For many years, Microsoft has enjoyed its dominance in personal computer market. Majority of personal computer operating system was Windows. PC manufacturers have been installing Microsoft Windows on their computers. But this all changed since the days Apple computers took its turn and became one of the most popular computer brands. You can’t help but notice Apple stores are always busy. Every time Apple releases a new product, there are often high interests from consumers and long queues of customers in front of Apple stores.
What makes Apple MacBook laptops so appealing to many consumers? Perhaps it’s the impressive Retina display screens, or the aluminum case, or that Apple computers have less virus, or maybe just the brand “Apple” itself. Some think Apple computers are the best, while others could argue that you will get better value for your money from other computers.
Apple MacBook laptops have always been more expensive comparing to many other laptops. One Apple laptop could have bought you 2 of some other laptops. Apple fans wouldn’t mind. But do take into accounts that it generally will cost more to fix Apple computers too, not because repairers want to charge you extra for the “premium” brand, but Apple laptop parts are more expensive and often require delicate handling. Many repairs are simple on regular Windows laptop, but the same jobs turn out to be “extremely difficult” on some Apple MacBook laptops.
What’s inside an Apple MacBook laptop, how different it is from other laptops
While Apple MacBook laptops are quite different from other Windows-based laptops, they still have some of the same components as in other computers, namely central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), hard drive, RAM. Apple MacBook laptops generally have a high resolution screen, screen glass cover (not in all MacBook laptops), superdrive (DVD drive), keyboard with backlit, multi-gesture trackpad, non-user-replaceable battery, I/O USB DC power board, AirPort card (wireless and bluetooth), and other components.
But don’t be mistaken, some of these components are the same (or at least similar) to regular Windows-based laptops, and some components are completely different. For example, in a MacBook Pro non-unibody laptop, or a white/black MacBook, or a non-Retina MacBook Pro unibody laptop, you will find a standard 2.5 inch SATA hard drive, SODIMM RAM sticks. Repairs on these components in these laptops are not complicated and may not cost you more than regular Windows-based laptops. However some Apple Mac laptops have much more sophisticated design and components. For example, if you purchase a MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro Retina display laptop, don’t expect repair services on these laptops to be “cheap”. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina display laptops have Flash Storage drives, which are a whole lot more expensive to replace; its keyboard is integrated into the aluminum case, which make replacing the keyboard “hell of a job”; if you manage to break the Air or the Retina screen, don’t even think about DIY repairs, replacing these screens are incredibly difficult, so difficult that even an experienced technician would sweat doing this type of repairs.
Last but not least, Apple MacBook logic board. Other manufacturers call it “motherboard”, “main board”, or “PC board”; Apple call it “logic board”. The logic board is often the most expensive part in an Apple laptop. Usually a regular PC motherboard does not has integrated CPU (CPU is installed separately in regular laptops, but many ultrabook laptops have CPU built into their motherboards), and built-in GPU (some laptop motherboards has a dedicated slot for GPU). Apple logic board has both built-in CPU and GPU, which will contribute to its price. That’s not all, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina display laptops also have RAM soldered into their logic boards. If your Mac laptop needs a new logic board, it will be expensive, especially on the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro Retina display!
|Apple MacBook Pro Unibody non-Retina logic board
integrated CPU (orange), NVIDIA graphics (red)
|Apple MacBook Pro Retina Display logic board
integrated CPU (orange), NVIDIA graphics (red), and RAM (green)
Pros and Cons of Apple MacBook Laptops
Discussing the pros and cons of Apple MacBook laptops will be an open debate. Many Apple consumers are happy to pay extra to buy an Apple laptop because it has less virus, or for its design, while others would prefer spending less the money elsewhere and still get equivalent hardware. Our technicians at Safemode Computer Service have come across every type of laptops out there in the market, we have torn every laptop down to every single component inside. When judging a computer, we’re not just looking at its hardware specs, but we also look at the quality of its internal component, its repairability, spare part availability, re-sale value, etc. In our opinion, below are the pros and cons of buying Apple MacBook laptops:
- Good quality screen: MacBook Pro laptops come with nice looking, bright screens, usually with an extra protection from the glass cover outside the screen. It might not be the best quality screens, but definitely not the cheapest ones. MacBook Pro Retina Display laptops have very impressive screens.
- Its multi-gesture trackpad is one of the best in the market, if not the best: the trackpad is big, and works well with scrolling, multi-gesture functionality. Most other laptops don’t come close to Apple’s trackpad.
- A firm, nice keyboard: the buttons are big, its plastic clips underneath are strong and well built to hold the buttons in place. However Apple MacBook keyboard does not have numberpad like many other laptops.
- Durable hinges: yep, they are strong in most MacBook, especially in MacBook Pro laptops. Not so strong that it will survive a nasty drop, definitely not stronger than many Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, but they are stronger than many others. We sometimes need to work on Apple MacBook Pro hinges and we’re never worried that we’ll put too much force that may break it. However, some 15″ MacBook Pro laptop (2009 or 2010 if not mistaken) had issues with the hinges coming off from its screen back cover (the hinges themselves didn’t break).
- Aluminum case that appeals to many consumers: the aluminum case creates a “premium” feeling, and it’s stronger than many plastic laptops out there. They will get dirty, but you can always clean them easily with a cheap computer cleaning solution. However some users may feel annoyed by the static electricity vibration on some MacBook Pro or Air laptops if they are not using a power cord that has 3 prong plug.
- 12-hour battery MacBook Air: the 12 hour battery is impressive. MacBook Air laptop is very light, the long battery life make it even more appealing to many consumers.
- Spare parts are widely available: MacBook laptops are very popular, and spare parts for them can be found easily. Unfortunately Australia is not the best place to look for spare parts (mainly due to high cost), but Apple spare parts can be sourced from overseas suppliers too.
- Less viruses: Virus can attack Apple Mac OS, it’s possible, but not common.
- Mac OS X system is faster and more stable than Windows: this is true, but Windows 8 and later could be catching up soon.
- Backlit keyboard: has come as standard since around 2009 on all Apple MacBook laptops. Many users will appreciate the backlit if they often use their Mac at night.
- Drivers for Mac OS are not required: as long as you install the correct version of Mac OS X, drivers are automatically installed for you, while for a Windows laptop, you will likely need to install the correct drivers after installing Windows.
- Spare part lookup is easy: Apple parts can be looked up online easily from Serial Number on the bottom cover of MacBook laptops.
- Expensive to own one: Apple MacBook laptops has always been more expensive to buy.
- Software: many programs are available for Microsoft Windows but not for Apple Mac OS. But don’t worry, many developers will make their software available for Mac OS, just because Mac OS is getting more popular. Some software for Mac are also more expensive too.
- Expensive to fix: absolutely. Apple parts are more expensive, and require delicate handling. Some repairs are simple on a regular laptop, but turn out to be extremely difficult on some MacBook. For example, replacing keyboard for an Apple MacBook Pro unibody laptop is more difficult, and even much much more difficult on MacBook Air or MacBook Pro Retina. The screens in MacBook laptops are nice, but it’s very difficult to replace if you are unlucky to break it. Replacing screen for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina is a “nightmare” because they are heavily glued onto its aluminum frame.
- Its logic board is expensive: if your Apple MacBook logic board is faulty, you will be paying for a replacement logic board including replacement CPU and GPU too (and RAM in MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina). The integrated CPU, GPU (and RAM) contribute to the high price that may break your budget.
- Its superdrive (DVD drive) is not easy to replace: this repair is not difficult, but takes more effort comparing to other entry-level laptops.
- Poor upgradability in MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina laptops: RAM cannot be upgraded because they are soldered into logic board. Flash storage drive can be upgraded but are much more expensive.
- Battery is not user-replaceable: most laptop batteries can be replaced easily in regular laptops, but you may need a computer technician to replace the battery for your MacBook laptop.
- Less customisable: if a built-in component does not work very well in Windows, you might be able to disable it in Device Manager. You cannot do this in a Mac. Mac OS X also requires selected hardware, you cannot install Mac OS X on different hardware platform.
Our Apple MacBook Repair Services
- Repairs on Apple MacBook laptop screens, including replacing broken glass cover, replacing broken screen, fixing flickering screen, fixing screen backlight issues. Screens in MacBook laptops are usually more expensive than regular laptops, especially MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina display.
- Fix problems with Apple MacBook laptops running slow, unstable, crashes. Most of these problems are related to hardware issues. Faulty hard drives are the most common, other faults could be defective GPU, defective logic board, faulty RAM, or liquid spill damages
- Replace or repair Apple MacBook keyboard and/or trackpad, including MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops. Replacing keyboard for a regular Windows laptop are much easier than for a MacBook. Keyboard and trackpad in MacBook Pro Retina display are the most difficult.
- Repairs on Apple MacBook laptops with jammed keyboard keys, fix problems with Shift key always engaged.
- Fix Apple Mac problems at startup, i.e. folder icon with question mark, or stuck at Apple logo and spinning sheel at startup, or circle with a slash through, or just blank white/grey screen, or error message “press and hold the power button for 5 seconds…”, etc. A faulty hard drive is the most common, other possible faults are GPU, logic board, RAM.
- Replace or repair damaged Apple MacBook laptop power socket DC jack.
- Replace or repair damaged logic board for MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops.
- Repairs on Apple MacBook laptop not turning on problems, including MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro.
- Replace Apple MacBook laptop hard drives, RAM, graphics video card, CD DVD drive, battery, power adaptor.
- Replace and repair damaged Apple MacBook parts.
- Repair Apple MacBook laptops with liquid spill damages.
- Fix problems with Apple MacBook laptop making noise, dust, over-heating issues.
- Recover data from Apple MacBook laptops.
- Help to set up Apple Mac computers and laptops, printers, connect to the Internet and network, set up a secured wireless network, firewall.
- Help to set up and troubleshoot Time Machine backup, AirPort wireless routers.
- Upgrade Apple MacBook computers and laptops, system maintenance and optimisation, boost speed and performance and much more.
Your Apple MacBook laptop used to work great, if it isn’t great anymore, call us now for a quote.