9 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2008 12:28 PM by thevineyard
Gabe H Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Just got a new aluminum macbook yesterday. They keyboard seems particularly nice, with solid quiet key action, with one exception. The spacebar is very noisy. I guess it is a clacking sound. I hate to be nit-picky about these things, but it is very obvious when I press the spacebar as I'm typing.

Has anyone else noticed this? I've compared against all the other notebooks (including older MacBooks) I have access to, and this new one has by far the loudest spacebar.

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.5), 4 GB RAM
  • 1. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    dorme1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the same issue. I thought it was just me, but I tried out my other macbook and yeah, it sounds like something is loose under the space bar...not too big of a deal though.
  • 2. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    jweins5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Don't settle.

    I got mine yesterday morning, finally opened up in the evening and my 7 key was not depressing into the keyboard properly. So, I took it into the apple store and they found a SCREW (they described it as an eyeglasses screw) under the key. I took it home, about 40 minutes later I'm playing with the optical drive. I pop in a CD and it starts making a crunching sound. Needless to say my computer is on its way back to apple and is no longer my computer. I'll be receiving the replacement in a few days.

    Don't settle.
  • 3. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    Peter K. Grether Level 4 Level 4 (2,885 points)
    This is normal behavior unfortunately on the these Apple keyboards. The space bar even does the same thing on the wireless BT and wired chicklet keyboards.
  • 4. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    comspy Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Compared to my old white MacBook, the spacebar is noticeably louder as well.
  • 5. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    Gabe H Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Followup:

    Before posting my original message, I did compare the sound of the spacebar against two plastic MacBooks, a Dell laptop, and an Apple aluminum "chick-let" keyboard. My new aluminum MacBook's spacebar was the loudest of all of them.

    Last night I went to the local Apple store and tested several of the laptops there. I tested several new Aluminum MacBooks, a MacBook Air, and a (late 2008) Aluminum MacBook Pro. There was quite a bit of ambient noise in the store, so it was difficult to compare the loudness of the spacebar against what I heard in my quiet office at home. I did determine that the spacebar noise varied between all the notebooks I tried. I would say that a few of them seemed much quieter than mine, possibly approaching the level of my old plastic MacBook. However, several of them seemed potentially just as loud as my new MacBook (again allowing for the difficulty of comparing sound levels in a noisy store).

    I spoke to a genius who told me that I could bring my MacBook in for a keyboard swap if I wanted to. He said they could do it in the store. I custom ordered mine from Apple with 4GB of RAM, so I would have to work with the online store if I wanted to replace the entire notebook. If Apple determined it wasn't a defect, I'd be charged a 10% restocking fee for the swap.

    Because so many of the models in the store appear to have the same noisy spacebar, and with all the complaints about slanted function keys (which mine seems to have a few of as well), I've decided to just sit tight for now. In a few months when Apple works out the QC issues on the new keyboards, I may take mine in for a keyboard replacement. Until then, I'll enjoy using this new notebook. Even with this one issue, this is the the most satisfying laptop I've ever owned, and I'm very happy with it.

    Thanks to everyone for all the feedback.
  • 6. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    hari-bhari Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I have the same issue with my new MBP as well. My old MBP was much quieter, but this spacebar is very loud and its obvious in class which makes it a problem. I'll goto the Apple store this wknd and see what they say. Maybe it will get quieter with use.
  • 7. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    Trevor Weimer Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    +1
    I was so thrilled to get my first mac laptop after using the G5 towers for the longest time, since they came out actually. Now I barely want to type on it due to the loud space bar. I thought i was the only one and was actually afraid to re search it. I had doubts Apple would drop the ball this badly, we do pay a premium for better built machines than acer, dell and so forth. My slim aluminum keyboard is excellent and all keys are whisper quiet. I am planning on getting the wireless keyboard and I'll try it out in the store to be sure I don't get a clanker.
  • 8. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    Prof. Susan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I thought I was the only one. I did exactly what Gabe did with testing,going to the Genius bar and trying to determine what to do. As a 40+ year user of PCs who just made the switch, I am in heaven with everything else about this Mac that I can't see giving it up. I am hoping that Apple with fix it.

    Here's the latest of what I found out from the Genius:
    This new late 2008 Macbook is definitely rugged because the aluminum casing is placed over the keyboard. All the keys have one sensitive spring that sends the message to the board. The space bar has 4 springs. From my elementary design view, these 4 springs could be made of a different material to quiet them down. What doesn't add up is why the other keys are quiet and the space bar isn't. It can't be because of the number of springs.

    One person actually said the noise from the space bar helped people type faster.
    That's a stretch in my book....but as a communications professor, I can see some of that logic.

    Bottom line: what do I do? what do we do?

    I originally bought the high end Sony laptop which I returned because ALL the keys had that clicky noise. And, although the machine was brilliant, the noise blew my thinking and was most disturbing to any one sitting next to me in the library, classroom or late night plane.

    I know they can fix this. I think a little pressure on Apple to put it on the agenda might be a good idea.... especially if it comes from loyal fans.

    Anyone agree?
  • 9. Re: Excessively loud space bar?
    thevineyard Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just bought my MBP and have the same problem. I'm so disappointed in Apple. The machine is sleek and powerful but when I type and the space bar makes a lot of noise. I called, went back to the store with it, called again. The guys said it should quiet down with usage. I like the idea mentioned above of waiting a few months to have the keyboard replaced and give them a chance to improve this bogus design.