a 15" PowerBook by the end of the month, but I will postpone this purchase until Apple sorts this out:

On my powerbook screen, there seems to be a spot where things appear brighter than the rest of the screen. It is about 1" in diameter. It almost looks like the white spots that occur when you push on the back of the screen. By the way, the computer is brand new, and it has had the spot since I bought it. Do you know what it could be?

According to this discussion there seem to be a large number of those defects. I have seen it before with my StinkPad. IBM had a whole series of T21 that developed the same problem.

Petition here >



i've got one of this gems of the first production cycle. i received this wonderful machine on the 25th of september. what should i say...

... no problems whatsoever... no lid-problem, no screen-problem, not one dead pixel or subpixel - everything works fine...

... knock on wood...

go to a shop and let them show you the machine you'll buy. otherwise (if you want to order it at a german online-store remember that you can send it back within 14 days).


plantagoo, 2003-10-18

Apple tries to be very helpful. I have a contact who can make things work when the normal processes slip. But still, I don't want to get burned by a serious production problem. When you see these errors showing up it is usally a whole batch of machines that develop the problem.

Lucy has had one dead pixel when I first started her. This is not a DOA problem, so I have to live with it. It reminds me every day, that Apple is far from perfect. I have had a whole bunch of notebooks and TFT screens. Lucy has the first screen which is not pristine.

Maybe I should see what I can do to get this fixed.

Volker Weber, 2003-10-18

About your dead pixels ... I bought a 15" TI book near Christmas time last year over the net. It came with almost 13 dead pixels in one corner of the screen. Since it was a busy time of a year, and I returned it, I wouldn't likely get it back till January, I tried massaging the screen. The result? 1 year later, and every pixel works.

Pixels are usually "stuck" not "dead". I'll bet most of them can be unstuck.

Ash Mishra, 2003-10-19

I've got a similar problem (a somewhat brighter spot on my display), maybe 10cm vertically by 2 or so horizontally, on my iBook screen. Mine is a 500MHz model, but a friend with an 800MHz one has the same issue.

It's really not terribly noticeable during normal usage, although if you look for it it's always apparent. I mostly notice it on relatively solid, dark backgrounds.

Phil, 2003-10-19

Jsut wanted to add to the first post... I'm another new PB owner with NO problems. Pixels, latch, everything perfect out of the box (1.25 Ghz w/5400rpm drive). Also added RAM (512 from DMS to bring it up to a gig) w/o a problem. I'll wager there are far, far more good units than bad.

Chris Fenger, 2003-10-19

Ash, this is really, really hard to believe. And I don't think I will risk Lucy's screen on this procedure.

Volker Weber, 2003-10-20

I have a 17" Powerbook, 1.33 Ghz which was released with the new 15" Aluminums. It has been nothing but pleasure, and 10.2.8 6R73 has improved its battery life to the actual 4:30 hours. The screen blemish only appears if the display is turned off through the display controls, or the computer is a asleep or shutdown. It does not affect the picture quality in any way.

gopher, 2003-10-20

That happened at the edge of my screen, after I dropped my PowerBook. No real damage, but the screen was slightly bent. That warping changed the brightness of the corner of the screen when viewed head-on.

Eric Hancock, 2003-10-20

I have had the hot spot problem on my 15" pb too. took it back to the Apple store and they gave me a new machine that developed the same problem in different spots within a week of use. the real problem is that you can scrutinize the display out of the box but the problem will not typically show until about a week or so of use. I don't know if I should open another case with them now or wait until they get a fix.

Scott Swagler, 2003-11-18

I just got a 15" pb 1.25ghz last week after waiting for about a month on backorder. beautiful machine. But yesterday suddenly I noticed on the upper right hand of the screen a series of pixels outlined in black then white columns, about five in total of different heights. And it effected the computer too, I had to force quit some apps and then I had to force shut the pb down. OK, happened once, then today it happened again. Anyone else have any problems like this?
Thanks, I hope I don't have to exchange and wait for a new one!!!!

bill cole, 2003-12-19

I have experienced this same problem. After doing a little research I discovered that these mysterious markings are actually caused by contact with the keys when you close the powerbook. If it starts occour ob your powerbook IT WILL NOT STOP, IT WILL CONTINUE TO GET WORSE. If you don't think you have it go open a Microsoft Word file and stretch it so the white background fills your screen. If you see spots that appear to be faded or brighter you have this problem. This is a terable design flaw. Apple, in its effort to have a computer under 1" thick, had to design the powerbook so the keys are against the screen when you close the laptop. There is a preventative measure which you can take. You can actually find it on ebay of all places ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2778318477&category=14909 ) for about $15 US. Search For "Mac Rag" or Powerbook Screen Protector," something along thoes lines. You put it over the keys when you close your computer and prevents the contact that causes the fading in your screen. I sent my computer back, got a new screeen, and did this and I have no spots appearing on the screen. One thing however; the people at apple gave me refurbished top casing and took my new one which was in perfect condition. The one they sent me the first time was in C- condition. It looked like it had been dropped on pavement. I sent it back and got it back the second time with another refurbished case which was in B condition, but it is still obviously from a used computer. So this is a pretty perdicament for us mac users but it is preventable. I am very upset with the customer support. Don't, I repeat DO NOT expect to get your computer back in the same condition you sent it in. I sent mine In PERFECT CONDITION and it returned to me scratched to hell. But hey, the screens better now and the case is not obvuiously scratched. Good luck. Buy The MacRag. Its a life saver.

Good luck and Regards,


Colin, 2004-01-06

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