MBA 2012 not sitting level

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by diggu, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. diggu, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012

    diggu macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Hey guys,

    I bought the new MBA 13" about a month after it came out. So I have had it for a little while now. It has been just awesome. Love it. BUT recently I have noticed that it refuses to sit level on a desk. Let me explain..

    When the computer is sitting on my desk at work, school, and home, the left palm rest just barely sits off the desk, so when you press down on the computer (ie to type) you can feel it then press down on the desk.

    I just doesn't feel solid. I can take my index finger and press down on the right palm rest ( right above the small black foot on the bottom of the MBA) and it feel solid and completely on the desk, but then do the same to the left and you can feel, and hear, it move down and make contact with the desk.

    I have no idea if this is an issue Apple might take care of. I was basically just reaching out to see if anyone else has had this issue and what they did about it. I do have Apple Care but I am unsure of if this issue would even be considered.

    Just for the record it has never been dropped and I take a lot of care in handling it so I do not think that could have been any reason for this issue.

    Thanks for any help
  2. benjalamelami macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2012
    Try other spot

    Try a different spot or surface. If the same, take it to a mac store and ask for you warranty and show the geniuses that issue.

    My MBA has fallen hard twice, it has its identifiable dents, but it sits leveled to any surface.
  3. tredstone macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    I have a 2012 13" MBA, same problem, same side.
  4. diggu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Sorta glad to know that I am not the only one. It definitely doesn't differ me from using the computer or anything of the such, but it is just slightly annoying.
  5. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Nope. Mine is perfectly level.

    Ur machine is warped. Now for a thin notebook and Apple boasting about their unibody super-precised construction blah-blah this is one, if u want to call it cosmetic, that would not be acceptable to me. Save ur data, bring it in, tell them you bought an Apple because it's supposed to be built PERFECT and tell them what u got on your hand is not.
  6. Dave Felix macrumors 6502a

    Dave Felix

    Apr 9, 2011
    Scranton, Pennsylvania
    Its actually funny cause this EXACT thing happened to me almost two years ago when I bought my MacBook Pro 6,2. I actually opened it there and went through the orientation with them and I realized its slightly unbalanced. I put it on another table.. same deal. I told the manager and he was like "Do you really want a new one?" I said hell yeah I've only owned it for 7 minutes!

    As far as fixing your problem I really dont know why. Its weird, I wanna say maybe the back flat piece isnt flush with the other side. I really hope you fix it, cause I do a lot of typing and that would just irk me. Especially when you can hear it click down every time. :eek:


    Don't you have a two weeks to switch the laptop for any reason? Plus, you could have applecare.
  7. Wombert macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2005
    Munich, Germany
    The "fix" here is to place it on an even surface (ideally a glass table), close the lid, and firmly press down on the opposite corners of the device each. That'll bend the case sufficiently to fix the issue.

    I've had this with old MBPs and even with a new Unibody one. The MBA is so light and thin that despite its rigidity, certain forces can warp the case. That's to be expected; it's made of aluminium after all.

    And no, it's not a reason to take it to a Genius bar, and no, it's not a valid reason to get a replacement. It's called "wear", and the situation can be fixed as easily and readily as it can be produced.
  8. jbzcar macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    It is absolutely not "wear" if the machine is new... :confused:

    To be expected to bend your laptop into shape is unacceptable.
  9. FreVC macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2012
    I have some sort of similar problem. I posted about this a while ago, but I still didn't go to my reseller.
    In normal conditions, my MBA 13 is perfectly level. However, if I pick it up at the upper left corner (above the esc-key, when the screen is open), the right palm rest bends. If I repeat this for a few times, my MBA is warped too and it is possible to let it wobble.

    This really disappoints me as the alu unibody's 'sturdiness' was one of the main reasons for me to go for a MBA...
  10. Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Very common

    I have yet to see a dead flat Macbook Air. I have the 2012 Ultimate 11" and love it but the left front corner sits off the surface. I've verified flatness on two different surfaces, one was positioning it in several different places on our granite counters, no matter where I put the Air it revealed the same result. I then went into my workshop and place it on the bed of my 12" jointer, a jointer is a machine that flattens boards, this surface is absolutely dead flat, I got the same reading on the jointer too. Funny thing is the very first day I bought it I checked it for flatness and it sat dead flat, a few days later it didn't. I got the Samsung display and SSD and everything else is perfect so I deal with it.
  11. tredstone macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    If anyone has any good tips to bend it to proper level shape I'm all ears.
  12. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    One month old 11"

    Sat it on a 3/8" glass surface. Tried the slide-piece-of-paper-under test. No air between feet and glass.

    Perhaps it's harder to keep it flat on the 13"(?)

    "Re-level" LOL. I dunno, other than completely disassemble the thing, put it in an oven.

    OP, seriously maybe ur pressing too hard. I noticed when I moved from those typewriter (youngsters Google) keyboards to modern keyboards, since it takes less key/fingers travel, my fingers have adjusted to type softer.

    Another quick fix is, I have an habit of popping up the rear of the Air on a magazine, just because am accustomed to a more slanted typing position so the front of my Air is really resting on the forward edge rather than on the feet, should feel more solid that way.
  13. mechazawa42 macrumors newbie


    Oct 7, 2012
    I recently returned a one day old 2012 MBA 11" (i5, 4GB, 128GB) because of a wobbly base. It showed the wobble on several surfaces and the front right corner was the one that was raised.

    Unfortunately it was a real hassle for me to return it, since I bought it from a German Apple reseller that did not seem to be very customer friendly :mad:

    At first they wanted to bend my one day old machine into shape and when I told them, that I wasn't too comfortable with that solution and that I rather wanted to get a new replacement machine or return the machine for a refund they started to argue with me. In the end after being persistent I walked out the store with my cash. Never gonna buy something again in that dump!!!

    That's such a shame. I really liked the MBA 11" but now I'm really not sure whether to buy another one that might show the same "defect". Since I have to write several papers for university I don't really have the time for an order and return game if this problem seems to be common :(
  14. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    great to hear you got a full refund.

    I always buy direct from Apple Online Store and avoid Resellers where possible.
    Apple are fantastic to deal with; products arrive next day for stock items, perhaps 3 - 4 working days for CTO.
    replacements are no hassle at all.
    that's the way I recommend you go if you need a Mac in a hurry
  15. mechazawa42 macrumors newbie


    Oct 7, 2012
    Yeah, I was really glad too :) they really were determined that I'd keep my wobbly MBA but that was definitely no option for me.

    I'll consider your suggestion, but tbh I'm a bit on a tight budget and the reason for me to get the MBA at that Reseller was because they offered a nice student discount that is not available at our Apple Store. But now I have the feeling that it might be worth to save up some more money and go to the Apple Store to avoid bad customer experiences like that...

    My last 2011 MBA 11" sat flat on the table. Is the 'wobblyness' something common in the 2012 series? I also noticed that the trackpad on my 2012 didn't click as nice as my 2011 but in the end it might be my imagination based on the low quality impression of the wobbly base :D
  16. TheRichboy247 macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2012
    I got a brand new 13" MacBook Air and no problems here. It has been wonderful! I really admire the design. If I got a wobbly one that would really bug me. What I would do is complain to wherever you bought it and ask for a new one.
  17. DoctorCrap macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2012
    Penang, Malaysia
    Probably an industry fail for Apple.
    I am not sure why the change of the uni-body could have been taken place in 2012 MBAs.
    I run on 2010 so I wouldn't know anything.
  18. tredstone macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thinking of bringing mine to the Genius bar for a replacement. Does anyone know if they replace with refurbished models or actual new replacements?
  19. 1251division macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2012
    Aluminum has a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion, as compared to other materials. (See Have any of you noticed a difference based on machine temperature? It will be most level presumably at the design temperature, or the temperature at manufacturing.

    I'm looking into getting a 2012 13" MBA, and I'm glad to have learned about this quirk.
  20. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    I know some don't "think you should have to" apply a little pressure to the Air to address this, but all I can tell you is it works, and works well. I think the "warping" is actually due to the way the plate on the bottom of the unit is screwed down - if it sits a bit off in the way it is screwed down, you will get the symptom of one foot not sitting flat.

    Is this annoying? Yes. Is it fatal? No. There are three easy fixes:

    1) Take a small square of electrical tape, and apply to the bottom of the foot which is not sitting flat. Not elegant, but works.

    2) Open the lid, hold the unit on the two sides just outside the keyboard, and twist SLIGHTLY in the direction of the raised foot. THIS WORKS. I've owned 4 Airs between myself and my wife, and this has worked for me twice.
    It seems to stay "fixed" once you do this.

    3) Take it back to Apple. This sounds easy, but it involves backing up and restoring data, and getting everything set back up on your new machine.

    It's really that easy.
  21. tredstone macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    Just got back from the Apple store where they swapped my 1-month old MB Air with a new replacement. On top of which, the new one I just got has a Samsung panel screen! (old one was LG) Win!

    I get what people are saying about trying to bend it into shape, but the unibody provides most of the structural integrity to notebook. Bending the entire frame to force it level is not an ideal solution.
  22. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    It is a very good, and very easy solution. Glad your replacement worked out.
  23. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2008
    Oxford, England
    Just tried this on my mid-2012 which was pretty wonky (wasn't when I bought it, but I guess its had some abuse), seems *much* better, after doing this, though still not 100% flat
  24. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2008
    Downtown San Diego
    Right here. The underbodies of these things, while overall quite sturdy, are pretty easy to introduce some mild flex into.

    I've had 2 11" MBAs, and they routinely get uneven (usually 2-3 mm off on foot) because my main mode of operation is to program with them in my lap rather than flat surfaces.

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