MacBook Pro keyboard, AKA Apple's first attempt at vibrators

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by procyonx86, May 25, 2009.

  1. procyonx86 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    #1
    First, it was a noisy fan. That got replaced. Then, it was a vibrating fan. I ignored it, at first. Then the fan started making the keyboard vibrate slightly at high rpms. I still ignored it. Then the whole left side of the chassis started vibrating, and I brought it to an AASP.

    The service guy tinkered with my MBP for almost a week before I got it back. At first, I was happy: the vibration seems to have stopped, and my MBP was now silent (and was still reasonably so even at 6200 rpm). Then I found out that something was still wrong. In short, I exchanged the slightly vibrating keyboard and chassis for silence and no vibration EXCEPT on a single key: the TAB key.

    At 3000 rpm, it vibrates slightly, about the same as it did before: a light press would stop the vibration. At 4000 rpm, not even a firm press will stop the vibration. At 5000 rpm, the TAB key vibrates with an intensity that would put sex toys to shame.

    I was getting suspicious that this was a matter of chassis-keyboard-fan resonance, so I brought it back to the AASP. "But that isn't a defect, so we can't replace it." "You need to show that the chassis is physically defective before we can order a replacement." I tried to tell them to TRY putting new fans, keyboards, or even move the whole damn motherboard to a different chassis -- you know, try different approaches to narrow down the list of suspects* -- but I was met with: "We don't have any spare parts." And for them to order spare parts, I "need to show that the chassis is physically defective", as if vibration is not a physical defect.

    The problem is I live in Indonesia, where there is no Apple Store, and where Apple Asia, based in Singapore, treats their customers like trash. I mean, I've handled dozens of laptops before, and none of their keyboards act like this. If I were to show my MBP to a potential switcher, I'm sure I'd scare them back into Windows laptops. It's got to the point that I'm embarrassed to take my MBP anywhere, afraid that someone would touch the damned key and laugh at my spending $2000+ for a vibrator.

    I've a good mind to open the damn thing myself, warranty be damned, but I'd like to know if there's anything else I can do before taking the plunge. Can anyone here suggest what I should do before I take apart my MBP? I'm so annoyed that I can't think straight.

    *) Actually, the service guy did replace the fan three times (or so he claimed), so that narrows down the problem to the chassis or keyboard.
     
  2. alexbates macrumors 65816

    alexbates

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #2
    That stinks that Apple won't do anything about it. I don't think theres much else you can do except take it apart (unless you are traveling somewhere and can go to an Apple store).

    It it a Unibody or a previous model? If it is the previous model, it will be easy to lift up the keyboard and listen (or feel) where the vibrating is really coming from.
     
  3. procyonx86 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    #3
    Yeah, it stinks. Before the MBP I had a white Macbook with a swelling battery; the Apple Asia thugs said it was "not covered because it is out of warranty", even though Apple's replacement battery program covered even out-of-warranty Macbooks. I had to email sjobs@apple.com before someone took notice and banged it into those thugs' heads that customers aren't to be screwed around with. This time, though, even sjobs@apple.com has left me in the dark. Maybe they think "it's just a vibrating key".

    Unfortunately, it's a Unibody. I was thinking of calling their US customer suport, but a friend of mine warned me that their habit of putting people on hold could make the call cost more than buying a new chassis altogether (around $250, IIRC). Apple really needs to provide a CS email; not everyone can call them, particularly if that someone is halfway around the globe.
     
  4. alexbates macrumors 65816

    alexbates

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #4
    If you later decide to take it apart, you will know that its probably the keyboard if you can't feel vibrating on the logic board (which would be bad). And it might just be the TAB key that is out of position or something. And the TAB key is right above a fan on a Unibody MBP, so that could have something to do with it.
     
  5. procyonx86 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    #5
    I suspected that too, and that would be the first thing to check if I do take it apart.

    I was wondering, is it OK for someone to call Apple in my stead and report the problem? I have some friends in the US who may be willing to help out, but I'm not sure if it's allowed.
     

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