Tiny Black Chip In New Retina Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maretus, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. maretus, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    maretus macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Hey guys. First post here and let me preface it by saying that I have Apple-centric OCD.

    I just recently bought the new retina macbook because it's amazing and Apple probably had help creating it from like Zeus or something.

    However, upon initial inspection of the device, I found several tiny black pits/chips/scratches on the palm rest of the machine. Now, there are only 2 at the moment, but I worry that they may get worse or continue popping up. Does anyone have any experience with these tiny black marks or have anyway to hide/remove the black from them? They really are small and in many lighting situations they cannot be seen at all. In other situations, they stand out like a sore thumb (to my at least).

    I realize that they are most likely a minute chip in the aluminum, but wouldn't the color underneath the anodization be the same color as the rest of the machine? Does anyone know why these small chips end up black and unsightly? Or does anyone know of a safe way to hide the black color of these?

    Lastly. As some of you may know, the retina mac is pretty scarce right now, and there is nowhere within 200 miles for me to make an exchange. So, my options are basically: Live with it (God I am trying), or return it.

    I love the computer and can't imagine going back to my old MBA now that I've seen such a beautiful display and computer in general. However, I do feel a bit miffed about this. I keep reminding myself that it is only a tool to accomplish a bigger objective, but my eyes keep tracking to the marks.

    I know these things are mass-produced and expecting perfection is a pipe dream, but part of the allure of an Apple product for me is the design and beauty. That's why I'm willing to pay extra - for the quality that I expect from an Apple product. However, it seems that in the past year or two that I have either gotten way more picky, or Apple has started slacking on QC.

    I've linked to several images below for anyone who would like to take a look. The marks really are hard to see unless you know where to look and you're in the right light.

    I know that none of you can make a decision for me and that a post like this is a bit redundant, but any advice you guys could give would be appreciated. I don't want to care about this. It's ridiculous and I know that, but for some reason I can't keep from thinking about it. I guess I just wanted this amazing piece of technology to be perfect since it's my first 2k+ laptop purchase.

    So, anyone that can help throw some sense into me would be appreciated!

  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    This has been a common issue with the MBPs that pre-dates the unibody design. It's the powder coating (a type of paint) chipping off. I'd return it ASAP if you want a replacement - the longer you wait, the weaker your case is that it came like that.
  3. maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Well, I've actually already spoken to Apple and I'm in the process of trying to get a replacement. Problem is, I bought it at Best Buy and nobody within a 200 mile radius has any in stock. I've made sure with several representatives to note the damage so if someone gets new units in stock I won't be turned away because I waited too long.

    I can probably live with the mark considering everything else about the device is perfect. The screen is flawless and undamaged along with the rest of the device. It's just these two black spots urking me. However, I've had situations before where I returned a device because of something like this only to get a new device with even more damage or functionality problems.

    I sold my previous computers to help pay for this bad-boy so returning it will leave me computer-less until I'm able to find a replacement.

    In your experience, will these get bigger over time or stay the same? I can deal if they don't get bigger, but if they do I'll be upset.

    I absolutely love using the computer and don't want to return it. But, I would prefer a unit without this or any other problems.
  4. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    Wait, what? You'd like to have a replacement without a replacement?
    It's rather confusing. Are you just whining then?
  5. maretus, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    No, I'd rather a replacement than to return it entirely. Ultimately, I'm just trying to figure out if these could possibly get bigger/worse. And maybe some re-affirmation that it's entirely possible that if I exchange this one, I could end up with one way worse.
  6. SpyderBite macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2011
    So, you want to keep both? Common sense aside. Re-read your Apple Care T&C. The answer is right there for you in back & white.
  7. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    Jeeze, its pretty clear what he's saying. He'd like to swap it out rather than return it and have NO computer for some period. Because there is no stock he feels like he either risks getting stuck with this unit, or returning it now (so no one gives him grief that he caused it) and having no computer until stock comes on. That's as plain as day!
  8. maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    My primary question is if anyone knows if these types of marks will get bigger/worse over time and I'm pretty sure that's not in the T&C.
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Personally, I could easily live that tiny little spec there. Because I know that over time, and during the course of use, I'm going to get tiny little dings and scratches on it eventually. That spec is so small, I'd feel bad returning it for such an insignificant imperfection. Now if it had functional problems, I wouldn't hesitate in exchanging it.

    I lived with a display on my iMac that looked bad in one corner for a year, until I recently got around to taking it in for a repair.



    I doubt it will get worse, unless you pick at it! :p
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It might be the pictures, but those black dots don't seem all that noticeable.

    The bottom line though is, that if it bothers you and you spent a lot of money on the laptop, then by all means get it replaced. Due to constrained inventories though I suspect you'll have to wait for a replacement.
  11. maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Thanks. I appreciate some constructive feedback.

    Deep down, I know this and would feel terrible for returning over that as well. I guess I'm just grieving lol. And trust me, I know how sad that sounds.
  12. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    Even though rmbp's are scarce, if mine has a similar issue, i will send it straight back for a refund. Thats just me being honest.
  13. Kristine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2005
    My new rMBP had something similar (small black dots) up the top left corner (near speaker). I wiped with a damp cloth, which did nothing. I then used a small amount of tea tree oil on a cotton tip and gently wiped it over the marks. The marks were removed.
  14. maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    I've tried everything I know that won't damage the finish to get them off and nothing has worked. I've tried Monster cleaner, a pencil eraser, windex, wet clothes, sponge, and even lightly with a toothbrush.

    I'm quite sure it's a nick taken out of the finish. I'm just not sure what the black part of it is. The only thing I can think is maybe it's just deep and it's darker in the nick than the rest which makes it appear black.

    I'll have to try tea tree oil though. Thanks for the suggestion.
  15. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    This is a psychological issue that we certainly can't help you with. You shouldn't even be obsessively looking at the palm rest.
  16. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Just log the issue with Apple in case it gets worse for some unknown reason. Until is possessed by a demon and metastasises into a giant aluminium-eating monster, it doesn't affect the form or function of the machine in any practical sense.

    In six months or a year, it's probably going to collect a few dings or scratches and you'll have forgotten all about the Speck of Doom.

    When I bought my beautiful guitar it had a couple of small nicks in the top... but they don't bother me too much because they don't affect the instrument in any way, and a cedar top is bound to collect a few more over time.

    Yeah, you want everything to be perfect, and if an exchange is freely available in the stores then why not. But is it seriously worth a whole lot of trouble for a little speck that you'll have forgotten all about in 3 months?

    In fact, I'm not sure why I even bothered writing this. Waste of time, just for a speck :p
  17. mdapple macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    In a couple weeks that spot will mean nothing, new items are always scrutinized imo
  18. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I would take it in to an Apple store if possible so that they can make a record of the issue with a visual inspection. That way if it worsens, or stays the same but still bothers you, you can bring it back in for a replacement once there is more stock available.

    The spots are black because raw aluminum becomes a dark black color when it oxidizes, which can happen when it is exposed to air with no protective coatings.
  19. maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Yeah, I've called Applecare to note it already just incase it does get worse.
    Hopefully it stays contained there though. Too bad there isn't some way to match the black color with the rest of the machine. I tried the tea tree oil suggestion and while at first I thought it made it look better, I think it was just a placebo affect.
  20. plexusnexus macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2012
    I don't even see anything in the images.

    Edit: I think I found one. Very tiny. Mistook it for a spot on my screen.
  21. golu14 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2012
    Delhi, India
    That makes me worried about that paint getting off with time :eek:
  22. maretus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    My concern is that it would get worse or if one was already there that more will begin showing up. I've seen the horrible images of people's MBP's getting extremely pitted after a few months of use and I worry. Part of the point of paying the apple tax is for the design and aesthetics of their devices, at least for me.
  23. golu14 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2012
    Delhi, India
    Order a 'palmguard protector' like ive already did :p
    Search ebay, theres one for 12.5$, includes trackpad protector.

    They feel just like the real aluminium and have very similar appearence.
  24. oLNutjob macrumors member


    Mar 30, 2011
    Return it for refund and wait in line for it's replacement. The extra time in wait, can be your best friend.

    (You have a "Golden Egg, Goose," and don't even realize it.)
  25. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    If you return it, it's rather likely you could get one with bigger defects.

    The new 15" BTO MBP I ordered in 2011, had a rough oval patch on the lid, about 5" in diameter that was very rough to the touch, and visibly coarse. I've never seen anything like it.

    Yet Apple was very good about replacing it. The only drawback was I had to wait until they received it, and credited my account. Once that was done it was a matter of starting all over, placing another BTO order and waiting.

    Finally after just over nine weeks I had my new MBP with just a few marks like yours. That one I kept.

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