Ordered i5/QWERTY, got an i7/AZERTY

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PeterJP, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. PeterJP macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #1
    I ordered my first mac a week ago. Delivery was supposed to be 2-3 weeks, but after only a week, I got that happy phone call. Except the machine they delivered got a few details wrong. Well, at least it's an 11" with 8GB RAM and 256 SSD, but the keyboard and the processor are wrong.

    First, I am a blind typer on QWERTY. Because it's nice to have a keyboard that actually matches the keys I type, I ordered a QWERTY. That's the main reason for the 2-3 weeks delivery time. I can live with the AZERTY that this machine has because I don't watch the keys. But it's not the keyboard I ordered.

    Second, the processor got an upgrade. I don't need the i7, so I didn't want to spend money on it. I'll be using it mainly for writing, browsing and maybe a bit of coding. I read the Anand benchmarks carefully and they seem to say that with my kind of work, battery life should be about the same. On the other hand, I've read a couple of first-hand reports claiming that Firefox or Chrome with a bunch of tabs can lift the workload into the "medium" area. That means battery life goes down by about 20%.

    9 hours battery life would be just great. 7.5 is on the edge. I also have to consider that battery life will go down as the machine gets older, so in 2-3 years, it'll last 1-2 hours shorter already anyway.

    In doubt now whether I should return it or keep it. What do you think?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    You said that you did not get what you ordered.
    If it's an incorrect item (even with a partial upgrade) -
    it sounds like you may continue to be concerned about both the wrong keyboard, and the possibility of lower battery life -
    return it ... It's your choice!
    I think it's reasonable to return it - and you don't even need a good reason within the first 14 days.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Seriously, return it. The wrong keyboard is a really big problem. Forget about the partial upgrade as GPU/RAM will be maxed way before even an i5 CPU will.

    Apple will get this turned around for you insanely quick. They're not like HP where you're scuppered once they've got your money. Please call them, they'll be eager to help resolve this for you.
     
  4. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #4
    Depends on how long you think of keeping the machine.... Re-selling it in Belgium will be easier with an AZERTY and if you do not care what is actually written on the keys (I am the same so I can understand your logic) you might as well enjoy the i7 for free :)

    I would however carefully check that the invoice and the serialnumber in the mMacBook match to ensure you actually have a warranty for your i7 MacBook!
     
  5. ionjohn macrumors 65816

    ionjohn

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    Canada
    #5
    Return it, man.
     
  6. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #6
    If guilt doesn't get the better of you, and you decide to keep it, you can pry up some of the keys and move them about, and you can also buy replacement keys off ebay - replace the ones you want to switch out, and you would never know it wasn't a QWERTY keyboard.
     
  7. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #7
    The Azerty keyboard has many many different keys (in addition to the obvious letters pretty much all the special signs above the numbers are different + some others), so not worth the effort/cost.
     
  8. PeterJP, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #8
    Thanks for all your input.

    First, I double-checked the invoice: the description is of what I ordered, but the serial number is still that of the Mac in the box. The white box of the Mac has the same serial number, but obviously it says it's an i7 AZERTY. Also, everymac confirms that this serial number is an i7. So the invoice is wrong in its description. I'm trying to figure out with the shop if this has an impact on warranty.

    Second, the keyboard is basically a non-issue for me. QWERTY has the tiny advantage of showing what the keys do (in case somebody else wants to type something) but AZERTY has the tiny advantage of having a larger resale value. Score: 1-1 :)

    Third, the processor. Most of my workload will be light, so I expect hardly any impact on battery/heat/noise. When I will be doing heavier work, it will be mostly near a power plug. The i7 has the advantage of allowing me to get a bit more done should I ever want it. The i5 has more consistent long battery life, in case I want to get a bit more done on the road. I guess that's 1-1 for the processors then, too.

    I checked with the shop. Because I received this i7, I can keep it (I just need to check the warranty issue). If I don't want to keep it, they will issue an express delivery for the right one and I should get it pretty soon.

    So, the question comes down to this. Would anybody go for an i5 if you could get an i7 for free? I'm seriously tempted to keep it if the warranty is valid despite the wrong description on the invoice.

    Edit: I'm not feeling guilty either way, whether I keep it or swap it for the machine I ordered. I just want to hear the technicalities. I am discussing the situation with the shop as we speak. If they reassure me that the warranty is valid, would there be any reason to insist on downgrading to the i5?
     
  9. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #9
    I got feedback from the shop in the meantime. In case I want to keep the i7 model I currently have, they will modify the invoice so that it shows the correct model. They asked me to stop by on Friday, which gives me another two days to decide. The i5/QWERTY model will also be in stock at that time, so I can take home whatever I choose.

    The question is still open: if you would get an i7, would you insist on downgrading to an i5? :) I'm leaning towards keeping the i7.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    I don't think you'll notice any major performance differences between the i5 and i7 for most apps. Are you running any demanding apps?
     
  11. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #11
    Mostly not. Infrequently, there'll be a VirtualBox or some coding. When I'm on the road, I can limit it to a very light workload. But it's an i7 I got for free :)
     
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    Keep it. Resale value alone should seal this for you
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #13
    Can you live with the keyboard? Sure its free but if you're not really going to benefit from the i7 and the different keyboard will impede you, then its seems more trouble then it worth, at least that's my thinking.
     
  14. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    kidnapped by aliens
    #14
    Return.

    I'm live in Belgium too and I'm also used to type qwerty. Anytime I have to use a local keyboard I'm in trouble. You'll regret keeping it one day or another.
     
  15. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #15
    At a quick glance, there's about 18 keys that have to be completely changed out (others can be swapped around). A quick look on ebay shows that replacement keys cost $2.99 each, so for around $54 it's not a massive outlay. A cheaper option would be to get a silicon/rubber keyboard cover.

    Taking a key off only takes a second or two to do. Ordering will probably take 5-10 minutes. Not exactly a lot of effort required. And the old keys could be sold to recoup some of the cost.
     
  16. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #16
    ...and exactly why are they $2.99 each? I knew this already, but was really surprised when I first looked for them. I use the Dvorak layout BTW. I wish they made UHF and J keys to support at the least for the Dvorak layout as they are the ones that get moved around and have the little bump on them.

    Oddly, an Apple employee told me that the wireless keyboard keys can't be moved around. He was wrong; they can.
     
  17. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #17
    Special paint on the keys so they won't rub off, laser etching, price of crude oil, taxes, lack of competition, supply and demand, market forces, the exchange rate, and everyone trying to make a buck. Probably.
     
  18. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #18
    How did this thread become a discussion of the manufacturing process of keys all of a sudden? Ah, the strange ways of Internet forums.

    I've unpacked the MBA 11" i7 to try and see if the keyboard would bother me. The AZERTY isn't really bothering me. It takes a while to get used to the different shortcut keys on Mac, but that would be the same on a QWERTY. Keyboard aside, it's generally a very nice machine. Battery life is now at 80%, 8 hours left, but I've only done some light browsing and left the machine in sleep when I wasn't using it.

    There's just one little thing. Before this purchase, I was in doubt about this MBA 11" and the rMBP 13". After half a day's use, I'm starting to notice the lack of vertical screen space as well as the blurry text. I guess it's the way MacOS renders fonts compared to Windows machines: better for high res, but a bit blurry on lower resolutions. Knowing this, I still went for the MBA because of the size and its simpler build. The rMBP's screen may be more fragile (ifixit seems to hint at that). Not what I'd really like for a take-everywhere machine. But I'll be taking a long, hard look at the rMBP in the shop tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be upgrading to that machine anyway.

    So, Apple makes it easy for us to choose by limiting the options and I still can't decide? You can blame it on me :)
     
  19. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #19
    Getting off topic on forums can be fun. ;)

    If you go to System Preferences -> General, there's an option at the botton which lets you set font smoothing. See if this helps.
     
  20. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #20
    I tried it but I didn't see any difference. I tried closing/opening Safari again, but still no difference. The effect I'm seeing is caused by the different rendering mechanism of MacOSX vs Windows. You can find a short explanation here (or google it for much more detail): http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/06/12.html. Forcing the Mac to approximate Windows would be like trying to make a motorcycle behave like a car.

    In principle, I am a huge fan of how Apple displays fonts as neutrally as possible so that they correspond to the output on paper. It's a much saner approach than how Windows "interprets" how fonts "should look" on a screen. The disadvantage of Apple's approach, though, is that plenty of horizontals (like the top of a T) look slightly blurred. Apple adds a grey line at the top because it is higher than the pixel row below it, but not as high as the pixel row above it. To find the middle way, Apple renders this row grey, which is a form of anti-aliasing that happens to blur many letters.

    Obviously, this means that doubling the vertical resolution of a screen (as in a retina screen) has a tremendous impact on how text looks on a Mac. And that's why retina screens are very similar to reading on paper: it's rendered in exactly the same way.

    I'll check on the rMBP again tomorrow and let you know whether I get the rMBP 13" i5/8/256, the MBA 11" AZERTY i7 or the MBA 11" QWERTY i5.
     
  21. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    kidnapped by aliens
    #21
    This indeed. Especially for Belgium since qwerty is uncommon over here you'll have to do more effort to sell it second hand locally.

    Personally, I would refuse azerty since I cannot get used to it.
    Also, applications like photoshop and even OsX are developped with qwerty in mind so shortcuts feel more natural when used with this layout.
     
  22. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #22
    Finally!

    This morning, I went back to the shop to discuss the possibilities. They allowed me every option: keep the 11" i7 AZERTY, swap it for the i5 QWERTY or trade it in for a 13" rMBP and pay up the difference in price. So, I compared the 13" rMBP and the 11" for some time.

    The 11" is an absolutely brilliant machine. But the 13" rMBP really isn't much bigger. I was surprised at how little the weight difference was, too. So I paid €200.01 and went home with the rMBP. While the screen of the 11" is definitely very good, the retina screen makes the Apple way of rendering fonts easier on my eyes. No complaints about the 11", but for me, the 13" is worth the extra money.

    FYI, I grabbed an AZERTY one because they had one in stock. Typing this on it as we speak!

    Thanks again for all your help!
     
  23. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    #23
    Glad you got it sorted.

    I see you still have an AZERTY keyboard but if you want QWERTY then why not try keyboard stickers of eBay? I bought a USA Macbook Air a couple of years back and some of the keys are different than on a UK keyboard. I bought keyboard stickers and stuck them only to the keys that were affected. Sorted.

    When you come to sell it you can then just peel off the stickers.

    Hope that helps.
     

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