New keyboard sent by AppleCare: It’s not the same model!

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
April 3rd, 2006 • 8:11 am

Last week, I mentioned that I had phoned AppleCare to get my G5 Quad keyboard replaced, because of the persistent problem with the Delete key deleting two characters with a single keystroke.

At the time, I mentioned that Apple had agreed right away to send me a replacement keyboard, and had also asked me to return the keyboard that it was replacing. The e-mail notifications that I got afterwards also confirmed that I was expected to return the original keyboard.

Well, I got the replacement keyboard a couple of days ago. Much to my surprise, the package included a printed note stating quite clearly: “Please do not return the original [defective] part to Apple.

Now, I don’t have much trouble understanding this. After all, my original keyboard, in the three or four months that I have been using it, has already accumulated a fair amount of dust and cat hair, and, well, it is defective. Given that the retail price of a new keyboard is $38 CDN, it’s hard to imagine to imagine that the cost of shipping the defective keyboard back to Apple and of repairing could be worth it.

Still, returning the keyboard is clearly what the AppleCare representative asked me to do, and what the notification e-mails required as well. So I guess I’ll have to give them another call just to make sure.

But the biggest surprise is not this. The biggest surprise is that the replacement keyboard is actually not the same model as the one it replaces!

The original keyboard was the newer white model with no separation in the row of function keys at the top and with an extra F16 key, and also with the USB ports in the middle on the back. The replacement model that they sent me is actually also a white keyboard, but other than the colour it’s the exact same model as the older (black) keyboard that I had with my G4 (MDD), i.e. a keyboard with the function keys grouped in groups of four with separations in between, with no F16 key, and with the USB ports on both ends of the back panel.

This is rather intriguing. I strongly suspect that it’s because Apple has a remaining stock of older white keyboards, and this is their way of getting rid of them. But what this means in this particular case is that I’ll never be able to determine whether the problem with the double deletion that I had with the original keyboard that came with the G5 Quad was a one-off thing or was a recurring problem with the newer white keyboards.

Like I said in my post last week, I strongly suspect that this double deletion is a tricky hardware/software problem that only occurs with the newer white keyboards. And indeed, with this older white keyboard, I am no longer able to reproduce the problem.

Now, I don’t really mind this, of course. This double deletion was really a pain in the neck, and I am delighted that it’s gone. I am also not particularly displeased that I got to keep the original keyboard as a spare one. It’s defective, but other than the Delete key problem, it works fine.

But the bottom-line here is that I’ll never know the final answer about the problem with the double deletions. I guess I’ll leave it to other troubleshooters out there.

2 Responses to “New keyboard sent by AppleCare: It’s not the same model!”

  1. soosy says:

    I much prefer the older keyboards (black though). I went so far as to buy a few on ebay a year or so ago when they were discontinued. :)

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Yeah, I much prefer the separation between the function keys too. I don’t particularly need F16 :-).

    I ended up phoning Apple this morning and they did ask me to return the original keyboard after all. Someone needs to make up their mind :).

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