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Tuesday, April 04, 2006, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple quietly pushing revised MacBook Pros to market

Although it has done so subtly, Apple Computer has slowly been addressing issues with its new MacBook Pro notebooks and now appears to be shipping a fourth minor revision of the Intel-based computers.

While the MacBook Pro has been receiving praise and stellar reviews from mainstream media outlets, its earliest adopters have had some quibbles.

They've discovered issues where AirPort does not automatically rejoin a preferred network after waking up from sleep and where the signal will randomly and abruptly drop to single-bar strength.

Some of the first MacBook Pros also packed LCD displays that have a tendency to flicker uncontrollably when the brightness is set to the lowest setting. Then, of course, there is the issue of heat.

According to DailyTech, some MacBook Pros get so hot they can barely be handled or placed on a bare lap. The notebooks are especially hot in the area above the F keys and underneath the notebook itself.

However, Apple told the publication that the MacBook Pro should never become this hot. A representative said "that should not happen. If it is, bring back your MacBook Pro and we'll give you an updated version."

In speaking to Apple representatives, DailyTech also discovered that Apple is working to rectify all of the aforementioned issues, and is doing so by quietly and consistently updating the logicboard it ships in each new MacBook Pro.

The company is reportedly up to the third or fourth revision of the logicboard. Revision D models reportedly begin with W8611, and revision C with W8610. The change in serial numbers along with the logicboard revision may be a coincidence in this case, as the two trailing digits (i.e. "10" and "11") may also represent the week in which the notebook was produced. [updated]

Still, Apple reportedly said that revision D and later MacBook Pros include fixes to several known issues, as well as those mentioned earlier. However, it's unclear if either of the revisions put to rest the very uncomfortable whining noise discovered by several MacBook Pro owners. So far, the only way to silence the issue is by launching a widget or PhotoBooth each time the notebooks reboot.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to fill a steady stream of orders for the MacBook Pro and appears to have reached a supply and demand balance on the notebooks through its online store — now reflecting 24 hour ship times. Overall availability remains spotty.

Another major outlet offering same day shipping on the MacBook Pro is Amazon.com, which as an added bonus is offering $150 off both the 1.83GHz model and the 2.0GHz model.