Shiny Keys on MacBook Air & Pro Are Ugly and Shouldn’t Happen

Shiny Keys on MacE book Air & Pro Are Ugly and Shouldn’t Happen.

Shiny keys on a MacBcook Air 15-inch model looking cheap and grossShiny keys on a MacBcook Air 15-inch model looking cheap and gross

One of the worst issues in regards to the MacE book Air and MacE book Pro is the shiny key problem. If you’re unfamiliar, the image above demonstrates the start levels of the shiny key improvement on my in any other case lovely six month previous MacE book Air, seen totally on the shift key, however “A” and “S” are additionally starting to show the hallmark worn key shine.

The shiny keys are unmistakable, and the damage happens after routine use of MacE book keyboards. For some customers they develop inside weeks(!) and for others it will possibly take a 12 months or more to look, however evidently nearly each MacE book person who varieties on their built-in keyboard will finally expertise the shiny keys problem.

Many customers assume the shiny key look is attributable to pores and skin oils or grime staining the keys, after which strive unsuccessfully to scrub them. But after digging into this a bit myself, it seems the shiny keys are possible the results of bodily put on to the plastic itself, whereby they’re getting polished and worn from continuous utilization. The shiny keys are mainly the keys which can be getting used probably the most.

I’ll reduce straight to my opinion; the shiny keys look dangerous, marring the looks of those in any other case lovely, costly, and premium Apple laptops. I feel it provides the MacE book keyboards an affordable, soiled, typically even grotesque look because it makes it appear to be the keyboards are perpetually greasy from french-fry-munching fingers, and this merely shouldn’t be occurring.

Mostly Cosmetic, But Not

Yes that is principally a beauty problem, because the keys proceed to operate advantageous regardless of wanting like they’re been greased by crisco. But it’s not solely beauty both, as a result of there are a lot of individuals who hunt-and-peck to kind, who’re studying to kind, or who merely aren’t contact typers, and the shiny keys finally put on down much more and finally lose the letters and numbers on them, and thereby lose the visible indicators of what keys are what.

It’s not simply you (and I), worn shiny keys are frequent!

Many fashionable Apple and tech bloggers have skilled and griped about shiny keys on the MacE book Pro and MacE book Air, so we’re actually not alone right here.

MG Siegler, tech blogger turned VC, expresses frustration and resignation to the issue:

This is my single largest drawback with all Apple laptops over the previous a number of years. The black key caps look completely disgusting over time. There isn’t any avoiding it. And no cleansing it. Believe me, I’ve tried.

MG Siegler has a MacBook with shiny keys developing on the space barMG Siegler has a MacBook with shiny keys developing on the space bar
(MG Siegler’s shiny key proven prominently on spacebar and worn look creating on the “N” key)

John Gruber @ DaringFireball suggests the shiny key problem is as a result of utilization of chintzy plastics:

Here’s a gripe. The keys on Apple’s fashionable keyboards all develop a shine over time, beginning with the most-used keys. It seems to be like oil out of your pores and skin, nevertheless it’s not — you may’t clear it off. It’s erosion of the plastic. Long story quick, ABS plastic is more generally used on keycaps as a result of it’s cheaper; PBT plastic is costlier. ABS plastic keycaps develop a shine the more they’re used; PBT keycaps don’t. Apple has solved this drawback earlier than — the Extended Keyboard II I exploit at my desk was manufactured within the twentieth century however the one and solely key with any shine to it’s the house bar. They ought to clear up it once more.

To be clear, I do not know what sort of plastic Apple makes use of for its keycaps. I’m simply saying that it’s well-known that cheaping out on the supplies used to provide keycaps leads to keys that get shiny over time. Apple is an organization that prides itself on its supplies engineering and the sturdiness of its products, and they also may repair this in the event that they cared. And they need to care.

Shiny keys worn on M1 MacBook ProShiny keys worn on M1 MacBook Pro
(M1 MacE book Pro displaying worn shiny keys with polished greasy look, image from colleague)

Apple blogger Michael Swengel additionally blames the kind of plastic used, and has not discovered an answer both:

It’s a reality of life for MacBooks that after a brief time frame, their keys begin to put on and get shiny. No, it’s not dust. It’s not oil. It’s attributable to the ABS plastic of the keyboard’s keycaps sporting ever so barely.

This is one thing that Mark Ellis and others have identified, they usually’re proper. It is an issue, nevertheless it shouldn’t be.

I seen mine beginning to exhibit indicators of wear and tear after about two weeks of proudly owning my Mac. Frustrated, I instantly tried to discover a resolution. A keyboard cowl isn’t an incredible concept as a result of that may put strain on the show when the laptop computer is closed — probably leaving marks on the show’s glass and even inflicting the display to crack.

m2 MacBook Air with shiny greasy looking keys from worn key plasticm2 MacBook Air with shiny greasy looking keys from worn key plastic
(Reader submitted shiny keys showing worn on M2 MacE book Air)

There are additionally tons of discussion board posts and footage about shiny keys, worn keys, polished keys, stained keys, individuals discuss with them in a different way, however they’re showing on Apple‘s own support discussion forums, MacRumors Forums, myriad reddit threads, and elsewhere. And yes, it does happen with some third party keyboards and PC keyboards too, but we’re specializing in the world of Apple laptop computer keyboards right here.

MacBook Air shiny keys from Apple forumsMacBook Air shiny keys from Apple forums
(Above shiny key image of an M2 MacE book Air keyboard by way of this Apple help thread)

Is there a repair for shiny keys?

Some customers have been in a position to efficiently get Apple to exchange their keyboard that exhibits shiny keys below the AppleCare guarantee, nevertheless it’s solely a matter of time earlier than the brand new keys get shiny once more too. Others have tried to exchange the keyboard that displays the shiny key look and have been rejected from guarantee protection, apparently being informed it’s anticipated regular put on and tear.

Some customers simply resign themselves to it, with feedback like “shiny keys are just the way of the world when it comes to these devices”, and lots of search options.

Some blame themselves, assuming they have to be typing with soiled fingers, or maybe their explicit pores and skin PH or pores and skin oils are the problem, and have borderline neurotic routines earlier than typing on their laptops, to no avail.

You’ll discover some suggestions to make use of key cap stickers, or a keyboard cowl.

Some individuals are even resorting to using sandpaper to buff the shine off the keys (this looks like a really dangerous concept, I don’t advocate!).

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how a lot you clear the keyboard itself both, as a result of the keys apparently are literally bodily sporting, slightly than getting greasy or soiled.

Four month old Apple Silicon MacBook Pro 16 inch with shiny keys developing on spacebar and other keysFour month old Apple Silicon MacBook Pro 16 inch with shiny keys developing on spacebar and other keys
(4 month previous MacE book Pro 16″ mannequin displaying improvement of shiny keys by way of MacRumorsForums thread on the topic)

No excuses for premium products?

Given that MacE book Air and MacE book Pro laptops price wherever from $1000 to a whopping $7200, relying in your explicit configuration, are simply worn out shiny keys to be anticipated? The shiny keyboards appear to be they belong on low cost practically disposable $250 PC laptops (although it must be famous that some PC laptops don’t have the shiny key drawback, quoting Mac’O’Clock: “My Dell XPS […] exhibits zero signs of wear on the keycaps”,), that is actually not one thing you’d anticipate on a premium product just like the MacE book line.

Ultimately the trigger doesn’t matter a lot, as a result of the worn shiny keys on the MacE book Air and MacE book Pro look dangerous and are unbecoming of premium products, and I feel Apple ought to treatment this drawback. Better plastics? Better coatings? I don’t know, however Apple had an R&D finances of $30 billion for 2023 so I belief they will determine it out! Also, contemplating that Apple lately modified the coating on the Midnight colour MacE book Air in order that it exhibits fewer fingerprints, why not take an analogous therapy to the keyboards of those in any other case improbable laptops?

Chime in! Do you’ve got shiny worn keys? Do you care?

Have you expertise the worn keys or shiny key problem in your MacE book Air or MacE book Pro? How lengthy did it take on your Mac laptop computer to exhibit shiny keys? Do you care in regards to the beauty facet of your keys sufficient to gripe about this problem? Am I merely neurotic to dislike the shiny keys?! Share any and all your ideas, perspective, and experiences within the feedback under.

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