Second Class Macs & Road Apples

AppleVision 1710 Monitor


Dan Knight - 1998.12.08

Second Class Macs are Apple's somewhat compromised hardware designs. For the most part, they're not really bad - simply designs that didn't meet their full potential. (On our rating scale, the more brown apples, the worse the hardware.)

It shouldn't be that hard to make a good monitor. Apple had done it consistently for well over a decade. But they've also licensed some poor screens - and come up with one real Road Apple.

The AppleVision 1710 and 1710av use a gorgeous 17" Trinitron tube. That's the good part.

The bad part starts with ADB. Although some earlier monitors had included ADB pass-through ports, the 1710 required an ADB connection to the computer. Well, it almost did. It could run at 640 x 480 without an ADB connection, but not at any other resolution.

Not only that, but without the AppleVision control panel, it still wouldn't use any resolution but 640 x 480.

That was inconvenient, but it gets worse.

A good number of these were made with parts more prone to failure than expected, causing the expensive deflection board assembly to fail. Two of the more common symptoms of the problem are a screen that remains black or speakers that make a continuous popping noise.

After about a year of complaints, Apple admitted the extent of the problem and offered anyone who owned a 1710 in a specified serial number range a one year warranty extension. This was later extended through the end of 1998 for the black screen problem.

But the worst aspect of the 1710 fiasco is this: Most people who had the monitor repaired once ended up sending it in for service several times. When it rains, it pours.

On the other hand, there are also plenty of 1710 monitors that have never given their owners a bit of grief. You either got a gem or a Road Apple.

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