August 20, 2018
Recently I have been having some issues with my late 2013 MacBook Pro 15″ (the model without dedicated graphics).
The trackpad mainly stopped registering a click. Sometimes it only recognized a click when pressed on either left or right side and so on. It did still click though. Also there was a feel on the top case like it’s slightly bulging.
A quick Google search made it clear, it’s got to be a bulging battery that is preventing the trackpad of functioning properly. Self replacing the battery would be out of question for me as I wasn’t willing to start to mess around with disassembly required to do so, and the battery is glued to the top case. And also I wasn’t be able to be exactly sure whether the trackpad problems originate from the bulge or whether the trackpad itself had a some kind of damage.
So it was obvious that I needed this to be looked at, so I made a reservation in Omotesando Applestore and took it in. The man quickly diagnosed the problem to be indeed a battery starting to bulge. So he offered the repair which would mean replacement of the entire top case with keyboard, trackpad, battery and so forth. It cost about 21000 yen including the repair cost. Now this is OOW; out of warranty type affair. I accepted the offer.
I took my machine there on Friday and got it back today Monday. They sent me mail around noon yesterday (Sunday). That’s three days. So this morning I picked up the machine.
Indeed, the top case is brand new and trackpad has it’s original feel and perfect operation. I am quite happy with this service. I don’t think 21000 yen is too bad for this. At least it wasn’t logic board.
However, I do notice that the keyboard feels different, a little a bit more spongy. This could be just me gotten used to the old, worn one. It might be that this is how new MacBook Pro keyboards used to feel, at least before the new butterfly mechanism that so many have had issues with.
If I had bought replacement battery and tried to fix that by myself, I well, might have botched the job and ruined the computer. What I understood from poking around a bit in the internet, removing glued batteries require use of some kind of heat-gun or solvent that would dissolve the glue. I wouldn’t be comfortable working with either of them near my computer. And even of this was successful operation, I wouldn’t still have gotten new keyboard and trackpad. Those things do suffer from wear and tear.
So yes, I am satisfied with the service I got from Apple. This computer has been very reliable tool for me. The first one I got suffered from loose Thunderbolt ports and got warranty repair once. The machine suffers from very brief small flicker sometimes in the screen; I believe this is due to wifi interference as mentioned by other people in the internet. I have not used this machine with wifi turned off; I might indeed try that just to see if it makes any difference.
When I was returning from the Apple Store I checked some of the current gen MacBook Pros. I cannot possibly see myself buying one just because of the dreaded keyboard issues so many people are talking about, and also I quite frankly don’t need one at the moment.
I really like Mac OS experience and I can’t see myself moving away from it; no matter how I am tempted to due to the high cost of maintaining Mac. For 3D graphics and heavy video editing I use PC, but for music and pretty much everything else I prefer staying in the Mac platform.
The iMac Pro maintenance thing (as witnessed by Linus Tech Tips and Snazzy Labs) does raise questions about how interested Apple is maintaining their computer line up. I am happy to so far report that my experience was quite good.