Not only do MacBook Pros scream, some of 'em whine

The old rule of thumb about software, cars and hardware is to be wary of the first iteration of anything, a rule I tossed out the window earlier this month when I picked up my first MacBook Pro (see MacBook Pro, no con -- yet.) Not long after I posted that blog, I started noticing -- as have some other new MacBook Pro owners -- a high-pitched squeal emanating from somewhere around the keyboard. Then I started reading about other owners who had variations of the same high-pitched noise, which they described as a whine. Regardless of how you describe the sound, it can be really annoying. It was for me.

From online postings by the whiners, it appears that Apple is able to fix the problem, although it means sending in a brand new laptop for repair -- not something I really wanted to do. So before the two-week return period had ended, I tromped back to the local Apple Store and picked up the top-end MacBook Pro, which has a slightly faster 2.16GHz Core Duo chip and a 7,200-rpm hard drive. It's the model I'd have bought earlier if they'd been in stock. I ate the "restocking fee" Apple charges and headed home. That was more than a week ago, and so far, no whine, no squeal, no screech. Based on the serial numbers, my new MacBook Pro was built in week 10; the old whiner was built in week 8. Take it as a cautionary tale if you're considering a new MacBrook Pro.

My point is this: There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the first on the block to have one of these slick and sleek laptops. Just be forewarned that they really do scream -- some more than others.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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