updated 05:10 pm EST, Mon November 3, 2008
MacBook trackpad problems
The glass trackpad and display hinge found in the new aluminum MacBooks have been problematic for some owners, prompting Apple to investigate, according to AppleInsider. The trackpad allegedly fails to detect clicks occasionally when pressed; as one user has described the malfunction, "You hear and feel the click -- it just doesn't register the click." The owner also complains about the lack of friction in the lid hinge, which allows the notebook to close itself when the screen is placed at an acute angle.
In response to an e-mail to Apple CEO Steve Jobs regarding both issues, the owner says he received a phone call from a company representative. Apple has not officially acknowledged the problems, but the employee did indicate that they were being investigated due to the frequency of inquiries. The representative was not able to provide a solution at the time.
The low hinge friction is reportedly an intentional design feature, a reduction of stiffness over older MacBook models. There may, however, be variance between individual devices.
The buttonless design of the trackpad was engineered to eliminate the need for the traditional Mac button, while allowing the user to customize click zones. It is unclear what part of the design is causing the malfunctions. A 13-inch MacBook owned by a MacNN staffer does not exhibit the behavior, but the number or percentage of problem devices is equally unknown.