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MacBook Pro quality control


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#1 faraway.

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:34

Thanks for hearing me out on this:

I just recently purchased a fully spec'd out MacBook Pro 15 inch (non-Retina with a hi-res antiglare display).

This is my first laptop and I'd like to keep it for many many years. This thing set me back over 3K, so I sort of expect a quality machine in every respect.

I have 2 quibbles with this machine:

1) The keyboard: In a word, abysmal. I'm used to these black chiclet style MacBook keys being MUCH softer/mushier and MUCH quieter (near silent) than the ones I have. The ones I have feel cheap, hollow, and they are INCREDIBLY loud/clicky sounding. I'm pretty sure everyone can hear me type in a quiet room, no matter what the size. One of my favorite things about MacBooks has always been these black keys and how they felt. Somehow, I feel like Apple is using another manufacturer to meet demand with some of my friends getting the much higher quality/quieter keys and some people like myself receiving these cheap and loud keys. ANY thoughts on this would be appreciated. I've tried taking my machine in to Apple Stores in my area and none of the associates seem to agree with me that the keys feel and sound different despite looking the same. I also tried calling Apple and they seemed oblivious to this issue. I've written them a few times as well with no response. I'm considering taking my machine to a smaller, specialty Mac place to see what they think, but I am really really unhappy with the keyboard.

I am over the 30 day return period because I've had no time to take it in as I've been using it for work and school. Is it possible to demand a replacement keyboard or a replacement machine altogether?

2) The trackpad: It's near perfect, but sometimes it loses track of where I want the cursor to go. I try to get to something on my screen in the top left, but instead the cursor remains in the middle. Little things like that that come up rarely. It's definitely annoying.

Anyway, the main concern is the keyboard, so I really appreciate any and all replies on this.

Thanks so much!


#2 wv@gt

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:38

Not sure about number 1 too much. I have never paid that close attention to the chicklet key noise on the mbp. They all sound the same to me.

As far as number 2 goes, My this happens to me on my trackpad, not sure if its a dirty trackpad or oily fingers.

#3 OP faraway.

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:50

Thanks for your post.

See, it's only when I point it out to people and they actually use/hear the keys that they realize the difference. Sometimes, you can't see all with your eyes and that's tough for some people.

I should stress again that they LOOK the same as all the other keys Apple uses, but I assure you that these are much louder and they really feel cheap.

Perhaps it is a dirty trackpad or oily fingers. I'll keep that in mind.

#4 Chris

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:13

Book a Genius Bar at a local Apple Store, explain the issues you are having. Say you aren't happy, they may replace the machine considering its not that old. Even after going to the store before, complain again.

#5 Brian M.

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 14:04

They use different manufacturers for different parts. Keyboards *all* sound different - if I put my old Mid 2010 MBP next to my retina and they sounded different. Heck, even the two retinas I had for a brief while sounded different (first had loud clicks, this one's really soft sounding). If you go in and be nice they might help you out - but I doubt going in and "demanding" stuff will get you very far.

As for number 2 - it sounds like one of two things - either a software glitch, or static interference. If you're using the short plug, it's not grounded and you may find that the trackpad behaves a little erratically if you have static build up on your clothes :p. Tapping a radiator or something should stop it :).

#6 xendrome

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 14:07

Honestly this has nothing to do with "Quality Control". Quality Control would be implied when the unit is being assembled, you are either having issue with the actual design of the unit or technical problems. It sounds like technical problems or a defect. So as others have said, I'd get it to the Apple store

#7 OP faraway.

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 17:35

Thanks for all of the replies! Great insights.

I'll try a Genius Bar at an Apple Store for sure. I'll post here again about my experience.

Wow, I didn't realize the trackpad thing could be a static issue. I think that might be it.

@Brian M: You agree with me that the softer keys feel better though, right? Let me know what you prefer from the machines you've had.

#8 +d5aqoëp

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 17:44

Yes take it in. My 2010 MBP has nice soft keys which make no sound while typing. Maybe they have changed the design of keyboard or something. But compare head to head another MBP in apple store in front of the genius and then try for exchange or replacement keyboard.

Be polite and do not pi** them off. You should come off as a person on whom everyone will have pity. lol but seriously that works.

#9 OP faraway.

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:07

Will definitely let you all know what happens! I'll be respectful and just explain my feelings using the keys. Hoping for the best.

#10 Brian M.

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:35

Thanks for all of the replies! Great insights.

I'll try a Genius Bar at an Apple Store for sure. I'll post here again about my experience.

Wow, I didn't realize the trackpad thing could be a static issue. I think that might be it.

@Brian M: You agree with me that the softer keys feel better though, right? Let me know what you prefer from the machines you've had.


I actually preferred the louder clicking one. Although I imagine everyone else in the room prefers the quieter one!

#11 allan.nyholm

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:37

In any store there's always a level of noise - so the thing about you hearing the keyboard and they are not, might turn into something terrible where you're standing firmly on yours and them on theirs - perhaps saying that your keyboard sounds like a keyboard within the range of what a keyboard could sound like.

But try bringing it in.

#12 Brian M.

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:39

In any store there's always a level of noise - so the thing about you hearing the keyboard and they are not, might turn into something terrible where you're standing firmly on yours and them on theirs - perhaps saying that your keyboard sounds like a keyboard within the norm.


It *is* normal. Apple makes no claims as to the noise their keyboard make before they sell a machine ;). And they can take it out the back to listen to it.

#13 n_K

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:57

I find my mother's apple USB keyboard to be about the same noise as an IBM USB keyboard, and a 2006 macbook keyboard to be slightly louder than that... Unless the noise is incredibly loud though I can't see why you'd complain about it :s.
If you want a noiseless keyboard, get a silicon USB one or the laser projection USB one :p

#14 threetonesun

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 17:00

Unless you got the magic mechanical Macbook Pro, I don't see how the keyboard could actually be louder. I wouldn't call mine quiet, to be honest, there are definitely quieter laptops out there with squishier keys.

#15 OP faraway.

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 23:12

I mean there's no way I'm getting another separate keyboard. I shouldn't have to -- I just want the experience that sanke1 describes on his MacBook Pro. I know it exists and those quiet keys are all over Apple stores on some of the machines. The loud ones are present as well.

Yes, I'm aware of the noise in Apple stores which I figured would be a problem. That's why I brought up maybe going to a smaller specialty Mac store in my original post. I'll give it my best shot at the Apple store, though. I'll try to make them feel and hear the keys. If we could possibly go in a back room maybe that could work?

Tough to describe this problem, I guess. I'll try recording the sound of the keys.