Some MacBooks plagued by discoloration

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Several owners of Apple Computer's new MacBook computers are expressing concerns after noticing that portions of their shiny white notebooks have inexplicably turned shades of orange.

The problem appears to be affecting the palm rest and other areas of the computer on both the white 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz models. The first signs of the discoloration tend to appear after 2-3 weeks of use, according to posts in an ongoing thread on Apple's support forums.

It's unclear precisely what is causing issue -- some MacBook users speculate it may be a heat-related issue while others are chalking it up to a chemical reaction in the notebook's plastic enclosure.

Adding some support to the latter theory, one user reported that his Toshiba Satellite P30, which utilizes similar polycarbonate plastics, has also experienced the same form of discoloration.

Users have so far found little success in attempting to rectify the problem with a variety of off-the-shelf cleaning agents. According to posts on the Apple support forum, users have tried everything from iKlean and Windex to Ajax and Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser product.

"All the white MacBooks are showing discoloration on the trackpad button and palmrests, though I'm not sure if it's the same as people are describing here," wrote one poster who swung by the Apple Store Soho in order to investigate the issue further. "The ones at the Apple Store were just darkish looking, more gray than yellow."

As of Monday afternoon, Apple had yet to acknowledge the issue internally. However, AppleCare representatives have offered at least one MacBook owner the opportunity to send his notebook into the company's repair depot in Austin, Texas for closer examination.

Apple's computer warranties typically do not cover "cosmetic" issues, which is precisely how some of the company's customer support representatives have categorized the problem.

Apple began shipping the 13-inch widescreen notebooks less than one month ago.



  • Reply 1 of 46
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    First the iPod Nano and now this? Does Apple even use their own damn products? If Apple is supposed to be the Porche of consumer electronics they better get their act together.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    I expected better from Apple. This is the kind of mistake little companies make. I offered to beta test a product for a small startup firm, paying retail price and signing necessary waivers, but they turned me down, saying they had an accelerated testing regimen. As this proves, accelerated testing in the lab is fine for some things, but it's no substitute for long-term real-world testing.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    People need to stop eating Cheetos while using their computers.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    xav3xxav3x Posts: 36member
    Great, not another product to protect apple products. Palmrest protector any one? [sarcastic]
  • Reply 5 of 46
    gunnmjkgunnmjk Posts: 15member
    Oh no! My white shirt got a stain on it from me rubbing my grubby hands all over it! It must be defective! White shirts are plagued with stains! AHHHH!
  • Reply 6 of 46
    agnuke1707agnuke1707 Posts: 487member
    Could be people's dirty hands / fingers

    I doubt very seriously APple would put together a computer and then send it directly to market. It goes through quality control and such ... if it were a widespread problem among all MBs, then I'd have to guess Apple would just say hey .. fuck it, let's piss everyone off and ship them anyway.

    I look forward to seeing what the real cause of this is though
  • Reply 7 of 46
    orange is hot.

    bring back the tangerine ibook yeah.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Suggested course of action: assume the problem affects most MacBooks, not just a few, and assume Apple is not looking into the issue.

    Any other course risks underreacting

    PS, if it does happen to you, be polite but firm, and get a fresh palmrest--maybe the warranty doesn't cover the color, but Apple still has the discretion to fix your issue if you persuade them. But it would be smart to wait until AFTER Apple has identified the issue before seeking a solution.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member

    Originally posted by CaptObvious

    People need to stop eating Cheetos while using their computers.

    Psh. We ALL know they are NOT Cheetos. They are Tigeros. Soon to be Leopardos.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Re this being an "Apple trend"... with Nanos, was there ever any consensus/proof on whether Apple was lying when they said Nanos are made of the same clear plastic as all other iPods? (All of which, I realize, can be scratched.)

    Also, is there any trend of other manufacturer's products being more likely to be cosmetically perfect than Apple's?

    I'm not sure there is an actual Apple trend here...
  • Reply 11 of 46
    skylorskylor Posts: 15member
    I've notced with my black MacBook that the plastic is loosing it's "frosted" look in heave used areas. Now, I at first thought it would just be my greasy fingers.... but I've tried everything to clean it and well, nothing! Still all greasy and dirty looking in heavy used areas!
  • Reply 12 of 46
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Don't type on your MacBook after eating chicken wings!

  • Reply 13 of 46
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Chalk up another reason to spring for the black version...

    Oh, and we can expect another class-action lawsuit in short order...
  • Reply 14 of 46
    jasongjasong Posts: 31member
    That's it. I'm starting an online petition demanding that Apple acknowledge this problem.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    the black one turns green.

    It's just that they switch colours every 6 months.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    A man goes into the doctor and says, "Doc, my thing turned orange."

    The Doctor looks it over, finds everything is fine. He is perplexed, and asks, "Well, nothing is wrong with it, ummm, well, tell me about your day?"

    "Well, every day is pretty much the same....go to work, come home, grab some cheetos and watch some dirty movies on my Macbook."
  • Reply 17 of 46
    [Quoted headline]

    Several owners of Apple Computer's new MacBook computers are expressing concerns after noticing that portions of their shinny white notebooks have inexplicably turned shades of orange.


    Sorry for nitpicking, but I'm a stickler for typos in news stories. I figure if you're writing something that is intended to be read by thousands of people, you should be able to click Ctrl-S and wait 10 seconds for spell-check.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,658member

    Originally posted by CoolHandPete

    intended to be read by thousands of people

    optimistic surely?
  • Reply 19 of 46
    kratoskratos Posts: 21member
    For anyone that has this problem with your hand rests turning orang-esk and can't get it to go away with regular cleaners. I would suggest using rubbing compound and/or finish glaze (also known as finish restorer). Both can be found in Wal-Mart or almost any auto parts center... You just take a little bit and rub it on the plastic with a very fine rag, and if all goes well, the orange will go away.

    This is only if it's on the surface (obviously). Also works with small scratches and such, just takes a long time to get them out. Trust me, bought my iPod used and it looked like crap.
  • Reply 20 of 46
    eduardoeduardo Posts: 181member

    Originally posted by SpamSandwich

    Chalk up another reason to spring for the black version...

    Oh, and we can expect another class-action lawsuit in short order...

    Not funny. My 13" 2.0Ghz white Macbook should arrive by tomorrow. I went to the Apple store today after seeing this post and guess what? I've noticed the complaints that both the white and black Macbook owners stated.

    I bought my Macbook and I do not want to have the discolouration problem noted on these boards.

    Apple seems to cave-in to concerns only when it reaches a critical mass. If I encounter this problem, I too will complain.

    {end rant}

    Umm, I wonder if I should return my CTO Macbook for a black one...err maybe a Macbook Pro (but that's a $1000.00 extra).

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