do the macbook keys still wear/go shiny after extensive use?

KimJonNumberUn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 18, 2013
168
0
i have a brand new retina mac. the only thing i noticed with the keyboard is the keys are a bit more flush with the body then my previous non retina.

anyway, just wondering are the keys more durable and keep their matte finish over time? or still the same?

the only way to keep that is a keyboard cover from my past experience but they degrade my typing quite a bit :S
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
Like you wouldn't believe!
On a Retina!? Already? I haven't seen a Retina's keys wear out yet. All the Apple keyboards I've seen take years to wear out, 4+ years and the first rMBP isn't that old yet (and Apple has made the keys better over the years).
 

ldburroughs

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2005
258
0
Virginia Beach, VA
On a Retina!? Already? I haven't seen a Retina's keys wear out yet. All the Apple keyboards I've seen take years to wear out, 4+ years and the first rMBP isn't that old yet (and Apple has made the keys better over the years).
I don't believe the keys are any different on my retina MacBook Pro than they were on my past MacBooks with black keys. I've had a few Airs and two other macbook Pros and they all suffer from the same condition. I've tried covering the keys with one of those silicone keyboard cover, washing my hands before every use, and wiping the keyboard clean with a Radtech keyboard cover. Crazy, I know. The silicone cover did protect from this condition exceptionally well; however, it was just awful to type on. Granted, I spend most of my day at work typing away, but it happens relatively quickly in my opinion. At least quickly on the keys I strike most often. None actually wear out, but they all develop glossy spots in those areas. All function perfectly and no characters are obscured so it's just an annoyance more than anything else.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
I don't believe the keys are any different on my retina MacBook Pro than they were on my past MacBooks with black keys. I've had a few Airs and two other macbook Pros and they all suffer from the same condition. I've tried covering the keys with one of those silicone keyboard cover, washing my hands before every use, and wiping the keyboard clean with a Radtech keyboard cover. Crazy, I know. The silicone cover did protect from this condition exceptionally well; however, it was just awful to type on. Granted, I spend most of my day at work typing away, but it happens relatively quickly in my opinion. At least quickly on the keys I strike most often. None actually wear out, but they all develop glossy spots in those areas. All function perfectly and no characters are obscured so it's just an annoyance more than anything else.
I do know there are subtle differences in the keyboards, I compared my 2013 rMBP to a mid-2010 MBP and a 2012 MBP and the keys feel a little bit different on all of them.
 

Wishbrah

macrumors regular
Oct 20, 2013
234
8
Would a solvent for organic chemicals work to dissolve the oils and grime? Something like dilute acetone? It's potentially damaging to the plastic, though.
 

ldburroughs

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2005
258
0
Virginia Beach, VA
Would a solvent for organic chemicals work to dissolve the oils and grime? Something like dilute acetone? It's potentially damaging to the plastic, though.
I think, depending on how much you type, that it's likely just wear. For instance, on the spacebar, I can feel a difference in texture where I use my right thumb to hit the spacebar. I never touch the left side of the spacebar so it is like new. I would not be very comfortable using any sort of solvent unless it were specifically approved for this sort of thing. To my knowledge, there isn't one. At most I would use a very damp paper towel to wipe it clean and follow behind immediately with a dry one. Another thing worth considering is that I'm a bit obsessive about this sort of thing, to the extent that I clean the entire computer frequently (try not to judge.) My kids can even imitate my ritual of taking my MacBook out of its Radtech sleeve from inside a Brenthaven bag, removing any dust with the Radtech keyboard cover, and wiping it down. If people were to inspect my computer, they wouldn't likely notice or care, though it bugs the crap out of the me.

My advise would be to keep it relatively clean and just enjoy it. Living in my world is not something I'd wish on anybody.

Enjoy and take care!
 

DHagan4755

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
923
475
Massachusetts
My 5-year-old MacBook Pro has a shiny spot on the space bar. Most of the keys in certain lighting conditions have a shine to them. I consider it a sign that's it been lovingly used :D My advice: Don't worry about it!
 

KimJonNumberUn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 18, 2013
168
0
would be nice if the mac had keys made from aluminium with a nice anodized black finish. now that would look nice AND last
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
Yeah, it's funny because I have really dry skin so I don't get oil on my keyboards, but they do get shiny from the wear lol.

Apple's keyboards certainly aren't the worst offenders, but they do show wear after a while. If you're that worried about it, I'd suggest putting a silicone cover on it and getting an external keyboard because replacing an external keyboard is cheap (even the fanciest mechanicals aren't much more than $100, and apple ones are around $70, or you can get a cheap one for $10). Replacing the keyboard in an apple laptop will cost a lot, because they're held on by a ton of screws.
 

Ryan1524

macrumors 68000
Apr 9, 2003
1,643
225
Canada GTA
Things wear down. I'd rather enjoy my keyboard's excellent feel sans-silicon.

It might wear slower if you don't type with your nails.
 

George7

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2013
11
0
Witham, United Kingdom
I find that some people wear keyboards much more quickly than others, regardless of the amount of use the keyboard sees. A combination of not only typing style and amount of use, but also what comes out of your fingers. Some peoples' finger oil seems more corrosive than others.
 

rapicell

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2013
248
58
my late '08 macbook that I sold about two weeks ago, had extremely shiny keys from use. However, certain keys were far more worn than others and that kind of helped when I was typing in the dark (I had the base model, so no backlighting). My trackpad was even worse, the shine was crazy and had a very interesting texture to it.
 

NikkiJayne

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2012
155
32
England
I'm a writer and before my year old MacBook was stolen, I'd noticed that the keys were shiny. But I probably type more than most.
 

Coldmode

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2010
167
23
I actually really like the look of the wear. Then again, I use my iPhone without a case and enjoy it more as it becomes more antiqued.
 

George7

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2013
11
0
Witham, United Kingdom
I actually really like the look of the wear. Then again, I use my iPhone without a case and enjoy it more as it becomes more antiqued.
Same here. The steel band on my caseless 4S is looking better and better with age IMO, just got to avoid dropping it :D.

With keyboards etc, as long as the wear has been from me, I rather like it. I do quite a lot of typing, so mine always go shiny eventually, and if anything, it makes me more attached to the device.
 

EvilQueen

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2013
261
21
In my own world
I have noticed that my keys are actually wearing through the black. This is much faster than my last MBP. I had to replace keys on that thing a couple times but this one isn't that old and it's wearing already.
 

Mr Rabbit

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2013
637
4
'merica
I do know there are subtle differences in the keyboards, I compared my 2013 rMBP to a mid-2010 MBP and a 2012 MBP and the keys feel a little bit different on all of them.
This is typically a result of the scissor mechanism changing between generations, the same reason the keys look identical but can't necessarily be used to replace broken keys on other generations.
 

SkimMilk168

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2014
150
2
Singapore
My experience with wear on keyboard is this: most ladies make them shine pretty quickly. Reason? Moisturizer. They unintentionally moisturize their keyboards thru their daily ritual. The rest is normal wear.
 

exizeo

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2014
213
0
On a Retina!? Already? I haven't seen a Retina's keys wear out yet. All the Apple keyboards I've seen take years to wear out, 4+ years and the first rMBP isn't that old yet (and Apple has made the keys better over the years).
Heh. Three years on mine, and the keys are well-worn. They're turning pretty shiny, my command key on the left came off (and I can't re-attach without it falling again), and the left side of my space bar doesn't work.

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Same here. The steel band on my caseless 4S is looking better and better with age IMO, just got to avoid dropping it :D.

With keyboards etc, as long as the wear has been from me, I rather like it. I do quite a lot of typing, so mine always go shiny eventually, and if anything, it makes me more attached to the device.
This.

I perversely enjoy the wear on my Macbook...
 

Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
726
69
Not sure how the finish of your keys reflects how well the keys will type. If they still depress and make connection then they work even if they get shiny.

If they're dirty then try 99% alcohol on a micro fibre/silk cloth. I wipe my entire laptop down like this when I get the compulsion.
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,563
310
Sarf London
What are these keys made of!?

I've got a six year old 'Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad' (not the naming committee's finest work). You know, the wired one.

I would conservatively estimate it's in use 30 hours a week, and the only signs of wear are the two areas on the space bar where my thumbs hit.
 

zsrhusain

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2012
19
0
Toronto, Canada
Best thing to prevent this is to purchase a keyboard protector. There are several brands available to name a few:

  • KB Covers
  • Moshi
  • iSkin

They don't cost much and also prevents dust getting into the keyboard.
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
332
Los Angeles
My previous 2007 MBP keyboard does not wear or go shiny after many extensive use. I suppose the 2007 keyboard is better than current keyboard? :apple:
 

ct1211

macrumors 6502
May 3, 2012
287
16
Michigan
To all. Might not seem apparent most keys including Apples are actually painted. The "shine" that appears is actually where paint has worn exposing smooth bare plastics. Same in all industries including autos. There is nothing to prevent this except a cover and they all ruin typing experience. Sucks I know. I flip my macs on Craigslist every year and take the 400 dollar hit. .