The fact that at some point I'll have to take it back to Apple and probably be without it for several days due to the complexity of the repair makes this 10x worse - I am freelance so need this machine for work, so being without it (especially for such a seemingly trivial reason) is unacceptable and absolutely not what I expect when I buy Apple (previous Macbooks have worked for years without a single issue).
If they release a redesign, I'd swap it in a flash (I do actually quite like the keyboard to type on otherwise, but seems like the quest for thinness has gone too far this time!), but if this problem is as widespread as it seems who knows what it will do to resale values.
Would be great to get talk of this spreading as far and wide as possible, as judging by anecdata on Twitter and elsewhere, I am far from the only one with these kind of issues, and to me that implies a fairly major design flaw.
(That doesn't mean you need a spare new macbook pro. An older device that is maintained, and a good environment setup process, is sufficient.)
Apple: you need to go back to the drawing board and redesign the keyboard. Stop chasing thinner/lighter. The keyboard is the primary interface programmers use. It should be sturdy enough, and have enough key travel, to hold up for the life cycle of the laptop.
Mine was out of warranty, so I fixed it myself.
Failed: compressed air
Failed: cleaning under the key.
Success (but not recommended)
I removed the key, then pulled off the glued membrane. Cleaned all with 90% alcohol. Took a new membrane (but you might be able to use old) and used E6000 and a toothpick to glue it back. Replaced butterfly and key.
Not a good solution, but it worked.
It looked like the contacts were getting coated and not making good contact? Perhaps heat?
Best of luck.
I can crank out a site fairly quickly but I also want it to be as low-maintenance as possible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KuVvb9DTaU (from about 5:20) talks a bit about what's involved in an actual keyboard replacement, if you ignore some of the histrionics.
I think from what I've heard that for actual replacements, Apple will swap out the whole 'top case' subassembly, which could be a 4-500$ part if it's not covered under warranty.
Professionals demand good design: tools that meet our needs in efficient, reliable, and even elegant ways. Apple's line of professional laptops has traditionally delivered this by and large, but the problem with the 2016 platform is that vanity finally overtook good design.
Good design weighs the trade-offs inherent in any design decision and decides based on the greatest benefit to the user. Vanity design decides based on the greatest benefit to the designer. And based on the dongles I've seen co-workers cart all over the office because Apple abandoned HDMI, based on the keyboard reliability issues that have affected the same co-workers, and based on the dearth of compelling Touch Bar applications that have sprung up in the past year and a half, I don't think there's any question that vanity has taken over.
Honestly, I think it's time for Ive to take more of an advisory role at Apple and let some of the many talented industrial designers in his org take Apple's hardware design back to fundamentals.
Ive has been leading design at Apple for 26 years. I think the failure lies elsewhere.
It's like Lennon and McCartney, they wrote better songs when they were together than apart (I'd argue).
In my view every Apple product launch/update since Job's death has increasingly tended to make more choices that are pretty from a design perspective but clueless from a utility perspective. Eventually we'll just have some sort of glass slab that soothingly glows but doesn't actually do anything, oh wait... touchbar.
What were the design goals of that MBP? Looking at it with an industrial designer eye I feel "symmetry" and "thinness" were higher up the list of requirements than "a good keyboard".
I've been pretty disappointed in the latest MacBooks as well (mostly just the keyboard and mediocre performance improvements over previous generations), so as a hedge I thought I should give Linux another try, hoping in the ~5 years since I last attempted it one of the more user-friendly distributions would have figured out how to make installation painless.
Nope. It's easy enough to get a basic installation of Ubuntu or elementary OS working, but you still have to muck around with things like wireless drivers, graphics drivers, multitouch support, etc to get everything working as well as macOS. After half a day of trying to tweak kernel parameters and other things I gave up. Sometimes I enjoy that sort of challenge, but not right now.
I understand it's difficult to support a wide variety of hardware without the support of a company like Apple/Microsoft/Google, and supporting proprietary drivers is controversial and not the community's top priority. It's just a bit disappointing desktop Linux still isn't ready for the mainstream, despite multiple commercial companies working on it.
Hell, I even have 16.10 running on a Macbook Pro from 2013. Curiously, the baked on RAM chip has a bad patch on it somewhere and macOS chokes when doing a full re-install, yet Ubuntu seems more fault-tolerant about memory and runs mostly fine (there are display corruptions when first booting, but putting it to sleep and waking it up causes them to go away until the next reboot).
Meanwhile I would argue macOS has become much worse given the closed-nature of the software and the price premium to use it. It's hard to complain about having to tweak things when the OS is free/libre.
Yeah, my only experience is with Apple hardware. Obviously Apple doesn't work with Ubuntu to certify their hardware like Lenovo does (https://certification.ubuntu.com/desktop/), nor would I expect them to, but MacBooks are one of the most popular laptops so I sort of expected it to just work.
> It's hard to complain about having to tweak things when the OS is free/libre.
I agree, and I'm definitely willing to tweak things here and there, but it's a non-starter for most people. I guess they can still buy Ubuntu certified hardware or whatever, though.
Ram-wise, 16Gi is plenty for me. The nvme ssd more than makes up for any issues. I regularly run multiple IntelliJ/Goland windows, docker containers, VMs, etc. without a problem. If I need more, I have a proper desktop. Laptops are meant to be portable.
The carbon is half a pound lighter than the comparable macbook pro, and better in all respects that matter to me - keyboard, weight, battery life, repairability, durability, linux compatibility.
A fairer comparison to the 15" machine would be either the T580 or P51 series which has a similar choice of up to 32GB RAM and up to even Xeon processors if that's your bag - perhaps not quite as sleek as the Dell, but then it is a Thinkpad.
Even Lenovo Thinkpads are incredibly diverse in terms of the hardware you can find in them compared to any generation of MacBook Pro.
I'm constantly amazed by the lack of product leadership at some of these companies. I guess the fact that they all focus on pleasing enterprises instead of actually making a decent product line-up and selling it hard is to blame.
Isn't it about time someone stepped up to fight Apple at their own game? Instead of shitting out SKUs like they have diarrhoea, have some restraint and release only a single model per machine, with SKUs modifying only inconsequential things like CPU speed, RAM quantity, and storage. Get rid of the myriad of awful Wifi and WLAN cards (that often cause issues in Windows as well).
Do this for several generations so that the basic hardware and drivers are the same for every machine in the line-up. Focus on getting the basics right - no sleep/wake issues, no finicky nonstandard hardware, no coil whine, no excessive fan noise etc.
Microsoft are trying this with the Surface range, but they're only just starting to actually position products in competition with Apple's.
1. New keyboard is painful to type on. I use it 99% of the time with external trackpad / keyboard / monitors but that other 1% pisses me off.
2. Battery life is mediocre. I don't keep track but I'm always surprised how quickly it goes when I'm unplugged. How about stop trying to make them thinner?
3. The touchbar is f*cking horrible. It's a bad solution to a nonexistent problem. My fingers touch it by mistake often, finding ESC is awful, and worst of all, it sleeps! Give me back my ESC and media keys.
4. A computer with two GPUs SHOULD NOT CRASH when plugging in external monitors. It should also wake from sleep properly in clamshell mode. A lot of the time I actually have to unplug one monitor to get either to turn on.
5. Support for external retina monitors is terrible. I spent the better part of a day getting two Dells to be readable / look good.
6. Xcode. A medium sized project compiling now hits all 8 cores so hard music will actually stop playing (I use Roon with a pretty heavy CPU load).
Unless things turn around, this will definitely be my last MBP, maybe leaving the dev ecosystem altogether.
(I disagree with the level of his vitriol against Apple, but I appreciate his deep teardowns and clear explanations. He just doesn't seem to understand how valuable the Apple software is vs. Windows to those who need or appreciate osx.)
It's the fact that it's mostly-decent hardware running a mostly-compliant POSIX OS that looks enough like GNU to make it usable (and compatible with web servers).
If someone, ffs anyone, made a decent, reliable Linux laptop, Apple would lose the dev market in a month.
I'm running Debian on a Thinkpad at work, this work great... except for a few points.
It's always a bit harder to integrate with the rest of the internal infrastructure:
* AD integration in your favorite email client to have auto-completion on emails is a bit tedious
* Exchange calendars are also annoying
* Mounting (and, first, finding) the windows shares can a bit tedious
* Password renewal is not integrated that well
It works, but it takes a few hours to figure out and configure.
And sometimes you are just stuck with Windows/OS X because of a specific piece of software (for example in my case, the video conferencing tool we are using). I never used a truly Linux only environment in professional context, I always had a Windows VM also.
Indeed! The keyboard is amazing. The latest thinkpad x1 carbon is pure bliss, and Linux works out of the box for everything without any problems.
I share the frustration, mainly because both OS X and Windows are getting progressively worse over time as opposed to better, and the lack of a decent alternative is hugely frustrating.
IIRC, he said in one of his videos that he's a basically Windows guy who repairs Apple products because that's where the money is.
Because his channel is on YouTube, it's quite possible he's amping up his vitriol a little to get views. On the other hand - I watch a lot of his videos (I discovered his channel when I had one of those overheating 2011 MBPs and was looking for a fix), and his vitriol for the most part is all related to repairability and how Apple prefers to replace entire logic boards instead of fixing what's wrong.
It does seem like a lot of his customers come to him after talking to a Genius and being told that their Mac can't be fixed.
So in general, while he does take a strong stance, I would not say that he's not hating on Apple simply for the sake of hating on Apple.
I can understand this guy's hate for Apple though. They're violently hostile to anyone with a screwdriver or a compiler.
- On my 2016 MBP the left alt key only registers about 30% of the time now. It seriously hampers my workflow.
- On my SO's MBP (slightly newer make but same keyboard type) the "H" key stopped working, now it's registering double (she's happy: "At least I can type, I just need to use the backspace key.")
- At work two people have the same type of machine and both have had keyboard issues.
In short, I know four people who own this machine (including myhself) and all four have had issues.
Needless to say, this is a serious let-down and makes me think my next machine will be the first non-Apple in 15 years. Sad, really.
This is the exact same behaviour that drove me away from Apple 10 years ago: First deny existance of issue, second place blame on customer, third force customer into a generic replacement script of parts in accending order of price. Repeat until customer does not return out of frustration, accepts the broken product or is pushed out of warrantee.
I think this strategy worked for them on average when hardware design flaws were less frequent, it maintained their facade of absolute perfection at the cost of a few lucid customers... but it leaves a particularly sour taste for those whom it does affect, and I think they are fast approaching the threshold where it will backfire and destroy their image.
At this stage denying the existence of these types of problems is an insult to anyones intelligence, deep technical literacy is not required - Anyone who buys Apple products for more than beholding their aesthetic beauty can see the simple truth in this case: that it is broken.
I'll wait until they get this keyboard thing straightened out to get a newer one.
I highly recommend it.
Could anyone explain why? it looks highly suspicious to me. I understand that many are protective over Apple products but putting that asside, this an objective and valid warning to people looking to buy this otherwise popular computer.
I can easily imagine any but I don't know which is more likely.
I tried searching for some links to cooborate it, but I wasn’t able to find anything quickly on my phone.
The durability of this keyboard is a joke. I even bought one of those rubber keyboard condoms that makes the keyboard suck to type on and the H key still got dust under it somehow and started typing hh.
It does require approval by a manager/“Lead Genius”, but you can get there by being reasonable.
This machine isn't even 6 months old and it feels rickety and unreliable because of this design disaster of a keyboard, I wish I was over-reacting.
I will not be buying another Apple machine until this keyboard is reverted, I can't imagine dropping thousands of my own money and having such an unreliable janky input device.
Apple software looks and feels great, and I used to believe their hardware was just as good, but it turns out that their manufacturing processes are really crappy. Remember the first unibody aluminum Mac? Wasn't a unibody. They glued two pieces of aluminum together instead.
Look, I get it, you have to deal with the manufacturers you have. But Apple's amassed a gigantic pile of cash, and they really should be using it to improve their hardware. But they haven't been. And now, there's never been a better time to switch platforms.
I was singing their praises 2 years ago. But the beauty was only skin-deep.
It's only real flaw IMO was the superglossy glass screen. Fragile and extremely annoying under fluorescent lights. Plenty of the machines lasted a long time despite the glue deteriorating from heat.
You're right about them spending no money on maintenance because repair is a profit centre for them. Rossman is right about Apple's durability issues, too - almost every generation of MacBook has had at least one significant design flaw (from the 8600GT to delaminating screen coatings).
They're only getting worse as they go over the top with proprietary connectors and interfaces, and iDevice levels of integration. I mean, Apple have reimplemented M.2 and NVMe in their stupid proprietary SSDs at least 4 times now. It's utterly ridiculous. If your custom blade SSD dies, which it inevitably will at some stage, your only options are Apple support or OWC (or gamble with second hand parts).
At least in the past they used to get the human stuff right (mostly). No Apple MacBook has ever shipped with a low quality LCD panel, for example. I've never heard significant coil whine from any Mac. I've never heard any Mac that has loud fans at idle (except under an error condition). I've never had a Mac that burnt me. I've never had a Mac with poor speakers. The trackpads have always been best-in-class. The keyboards have always been very good.
Had a similar problem (faulty key) with my dell precision laptop. $30 new keyboard, few screws out, replace and back up and running.
The laptop is big, heavy and ugly. But I cannot have it out of action so every part being replaceable was a huge plus. In fact it is so big heavy and ugly that when I drop it on the floor, the floor dents :)
> MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
The new models are subpar in build quality imho and the touch bar is completely useless tech.
So far so good with the iMac! I've been an Apple user since 2002, and while I really don't want to move to something else, some of their recent decisions have had me seriously considering it...
This would be less of an issue if you could pop the keys off, but again the mechanism is so delicate popping a key off is enough to irreparably destroy the mechanism in most cases.
So has the number of new lenovos.
I've found a quick workaround to simply let the machine cool down. Eg. When running Docker previously and when the machine got heated, I found keyboard problems keep cropping up consistently. Letting it cool for about 20 minutes with a laptop cooler seemed to help.
Also, I kid you not, the 'H' key was not functioning on one in the Regent Street Apple store I was using while waiting for an iPhone battery replacement.
Essentially, you have to avoid getting any detritus on the keyboard of any kind. I no longer eat any snacks or sandwiches at the computer, which is probably a good thing anyway.
Aside from hating the feel of the new keyboard in my 6 months ownership of the new Macbook Pro it went back for warranty keyboard repair twice.
I sold it and bought a second hand 2015
After reading other's thoughts here, I think I have to avoid Macbook Pro for now, I hope they change this in the next release.
Annoying as I need a machine with Xcode.
Otherwise I've been looking at using remote servers from macincloud.com / xcodeclub.com, but haven't tried that yet.
I want my magsafe charger, i want my displayport and ethernet port, i want my CD drive, i want to be able to replace the battery myself (done it twice), and to swap hard drives (done it four times) and RAM (once) easily, I want physical keys for escape and media buttons.
I have gone so far as to personally take out the motherboard and replace a single tanatalum capacitor with an aluminum-polymer capacitor (requiring me to scrape off some of the soldermask off so i could solder to the ground plane easier since the Al-Poly cap is much larger) because the tantalum one was causing GPU kernel panic crashes. (Big thanks to Louie Rossman for the tutorial video!)
I've brought this thing back from the brink of death many times and i will continue to do so until Apple cleans up their act and makes a true developers laptop again.
I’ll probably sell it and replace with another Lenovo, which is one of my machines since 2011 and it’s only two philips screws away to receive maintenance and upgrades.
Nope not true at all, the 2013 has a user serviceable keyboard, removing a keycap wont destroy the mechanism like it does on the USB-C MBP.
No one was bold enough to call BS on this poorly designed keyboard. Everyone just went along with it.
Absolutely insane how not only does Apple make the keyboard just about impossible to replace, but they also make a keyboard that's simultaneously much much more failure prone than any other keyboard that I know of. Here's a great video of a madman actually replacing the keyboard instead of just replacing the whole assembly.
If apple tomorrow released an updated 2015 rMBP with a Coffee Lake or Ryzen2 CPU, an optional dGPU, 2 (or better yet 3) full-sized USB type A ports, and (only in my dreams) a full-sized number pad, I would more strongly consider a purchase than migrating back to the PC world for my main PC.
I am hopeful Apple recognizes their shortcomings, learns from them and produces more innovative and powerful hardware that meets the needs of the professional and power-user groups.
Only pain: not having iMessage on laptop.
From everything I've heard, I lucked out on that one!
Power consumption - pretty much the same as Windows. I did enable tlp and put `powertop --auto-tune` in the startup.
Trackpad is fine but it suffers from the same issue my XPS 13 (2016) has under Linux - occasionally tap-to-click stops working. A couple of clicks and it comes back but it is annoying.
Wifi performance is awesome, i'll max out my 300mbit internet on it, it's a league above the 'killer wifi' that Dell persist with.
The biggest issue and one that's apparently shared with the new XPS models is that Microsoft decreed their 'connected standby' sleep modes can't coincide with s3 (normal sleep). As Linux doesn't seem to support the new mode you have to patch the initrd line to insert a new ACPI table. It's a pain in the arse but you only need to run it once on each BIOS update. It's detailed here https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Lenovo_ThinkPad_X1_Carb...
Once that's done Fedora 28 is awesome on this, and the keyboard is leagues above the XPS or the latest Macbooks. Highly recommended.
-Batt life --> TLP + powertop; I consume 5-6 watts idle with this setup
The can of air never resolved the issue either. I had to tap the side of the laptop and press down on the keys.
I honestly wouldn't recommend someone buy one either. They took forever to refresh the MBP and that fact that they released something after all that time with this issue is a joke. I won't be looking at Apple again for my hardware needs.
If Apple created something similar to a Mac mini with a laptop battery I would buy it immediately. I know it wouldn't work for everyone, but it would suit my needs.
New macbooks are junk.
Then why did you buy a new one?!? Excess consumerism drives the tech ahead, sure, but I can only have so much sympathy for your buyer’s remorse.
The problem must be environmental or physiological (he presses the keys harder than average, or something) because keyboard malfunction isn’t some recall-level dysfunction as he wants to make it out to be.
That said, the new keyboard is indeed a travesty.
That being said, I'm sure the keyboards will continue to improve with each generation, albeit with compromises such as to get thinner they change the key styling and eventually will be touch only with haptic feedback (which I'm not excited for) but will be inevitable.
Why "you" in scare quotes? Do you think people are lying about their problems with the keyboard? People don't want to bring in their workhorse machines (MacBook Pro) for repair because of a couple of crumbs. They don't want to be faced with repairs into the hundreds of dollars. They expect the newer MacBook Pros to be as reliable as the old ones, and this isn't happening.
Why are you so sure the keyboards will "continue to improve" with each generation? They haven't. The current trend is that they're getting worse. Have you tried typing on a hard, flat surface for a lengthy period of time? It hurts. Fingers were not designed to bang against unyielding surfaces for hours on end.
You can get some way with canned air and something like a sheet of heavy paper to slip under the cap, but it's by no means infallible.
My intended solution is to take it periodically to the Apple store and request htey clean it out, since they have replacement caps and presumably the service manual on how to remove them properly. If enough people waste enough of their time and money, it might encourage them towards less hostile designs in future.
Seen a lot of Apply apologists super happy about this idea as a sell of "increased reliability because there are less moving parts" when the 2012 model keyboard had zero reliability problems from their moving parts it's only the "butterfly" switch that has reliability problems.
Boggles the mind...