Powerbook damage repair advice needed
June 27, 2006 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday on the sidewalk in front of the office, my computer bag strap broke and the bag fell to the ground, denting the corner of my (loaner) Powerbook G4.

Ouch. So now it has a munged corner on both the lcd (top right when the screen is open) and on the right-hand front corner of the body (closest to your right hand when opened), which is bad enough - but it also has a vertical white line about 3px wide going all the way up the screen from top to bottom, about 1/2" in from the right-hand side, just slightly to the right of the right-hand hinge.

Other than that, it seems to work just fine, so far. Any ideas what might have broken and what it might cost to have it repaired? What would be best for repairs, a local shop, or send it in to Apple?

posted by mr_crash_davis to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Replacing the LCD alone (and from the sound of it, that's merely one of the things you'll be doing) will run about $400-500. Don't send it in to Apple; they quote an utterly insane figure of $1200 for LCD replacement.

Hinge and case replacement will cost... more.

Wait, it's a loaner? Is it on private loan or a contractual loan? That might have more to do with your obligations than anything else.
posted by majick at 8:11 AM on June 27, 2006

It's on loan to me from another department in the same company I work in, and I suspect the cost to repair it will be coming out of my budget rather than theirs, majick.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:16 AM on June 27, 2006

If it's corporate property, it may be insured and thus have a prescribed process for repair. I'd check with whoever manages IT assets before just nipping out to the repair shop.
posted by majick at 8:32 AM on June 27, 2006

That's the catch - I manage the IT department, but the Macs all belong to the video editing department and they aren't insured, which is why I'm trying to get an idea on repair costs.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:52 AM on June 27, 2006

majick's right. I speak from experience here: Apple repair prices for LCD are insane -- they clearly want you to buy a new computer and don't even pretend otherwise
posted by matteo at 9:37 AM on June 27, 2006

Check your CD drive. Now. I bought my 12" powerbook already damaged -- a friend dropped it, didn't want to deal with fixing it, and just bought a new one. The LCD on mine is fine, but the case is minorly deformed in the same corner, and the CD drive is very flakey -- sometimes you can put a disc in and then not eject it easily later; sometimes inserting a disc causes the system to crash hard. I get around it by using an external drive because I'm afraid I won't be able to re-close the aluminum case if I open it up to fix it, due to the deformation. But it still works fine -- I'm typing this on it now.
posted by Alterscape at 9:37 AM on June 27, 2006

Alterscape, the CD drive works OK, thanks for the tip.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:40 AM on June 27, 2006

I've used Wegener Media successfully in the past. They repaired some dents in a PowerBook G4 for me. It was not cheap, exactly, but it was a lot cheaper than going through Apple. You can call them and they can give you a rough quote over the phone. Then when they get the laptop, they can call you with the details. They are *fast* on the turnaround, which is nice.
posted by zpousman at 11:57 AM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Stuff happens. It still works. If you have to buy a new one out of your budget then maybe you can work out a deal and split the cost, especially if the other department is hot for a Mactel.
posted by JamesMessick at 2:36 PM on June 27, 2006

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