MacBook Air Trackpad Malfunctions

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I was just as excited as everyone about the macbook Air. Yesterday I went to the Apple Store to check it out. Wow, that looks amazing, I thought as I approached it. However, after using it for a few minutes, I realized that the trackpad was acting up and not following the movements of my finger accurately. In short, the curser was moving around the screen in a very choppy manner. I asked the Apple Specialist what the deal was, and she shrugged her shoulders and told me that all of the macbook Airs they had were acting this way when plugged in to their power source. Sure enough, I unplugged the power source, and the trackpad began to work perfectly.

Anyone else experience this?

I'd watch out if your planning on buying the Air, it seems to be a pretty big problem...
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Comments

  • chrisdamacmanchrisdamacman Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricJ5 View Post


    I was just as excited as everyone about the macbook Air. Yesterday I went to the Apple Store to check it out. Wow, that looks amazing, I thought as I approached it. However, after using it for a few minutes, I realized that the trackpad was acting up and not following the movements of my finger accurately. In short, the curser was moving around the screen in a very choppy manner. I asked the Apple Specialist what the deal was, and she shrugged her shoulders and told me that all of the macbook Airs they had were acting this way when plugged in to their power source. Sure enough, I unplugged the power source, and the trackpad began to work perfectly.

    Anyone else experience this?

    I'd watch out if your planning on buying the Air, it seems to be a pretty big problem...



    I love how people blow up a small problem and get over excited about it and then call it a big problem.



    People like you in my eyes are just plain idiots, and did these kinds of problems are easily fixed with something like a firmware update or even just software update. And I'm apple are working on the problem.
  • maclemmingmaclemming Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChrisDaMacMan View Post


    I love how people blow up a small problem and get over excited about it and then call it a big problem.



    People like you in my eyes are just plain idiots, and did these kinds of problems are easily fixed with something like a firmware update or even just software update. And I'm apple are working on the problem.



    Oh you are so bloody right!!! EricJ5 has no right to post his observations or perspectives..

    How dare he come to AI and post a concern of his....

    If he were a true lemming like you and me, he would just shut up and follow the Mactard in front of him without asking any questions or causing any problems...





    "People like you in my eyes are just plain idiots".....

    Classic!!!
  • mdotdubzmdotdubz Posts: 244member
    Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...



    It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!
  • brianbbrianb Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdotdubz View Post


    Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...



    It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!



    Ditto to the above. Trackpad works awesome, plugged in or otherwise..not a single malfunction or abnormality.



    I LOVE my Air!!



    (FYI, the so called mac "geniuses" are usually not much more intelligent than your average BestBuy employee..take what they say with a grain of salt)
  • mdotdubzmdotdubz Posts: 244member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianb View Post


    Ditto to the above. Trackpad works awesome, plugged in or otherwise..not a single malfunction or abnormality.



    I LOVE my Air!!



    (FYI, the so called mac "geniuses" are usually not much more intelligent than your average BestBuy employee..take what they say with a grain of salt)



    Hehe, I dunno... I think the Geniuses are maybe a tad smarter than the Best Buy kids. The BB kids imho are total idiots...and i'm saying this because I know at least of a half a dozen kids who work there. complete idiots.
  • pgm1@cornell.edupgm1@cornell.edu Posts: 1member
    If it happened to you, it would be a BIG problem.



    That exact problem is happening to me--and life sucks--and Applecare is clueless so far



    It's okay to be an Apple fan, but don't be so blind.



    Thanks Eric, yours was the best post describing the subject I could find
  • bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdotdubz View Post


    Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...



    It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!



    Ditto. Trackpad works fine, plugged in or on battery. Never a single hiccup in several months of daily use.
  • bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pgm1@cornell.edu View Post


    If it happened to you, it would be a BIG problem.



    That exact problem is happening to me--and life sucks--and Applecare is clueless so far



    It's okay to be an Apple fan, but don't be so blind.



    Thanks Eric, yours was the best post describing the subject I could find



    Both you and the original poster are new here... welcome.



    I have had a couple of problems with my Air when they were first released which I have detailed elsewhere, but my current machine works flawlessly.



    If this is truly a problem, then hopefully Apple will get on it right away. I wonder if this problem is just cropping up? Somebody has to be the first one, though others will deny it is a problem until it hits their machine.



    I will stay on the lookout for this problem.
  • leorochleoroch Posts: 1member
    I have the same malfunctions simptoms with my MBA trackpad, and I can see it happened after my EFI Firmware Upgrade. Can this be related? do you know how to downgrade it?

    Thanks,

    Leo.
  • amonamon Posts: 1member
    Hi

    I Googled and found this thread. I'm using my Macbook Air on a boat and without thinking had plugged it into an inverter (12V DC to 240V AC) and discovered the trackpad wasn't working. Boy was I peeved as I'd just loaded some software and thought it was that. Even after I Trashed it still no trackpad. I found ericJ5's post, unplugged the inverter and everything's OK, so thanks for the connection ericJ5

    Amon
  • hdogg007hdogg007 Posts: 1member
    i have had my macbook air for over 1.5 years. today on airplane flight ran into track pad problem. i am plugged into airplane power with surge protector in between and suffered the sames problems noted in the threads. i unplugged and i am good to go. i have never had a problem before and wonder if this has something to do with how 'clean' the power is
  • obertaudobertaud Posts: 1member
    I have exactly the same issue. My trackpad works prefectly when the MBAIR is on battery, but as soon as it is power plugged its behaviour becomes erratic.

    Anybody made some progress?
  • applerappler Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by obertaud View Post


    I have exactly the same issue. My trackpad works prefectly when the MBAIR is on battery, but as soon as it is power plugged its behaviour becomes erratic.

    Anybody made some progress?



    Pls try this: Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact, move the cursor with your right finger on the trackpad. Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.

    Enjoy your mba!

    appler
  • frozenbarbiefrozenbarbie Posts: 1member
    Hello everybody,



    I am new to this forum. I got here googling for "macbook air touchpad malfunction". I got my MBA, 1st series, 2 days ago.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appler View Post


    Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact ... Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.



    Yes, I can confirm that - wow



    When power is plugged in, and my left hand is NOT in touch w. the MBA, the trackpad behaves wiredly, no 3- or 4-finger scrolling, 2-Finger scrolling often ONLY w. index and middle finger, while I usually use middle and ring-fingers for scrolling.



    Everything is fine, when the MBA is running on battery...



    This seems like an electrical problem, nothing software-related?



    Cheers,

    FB







    P.S. I use a freshly installed Snow Leopard, updated to 10.6.1, hence I cannot tell wether or not MBA behaves correctly/differently under 10.5.x Leopard
  • rikahlbergrikahlberg Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appler View Post


    Pls try this: Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact, move the cursor with your right finger on the trackpad. Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.

    Enjoy your mba!

    appler



    I was having touchpad problems and discovered this "solution" too. Since I know it's bad practice to lean on your keyboard (can cause nasty wrist problems, nevermind damage to whatever is under that part of the keyboard bezel), I'm going to take this Air in to a Genius Bar and see what they say. Sadly it's a Rev A unit, way out of warranty, but you never know...
  • cjd1cjd1 Posts: 1member
    Hi guys,



    Thanks for your posts so far. I just wanted to say I have experienced this issue on my MBA 2nd Ed, 2GB RAM, 128GB SDD under Snow Leopard 10.6.2 when plugged-in AND when using battery. Unfortunately, though, after driving from Surrey to London to Apple in Regents St, I couldn't replicate the problem They were even speaking to me as if I was making it up, saying there was "obviously" nothing to repair!



    If there is a firmware version that must be rolled-back or that I need to fix it, I would be eternally grateful for its name as my machine is just unusable until this is resolved. I'm just unable to move the pointer around accurately without it jumping around and frequently triggering my configured 'hot corner' which blanks the screen and requires a password to return to my work..... frustrating!



    Cheers,



    cjd1
  • wex187wex187 Posts: 2member
    Hi people, Im new and I just registered here just to post my findings after experimenting with the problem. Basically you can do a couple things:



    Remedy 1: (From appler) placing 3-5 fingers or your other hand on the macbooks surface beside your trackpad does in fact work. This is subjective since it can also work with other parts / surfaces of the macbook. This neutralizes the jerky response time as well as any unwanted clicks.



    Logic / Cause (Note: this is pretty much theoretical) From what I can remember in my highschool electronics class, this problem can be attributed to electrical impulses or probably static caused by the power source or your finger on the trackpad. Keeping your other fingers on another surface may be causing a ground effect which balances it out (you can ask an electrician about this problem for a more detailed explanation)



    Remedy 2: Just unplug or plug in a different socket. I was experimenting and plugging in wall sockets seem to be more effective than transformers or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) the ones with surge protectors anyway. Take note I have been using the same UPS for the past few months everyday, then suddenly today it caused the problem stated here. Not sure what triggers it.



    Logic / Cause (Note: yet again this is pretty much theoretical) The UPS I have been using is an APC. And the problem is the power source itself is somewhat different from plain old wall sockets. Probably from the battery storage and surge protector within the unit is causing variances in the electricities voltage, amps, or wherever ask an electrician . So whatever triggers this problem I'm not sure... hope apple figures it out... its their job after all.
  • wex187wex187 Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cjd1 View Post


    Hi guys,



    Thanks for your posts so far. I just wanted to say I have experienced this issue on my MBA 2nd Ed, 2GB RAM, 128GB SDD under Snow Leopard 10.6.2 when plugged-in AND when using battery. Unfortunately, though, after driving from Surrey to London to Apple in Regents St, I couldn't replicate the problem They were even speaking to me as if I was making it up, saying there was "obviously" nothing to repair!



    If there is a firmware version that must be rolled-back or that I need to fix it, I would be eternally grateful for its name as my machine is just unusable until this is resolved. I'm just unable to move the pointer around accurately without it jumping around and frequently triggering my configured 'hot corner' which blanks the screen and requires a password to return to my work..... frustrating!



    Cheers,



    cjd1



    Hey cjd1,



    If you want to replicate it and show it to Apple, just find bring a UPS (you plug into) that causes the problem. Like what I mentioned in my previous post. I plan to bring mine and replicate the problem right in front of them, so they can report it and hopefully release a full solution.
  • peruvembaperuvemba Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricJ5 View Post


    I was just as excited as everyone about the macbook Air. Yesterday I went to the Apple Store to check it out. Wow, that looks amazing, I thought as I approached it. However, after using it for a few minutes, I realized that the trackpad was acting up and not following the movements of my finger accurately. In short, the curser was moving around the screen in a very choppy manner. I asked the Apple Specialist what the deal was, and she shrugged her shoulders and told me that all of the macbook Airs they had were acting this way when plugged in to their power source. Sure enough, I unplugged the power source, and the trackpad began to work perfectly.

    Anyone else experience this?

    I'd watch out if your planning on buying the Air, it seems to be a pretty big problem...



    Absolutely.. I have been trying to figure out if there was a firmware fix, other solutions, etc., till I came across this thread. I have confirmed that the MBA works fine on battery power but the moment it is plugged in, the trackpad becomes very erratic. Hopefully Apple will come up with a solution soon!
  • peruvembaperuvemba Posts: 2member
    I have been experiencing a similar problem..I believe, in my case, I have found the problem. I have both an Apple power supply and an after-market power supply. When I use the Apple power supply, there is no problem. The problem shows up consistently with the after-market unit. Hope this helps. In my opinion, the problem may not be with the MBA but with the power supply.
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