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[dupe] Don’t buy the MacBook Pros even on sale, in my opinion (theoutline.com)
84 points by ksec 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 59 comments

I got one of the new MacBooks at work. After a few months the 'G' key started getting flaky. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it would do nothing, sometimes it would trigger twice for a single key press.

I took it to our tech support, after spraying air and all the recommended steps they could not fix it. They took it and gave me a new one.

After a month, the 'B' key on that new laptop started to be flaky.

Unless Apple manages to fix this, my next computers at both work and home will not be Macintoshes. After over a decade of loving Mac laptops, I will either be switching over to Windows (WSL looks great) or Chromebooks.

> (WSL looks great)

It's not. Consider just going with Linux if that's an option for you.

The WSL is quite weak in the knees. I tried switching to Windows 10, from macOS, as my primary development operating system. I tried this for about three months. I ended up reverting back.

Just remember, using any OS is about crafting a tool for plying your trade. Windows, Linux, macOS, MS-DOS, they're all just tools to help you achieve your goals and Linux is the most malleable and open of the options today.

With the way Apple are going, I've now got Debian (Linux) on a second SSD in my PC and my 2014 MBP will be the last Mac I buy. Only iPhones and iPads have stayed consistently good for me.

That's shameful design and/or QC, but I am impressed that your tech support team didn't just hand you a $10 (or even $100) usb keyboard. I suppose they could return them under warranty, though.

When the keyboard is brand new, it's the best keyboard of any laptop on the market in my opinion.

Yes, it has a horrible problem with keys not working reliably after getting even the smallest speck of dust underneath it. And yes, Apple is working on it [1]. The first generation of a new design usually introduces some bugs, but Apple reliably works them out with the next iteration. Plan your purchases accordingly.

[1] http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?docid=20180068808&SectionNum=1&...

My late 2016 MacBook Pro (15" Touch Bar) is the worst Mac I've ever owned. The keyboard is broken with the same problems described by others, and the screen has developed a color distortion that makes people look sickly green or pink.

It's disheartening how Apple followed up the absolute dud of the 2013 Mac Pro (serious heat issues, pointless form factor) with another design disaster in the Pro series.

I bought my Macbook Pro in april 2016.

By october some keys were a bit harder to press, by december spacebar and a few other buttons gave up.

I gave it to apple for warranty, it wasn't even a year old yet. They checked it and wanted $200 for just doing the chekup with no fix (as it was my fault that the keys were broken) OR i could pay $650 to get the whole top replaced.

My income is 100% dependent on having a working laptop so it was not really a choice for me. I paid the $650. This was a few months back.

Now the "2"-key is feeling numb and I'm worried i'll have to replace the top every 2-3 months...

I just went through something similar, getting the display replaced for $700.

While that was in the shop, I bought a similarly spec'd used Thinkpad for under $500 and like it more in almost every way.

The one thing that has to work is the keyboard. Based on the number of reports I have seen, this issue appears to be fairly wide spread. Apple has so far said nothing, except released a document about canned air. If we assume Apple employees are using the new MBPs, then Apple should have some idea of the increased failure rate.

There are have been a lot of MBP sales lately, so I'm cautiously hoping they are dumping stock in preparation for an update at WWDC.

Can confirm.

The keyboard on my touchbar Mac pro has a few sticky keys that make it super annoying to type. The butterfly key design is just not sturdy enough.

The laptop is out of warranty, so for now I am using an external keyboard.

For a $3K laptop, this is not acceptable.

Dell has started going with "maglev" keys to try and get things thinner. Anyone have experience with them yet? Is the key feel any good?


At least dell laptop keyboards are fairly easy and cheap to replace.

I have an early-2015 Mackbook Pro that I am absolutely clinging to because 1) it works 2) it has all the ports that I need: USB, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and MagSafe.

That being said, it feels like it's slowing down. Has anyone had success reviving the performance of their older machine? Anyone tried backing up and doing a restore?

I have a 2012 Macbook Pro that I hope lasts forever.

I upgraded everything in it I could though, CPU, RAM, screen, etc.

The biggest and best change I made to it was replacing the main HD with a nice SSD. Now it can run everything I need, except some games. I usually had 2-4 VMs running something throughout the work day.

I also took out the optical drive and replaced it with a OWC adapter and another SSD.

The last thing I do is back up everything I need, wipe and reinstall everything. I usually do this once a year or when needed, and it helps quite a bit with it feeling / acting slow.

(not sure if you can easily upgrade the hard drive or not though, but it made a world of difference for me)

I have an Early 2011 MBP 13" (yes, you read right). It was slow as hell on High Sierra and the fan was running all the time, CPU at 99% at some times without any real workload. Then, some random shutdowns started that never occurred before. Used TM backups a few times but still slow and unreliable.

That was the moment I decided to set up the systems fresh from scratch on a blank SSD (keeping the old one in a safe place as a backup option): Now, the MBP is running great (for its age), quiet fan except for high workloads and no runaway 99%-CPU processes.

Of cause, your mileage may vary, but I would suggest trying a fresh install from scratch and only install necessary programs. Don't rely on a TM backup.

2013 Macbook Air. I did a restore from time machine and it worked smoothly and also freed up a lot of memory - there must have been junk it didn't copy over. I didn't really have speed problems but I'd recommend trying it.

By the way I had odd issues with CalanderAgent going nuts and using 100% cpu all the time after going to High Sierra. Dunno if anyones got a good fix for that? I managed to kill the calendar completely and am using google calendar instead now but it's not ideal.

Spinning disk or SSD? If the former, get an SSD.

I think the last Macbook Pros to even support 2.5" drives were the 2012, non-retina ones. That was also the last generation to support plastic circle based media as well.

I do clean installs on my Late 2013 13" MBP annually with each major OS update, and my performance is still very good.

Mid 2015 here and it also feels as though it's slowing down.

Mine is slowing down lately as well. Clinging like mad.

ive got an early 2015 macbook pro as well. works great. I havent noticed the slowing down problem yet though.

My “3” key quite often repeats on mine. I really dislike the keyboard.

The up and down arrow keys are so small it makes it really difficult to touch type. Especially when coding and you’re navigating about using the keyboard.

It’s the stupid race to the bottom to get the worlds thinnest laptop at the expense of functionality.

LMFTFY: "Don’t buy the NEW MacBook Pros even on sale, in my opinion"

I'm still on my old MBP2013 and kinda like it (first Apple computer and I was sceptical). However new Apple offering is plain terrible…

Also: don't do squiggly, moving underline on hyperlinks... what a distraction!

After having my wonderful beast / tank of a MBA for so long, I was finally excited to upgrade to my first ever MBP. Oh boy, let me tell you...

- Broken keyboard, twice! - Failed motherboard (wouldn't start). - Now I have waves of darkness/light on the bottom of my screen after leaving it to idle for just a little bit that won't go away. Looks gross. - It's so low power tbh, the Macbook Air felt much snappier (I have the non-touchbar base model). - Honestly, the trackpad is just a smidge too big.

Apple probably needs to be “broken up”, at least internally, to avoid the spread of whatever poison is causing them to simultaneously ruin both hardware and software experiences.

Any one of these fiascos should be enough for executives to start being reprimanded. Everything from “no newest Apple device plugs into any other newest Apple device” (sorry: “Courage”), to “must-have-been-High-when-released Sierra” to “Mac Pro-for-limited-values-of-Pro”, not to mention destroying the App Store for most developers and customers.

The worst part of all is I can’t boycott Apple after all this because they still somehow manage to be least-crappy-alternative when considering many other things such as security, etc.

The solution, then, seems to be to wait. In 2019-2020 when New MacBook Pro arrives, it’ll probably be on backorder for 15 months as all Waiters from the last few years line up to buy a real upgrade.

The most important quote:

"What should you buy instead of all these bad computers? I have no earthly idea."

Does anybody here had experience with XPS 15 or anything of similar form factor of MacBook Pro 15?

So far, I think the XPS 15 is a great laptop.

Things I don't like:

- No ethernet port. I guess most people think this is great, nowadays. Unfortunately, I go a lot of places without wifi so I have to carry a dongle around. Drives me crazy that the trend is towards removing ports and I can't understand how anyone thinks adding yet another layer (usb/thunderbolt) to the network stack is sane.

- Fn keys default to alternate behavior;, e.g, brightening and dimming screen instead of F11 and F12. There is a BIOS setting to change this, but it's confusingly named. You have to turn the opposite one of what you'd think on.

- I got the 4k screen. It's very, very glossy.

- The arrow keys are very small.

I would highly recommend it so far, but I know people are picky about their macbooks. I've also only had it for a few months. I like laptops that last ten years, and I don't know if this one will make it.

Fn + Esc on my Precision 5520 seems to switch it into function key mode, or something. Found out about this yesterday, it may work for you too since these are almost the same laptop. It also came with the ethernet dongle, but I never really need it.

Yes, this works, but you have to do it on every boot, right? I had also just found out about it recently and it worked but I was poking around in the bios for the permanent solution.

I switched from a MacBook Pro to a Precision 5520, which is sort of like what a developer edition XPS 15 would be, if it existed.

I have exactly one complaint about this laptop, which is the touchpad under Linux. Initially, Ubuntu used the synaptics driver, which I simply could not lower the sensitivity enough to make it bearable. I have uninstalled the synaptics driver and now it's using xinput. This is a marked improvement, but I still can't use touch-to-click or I will get too many erroneous clicks around the screen while I'm typing. Also, and somewhat more annoyingly, I can't right-click without tap-to-click. I'm not sure what to do about that at all.

Overall, I think the problems are software. The keyboard is great, the screen is great, the battery life is very decent.

I have an XPS 15 running Debian. I got the 1080 screen for better battery life (but I also run plugged in to a 4K monitor most times anyway).

It's a great machine. I have no complaints. Well, I blew out the speakers doing something rather dumb but there are simple (T1.5) screws on the bottom; it was a trivial $10, 15 minute repair.

I too desperately need to replace mine and have been looking at the XPS. The only complaint I have from my very brief use is that the screen has a bit of glare under certain conditions.

I can't believe the amount of people who don't realize the Lenovo X1 Carbon (version 6) is the powerhouse computer they've all been looking for. It's linux compatible for devs. The only reason most devs are tied to OSX is because of tooling. Mainly brew.

I bought the new x1 carbon and am never looking back to Apple.

> The only reason most devs are tied to OSX is because of tooling. Mainly brew.

It's not brew. Linux package managers are much better than brew, IMO. It's the fact that everything works out of the box and great build quality which makes devs use OSX.

16gb memory limit, lower rez screen than 15" macbook pro native.

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the Dell XPS 15" 9570. Its CPU and memory blows anything Lenovo is releasing this year out of the water.

It's not the prettiest solution, but the transparent polyurethane keyboard covers you can buy on Amazon are cheap $10 insurance against a dead MB or MBP keyboard with the new butterfly design.

I've had mine for over a year now and the keyboard is in like new condition.

Oh wow, I hadn't even thought of that. Such a nice simple solution until they release the next version (sometime 2019!)

My MBP 2014 is starting to die in subtle ways so I'm not sure how much longer I have. Hopefully I last until the next release, but if I didn't at least this could help keep it safe when I'm not using it docked on my desk.

I've been really impressed with the Surface book Pro 3. Microsoft has been stepping up their game for a bit now. From my experience Apple's repair costs have been going up and the build quality has been going down in recent years. I think the sweet spot for a professional work laptop is about $1300 - 1500 and getting 3-4 years use out of it. I generally get free laptops at work and have a high end NUC desktop at home with nice mounted dual monitors for intensive work.

As a counterpoint, I love my 2017 MBP with Touch Bar.

Keyboard? Awesome. Best keyboard I've ever used. Not a single problem. Ruined me for any other kind of keyboard.

USB-C? Best port ever. Nothing better than plugging a single cable into my dock that powers everything and an external monitor.

Giant touchpad? Rules. Can't go back to the dinky small ones.

Touchbar? Better than F keys.

I have an Air that I open up sometimes, and honestly, the keyboard and touchpad on it are nearly unusable for me after spending time with the new MBP.


I don't suppose you touch type text all day?

Edit: I mean, I'm sure the emoji keyboard and large trackpad is better if your work involves the mouse and any of those applications where you have to click toolbar buttons a lot. Just not for typing.

I touch type all day long. I'm a programmer. I also write a lot of long-form emails. I've never typed faster than I have on the new MBP keyboard. again, ymmv.

Even if you subjectively like the keyboard, objectively they aren't reliable. That's enough of a reason not to go near one.

Sigh, why is finding a good quality modern keyboard so hard.

I bought a model m clone (unicomp) a year ago and now the left alt key will get "stuck" and not register further keypresses. support just says to remove the key and reseat. actually, i have to press really hard on the key and that "releases" something so it works for maybe a week and then gets "stuck" again. -.-

Work handed me a 13 inch touchbar in Jan and I’m still shocked at how poor the battery life is.

Really like everything else but it’s light years behind the experience I had with an old “white” MacBook. No charging indicator, no sleep mode indicator, can’t switch ram, no remote (yes I used it!), no battery led indicator (remember the button underneath the Mac that lit up a battery level?)

+1, I'm also having keyboard issues on a new macbook pro. My symptoms are a bit different, I get double key's on several key's at random. So a 'r' becomes 'rr', etc. Extremely annoying.

Apple has said they would fix it, but they would need the machine for 5-10 day's, and this is my primary work machine.

Same here. It still works but I see intermittent issues with mine. That and it feels like I'm typing on a flat glass surface. There's no tactile feedback. Feels like a tongue twister for my fingers. I use external keyboards almost all the time because of it.

I have a mid-2015 15" that has been rock solid... Is it safe to assume I should plan to keep this thing healthy as long as possible?

Maybe they fix/improve the keyboard on the 2018 model.

I had the same problem with the 'b' key double input on single press. I started using a silicone transparent keyboard protection to prevent dust and small crumbs coming in. So far it's great!

I know this is very frustrating, so give it a try. It shouldn't cost more than 10-20$ and it's totally worth the price imho.

yup, about once every other month a random key stops working reliably on my touch bar macbook pro. it's a bad bad keyboard. the key seems to fix itself after a few days though, so no brokenness seems to have been permanent but it freaked me out and then pissed me off each time.

Doesn't Apple have a ton of in-house engineers that use their hardware every day and therefore must have these problems as well? Shouldn't they fix them if only to keep their engineers from the pain?

I have macbook from 2007 something. I changed battery once, works fine.

Just under a year of ownership and paint somehow scratched off the command key. Now the backlight is shining thru the crack. So bad!

It's a shame because other than the keyboard, the latest MacBook Pro has been my favorite by far. I can't give it up as I'd find losing the 99% of good stuff too annoying and may just buy another one and put a keyboard cover on it straight away..

well the MBP 15" Pro Late 2013 also has a dust problem. Because it slows down if you don't clean it up regulary because there is not a lot of ways to get heat out of the thin layer.

Is the non emoji keyboard on the current MBPros identical (read: as shitty) as the one on the emoji models?

I tried switching away from Apple but can't.

I went from a 2011 17" MacBook Pro (so good.. just too big) to an HP Spectre x360 with 4k display, which was apparently a top-reviewed laptop.

The HP would be great if it didn't have such a shitty touchpad, where there's a section that's always for right-clicking, even if you try to turn that off. (It resets after every OS patch).

I went back to my 17" MacBook Pro. It's still just too good. I may switch to the newer MacBook Pro models if they get the keyboard issue figured out.

And then there's the entire Unix development environment that's perfect on Macs..

I'm glad they were still selling the old version, which the old keyboard and old USB ports, when my girlfriend and I got ours.

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