Retina Macbook - Jumpy / erratic cursor

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ctyrider, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #1
    I love my rMB, but a single frustrating issue I have been having is erratic / jumpy cursor.

    For instance, I can be typing something in a window, and all of a sudden the position of the cursor jumps to a completely different part of the text.. or worse yet to a different window. This happens more often than not when I have a lot of windows open, but I have seen it happen even when the machine is fairly idle.

    This is hugely frustrating and has cost me a lot of lost productivity. I have owned plenty of MacBooks in my life, and have never experienced anything like this.

    Has anyone else with rMB been having this issue? Do people think I may have a unit with a defective trackpad?
     
  2. toofargone, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015

    toofargone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    #2
    My partner has this exact same issue....driving us crazy. I thought it could be from resting palm/fingers on track pad but that wasn't it. I thought it could be from interference from my tackpad across the desk and indeed it is worse when we are both working together. I turned off bluetooth on the MacBook and it seemed to help but sadly didn't eliminate the problem. Still could be some kind of electrical/radio wave interference thing, but it happens in various places so not much we can do about eliminating potential sources of interference.

    Like you, it is killing productivity. Did you resolve your issue? We are thinking about returning under AppleCare.

    Update: I was just at the Apple Store for something else and asked around to see if this was a known issue. The first guy I talked to nodded his head right away with the facial expression consistent with a known issue. He indicated it could be software or hardware and that we should make an appointment to bring it in.
     
  3. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #3
    I also have the same issue, I think. My theory has been that it is due to my thumbs touching the trackpad when I intend to hit the spacebar. But I'm not sure, because I don't notice exactly what I'm doing in the moments before it happens.

    And, yes, it is a terrible productivity killer. I'm typing some text, and suddenly I'm typing somewhere else.
     
  4. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #4
    Not yet, as I am traveling out of the country at the moment. In addition to trackpad issues - one of my keyboard keys now lost its "clickiness" and became mushy, requiring extra hard press in order to register.

    I am taking the laptop to an Apple Store as soon as I am back next week, and will be requesting a replacement on the count of both of these issues.

    These are not the kind of things I am willing to put up with in a $1500+ laptop.
     
  5. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #5
    Let's hope it's a software issue. Then an update might solve it.
     
  6. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Location:
    Italy
    #6
    I play with one for an hour, not experiencing this behavior. Could be an hardware issue...
     
  7. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #7
    This is not a software issue.
     
  8. norbinhouston macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Houston
    #8
    Easy to diagnose, just pair a bluetooth keyboard and see if the cursor still jumps. If it doesn't then its because you're touching the trackpad.
     
  9. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #9
    So you are saying - if it doesn't move with BT keyboard, it's somehow my fault because I am touching the trackpad? That's nonsense - I have had 6 generations of different MacBooks before this one. None had given me the same issue.
     
  10. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #10
    I'm not saying it's you, I still think it could be an hardware issue, but the bottom profile of the notebook is very different from any previous MacBook you owned.....
     
  11. whodatrr, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #11
    This.

    I wind up barely touching the trackpad, usually with my thumb, and craziness ensues. I've had a couple systems behave like this over the years (an old ThinkPad comes to mind), and I just have to work to avoid touching the pad. I don't know whether other Macs did a better job of ignoring inadvertent touches, or this one is just in a configuration where my thumbs just can't help but touch it?

    The trackpad on the rMB is 1/8" below the space bar, whereas it's 3/4" or more, with most MBP/MBAs. Also, this trackpad is haptic so that touching the edges equivalent to touching the sweet spot in the middle. Not sure if Apple can do a software fix for this, or it's just something users will have to look out for. I've had some systems in the past that behaved like this...


     
  12. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #12
    Me previous laptop was 11" MacBook Air. Other than slightly wider trackpad - the bottom profile of 12" rMB is nearly identical.

    There is zero percent chance that what I am experiencing is a "normal behavior".
     
  13. whodatrr, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #13
    No, your 11" MBA had more than 1/2" of space between the bar and the pad, but your new rMB has less than 1/8". Looking at a 2012 MBA next to my rMB, as I type this. Also, your rMB touchpad is more sensitive. Again, I've been through this before with other systems.

    It's your thumb(s)....

    [​IMG]
    rMB

    [​IMG]
    11.6 MBA

    [​IMG]
    13" RMBP


     
  14. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #14
    No.
     
  15. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #15
    on my MacBook Pro 13" I intentionally touched the trackpad with my palm and it ignored the touch entirely ...
     
  16. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

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    Jan 12, 2004
    #16
    They do a pretty good job of ignoring palms, and disabling then re-enabling three-finger swipe helps if that issue pops up. But it's that inadvertent thumb tap that seems to plague these newer sensitive pads. It's what I'm seeing, and I've seen that sort of thing before. Again, this touchpad is very close to the space bar... probably as close or closer than any setup I've ever seen in my life.

     
  17. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #17
    When I use my bluetooth keyboard it never happens. It never happened with my 13" MBA. So, my theory is still that it has to do with accidental touch, perhaps when typing space, because the separation between the spacebar and the trackpad is so small.
     
  18. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #18
    Bingo! Years back there was a "avoid accidental touch" setting in OSX. But this went away, when Apple introduced gestures. If the problem is really problematic, you can avoid hassles by turning off the "tap to touch" feature. Weird because the problem seems to be more of an erratic swipe, but turning off that feature seems to work.

     
  19. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #19
    A properly functioning trackpad should ignore accidental touches. In some cases - my cursor jumps to a completely different window, all the way across the screen - this is not something that can be just caused by an accidental brush against the trackpad.

    I also spent about 20 minutes with a store display unit, typing away as fast as I could - no issues. I am therefore convinced it's a hardware defect with my laptop.
     
  20. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

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    Jan 12, 2004
    #20
    Was tap touch enabled on that one? Is it on yours?


     
  21. ctyrider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #21
    Yep - both. I have had touch tap enabled on all MacBooks I have ever owned.
     
  22. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #22
    Yes, that's an idea. With the MacBook trackpad's click anywhere, I never use tap to touch anymore. Now I have tried to switch it off, but since the problem is intermittent it's hard to say if it works yet.
     
  23. norbinhouston macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Houston
    #23
    OK dude, just take it in for replacement then! LOL, why so defensive? We're only trying to help you out.
     
  24. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #24
    you are the only one that could see that... if you think is hardware, take your MB to the Apple Store
     
  25. whodatrr, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #25
    Obviously, the OP has the problem well in-hand. Since OP was bringing the rMB back for the mushy key anyhow, might as well get them to look at the trackpad.

    Now, for everyone else having this issue, a few things:
    1. The new trackpad is, perhaps, the most sensitive trackpad ever made
    2. The new trackpad is, perhaps, closer to the space bar than any laptop made in the history of mankind
    3. The space bar is the most commonly used key in, perhaps, every language known to man
    4. The "inadvertent touch" function is now buried in OS X, supposedly on by default since gestures were incorporated
    5. We now have new hardware and a new OS. Sometimes it takes a while for Apple to get around to adjustments
    6. This is a hard problem to diagnose, as it's dependent upon the habits of the typists. Me, I'm a sloppy thumb-er who has dealt with this issue on many platforms. And yes, I'm now dealing with it on my rMB. And a very slight palm swipe is probably indistinguishable form a digit. Yes, they do a good job at palms resting or squatting on the pad, but a slight swipe may be another things entirely?
    7. If it's driving you crazy and you type with swiping thumbs\palms as I do, disabling tap touch is a workaround. yeah, it sucks, but turning it off will avoid the problem, until Apple tweaks the inadvertent touch capability. I know, it's weird because the symptom seems more like a swipe than a touch, but it works.
    8. One other wildcards that can exacerbate the situation can be a bluetooth mouse/trackpad nearby with a low battery. Apple also suggest running First Aid on the volume, but that may be grasping at straws? They also point to 3rd party power adapters and other weird gymnastics, but that's never been the case with me.

    Been through this before in both Mac and Windows worlds. Software updates usually wind up helping. But this is also physics: sensitive trackpad + pad closer to space bar than anything ever made + space bar most used key + new hardware and OS = unpredictability for some typists.

    This is highly dependent on the habits of the typist. And I said thumbs, but I also think that very slight swipes of the palm may be at play here, at least with how I type and what I've seen. This is a tiny setup, and the proximity of the trackpad to the KB makes it tough. Again, I've dealt with this issue on many systems, probably because I suck so badly at typing.

    I've also seen software updates fix this problem in the past. I once had a tiny ThinkPad that exhibited this issue so badly that I entirely disable the touchpad, sticking to that goofy pointer-joystick. Then, one day a driver patch made the problem magically disappear... or at least it made the trackpad somewhat useable.

    Again, OP, not saying that this is you, because your system is special. But for everyone else, hope some of the above may help?
     

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