Where to get an Apple laptop fixed?

section of laptop computer keyboardThis question is from Greg, but we'll block quote it because tradition.

A string of keys on my Macbook Pro recently stopped working intermittently. After cleaning the keyboard and doing some troubleshooting, I'm guessing I need to replace the keyboard. (It is otherwise a very solid machine.)
I thought about doing it myself, but after watching a few videos and seeing how much needs to be taken apart (and put back together), I think finding someone who does this regularly is a good idea.
There's the Apple store, of course. But it seems like the turnaround time on repairs there is often longer than I'd like. So, I'm curious if there are other local options people might recommend.

As it happens, not being able to consistently type the letters T, Y, I, O, U is a drag on productivity.

Got a suggestion? Please share! Thank you!

Comments

Apple's web site now lists the locations of regional Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs), authorized and certified by Apple for repair service. getsupport-apple-com will walk you through service options, and in many cases it will allow you to schedule a service appointment with an AASP, or at least provide contact information.

It looks like the one closest to the Albany area is Mad Macs, in Pittsfield, MA. They don't seem to have the ability to schedule an appointment, but they're at madmacintosh-com.

(Sorry, had to use dashes for the URLs.)

I manage an AASP (a bit too far outside of the Capital Region to be of service, I'm afraid), and we pride ourselves in providing an alternative -- and, I think, a better experience for our customers -- than Apple Retail.

Hope this helps!

A clear patch here; ban named keys en masse.

You should go to the Apple Store. They have a variety of repair options... you can save money if you wait a little, pay more to get it fixed right away. Also, they tend to do a rebuild rather than a one-off fix. If your keyboard is bad it's likely other things are too. They will diagnose and make any necessary repairs for a flat price, which varies with the model but I've found reasonable. (Except the time I spilled Dr. Pepper into my Macbook Air and fried the motherboard.)

Another option is Castle Computing, a small Mac-focused outfit in Latham. I needed to extract a hard drive from a dead computer and they did it at a fair price.

Castle Mac Service in Latham is good, reliable, and possibly cheaper than the Apple Store. I've used them several times, but not in the last couple years. Castle was the last independent Apple authorized dealer in the area, before the Apple Store forced them into doing only repairs.
http://www.castlecomp.com/

Give Spaulding Computers on Central Ave a call!
http://spauldingcomputers.com/

SoosMac in East Greenbush has a great reputation. The owner was the Lead Genius at Apple Crossgates for about 15 years. This guy really knows his stuff. www.soosmac.com

Ditto Castle Mac Services in Latham. A couple years ago they replaced a hard drive for our iMac and recovered a ton of data we had thought we had lost forever. I thought their service was timely and the cost was reasonable.

Quick update: Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions. I appreciate them.

I got in touch with Castle and they were quick with a helpful response. (Seriously, the response arrived within an hour and was detailed.) Unfortunately, the prognosis is... not good. Apparently the repair is time intensive, and I'll probably have to go to Apple because of the parts needed and the age of the machine.

Somewhat miraculously, the keyboard has decided to start working fully again. (For now.) So I'm going to say a prayer to Woz and hope for the best.

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