Poor quality in the touchpad button?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dibara2003, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. dibara2003 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    When I used my Air today, I noticed that the trackpad button seemed raised. It was like you could lightly push down on it and it would "click", but not actually click. If you pushed harder, then it would actually hit the button and click. Hard to describe, in another way, when you put your finger on the left side of the button, while pushing it down, and slide it to the right, it makes a loud clicking noise. Anyone else had this issue? This is my second Air with the same problem. My first was exchanged due to several problems, and now I get one of the same issues. This is a bit disappointing. Now I really wish I took their offer of exchanging for a Macbook Pro.
  2. JeChe macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2008
    I had the exact same issue with my MBA, which I purchased when they first came out. I ended up exchanging it and the second one has been fine.
  3. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    This (or something similar) is what 3 out of 4 different MBAs in our store have. Time for Apple to get off their asses and start to QC-check stuff they make ? :rolleyes:
  4. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    Mine has done this from the beginning, but since I pre-ordered without ever touching one I did not know it was abnormal.

    It is so minor I am not going to take it in, I don't want to risk getting anything important screwed up by AC.
  5. Tannerozzy macrumors regular


    Feb 2, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    I didn't notice this until my second air. It could have been like that on my first, but I never noticed if it did. It hasn't been a huge issue for me, but still... it can be annoying :/

    Sliding my finger from left to right over the length of the button, it clicks 3 times.

    But then again, it's a first generation product. Can't expect perfection. Just people like us to test it out and get them one step closer.
  6. dibara2003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    it's not hurting performance, but it sure is annoying when taking notes in a quiet class. my first air got messed up even more after coming back from being repaired. does anyone think it's possible for apple to replace my air with a pro now? they did offer it to me once, but i took an air again... but this is just ridiculous. i didn't take it first because i would lose my applecare (don't have receipt and not purchased from the apple store)
  7. EspressoLove macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2007
    Bay Area
    Apparently it takes more than second gen. as my MBP 3.1 (rev 3, mid'07) does the same ...

    Most certainly they have your serial no. in a database.
    And assumed/relative purchase date ...
    You can check it here ... GetWarranty

    Yep, sounds like it's common with them these days.
  8. daze macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2006
    San Jose, California
    I had a few MacBooks that did exactly the kind of annoying click you mention. I returned all three of them -- what are the odds? I then waited a few months and bought a MackBook Pro. It has been fine, except for the keyboard buttons losing some paint and the DL burner making coasters out of everything... Oh and the adapter doesn't always glow with a green light. All relatively minor problems, except the DL burner... Called Apple and got a case number. Will take it in soon but since I use the laptop for my grad work, I am not sure if I be without the laptop for a week or two that it will take to fix... Plus I am worried that they may screw up something else in the process to fix.

  9. dibara2003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    hopefully i get a call from apple tomorrow. as for the applecare, i meant that they ask for your proof of purchase to determine the pro-rated refund amount. because i didn't purchase it from apple and i don't have my receipt... i'm out of luck in getting money back.
  10. bc008 macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    my macbook pro does this also, not a MBA only issue
  11. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    My refurbished MBA had a completely defective touchpad button. They had to replace the entire top-cover. For me, part of it was raised, and the other half was in a perpetually "down" or "clicked" position.
  12. dibara2003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    maybe you got my old one with that problem :p j/k
  13. Kittychan macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Wondering when you talked about the touchpad button, does it mean the button below the trackpad? Cos my one make a click sound and I really need to push it hard to make something happen otherwise it won't work.

    It a refurbished Air !!!
  14. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Mine touchpad button has no problems. I frequently use it because I find tapping a little lame sometimes depending how my hand is.
  15. pgflmac macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2007
    Some spary.

    My MBA started doing something similar. The silver button you see below the track pad seemed to have lost physical contact with the electronic button under it. My old Macbook would do the same thing and I would "fix" it by taking out the battery and pressing up firmly on the metal and it would be fine for a month or so.

    Soooo, I took out the screws from the bottom of the MBA and it came off quite easy. I have tons of experience working on sensitive electronic equipment so I was not too worried.

    Well it was a vary interesting adventure. The assembly is pretty amazing there is some huge brown plastic thing that I cannot identify. The backside of the keyboard is very hard to identify. The disk is easy to see and looks like it would be extremely easy to replace if it were to fail or if somebody made the same form size but with larger capacity. Lots of other things to look at. Very interesting.

    In any case I was a bit miffed at how the track pad and bits of the track pad button are assembled into the MBA. They look to be fused into the MBA - kind of how they assemble plastic toys with some holes and "pins" brazed or peened over.

    The track pad button is pretty much hidden under this bracket that is likewise peened into the case. However there are a bits of spring steel at each end that are exposed and held in with screws (two in the case and one in the button assembly - each side).

    I was tempted to remove those screws and the spring things and try to slide out the button.

    However, I have some super high quality contact electronic cleaner (not the radio shack stuff that leaves behind residue but the good mil-spec stuff I'm not sure you can buy thanks to the global warming nonsense. I squirted in a healthy dose and then blew in some air. The button had returned to 80% original tactile fell so I gave it another shot of cleaner and air. I'd say I have 90-95% normal feel.

    I think maybe some dust or food crumbs got in it and the button was sticking.

    In fact the only difficulty was replacing the screws. I have put in thousand of small screws and nuts and this was the hardest to keep from cross threading I have ever messed with. I was assuming the part was aluminum but I think everything is plastic.

    Any body else ever dissect one of these. I would love to know what happens when you remove the spring hold screws. Could be exciting.
  16. pgflmac macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2007
    more info

    Well my little fix with the high-end electronic cleaner did not last 24 hours. So I decided to open her back up and take a look. I removed two screws from one of the springy things that hold up the track pad button and it seems better. Not sure what is going on. It is too bad that cover over the actual button is peened into the case. Anybody ever figure out how to get the button parts out?

    Seems like the spring inside the electronic button may be failing leaving a gap between the mechanical button and the electronic button and that is what gives the sloppy feel. I wonder if Apple puts something sticky to hold the mechanical button to the electronic one that has failed - that would explain the symptom. Removing the spring screws allows the mechanical button to rest on top and in contact with the electronic button.

    I would love to see a picture of the parts of the track pad button. Anybody?

    Oh, and the big brown plastic thing = the battery = duh! Looks like a snap to replace it when it goes bad. Nice design.
  17. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    one solution

    The trackpad are held by some screws on the bottom. You can readjust the screws which will fix the clicking problem if you are experienced enough with these kind of things.
  18. pgflmac macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2007

    yeah it looks like you can bend the springs to reduce tension which may allow the mechanical button to depress a bit and rest on the electronic button but it looks like hit and miss.

    Have you ripped into this enough to see the actual assembly of the button(s) hidden behind the peened on shield. BTW, I am assuming the shield is peened on it could be brazed. I would love it if one could get that shield off without screwing things up completely.
  19. pgflmac macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2007

    Sorry I re-read your post and I either have a completely different construction or you mis-stated. The track pad is not screwed on. It is peened or brazed or glued or something. NO SCREWs. The only screws in the area are six (3/side) holding spring steel springs as part of the button assembly.


    The question is what are the "hidden" parts and assembly of the track pad BUTTON.
  20. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

    These are not screws? See yellow. [photo credit: ifixit]
    Have not seen MBA inside but the fix works with PowerBook or MBP.


    Attached Files:

  21. pgflmac macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2007
    Good idea to be talking about an MBA when you are...

    It is a good idea to be talking about an MBA when you are talking about an MBA!!!! NO SCREWS holding the trackpad, sheeess!!
  22. drevil macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    I know this is an older thread,but my 2nd gen MBA track pad button sticks "on" at times on the left end and you need to press the center of the button to release it. I will call Apple just to go on record, not sure I want to chance a replacement because otherwise I think after about 6 weeks of use its been pretty smooth overall. Plus I use the touch pad option for clicking most of the time anyway.

Share This Page