Is it a good idea to get a keyboard protector?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello. On my almost 3 years old SR MBP (with silver keyboard), I do not have any problem with the keyboard except the 'A' key. Suddenly, I noticed a few scratches on it. Moreover, the paint seems to have worn off. It is like dark smear on that key. Maybe somebody at the service center did something stupid.

    Anyway, I don't have it anymore. I ordered a new MBP 17". It seems that the keyboard of the new MBPs are the same as those in the previous unibody generation. Do the keys on this type of keyboard get worn off? Do they get scratched easily? I wonder if I should buy a Moshi Clear Guard Keyboard Protector. Thanks.
  2. markp9114 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2009
    I think i've read that the oils from your hands can make the keys worndown. Also, if you are one who eats while computing, the keyboard protector will protect crumbs and whatnot getting into the crevices of the keys
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks. What kind of worndown?
  4. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Keyboard protectors are best for those who drink liquids at their computer or live in dorms.

    As to normal wear and tear it is a personal choice whether to use one or not. I like the feel of the keyboard and figure that after several years of use it is time to replace the keycaps. My wife likes to keep the machine as clean as possible and so uses a cover.

    I have found that if I go to the Apple store and ask nicely they will exchange one or two keycaps at a time for free, taking them off scrapped machines they have in the back.
  5. markp9114 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2009
    i'm not really sure. I don't have a macbook pro myself, but I remember reading a post about the keyboard a while back on macrumors. Something about how the keyboard keys will begin to start becoming glossy/slick because of the friction and oils when you type wear off whatever coating is over them.

    I wouldn't really worry about it too much. If it was a serious problem i'm sure there would be more compalints on here. Just use the computer for what its made for!:D
  6. Sulwyn macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2010
    As someone who has recently replaced a macbook that I destroyed due to water spillage, my answer is definitely yes. I wish I thought of buying a keyboard protector but I didn't and paid the price for it. I learned my lesson though!
  7. DMC-12 macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    I would not recommend using a keyboard cover on a MacBook. I'm pretty sure MacBooks require airflow through the keyboard, and using a cover can make it run hot.
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Just came back from a computer store. The sales told me that Apple has made a change to the keyboard. He said that in previous generation of MBPs, it was easy to change the keyboard/individual keys. However, the keys from the 2010 models cannot be replaced individually easily. He said that to replace the keyboard, the entire case has to be changed. (Can anybody confirm that?) He suggested that this time, it is better to get a protector.
  9. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    I highly doubt that's true.

    Personally I hate anything that "covers." Cases, palmguards, keyboard covers, antiglare films, screen protectors, you name it. IMO it makes the overall experience less enjoyable and less convenient because you just have another thing to worry about. What's the point of having an aesthetically good looking laptop if you never get to see it!
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    No mac notebook "requires" airflow through the keyboard. Unless the machine is overheating (in which case it will shut down), heat is not an issue.

    I don't like keyboard covers- especially on the glossy displays- because they never fit well enough to prevent them from making marks on the display.
  11. stillboarding macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    macbook keyboard protector

    I have a Powerbook G4 (Yeah, I know, I'll be upgrading THIS month!!) and I've had one of those washable plastic projectors on my keyboard from day 1. Really like it!!! I also have a full-size keyboard that I DIDN'T buy the protector for, and it sticks!!! I've exchanged it at the Apple store once already. It still sticks on and off. I clean it by using the blower and turning it upside down. But it's still a problem. BTW I don't drink liquids at the computer but I must admit sometimes I have sticky fingers (not washing my hands after eating? too much lotion after showering?)

    Anyway, I highly recommend a keyboard protector.
  12. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    I personally always use keyboard covers since I like to keep my keys clean and not have the "oily keys look". Just personal preference.

    OP the previous all-silver Macbook Pro's had keyboards which did not show wear-and-tear very apparently. However, the newer ones with the black keyboard shows the oily key effect pretty readily.

    Also, my keyboard cover has saved my Macbook once when a bit of water was spilled, thankfully the keyboard cover caught everything.

    The main con I suppose is the feel, it's not as nice as a "naked" keyboard IMHO but the Moshi Clearguard is by far the most "transparent" (can't tell the difference as much as say, zCover or compared to other products. Another con is I suppose looks, but I personally prefer the protection over a slight degradation (IMHO) in looks.
  13. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I have ordered a protector. Thank you very much for all of your replies.
  14. AV8TOR macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2010
    Fort Worth TX
    No disrespect on your post. It just reminds me of something when I visited my Grandmothers house. They bought this beautiful plush velvet couch and put on a clear plastic cover. You could see the beautiful couch through it but you could not enjoy it. It was a nice cover stitched just like the couch but when you sat on it it felt like a $99 couch from a thrift store not to mention how you sweat and stuck to the seat. That is my take on using a keyboard cover.
  15. H00513R macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2010
    Keep a protector on hand if you have lots of other users. There have been studies that say keyboards have more bacteria than toilet seats. Think about that next time you use a public computer! :(
  16. Link2999 macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    As long as you wash your hands enough you won't need a keyboard protector. I can't stand protectors myself, they're like couch slip-ons, sure they keep the couch protected but it's just not as comfortable with em on. I've been using this iMac keyboard (typing on it now) for 3 years, no degrade at all or anything. Only thing I notice is that the aluminum between the keys are starting to get a little dirty (a wet cutip should take care of that).
  17. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    to each his own, as long as your happy its all good :).

    The keyboard covers also protects a bit against spilled drinks. In my case a small splash of water was all caught by the keyboard protector that would have otherwise made its way to the logicboard of my Macbook.
  18. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    With the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros a keyboard protector won't be an issue, but you won't want to use it with either a MacBook or a 13" MacBook Pro. With the latter two, the speakers are underneath the keyboard. Sound will be severely crippled/muffled with a protector over the keyboard.
  19. Pher macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2010
    Miles is right. The current mbp's (can't speak to the previous models) have a plastic sheet separating the keyboard from the logic board/heatsinks/cooling fans. Check out this teartown of a 15" mbp i5:

    There is zero airflow through the keyboard to worry about, so it's really personal preference as to whether someone should/should not get a protector. I happen to use one on my 15" i7 mbp and love it so far. I have one on my old iBook G4, and after just short of 7 years of active daily use, the keyboard and all its markings look fresh from the factory.
  20. machiabelly macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2010
    Having lost a MBP last year to a soda spill, I have been using a keyboard protector. I could just never drink anything near my MBP, but I've gotten used to the feel of a keyboard protector and don't mind the feel of it as much as I first did.
  21. -Gin- macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2010
    I had this same problem..
    I went to invest in a new keyboard and they gave me a free Silicone keyboard cover to prevent it happening again, Maybe try ebay and buy one off these, its probably the cheapest option out there :)

    They usually have them in stock
  22. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I use a protector on my aluminium keyboard...

    I eat at my computer for one...

    Also, prior to getting a protector, i saw a spider go under one of the keys - i never saw it again =/ Washing my hands would have done nothing to help that... heh
  23. 007bond macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    I'm kinda in the same boat as you. I went through 2 wired keyboards with my old iMac before replacement. Luckily AppleCare was generous enough to send out a new keyboard. This time, though, I want to be sure nothing happens to the wireless one. I'm thinking about getting a protector and saw one on eBay for about $7. What do you think? Should I buy it?
  24. Blair230 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2009
    Near Philly
    I think they are a good investment. I bought one for my imac 2 years ago and it has kept the keyboard nice and clean. Takes a few days to get used to the feel but after that it is great! For $7, that is not bad either.
  25. iamuurme macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2010
    its gonna get old some day just except it. by that time it has all gone down you will be wanting a new mac:D

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