updated 03:15 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2007
Leopard battery, keyboard
Apple's release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard appears to have brought with it battery drain and intermittent keyboard freezing issues, which are plaguing some MacBook and MacBook Pro owners. Numerous posts in Apple's support forums for both notebooks detail an issue that essentially shuts down the keyboard at random intervals, and affected owners report having to restart or wake their systems if the problem doesn't resolve itself in good time. Trackpads and external keyboards still function normally, however, as noted by AppleInsider.
Users attempting to correct the problem have gone so far as to reset the affected notebook's PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) to no avail. Users also say they are still experiencing the problem on freshly-installed Macs, which effectively rules out third-party software as the culprit.
The frozen keyboard issue appears to afflict Apple-branded Intel-based notebook of all ages, with freezes beginning immediately for some or become more frequent over time. The issue persists through Apple's latest Mac OS X 10.5.1 update, and users report experiencing no problems when running Tiger for months prior to their latest upgrade.
Some users suggest that force-quitting Finder temporarily re-activates the keyboard, and one forum poster said he noticed his internal keyboard disappearing from the USB device list in Apple's System Profiler utility whenever the input device was unresponsive.
Battery life issues tied to Leopard release?
There appears to be no quick solution, however, for users encountering shortened battery life on MacBooks converted to Leopard. Some users are reporting on Apple's forums that where Tiger allowed a normal three hours or so of notebook use, they are now down to two or less. "My laptop has become unportable," says a poster in one thread.
Apple does not yet have an official solution for the problem, and has not replied to complaints. It has been suggested by users that the problem may be attributable to taxing new features in Leopard, particularly its enhanced graphical interface. A solution claimed by one user is unrelated, though, and involves fully draining and recharging a battery, and then repeating the process. Many users further say that the draining technique has not worked for them.