New Macbook Doesn't Sit Level and Rocks Back and Forth

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by drmike, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. drmike macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi all,

    Well, after issues with the display panel in a 13" MacBook Pro (that led me to return the MacBook Pro about a month ago), I decided to get one of the new MacBooks, considering its specs were fairly close to the base-level 13" Pro model. I picked it up today and, when setting it up, noticed that it doesn't sit level and noticeably rocks back and forth from the back left corner to the front right corner. When my hands aren't on the computer, it rests back towards the left corner, but the second I put my hands on the palm rest and keyboard, it rocks forward with a small "thud", as the front right corner hits the desk. It's significant enough to be uncomfortable (not every laptop casing, "feet", etc. is perfect, but the amount of movement here seems excessive).

    I placed the MacBook on other tables, counters, desks, etc., and it still does this, though the degree to which it does varies a bit. Also, I took a screwdriver and checked all the screws to make sure they were firmly in place (so that no section of the bottom case was loose or sticking up). And, at least to my eyes, I don't see any noticeable bulge or unevenness in the bottom case.

    I'm curious -- any new MacBook owners have a similar issue? Any thoughts?
     
  2. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #2
    Your MB should have four rubber pads that it rests on, one in each corner. Have a look at them, are any of them worn down? Maybe worn down more than other ones...?
     
  3. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #3
    Maybe there is too much glue underneath one of the feet?
     
  4. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #4
    Maybe... Can you get the rubber feet replaced?
     
  5. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    No, this is a new white MacBook, so there are no rubberized feet -- instead, the entire bottom case is rubberized, and so it's supposed to be entirely flat. To my eyes, it looks flat, but when using it, it rocks back and forth to an uncomfortable degree.
     
  6. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #6
    Hmmm, could you post a picture of the bottom of it? For the time being just wedge a coaster or something under it...
     
  7. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    sounds warped, perhaps a screw was tightened a little too much and threw it out of square
     
  8. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #8
    Then go here and make an appointment to go have it replaced. Sounds like a major problem. It should be perfect.
     
  9. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #9
    Try other surfaces. I find that my MacBook Pro does that on some surfaces and not other surfaces.
     
  10. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    I'll see if I can get a picture of it up at some point, but for the moment let me say that, to the eye, it looks flat, and so if there's a warp -- as I suspect there is -- it's really hard to detect, other than just to feel it when it rocks and back forth.

    This Gizmodo gallery has a fairly decent photo of what the bottom looks like: Gizmodo link.
     
  11. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Yeah, I did that, actually -- I found that on some surfaces it didn't rock back and forth as much, but it still did it (and noticeably enough to be bothersome).
     
  12. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Also, to cfitz7111 and jmann -- yeah, it does seem as if it's warped, which is a bummer, since it's brand new. I think I'll indeed see if I can take it in and have it looked at ... or exchanged.

    If anyone here has a new white unibody MacBook, I'd definitely appreciate checking to see if yours does the same thing -- or, alternately, if it sits perfectly, as it should.
     
  13. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #13
    Just unpacked our new demo iMac and uni MacBook at work today, and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary with it for the few minutes I spent with it. Definitely no tilting like you are experiencing.

    If I were you I would take it into an Apple store as soon as possible. Make an appointment first, but arrive a bit early. Place your machine on the same surface next to one of their displays to see if you experience the same issue, and if it is use that example to your advantage to convince them that something is definitely wrong with your machine. Don't let them get away with a "physical damage isn't covered" excuse. Ask them how a machine could be warped so badly with no other physical dents or cracks. That would be another reason to get this taken care of as soon as possible, because this could only hurt you later on.

    It's not policy, but you may be able to convince them to exchange the machine completely. Otherwise they would just replace that bottom case. However, I wouldn't be surprised that you could make the argument that a replacement machine would be quicker (explaining you have work or school or whatnot and a out-of-the-box broken machine isn't a good starting point) as I doubt they would have any parts in for that machine so soon after its release.
     
  14. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Madog, thanks for your thoughts. I'll definitely take it in, compare it with the demo models, and then be sure that I don't let them say it's uncovered physical damage (frankly, I could see someone saying, "how do we know you didn't leave it in your car during a hot day and it got warped?" Or: "how do we know you didn't damage it?"). Hopefully they'll either willingly fix it or offer me a new one. In all the years I've owned laptops, I've never had one tilt this much (never had one tilt at all really); at first I thought maybe it was just an unintended, odd fault of the new rubberized bottom case (in other words, maybe these new bottom cases aren't perfectly level), but then I realized it would make absolutely no sense to have a laptop that tilted like this.
     
  15. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Great idea putting it next to a macbook on a nice and level surface, makes the argument easier. I would think that plastic would crack if warped, unlike metal which would just bend
     
  16. sinophilia macrumors regular

    sinophilia

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    #16
    My white unibody Macbook also rocks slightly on some surfaces. I guess it's not an actual "issue" but the way it's built...
     
  17. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    sinophilia, thanks for posting about your MacBook. It indeed sounds as if it's part of the design. I think the extent to which it tilts/moves varies from unit to unit, and also depends on the surface. Mine rocked too much to be comfortable, so I'll be taking it back this week.

    I had a chance to swing by Best Buy this weekend and try their demo model -- no tilt/movement at all, but that was on just one surface only, as I wasn't able to move it around the store.
     
  18. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #18
    Yeah, when you said that yours makes a "thud", that doesn't sound good at all. Personally, that would drive me insane if my laptop always did that.
     
  19. sinophilia macrumors regular

    sinophilia

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    #19
    By any chance, did you try to open it? Because there's a metal clip in the middle and it might be out of place on your macbook, causing the issue. I opened mine to install more RAM and I had a hard time understand wheter the central clip had gone back in or not when I closed it.
     
  20. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    madog -- my feelings exactly. I knew immediately that this was something I couldn't really get used too. I told a friend of mine -- who's a Mac enthusiast -- about my display problems with my previous 13" MacBook Pro and then about this, and he said in his view he thought the tilting/uneven case would be more bothersome than the display issue (which was a backlighting problem).

    sinophilia -- no, I didn't try to open it, but now that I think about it, I should have. One thing I failed to mention earlier in this thread is that I didn't buy the white unibody MacBook directly from Apple; instead I bought it from Best Buy because I had some store credit there. When I encountered this issue (and when posting this thread) I thought I'd take it to a genius bar at the Apple Store because it's covered by Apple's warranty -- and I figured they could look at it and determine the cause. But I decided to got to Best Buy first to see what my options were, and they agreed it wasn't acceptable and offered to replace it. Unfortunately, they didn't have any more in stock, and so I'm waiting for them to get a new shipment in.

    They have agree to refund my money if I want it, and so I'll see. If and when I get a new MacBook, I'll definitely check that central clip if the unit tilts in the same way. Thanks for the tip.
     
  21. drmike thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    Just thought I'd update everyone -- I finally had the chance to pick up a new white unibody MacBook, and this one, thankfully, does not tilt and rock back and forth noticeably when I place my hands on the keyboard and palm-rest. No big "thud" sound either. I will say this, however -- there is just a little bit of flex, so if I place my hand on the very edge of the front right corner, the MacBook's casing does lean a bit towards that edge and makes a soft sound as it comes into full contact with the desk (it's more of the very front end flexing, as opposed to the whole body tilting back and forth).

    I don't really see this is an issue. It seems to me that this flex is just part of the design, as sinophilia mentioned earlier. The main thing is the flex on my new one is minimal and hardly noticeable unlike the major tilting/rocking the first one had. So, things worked out well. I do wonder, though, if Apple will design a different bottom casing in the next iteration of the MacBook if they end up receiving complaints about units that tilt like my first one.

    By the way, on first impressions, I'm enjoying the new MacBook -- and Snow Leopard!
     

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