I have a MacBook Pro 4,1 (Early 2008), and it has served me well. It’s been nearly 3 years since I bought it, and I have had a number of faults develop over this time.

  • Failing battery
  • Dead pixels on screen
  • DVD drive having trouble  burning and reading discs
  • Corrosion on keyboard wrist plate.

I have already had the battery replaced in 2009 after nearly 280 cycles. Its charge time had dropped to under an hour from the 4 hours it initially gave me. On this second battery, I was back down to an hour, and it had reached about 270 cycles. About roughly the same time has passed.

Being that it’s a quiet time of the year, and with my AppleCare due to expire in March this year,  I decided finally had to bite the bullet and hand it over to Apple. I backed up all the data, wiped everything and reinstalled OSX with a default account, and all software updates applied.

I discovered an AppleStore in CastleTowers shopping centre which is quite convenient for me so I took it in there.

I booked in an appointment with an Apple Genius for Friday 31st December at 11.20.

When I got there, I was attended to very quickly. I presented my laptop and described all the problems I was having. All of them were noted down, while my laptop was connected to the store LAN and booted from the network, and system information collected.

I was given a receipt to sign. It indicated repair cost estimate for $1,600.00, $0 cost to myself. I was told there would be a 5-7 day turn-around time. That was okay for me. I didn’t really need it that much time of year.
On Sunday 2nd January 2010, I was surprised to receive a phone call at 3.30pm that my Macbook was ready to be collected and that I could do so even that very day until 5pm. So I raced down there. When I got it back, they had completely replaced the screen assembly including the casing. They replaced the keyboard wrist plate, which by nature of its design includes the keyboard trackpad and power-button. A new DVD and Battery were supplied as well.

Here is a breakdown of parts and costs:

  • 60W Lithium Ion Battery $ 160.00
  • 8x DoubleLayer PATA Superdrive $ 214.00
  • Matte Display Clamshell $ 863.00
  • Keyboard Assembly $ 86.00
  • Top Case Assembly $ 388.00
  • Hardware Repair Level 1 $ 39.00
  • TOTAL ________________________________ $ 1,750.00

If you also include the fact that I had the battery replaced back in 2009, the total value of my AppleCare amounts to $1,910 (thats using this battery price…I’m certain it was slightly more than that at the time).

So my initial $400.00 AppleCare cost has more than paid for itself.
Based on the overall product quality, and the level of service, and Apple standing by their AppleCare warranty, it would be very hard for me not to consider a Macbook Pro again.

Note: A friend pointed out why would I buy something with so many failures, however, I’d argue these failures would be just considered wear and tear by other manufacturers and good luck getting your warranty honoured.