2011 17" 5 & 6 Key Backlight Issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by YoYoMa, Mar 6, 2011.


How Even Is the Backlight on your 2011 17" MBP

  1. My 5 Key is much brighter than the rest of the keys, especially the 6 key

    11 vote(s)
  2. My 5 Key is a bit brighter than the rest and the 6 key is dimmer than the rest

    10 vote(s)
  3. My 5 and 6 keys are fine but I have other keyboard backlight issues

    3 vote(s)
  4. I have an even keyboard backlight

    27 vote(s)
  1. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2006
    This uneven Keyboard backlight issue on the 5 and 6 keys existed with last years 17" MBP as well so I just wanted to get a sense for how many of us have it. I called Apple and they told me I was the only one to call about this issue, but I know it's widespread (even their display model has it). Please post how even you're keyboard backlight is on the 5 and 6 keys. Also, please advise if you've decided to live with it or if you've spoken with Apple about the issue.
  2. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2006
    Anyone else with a 2011 17" care to vote? Please do, thanks.
  3. secretanchitman macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
    i have a 2011 15" and my 7 key backlight is noticeably dim. :(
  4. Russell L macrumors regular

    Russell L

    Aug 10, 2006
    San Francisco
    OK--now that you've mentioned it (and viewing from above in a nearly dark room), my '5' is slightly brighter than the rest, but it's the '%' that's brighter still. Didn't notice it before, but it really doesn't bother me....
  5. kushed macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    sort of off topic buttttt...

    does anyone else's 15" lid close too easily? when im laying in bed i have my knees up and my computer propped up at an angle on my legs because its easier to read and type but if i barely touch my lid it will close... this didnt happen on my 13" but maybe its just because the lid is heavier? maybe the focused on making it open so easily that now it closes easily too?

    sorry for hijacking but i didnt feel like this needed its own thread, then again, maybe it does!
  6. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    My screen hinges are very stiff and fairly hard to open and close. The magnet really keeps this puppy sealed! It seems we have opposing issues.

    However, if the screen is parallel to the bed, then gravity rules. ;)

    Sorry for the hijack OP. :)

    EDIT: My 15" number keys are evenly lit, for what its worth. At least I think they are.
  7. Tomb01 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    Colleyville, TX
    was wondering what was up with the keyboard backlight
  8. Noctis macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
    Toronto, ON
    Was searching up on this and mine is also noticeably dimmer than my other keys. Glad to know that I'm not paranoid.

    Did you do anything about it? And I wonder if anyone elses' MBP 15 is like this as well.
  9. erphan macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2011
    I have a 2011 15" MBP and my "7" key is a lot dimmer than the rest.
  10. secretanchitman macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
    honestly, i havent done anything about it. i was thinking about taking it into the genius bar, but i have no idea what they would do - replace the 7 key or the entire set? i dont want a domino effect to start (7 key fixed, something else damaged, etc). blah, we'll see.
  11. holden15, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    holden15 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Austin, TX
    See below.
  12. holden15, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    holden15 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Austin, TX
    My 13" closes more easily than my old white MacBook, as well my brothers' (2010 13"). It hasn't bothered me...

    Oh and my 7 and 8 keys do look a little dimmer than the rest. Odd but, barely noticeable.

    [don't know why it posted twice]
  13. blackmatter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2011
    7 key

    i have a 2011 15" MacBook Pro and my 7 key is also considerably dimmer... it's a bummer for sure. i took it into a genius bar and they said there is nothing they can really do about it. hopefully apple will come up with some sort of fix
  14. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Only the % sign on my 5 key is brighter, but it doesn't bother me.

    I am, however, curious as to why this is actually happening. Is it a backlight problem? Or simply a problem with the key production?

    I'm not sure how the keys are designed, if the numbers/letters are engraved or what they do, but if they were engraved, and one got a little more shaved off than the rest, could this not explain it? Would simply replacing said key fix the problem? Anyone have some more info on how the backlight actually works with the keyboard?
  15. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    My 5 key is very brightly lit as well.

    I did do a brief search; some people in 2009 had a similar issue.

    This is likely a build quality issue from the company Apple outsources to. If Apple is at fault it's due to using substandard companies to build their products with.

    iFixit noted a problem as well, with the 15" model:

    In short, quality control is something of a fair concern.

    Now, not all machines will have problems - this poll reflects as much and "stuff happens". But if, after testing, the only thing wrong with the unit is a brighter glowing light bulb, even if it is distracting, I'd rather be happy with that than to get an exchange and *possibly* end up with a unit with real problems. That can happen...

    Apple's uncovered a lot out of these companies they outsource work to, right down to child labor, and I think it's due to passive-aggressive actions on the part of the workers, since a couple of searches has shown a lot of unhappy workers, in very unenviable conditions. I think they should take the next step and find a factory that values its workers and how things are made.
  16. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    all of my keys have approx. the same amount of brightness.
  17. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    That's cool. :)

    Tonight I made an exchange; especially as in class the other night, the "5" key's brightness would have eclipsed a supernova... :eek: and that same night I really noticed how dark the numbers and letters to the right of the '5' are.

    The replacement* MBP is pretty much evenly-lit. The 5 key was still a tad brighter than the others, and the 6 key was a tad dim, but the remaining characters were brightly lit. Much better than the one I first bought.

    * which came with 10.6.7 by default, not 10.6.6 that the other one had, so it's definitely a newer build.
  18. SangYuP macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2011
    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I just received my brand new mbp 15 and the 7/& key is noticeably darker than the rest. I would have thought this issue would have been fixed by now. Anyone else who recently purchased a mbp notice the same thing? Is there a fix? I don't live near an apple store so I can't even take it by to get it checked out.
  19. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a


    May 21, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    You're fine. I have a 15" MBP i7 (2011) and noticed the same thing when I got mine. The "7" key looks a tiny bit darker than the rest, however, all keys look even if looking at it from a 90deg angle so me thinks its some sort of optical illusion. The only time I really happen to notice a difference is looking at it from a 35-45deg angle.

    As an anecdote, while I was shopping, I noticed the sales guy just pulled a brand-new 15" MBP out of the box and was putting the security cable on it. Just for comparison, I asked if I could look and noticed the same thing as on mine. Me thinks it's some sort of optical illusion as long as the backlight is even when looking at it from above (90deg angle).
  20. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    Had this 2011 17in for about 6 months now and no problem with the backlit at all. Even if it did, if its a slight dim, I wouldnt really care.

    I would not send my MBP to apple for a week just to get 1~2 backlit fixed.
  21. Oxonian3 macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    yeh same for me the % is the only brighter one
  22. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
  23. kvnrpp macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2012
    I have the same issue as well with my 7 key more dim than the others (Brand new 2011 MBP 15in). I'm somewhat relieved to see that there are others out there with this same problem. Has anyone noticed any worsening over time?
  24. jrath1 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2005
    My 7& key is much dimmer also. A real bummer considering the cost of the computer.
  25. tarponbeach macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2012
    All of my keys have about the same brightness, and the backlight is on virtually all of the time. The light sensor in the camera seems to not be sensitive enough. The only time the lights will go off, is if a bright light is shined directly into the camera.

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