Macintouch produced a very detailed Macintosh laptop reliability study with responses from its readers. Forty-one different models of Mac laptops are covered: everything from 233-Megahertz PowerBook G3s to 1.67-Gigahertz 17-inch PowerBook G4s.
There are a lot of interesting results here, well worth reading for Mac laptop users and non-Mac users alike. Maybe the least surprising conclusion is that the 12-inch Apple iBook is the most reliable of the current crop of Mac laptops. It's got the smallest footprint and it's made of the simplest laptop materials. When you compare it to the 17-inch PowerBook G4, you can see why:
- The PowerBook screen is huge, so there's more of a chance of the display going bad.
- The alumnium alloy case is very lightweight, but is also subject to failures from wear and tear that the plastic surrounding the iBook is not.
- The PowerBook is more prone to heat dissipation problems due to its exotic design.
- Innovations like the illuminated keyboard are the kind of thing that makes that laptop more likely to be returned for repairs. The only devices I own with illuminated keyboards are mobile phones.
On the other hand, wouldn't you prefer to have a PowerBook G4 if you could afford it? I'd probably prefer the 15-inch PowerBook G4, but I'd choose the PowerBook over the iBook if price weren't an object.