What can I do about my MacBook Pro's abysmal keyboard finish?
October 22, 2006 12:09 AM   Subscribe

What can I do about my MacBook Pro's abysmal keyboard finish?

I have had my 15" 1.83Ghz MBP since May. During that time, numerous keys have had their finish wear off, usually around the letter, leaving these horrible blemishes that look bad in daylight, worse when the backlit feature is on.

I'm not the only guy with this issue: http://rant.mivox.com/node/310 (with pics!) And I'm a professional writer, so I put this baby through some use. But this is straight out crap. I had a few of the keys replaced in August, and now, the E, O, L, T, N and C keys are going.

So is there any way to get better quality keys, or protect them (outside of a USB or Bluetooth keyboard) from this?
posted by jdurlowe to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Have you called AppleCare?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 AM on October 22, 2006


Have them send you a whole new keyboard. If it does it again, make them send you two.
posted by mphuie at 12:51 AM on October 22, 2006

If you can get new keys, a keyboard protector like the iSkin Protouch might be your best bet. But that's some pretty bad wear for a laptop that's less than a year old8212;I mean, the letters on a cheapie $10 keyboard don't wear nearly that quickly, and you'd think letters would wear faster than a full coat of paint.
posted by chrominance at 12:56 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm using an iSkin and I love it. That's pretty shocking; I basically use the iSkin to avoid random particles going under the keys and I only got it months after the laptop. Now I'm glad I have it to hopefully prevent that sort of deterioration.
posted by evariste at 2:00 AM on October 22, 2006

Yep, that would be a defective keyboard. Take a trip to your local Apple Store.
posted by trevyn at 2:17 AM on October 22, 2006

Nope, trevyn, that would be a perfectly functional keyboard with aesthetic issues. At least, that's what Apple's been known to argue. They might say (as they did to me two years ago when my nearly brand-new PBG4 developed similar issues -- plus some terrible pitting on the palm rests -- plus some warping of the joints of the case) that your warranty does not cover this type of thing.
posted by thejoshu at 2:21 AM on October 22, 2006

You are not complaining loudly enough, then.
posted by trevyn at 2:23 AM on October 22, 2006

Complain, and work the system; always be pleasant, Yes Sir / No Maam, but keep records, always note names & dates and stress to everyone you talk to how much of your time is being taken up by their production problem.

If necessary write letters. I had a problem with a Duo 250 and after many calls it only took a single, very polite letter with the entire history to Gil Amelio to get an Apple Tech onsite with a replacement.

I'm typing this on a two year old Aluminum 15" G4 PowerBook that has brand new shell and logic board; two distinct and separate problems, each handled as I've outlined above but neither required a letter - I just made sure they knew I was keeping accurate records, and that I "really don't want to have to keep escalating this".

First Apple replaced the entire case, and maybe six months later the logic board. I still haven't pursued the battery recall (I've got two that are covered), but when I do about the only parts of this machine that will still be original will be (as far as I can tell from the two repair ticketes) the keyboard, hard drive, the Airport Extreme Card and the power supply. If it wasn't for Parallels on the MacIntels I'd probably use this computer for another three years.

Apple's great, but sometimes you've just got to get their attention and then they'll do the right thing.

Keep pushing!
posted by Mutant at 4:34 AM on October 22, 2006

I does sound ldefective and you should pursue it. Since you asked for protectant, I wonder if a careful coat of clear nail polish would do the trick.
posted by Rumple at 10:42 AM on October 22, 2006

A few thoughts: Before trying to fix it, be absolutely sure you can't get apple to do something about it. Really, it would be a shame if they later denied a warranty claim because you put some sort of protectant on your keyboard.

Concerning protection: try one of those vinyl keyboard protectors, which work well but change the feel of the keyboard a little bit.

Warranty service: as suggested above, complain like nuts till you speak to someone who can give you satisfaction. Apple is all about maintaining their image that you pay a premium for the highest quality product. Quote that chapter and verse to the service rep, so it's clear that they are about to lose a future customer over a silly problem.
posted by drmarcj at 11:23 AM on October 22, 2006

Definitely seek redress before tryig the nailpolish. And, as part of that search, you could do worse than refer them to the few thousand eyeballs that are now aware of an (apparent) extremely irritating flaw in their product. If even one of those eyeballs doesn't buy from them (e.g., say, me: this flaw would drive me bananas, my 2 year old powerbook doesn't suffer from it, I need to replace it, I am certainly going to consider this flaw and find out more) then they have lost probably five times in profit what they would have spent in service.

Not to mention this thread will now come up highly in search engines for macbook + keyboard, etc.
posted by Rumple at 12:00 PM on October 22, 2006

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