crumbling keys

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by palpatine, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. palpatine, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015

    palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #1
    Hi. I don't remember seeing this posted anywhere before, but has anyone experienced "crumbling" keys? My "s," "d," k," "l," and"n," keys seem to be falling apart (see photo -- the inside of the "D" key seems to be disintegrating). It's perfectly usable right now, but I suppose I will have to take it in at some point, and I was wondering about experiences any of you might have had with this.

    Otherwise, I am pretty pleased with the Macbook for my particular case (mainly writing and using apps like DEVONthink, Thunderbird, Scrivener, Word, Excel, and nvALT). There are times when the computer isn't quite as snappy as I would like (Word), but Word strangely seems to tax even my MBPr, so I am guessing this is a failing of Word more than anything else.
     

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  2. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    Hmm, I've never seen anything like that before. How hard are you pressing those keys? ;)

    I guess the new MacBook hasn't been out for *that* long though, so it could be an emerging issue with the thinner keys.
     
  3. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #3

    Hahaha. Well, I suppose I do tap away at them pretty hard when I'm intensely focusing on writing something, but Ive never seen this issue on any other computer I've had (Apple or otherwise). I'm guessing that the composition of the keys is somewhat weaker around the letters, which have to emit light, so are probably suffering from having some other material inserted into the black keys. I am not a specialist on materials or anything, but this seems to fit what I am seeing.

    The fact that it is mainly occurring on the center row of keys, particularly where my stronger fingers tap (index and middle) suggests that the thinner keys are not able to withstand sustained bouts of strong typing. Users probably ought to type a bit more gingerly than I am, and Apple could do with some stronger keys in future iterations of the product. It is the first generation, and the keyboard is a new thing for Apple, so I guess it isn't a surprise. The folks at my local Apple store have been extremely helpful in the past with repairs, so I don't expect any problems when I get around to taking it in.

    By the way, this is the US layout using a gold Macbook bought in Japan a few days after the computer went on sale, if it matters.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    At the very least take it in and see if they'll replace/repair it. I agree with @mrsir2009 Its very likely force for which you're typing. I also agree that the design is such that there's not too much girth to the keyboard to withstand usage.
     
  5. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #5
    Yeah. I'll take it in at the end of the month to see. I'm not sure the force of my typing will be easy to change, and I don't think we should have to change how we type to use it, but I'll try, because I do enjoy the MB.
     
  6. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #6
    I just checked my wife's rMB as she's a heavy on the KB, no problem, but like the failing/sticky keys there no way we should be adapting to suit for what may be latent defects
     
  7. roguefury macrumors member

    roguefury

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    [REDACTED]
    #7
    I have the same problem, except on my keyboard it's the 'A' key. I have to head to the Genius bar for another issue, so I'll ask them about this as well.
     
  8. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #8
    Glad to hear someone else is having the issue as well. I checked with a colleague who also has it, but no issues there. Then again, he doesn't use it as much as I do, so I guess I wasn't expecting to see the problem there either.
     
  9. darkloki macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    Orange County California
    #9
    I'm not glad to hear that :( I just bought one for my mother last week I hope it survives for her, I'll ask her type on the keys lightly.
     
  10. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #10
    misery loves company :)

    considering how few of us have reported this so far (just two), it doesn't sound like a widespread issue.
     
  11. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #11
    No news so far. Went to the Apple store today. They will try to replace the offending keys, and if that doesn't work, they will have to replace the entire keyboard. Unfortunately, they didn't have my keyboard in stock (US keyboard in Japan), so I have to wait for them to order the keys / keyboard. I'm hoping they can replace the keyboard in one day if it comes to that, but they are telling me a week or longer right now. At any rate, they'll take care of it, so that is the important thing.

    The "D" is noticeably worse, and now the "E" has joined the club. It's no big deal right now. Everything works fine in a functional sense. But, obviously this isn't supposed to be happening, and there may be problems in the future when all of the black crumbles away.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    I can't see that working, or having any long term success. Hopefully you get your computer back sooner then later and in better shape then you left it in. Good luck
     
  13. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #13
    Yeah. I have kind of low expectations for the individual key changes. This looks to me like a quality control issue that would be better solved by replacing the entire keyboard. But, we'll see what happens. Fortunately, as always, Apple has absolutely wonderful support for its products. I'm always nervous with a first generation device, and it's good to know Apple stands behind its stuff.
     
  14. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #14
    Hopefully they won't blame it on Wasabi sauce on your fingertips. :)
     
  15. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #15
    :)
     
  16. ghsNick macrumors 68020

    ghsNick

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #16
    Question - if you hit the space bar on the sides (I hit the left side) does it click as well as when you hit it in the center?

    I noticed it's a bit "stiffer" when hitting it on the sides. Let me know!
     
  17. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #17
    OP...Female?
    Long Nails?
    Typing with Finger or Nail?
     
  18. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #18
    hi. short fingernails. touch typing with fingertips.

    hi. this is not a problem i have experienced and seems unrelated to the crumbling keys.
     
  19. palpatine thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #19
    problem solved. i went into the store this morning and they changed out the troublesome keys in about 20 minutes. i think there were six keys that were in various states of decay. everything looks brand-new now.

    as usual, the staff members at the sakae, nagoya store were phenomenal, and they made it a pleasant visit. one of the staff asked if i type a lot, and when i replied that i do, he said the keys might go bad again, so i can come in anytime. he meant it in a kind way, and i appreciated it, but i would like it if the keys didn't break. my rmbp hasn't had a problem with the keys since i bought it, so i expected that level of quality control with the rmb.

    on a sidenote, after testing it for a while, i noticed the top of the "C" key wasn't responding. i was still in the city and thought about taking it in for another repair, but a visit to the ifixit site showed me how to remove the keys and "fix" it myself. i pried off the key, looked around, didn't see anything i could do, so snapped it back on. now it works fine. maybe this will be helpful for others to know.

    i'm happy to say, the tale of the crumbling keys seems to have come to an end. thanks everyone for chiming in.
     

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