Reviews: TiGlide and iGlide
Volume Number: 19 (2003)
Issue Number: 7
Column Tag: Reviews
Reviews: TiGlide and iGlide
Eliminate the squeak, level the screen
by Michael R. Harvey
Every now and again, one company will come up with tools that are so simple, yet so necessary, you wonder why seventeen other people didn't think of it before. RadTech is one such outfit. These guys have come up with several great, yet simple, tools designed to protect your favorite mobile computing platform. This time out, we'll be looking at their tools designed to level the screens on PowerBooks and iBooks, as well as smooth hinge operation.
The kit for smoothing the hinge operation on iBooks comes with a small hex wrench, a vial of metal conditioner, and detailed, yet easy to follow directions. Follow the instructions, and you will shortly find the hinge on your iBook operates smoother than ever. The iBook we tested was very tight, and squeaked something fierce before applying RadTechs changes. Afterwards, operation was smooth and silent. Be careful to follow the directions precisely, though. We were not that diligent, and managed to crack the case on our iBook around one of the hex screws on the underside of the laptop.
Like the iGlide, the TiGlide kit comes with all mentioned above. It also comes with a tool to help loosen the hinge bushings in order to smooth operation, as well as shims and a wood pry tool to level the screen. Again, follow the directions carefully in order to prevent damaging your computer. We performed the adjustments on several Titanium PowerBooks. All saw vast improvement in hinge operation. We were able to level the screen as well, but it would not really hold for reasons we'll get into next.
What's the deal?
What is it that makes these kits work, and why doesn't the chassis alignment on the TiBooks hold very well? First the main part of the kit, the one thing that makes it all work well, is the metal conditioner. It is a synthetic hydrocarbon that acts as a lubricant, smoothing the hinge operation. It works better than any other oil or grease you could use, and it is safe for the materials that make up the laptop. Next is the problem with keeping the Titanium PowerBook G4's screen level with the chassis. While the process works just fine, there is nothing to help it stay that way included in the kit. RadTech does offer a product they call Wildeepz, display cushions designed to keep the display level as well as keep the screen from touching the keyboard when closed. It would be nice if they were included in the TiGlide kit, instead of as a separate purchase.
RadTech has quite a line of useful products designed to extend the life of your PowerBook and iBook computers. The TiGlide and iGlide are two such, and they do their job almost flawlessly. They are well worth the price, $10 for the iGlide kit, and either 1$12.95 or $15 for the TiGlide (without or with a T-8 Torx driver, respectively). They are more than worth the small cost.
Michael R. Harvey