Light not evenly showing around spacebar key and fan always on? New refurb owner

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

  1. YOTR macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    So I received my refurbished macbook pro 15" from apple this week. I only have one tiny nick on the top and a little nick on one of the keys on the keyboard (very happy about that because I was worried it would come with a bunch of nicks and scratches).

    I have noticed that the spacebar does not show the light underneath it completely. You see it on the left and right side but as you come to the middle of spacebar key, the light is less pronounced, almost gone. The light is working fine underneath but it's almost like the key is not set correctly. It feels fine and is completely even. If I push at the top of the spacebar key, I can make more light come through at the bottom but it eventually goes back (after I type for awhile). I am a little OCD with this thing because I haven't had a mac before. I know with the refurb models though, that they will have some cosmetic issues but I wasn't sure if this fell underneath that. I hope it's normal because I don't want to hassle getting this one swapped out (and taking the chance on getting another refurb with other issues).

    The other thing I have noticed is that my fans are always running. Is this normal? They are not overly loud (just a low swooshing noise as they work) and can only really be heard if I am in a completely quiet room. I checked the active monitor and everything looks good. Again, my fans start running the moment I turn on the power button.

    I think that's about it :). Thanks to everyone in advance!
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The idle fan speeds is around 2000RPM, therefore there is no need to worry.
    You can check the fan speeds via iStat Pro.

    Btw, it is called "Activity Monitor".

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
  3. YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011

    Thanks for the response! So I assume that is normal then which is good. Now I just how to see if the keyboard issue is.

    Thanks again!
  4. wingsabr macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I have a new '11 17in MBP and my spacebar looks the same. Matter of fact my left arrow key is turned a few degrees, but they work so I'm fine.
  5. YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    Thanks for the response!

    That makes me feel better. I looked up some pictures on the net and it seems like quite a few macbook pro's have this issue so I guess it's more common than not. Maybe it has something to do with how the space bar is attached? I would assume it is attached a little differently than the other keys (with how long the key is compared to the other ones) as none of the other ones have any issues at all on my keyboard. They are virtually perfect.

    The spacebar key also isn't warped or attached strangely (at least from what I can tell). It also seems like a dumb reason to swap out the macbook for but I admit to being a little OCD :).
  6. jdwagner888 macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    i would take it to your local apple store if u can. all refurbs should come in the same condition as a new one. and also come with 1 yr applecare. so they will probably replace the keyboard.

    I bought a 15" refurb, it had some problems they changed a few things like the left speaker. then when i got it back it had more problems.

    to save u a long story cuz it had so many problems my local store TOOK IT BACK (yes it was a refurb) and then gave me a BRAND NEW 15" 2011 since i got what they call a "lemon" computer.

    its worth a try :p
  7. YOTR, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

    YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    Thanks for the reply! The ones I looked up on the net seem to have the same issue and these are brand new ones. Plus wingsabr stated above that his brand new 2011 macbook pro also has the same spacebar issue. I just don't know if it is worth the hassle in the long run. Plus I worry that more problems will arise (scratches, etc) just having them check it out or trying to replace something.

    I totally understand what you are saying though. So your brand new 2011 shows the light completely (and evenly) on the bottom of the spacebar? Again, the back lighting is perfect on mine, it's just that the spacebar looks like it is covering up the middle section on the bottom where light should shine through. So you effectively have light showing on the bottom (of the spacebar) on the left and right side, but none in the middle (maybe a little but not much at all). Of course if you push the top of the space bar key, it raises the bottom up for a second (showing the light in the middle) but then goes back to the way it was.

    I went ahead and uploaded a picture. I just noticed that the command key to the left also doesn't show as much light. That's it though. All the other keys are perfect light wise. None of the keys (included the ones mentioned) have any strange feeling or slant issue.

    Attached Files:

  8. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    I don't think that is exactly true. They are supposed to be in perfect operating condition and generally reconditioned if necessary, but I don't see anywhere where they specifically say it will be aesthetically 100% like new, with nary a scratch or sign of use.

    Now that said, I would be asking the same questions as the OP, so there is nothing wrong with that. And there is a 14-day return policy, plus the usual warranties, as you say.

    From Apple's Refurbished info page:

    (1) What are Apple Certified Refurbished Products?

    Apple Certified Refurbished Products are pre-owned Apple products that undergo Apple's stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale. While only some units are returned due to technical issues, all units undergo Apple's stringent quality refurbishment process.
    Each Apple Certified Refurbished Product:

    * is fully tested (including full burn-in testing).
    * is refurbished with replacement parts for any defective modules identified in testing.
    * is put through a thorough cleaning process and inspection.
    * is repackaged (including appropriate manuals, cables, new boxes, etc.).
    * includes the operating software originally shipped with the unit and the custom software offered with that system. See each products "Learn More" for more details.
    * is given a new refurbished part number and serial number.
    * is placed into a Final QA inspection prior to being added to sellable refurbished stock.

    Refurbishment procedures follow the same basic technical guidelines as Apple's Finished Goods testing procedures.
    (2) What should I expect when I purchase an Apple Certified Refurbished Product?

    * Substantial savings
    * A fully functional unit with complete documentation
    * The assurance that the unit meets Apple's premiere quality standards, and that its defective components have been replaced by genuine Apple components.

    Miss Terri
  9. YOTR, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

    YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    I will decide in the morning if I want to take it in to a local Apple store. I can see myself bringing it in and trying to explain that the back light doesn't show all the way through on the bottom spacebar key (and mention the command key also) with the Genius person literally laughing at me. They will probably think I am joking about bringing it in for this and not something substantial. I just showed my wife and her response was "Really, your going to bring it in for that?"

    I understand nothing is going to be perfect so I am trying to determine if this is worth it or not. I don't want them doing major surgery to fix the problem but I guess the only way to know is to have them look at it. I just ordered it last Monday so I could also just ring Apple up and get them to send out another refurbished unit. What are the chances of that fixing the issue though?
  10. revenire macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2011
    Mine is brand-new and looks the same (space-bar). Not quite sure how this would be uniform.
  11. YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    So you also have the same issue (starting to sound like it's normal) in the middle of the spacebar where light only really shows on the left and right? Sorry, I am not trying to beat a dead horse here but if this is more of a common thing, it will save me a trip to the apple store. I know my left command key also doesn't show as much light (similar to the middle part of the spacebar) but again I don't know if this is worth a trip or not. Thanks for the reply by the way.
  12. revenire macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2011
    Mine is brand-new and looks the same (space-bar). Not quite sure how this would be uniform.
  13. YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    After looking over the keyboard for a few minutes I realize now if I wanted to be picky or OCD I could find another key or two that also exhibits similar behavior where the light doesn't show as well on the bottom (of the key) if I angle my head a little above eye level with the keyboard itself (and laptop for that manner). After reading this sentence again out loud, I realize how OCD this sounds. There is nothing wrong with the back light and the keys on the keyboard are working correctly, without any strange slanting, strange noises when clicking, or issues that might indicate that the keyboard is going bad or was installed incorrectly.

    I would never see this behavior at the normal viewing level (of just sitting at my desk typing on the laptop). My gut is telling me I need to stop while I am ahead, lol. I need to enjoy the laptop and let this issue go (which honestly I question calling it that as it obviously occurs on other macbook pro's). I am sure I could probably find a few other issues with the laptop itself if I started looking for them.

    OCD or not, I need to let this one go. Thanks for everyone's replies. I figure I have a 1 year warranty in case something does happen down the road plus I am looking into apple care.
  14. baxnet macrumors member


    Feb 28, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Your fans are no problem at all. They will "hover" with a low sound all of the time.

    As for your spacebar, this is to be completely expected with a refurb. The spacebar doesn't have as much support in the middle as it does on the edges. Prolonged use and physics naturally says that it's going to "sink" a bit in the middle, solely from being pressed thousands of times :)

    Nothing to worry about, it sounds like you've got a decent working machine.
  15. YOTR, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    Thanks for the reply! That makes total sense in regards to the keyboard. I figure even if I pushed them to replace the keyboard, it would eventually happen again over use. After seeing that other users are noticing the same thing (both 2010 and brand new 2011 macbook pro's), it seems like it is pretty common. Regardless the keyboard works perfectly fine and doesn't feel worn out or broken (I even wonder if my refurb was simply a 30 day return as it is in amazing shape). Plus I have the warranty (and will buy applecare) so if it ever becomes an issue, I can always get it fixed.
  16. Tapiwa macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2011
    Like you said yourself: if you're really looking for flaws, you'll find some eventually...

    Even if you took it in and had it replaced with a brand new one, who's to say you're not gonna end up with a replacement that has a dead pixel...or a small dent...
    Are you then gonna keep exchanging it until it's perfect?

    If it REALLY bothers you and looks significantly different than say the models they show in the store then I guess you could bring it back but since it seems pretty minor, I would just keep it and enjoy using it without inspecting it from odd angles :D
  17. YOTR thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    You are right. I just need to get over it. I almost thought about sending it back and just spending the extra few hundred on a new 2011 model. As you stated though, there i no guarantee that the next one will be perfect.

    I just think I am having some regret buying a refurb now. I realize a new one is $450 more (with my wife's student discount) but I just came into a couple hundred extra dollars and thought about just buying a new one. I still don't know if it is worth it though even at $250 more. It's a small increase though for the just released 2011 model and is quite a bit faster so I am considering it. If I had to pay $450 out of pocket, I probably wouldn't even be thinking about it though.

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