rMB keyboard repair

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by pollycat, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. pollycat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    #1
    Bought my rMB 12 in June and have had no problems with it, love the size and screen and the incredible speakers.

    Then, in the past week or so, it seems several keys have started to "die" on me. The space bar is the worst, it will only now register a click if hit in the middle, nothing at the ends, and the ends look sunk / depressed into the base. Other keys sometimes also fail to register when typing, though not consistently.

    I must admit, it's been an adjustment getting used to the new keyboard: it feels very "hard", almost like typing on glass, and it makes a loud noise when I type, I find myself "pounding" quite often to make sure the keys get depressed enough to register. Maybe all this pounding wore things out?

    Anyway, took it to the Genius Bar at my Apple Store here in Hong Kong and they are going to replace the entire "top" unit, including the entire keyboard. But they don't have any in stock, so will take a week to order, then several days to do the repair. Bummer.

    Just adding this post as an FYI if others are having keyboard issues and want to know how common / uncommon it may be. I'll update once the repair is done if anyone's interested.
     
  2. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #2
    Sorry to hear this and I am more concerned your case is 5 months on where others seem just after a week or two
     
  3. iscajal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #3
    I can only add my own anecdote to this: I've had issues after 4 months as well, with a key failing, then just falling off. I went through two swapped topcases, each of which had different mushy/sunken keys, then they gave me a completely new device - which initially had a perfect keyboard as well, but only after two weeks one of the keys starts to feel different and I suspect it won't be long until that one goes as well.

    FWIW, I'm a very gentle typist and I treat my hardware well, but after having seen the plastic bits that hold those keys up, I'm not terribly surprised they break by the dozen (as the forum threads here would indicate). I really hope this gets sorted out in the future and we can get fixed keyboards, because apart from that, this thing is stellar.
     
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #4
    I personally would push hard for a replacement. I use mine every single day for work, and could not be without one.
     
  5. polee macrumors 6502a

    polee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #5
    Yes please keep up posted. Would be interesting to know if the replacement keyboard is an improvement over your present.
     
  6. tdrew macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2015
  7. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #7
    Why on earth would anyone ever need a keyboard protector?
     
  8. sasha.danielle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    #8
    I have another thread about this as well. There appears to be a serious design flaw here. I'm on keyboard number three now. Each time they replaced the full top. They tell me each top is worth 300 dollars. I imagine at some point it just makes sense for them to replace with a different kind of machine. I'm beyond upset though. This is a $1500 machine, for f's sake, and they can't get the keyboard to not disintegrate. If it's happening to so many people, how did this not show up in the testing phase?

    My previous replacement keyboard lasted weeks.

    I too have seen the mechanism inside. It's cheap plastic garbage.
     
  9. pollycat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    #9
    UPDATE: So I got my machine back yesterday with the top case / keyboard replaced. The repair took six days in total.

    The new keyboard feels EXACTLY the same as the old one did when I first got the machine. No keys feel unusual or "mushy" so far, but it's still the usual MacBook keyboard with very little key travel. It is no worse, but definitely no kind of improvement.

    Anyway, I'm happy enough if I can type on it without worrying about missing keystrokes and failing keys. Let's see how long it lasts.

    Incidentally, I picked up one of the new Magic Keyboards for my desktop iMac a couple of weeks ago. This also uses the new "scissors" mechanism but has a lot more key travel on it and feels oh-so comfortable to type on and oh-so solid compared to the MacBook keyboard; to me, anyway. Maybe something like the Magic Keyboard will work its way into future MacBook / MacBook Pro revisions?
     
  10. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    Jun 28, 2015
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    Western Hemisphere
    #10
    Due to my truly honest feedback pros & cons, I often get attacked by those who maintain that anything said other than gushing praise is a lie. I only say this as a qualifier.

    My rMB which sees heavy use of the keyboard has been stellar. So good my wife bought her own. That one is excellent as well. So my daughter buys one, two days later it begins to get noises like a distinct clicking. Less than a week later it's at the Genius Bar. To keep a very long story short, she's on replacement rMB number three and ready to give up.

    It's experiences like this that sadly, have caused me to lose trust in Apple and their quality. Why the drastic difference? Face to face with the store manager even he's doing his best to not reveal his discomfort of dealing with the highly variable issues. I've had them on lots of Apple products, largely since I buy huge amounts of Apple hardware.

    I'm not looking for perfection, just consistency like Apple once delivered. :)
     
  11. polee macrumors 6502a

    polee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #11
    This is worrisome, how quality can vary so much within the same model...
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    I don't know if they're all keyboard failures, but as time goes on, I am seeing a lot of keyboard issue threads here, and that is definitely giving me pause.

    Aside from the usual gen 1 discussions, I truly wonder if the new keyboard design, or assembly has an inherent fault.
     
  13. mattopotamus, Nov 21, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2015

    mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #13
    Correct. The new magic trackpad uses a new scissors mechanism. The macbook uses a butterfly mechanism, so they are different.

    I wonder if it is just that easy to "push" a key too hard that is causes it to recess.
     
  14. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #14
    It certainly seems that keys fail too often for my liking, I don't recall this number of problems with keys with the MBA's for example
     
  15. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #15
    I've had a problem with my spacebar a couple of times, but I've been able to remove it and fix it myself. Still, seeing the mechanism that they rely on, I agree that this is likely to be a problem spot in the long run. The plastic portions of the mechanism are TINY compared to the scissors on most laptop keyboards. Those parts being relatively fragile paired with the lack of travel means there just isn't much tolerance for things to go wrong. I'd be buying Apple Care for this laptop in large part because of the keyboard - although I've also had a logic board failure already.
     
  16. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #16
    I do ask myself, why these types of issues that seem to occur early on in the life of the computer don't appear during Apple's testing phase.

    Giving them every benefit of the doubt, knowing they certainly want to put their best foot forward so to speak, and that they are doing a very comprehensive series of tests based on their years of experience, it's a puzzling situation.
     
  17. sasha.danielle macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #17
    How did you take it off without breaking it?
     
  18. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #18
    That's a good point, I never buy Apple Care as I do not keep them long enough to worry and so far of all the Mac's I have bought over the years (+20) for me and family we have only had problems with dying batteries on the Grand parents 4 year old models we have gifted and one that has had an OWC SDD upgrade failure twice, so not an Apple fault.

    Having said that I have had to buy 5 new power bricks due to fatigue on the cables but Apple Care does not cover this.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #19
    That very thought is what I'm grappling with. Apple isn't perfect, but these issue with the keyboard seem out of character with their QC test.
     
  20. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #20
    Im using one on my MacBook Pro since the 2009 model ...
     
  21. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #21
    Not really. Previous keyboards were all essentially variations of the same technology. The keyboard on the new MacBook is entirely new, therefore the issues people are experiencing are the result of poor QC testing. They need to learn from this and ensure their testing is more stringent and thorough.
     
  22. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #22
    You would think Apple would be similar to Ikea eg having some robotic finger typing up and down zillions of times, having said that I think I read that for such a large company their R&D % is quite modest compared to some
     
  23. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #23
    I seem to remember the first-gen MBA had similar issues with the hinge. They all worked fine at first, but eventually it would be looser and looser, and eventually it pretty much break. Some lasted longer than others.

    I know this isn't helpful to the issue at hand, and it has been said already, but this really smells of a typical first-gen problem. It's typical to the industry in general, and typical to Apple. Remember the first-gen unibody Macbook Pro? It also had issues...
     
  24. agone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    #24
    I bought my rMacbook in September. I am currently typing on my third replacement. First it was the U key. Went squishy and didn't register without really pressing on it in about two and a half weeks in. The second computer lasted a little over three weeks, then my spacebar started feeling funny and only registering when pressed in the middle. My newest replacement was 5 days old when the spacebar went squishy. So far, it is still registering key strokes fine though. Super frustrated! I love this computer, I even love the feel of the keyboard, but I cannot keep getting it replaced. It takes hours and hours to go get a new one and then set it up the way I like. I am actually saving all my work to the cloud at this point, because I might have to go get a new computer at any moment and don't want to have to worry about keeping it constantly backed up.

    I don't want a macbook pro, as it is way more then I need at this point in my life. Plus it would a terrible time to buy one since they are supposed to be releasing a new one soon, but I feel like I may have to as I am starting to get burned out on replacing my computer over and over. ARGH!
     
  25. gbederson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    #25
    I had a surprising turn of events with my macbook keyboard recently. It had been replaced by Apple in the summer and then started to go bad again last month. I took it to the shop expecting Apple to repair it again. But they suggested that I simply return it, and offered me a store credit for the full amount. Their explanation was that I must be eating around the computer a lot (true) and that the keyboard is very sensitive to crumbs getting inside of it. I found it very generous of them to offer a full refund, and the fact is that I had become very unhappy with the Macbook keyboard anyway - I just could never use it properly, because the tiny amount of key travel made it impossible to feel exactly where my fingers were without looking.

    Even if the problem with my keyboards was caused by food crumbs getting inside, the design is clearly defective. Still, Apple's customer service is phenomenal, and the Time Capsule backups are extremely reliable and easy, so returning to my Macbook Air (even though it is not the streamlined ultra modern design of the new computer) was very comfortable.
     

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