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MacBook owners reporting glass trackpad problems

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's probably the lack of firewire that's causing these issues...............

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    remove that physical clic

    The inconsistent click should be removed altogether. When a users has to use variable clicks at different areas of the trackpad, it forces the users to be conscious of the location of the finger.

    It's flawed design that has to be fixed. Either remove it or glue it down.

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    trackpad problems?`

    Hey, trackpad problems, just like on my first generation Macbook. I sent it back for warranty repair. It was better but still not good. I bought a wireless mouse for my Macbook. Much better.

  1. t6hawk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Only problem...

    ...I've had with the glass trackpad is when using bootcamp. Trying to get the right click to work on the trackpad when in WinXP SP3 is a royal pain and needs two hands to do, if it actually works.

  1. magicbumone

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I have this issue with my new MacBook. At first I thought it was just me getting used to the new trackpad but the problem seems to be hardware/software related and not human error. I now use the trackpads touch sensitive clicking instead of actually clicking using the button.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Click issue

    The click issue is due to having the machine try and interpret a touch and a click. If you leave your finger on the pad and just press down, it doesn't register as a click. If you lift and click, it works fine. Turn off tap to click eliminated the inconsistency for me.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My brand new macbook's trackpad freaking stinks. Its fine with a mouse, but thats not why I bought a laptop, right?

    Also, it crashes on wake-from-sleep about 25% of the time. Also completely unacceptable.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What you got to expect

    With Rev A hardware!

    And leave it to Apple to improve something that never needed improving. I don't recall anyone ever complaining about a laptop's 'extra' button.

    But, hey, Apple has decided that buttons are so passe, when you can have capacitance and sensors and the like to tell when someone is clicking. Just like the miserable ... uh, I mean miraculous.... Mighty Mouse.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The problem isn't

    with the trackpad. It's a user problem. Apple high technology seems to be outpacing human capacity for adaptation. Forget about CNC machining of aluminum billets. It's humanity that needs to be re-engineered.

  1. tmedia1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if it ain't broke

    Apple once again "fixes" an non-issue with a problem. Brilliant! This is what happens when you change something for changes sake.

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