Fix your broken Mac instead of buying a new one. (February 5th, 2009)
Product Manufacturer: iResQ
Price: Price varies by model
- Fast turn around on repairs. High quality screen used. Inexpensive. Good fit and finish on laptop reassembly. 90-day warranty on repairs.
- No guarantee on dead pixels. Service only available within the United States.
Dropping your laptop is the worst nightmare of any Mac owner. Unfortunately, this nightmare comes true all too often. Several weeks ago, I dropped my MacBook Pro and much to my horror the screen broke. No more could I see any objects on my display, and dark black corners slowly crept up the bottom when it was on. Nothing else seemed broken, so I used my MacBook Pro with an external display until I figured out my next move.
AppleCare does not cover accidental damage, and the repair costs were a major concern. Several local Apple Authorized Resellers quoted prices in the $1000 range, so I turned my search to the Internet. I decided to try iResQ, an Apple-centric service that offers very competitive pricing.
If you're not familiar with the iResQ name, you may have heard of MacResQ, which opened up in 1994. They added other divisions over the years, including iPodResQ, InkResQ, PowerBookResQ, PowerMacResQ, and MacBookResQ. The company consolidated all those names into the one in 2007, which makes it less confusing for consumers.
Reasonable PricesiResQ replaces the broken screen of a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with a new glossy or matte screen for $309. They also offer Black or White MacBook screens for $189 with no matte option. The new unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro are more expensive to repair and cost $649 and $699 respectively.
Shipping OptionsYou can ship your broken computer by ground or air return, two-way prepaid ground or air, or door-to-door shipping. iResQ provides all the packing materials if you prefer them to ship the appropriate packaging. They even include photos of the boxes on their site. These options range from $15 to $90, but regardless of the selected shipping option, they repair the computer the same day that it arrives, Monday through Friday. (They are closed on the weekend.)
I chose to self-ship the MacBook Pro to iResQ with air return and the whole process took 4 days upon leaving my local UPS store. They do recommend you back up your data before you send your laptop for service. They offer data handling services, but charge $85/hr, so it's better to do it yourself, unless your machine is completely broken and you can't turn it on.
Repaired MacBook ProWhen I received my repaired machine, I inspected it closely. The screen appears identical to the screen that Apple uses in the MacBook Pro and is hard to distinguish when compared side-by-side with another MacBook Pro. There is also no difference in performance, response time, and gradient display, when compared to the Apple screen.
The case has no scars or visible damage from the repair and all parts rest flush as they did before the repair. Unfortunately, iResQ does not offer a no dead pixel guarantee like some services. In line with my luck, I did get a screen with one green stuck-pixel. As with any other screen purchase, this is luck of the draw and their replacement policy is the same as Apple's, i.e. they don't replace screens with only one dead pixel.
Despite this minor imperfection, the new screen looks great and the computer performs the same as it did before I dropped it. iResQ's service is fast, complete, and when compared to the cost of similar services at Apple Stores and other Apple Authorized Resellers, very economical. iResQ is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, so you can send warranty Apple products for repair. They also offer a buy back service for older products, if you want to upgrade your iPod, iBook, or other Apple-made product.
Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor