New MBP: Do I need a keyboard cover?

Oirectine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
242
54
Maryland
Hello everyone!

I just ordered a 17" i5 Macbook Pro, my first Apple laptop since my 2002 Titanium PowerBook. I remember that model personally gave me many problems, most of which have probably been fixed or sidestepped in the current unibody notebook models. However, there's one that could theoretically still be a problem. My old PowerBook ended up with a permanently stained grid on the screen that was quite visible. It was caused by the keyboard pressing against the screen, if I recall correctly. Has this problem been solved or will I need to apply a keyboard cover of some sort? Back then I think most people used a mouse pad or cloth.

Thanks!
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
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forlod bygningen
I have a matte screen on my uMBP and I don't have those keyboard stains on my display. Also my white pre-unibody MacBook has no stains too. But I seem to remember, that my glossy uMBP had some of them, so if you go glossy, you might need one.
 

steveLONDON

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2009
131
0
UK
I will probably get this

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/TW848ZM/A?mco=MTY3ODQ5OTY

Although this does not solve the screen marks problem, since the protector itself gets dirty and can then create its own stains on the screen.

For me, the answer has been to keep that thin piece of foam material that came with the MBP in between the screen and keyboard and continue to use that when closing the machine. Look after it, treasure it, it's precious!

I had my old PB for 6 yrs and kept using that piece of foam all that time. :) Even then you still get a few marks but it's alot less than if I hadn't used it.
 

tekmoe

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2005
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I would highly recommend a keyboard skin. I've been using an iSkin on my PowerBooks/MacBook Pros for the past four years and it works great. I clean it every month or two and it keeps my keyboard looking brand new. It's also great when I sell my notebooks on Craigslist and can tell the would-be buyer the keyboard has absolutely no wear whatsoever. It helps a lot with the sale. :D
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
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The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I've actually found that keyboard covers bump up against the screen while the notebook is closed, creating some of the grid pattern that used to be a big problem on older machines.

Without a keyboard cover it's never been an issue for my unibody. With the keyboard cover at least you can wipe the markings off; it doesn't appear to be permanent damage (yet).
 

tekmoe

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2005
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I guess I should have added I never leave the keyboard skin on when I close the lid on my MBP. I take it off and put it on the top of the lid when it's closed. The rubbery texture allows it to stick to the lid pretty good even when I put it in my backpack.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
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I had an iSkin on my previous macbook pro, and IT made marks on my screen.

Considering the unibody MBPs have a glass screen and the keys are recessed, I have a feeling that this won't be as much of a problem.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,847
1
I always wore a keyboard condom on mine but I realized that I now have a layer of what looks to be soap scum or something because I'd wash the skin with dish soap (completely rinsed or so i believed) and now they keys look like they have a barely noticable white film over it.
 

Oirectine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
242
54
Maryland
Thanks for all the feedback so far. Keep it coming! Does anyone have those key-on-screen marks on a unibody Macbook Pro?

It seems like a piece of rubber or plastic that is designed to be used while typing is not the best solution here. I'm not really worried about the keys per se, just that they will leave marks on the screen while the laptop is closed.

What I was thinking was just a thin sheet of material to go between the keyboard and the screen while the laptop is closed--something very thin and flat, maybe even just a soft cotton cloth or something. But from what I'm reading it's not a huge problem any more? I can tell you that back when the TiBooks were the norm, it was really a big problem.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
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There's always that thin styrofoam-like material that came with the MBP in the original box, that was in between the screen and keyboard when you first open it up. Did you keep that?
 

Oirectine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
242
54
Maryland
I ordered it, but it hasn't arrived yet. The dealer I ordered from said it should arrive on Monday or Tuesday. So it should have the styrofoam when it arrives. :)
 

wirelessmacuser

macrumors 68000
Dec 20, 2009
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Planet.Earth
Since the TiBook days I've continued to use a keyboard / screen protector. After trying some different brands I found a very high quality, washable, ultra thin cloth that is exceptional. It's better than the piece of foam which ships with the computer. I learned that one the hard way. The foam absorbs tiny particles of dust and dirt from the air, resulting in screen scratching. Because they are not black in color one does not notice them till it's too late. The cloth cover I have I got from Shaggy Mac, the online store. It's great to wipe off the screen with as well. I don't work for them, just a satisfied customer. I even use them in my ThinkPads.
 

steveLONDON

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2009
131
0
UK
There's always that thin styrofoam-like material that came with the MBP in the original box, that was in between the screen and keyboard when you first open it up. Did you keep that?
See my post above :)

I also tried using a single sheet of clean, new A4 paper for a while too but the foam always seemed more convenient.
 

tekchic

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2010
1,458
545
Phoenix, AZ
I sprung for a ShaggyMac screen protector and love it. You can also use it to wipe the screen and keyboard down when it's not parked with the lid closed. Works great. I don't use any keyboard skins/covers when I'm using my MBP, but I do use the ShaggyMac to wipe the surface of the trackpad/kb sometimes.
 

hypebeast

macrumors member
May 12, 2010
31
1
Won't the keyboard protectors cover up the vents on the MBP, as some heat escapes from the keyboard? Plus, I feel like the keyboard protector just doesn't feel good and makes typing very different as to when using just the keyboard alone.

The MBP's come with a recessed keyboard, so the keys do not touch the screen when the lid is closed. I don't see why you would need a cover for the keys so it won't make marks. I think with the protector, it'll make more marks because the skin must get dirty a lot faster since it's rubber and holds onto dirt.
 

Relznuk

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2009
387
0
UT, USA
I sprung for a ShaggyMac screen protector and love it. You can also use it to wipe the screen and keyboard down when it's not parked with the lid closed. Works great. I don't use any keyboard skins/covers when I'm using my MBP, but I do use the ShaggyMac to wipe the surface of the trackpad/kb sometimes.
Another vote on ShaggyMac - they're made with a high quality optical-grade microfiber, so they can clean your screen/keyboard as well as protecting the screen.
 

Fry-man22

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2007
453
10
I've actually found that keyboard covers bump up against the screen while the notebook is closed, creating some of the grid pattern that used to be a big problem on older machines.
I would think adding any sort of film would only increase the chance of the grid issue. No problems for me (naked) after 3 year on a non-unibody and the first few weeks with the uMBP look to be no different.

I have seen a few people put a little piece of microfiber in there - still don't agree with that either, but the cloth seems it would be better than a plastic coating covering the keys.
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
You don't need a keyboard cover. I've been going for nearly a year and my keyboard looks as good as new.

Some users have reported a slight increase in temperatures because of keyboard covers. Also, you cannot run your laptop in clamshell mode with a keyboard cover.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,703
563
Seattle, WA
I've been thinking about getting keyboard covers for my MBP's for some time now. As some others in this thread reported, MBP's apparently use keyboard to dissipate the heat. Putting a keyboard cover on is going to impede this. Also, I will say that the keyboard on my 2-year-old MBP is in an absolutely excellent condition. And in addition, I never place beverages close to my laptop and so spillage is not a concern. So...my MBP's are still naked.
 

Oirectine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
242
54
Maryland
Well, only one person with a Unibody MBP has chimed in to report that they have marks on their screen. Others have said they don't have the problem. I think I'm going to go for the Shaggy Mac product, just to be safe. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

You don't need a keyboard cover. I've been going for nearly a year and my keyboard looks as good as new.
I guess the title of the thread wasn't clear enough; I'm not worried about the keyboard. I still remember, with horror and trepidation, the keyboard-shaped marks on my TiBook's screen. That's what I'm worried about.
 

johnnymike24

macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2010
29
0
Atlanta, GA
What I do to protect my screen from the oil that gets on the keyboard is actually use the thin sheet of foamish material that was part of the packaging with my macbook pro. This is the sheet that is placed between your keyboard and the screen when the MBP is packaged. I have been using that and it works great for keeping the screen clean when closed.

If my cheap solution does not sound good enough then Moshi makes a cover to protect your screen when closed and doubles as a mouse pad when you are using your MBP. It is called the "Shieldpad". Here is the link to the product on Moshi's website:

http://www.moshimonde.com/products2.asp?UPLF1=10&PDLS1=25
 

Oirectine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
242
54
Maryland
JohnnyMike, that seems to be a common solution. I just ordered the Shaggy Mac cloth. Hopefully the Chinese postal service doesn't lose it (they seem to "lose" about 1/3 of my packages that don't have tracking, it's insane.).