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Ask HN: Does anyone know if Apple plans to address the MacBook keyboard issue?
104 points by plg 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 111 comments
Does anyone have any idea if Apple is going to DO something about the MacBook keyboard issue? Or if this is simply the new normal for Apple laptop keyboards?

I know that the current butterfly mechanism is v2, it's slightly improved over the very 1st iteration (which appeared on the original 12" MacBook retina).

Will there be a v3?

If anyone knows apple the way that I do. The answer is yes and no. Yes they will address it when it affects their bottom line. No, because they don't consider it an issue to begin with. I'm old enough to remember when they had the logic board issue and specifically gave us (Apple care reps) instructions to not mention it to the customer. So if you called with an unrelated issue, I wasn't allowed to tell you about the recall to replace your logicboard that had an 80% failure rate. Or that the reason the system wasn't booting up was possible the logic board issue.

I don't think a company that knowingly ships a bad product, then, either dodges responsibility. Or puts the onus on the consumer will actually do anything right by the consumer with this keyboard issue. As if it's the consumers fault for buying a shitty product.

This. My last trip with my macbook pro to the genius bar went this way. My keyboard didn't work. He looked at my screen, then whispered: "your screen is having a recall -- look at the glossy layer - it is coming off -- we replace it for free".

I mean apple sure knows how to take my payment in 15 seconds at the store with my information and email address. But somehow they can't inform me of a recall.

No joke, since reading this comment I have confirmed in person my MacBook pro is covered and lined up a screen replacement with them. I really would have kicked myself if I found out about this after the coverage period ended. I guess it pays to read HN comments!

Wow that is shady as fuck. I've always respected Apple for delivering fairly high quality products because, well, they are all the same (granted for a very high price but some people they are willing to pay that for that kind of service whether it's expected or not)

I'm seriously disappointed they do that.

Even if they have, they are known for super strict security rules, so it won't be disclosed.

I saw a link to their patent application where they patented a way to protect the current keyboard design from dust and crumbs.

Personally, I got tired of their disregard for software developers issues with hardware, and now my working machine in the new XPS 13 from Dell. I am happy with it.

Are you an exception within your famous company or did they all abandon Macbooks?

As an EE, I despise using laptops, rather want real engineering workstations.

So what is it with software developers and laptops? The portability? Or rather people just being used to a laptop since they are ubiquitous in college. Even plugged into monitors, laptop keyboards just plain suck.

I have an XPS-13, and it's handy for field use with GNU Radio, but can't fathom doing anything productive on it.

I'll echo what others have said: Portability is _not always_ what you want, but when you need it, a laptop is valuable. I normally work at a desk, with my laptop plugged into my extra monitors. (I could use a docking station but I actually like the keyboard + trackpad on this (older) Macbook.)

Here are some times when I've benefitted from having a laptop:

- I can grab it and walk into an enclosed meeting room for a video conference. - A coworker and I can grab a conference room and pair on some task if necessary. - When on-call, I keep my laptop with me when I go home. - I can leave early to run an errand, and then work from home in the evening.

I am much more productive using my laptop than my home desktop, for some reason. It's likely that my laptop has all of my shell aliases, editor settings, source code, SSH keys, etc, but the main thing I think is that I don't need to context switch as heavily -- my editor still has the same things open, my shell has the same history, etc, as when I left work.

The ergonomics of a laptop could be better. I used to have a beastly machine with a nice mechanical keyboard, etc. I miss that a bit, but there are substantial benefits to having a laptop.

All the replies you've had so far are good reasons for why software engineers might prefer laptops.

As a different way of looking at it, as an Electronic Engineer (I hope I got the right acronym), some of the software you run may well require a bit more performance than most software engineers need.

I think a mobile i7, 16GB of fast RAM, and a fast SSD is pretty good for most developers now, particularly when we're not compiling code - we're mostly using scripting languages (at least the type of devs around here) so the development cycle depends more on reloading and parsing files off disk than on intensive compilation and optimisation steps. There are definitely software engineers who need more, but many will do just fine on a laptop, and the portability wins out.

Compared to Electronic Engineering, I remember some of the software that EE students used at the uni I went to required some beefy hardware to run on. It was large complicated software, that I'd put in the same category as 3D modelling suites, or video editing/effects/rendering. It required high performance workstations, and higher performance simulation servers. I can totally see why an Electronic Engineer would prefer a workstation (although I think to call it a "real" workstation would be a little disingenuous, it depends what your engineering is!)

At my company we have laptops because the company wants people to secure them when they're not at their desk, by taking them with them. Home, meetings, you name it.

Almost nobody uses their laptop keyboard, however, unless they're using the laptop away from their desk. We all have 2-3 monitors and external keyboards & mice.

Opposite here. My employers considers them liabilities, and it's pulling teeth to get one.

Same here. The entire engineering division uses laptops on docks with multiple monitors and the works.

> what is it with software developers and laptops?

I've had to do emergency patches while sitting in a car on a cross-state roadtrip. I've had to ssh in to verify issues in national parks. Sometimes I just like sitting in a coffee shop or a park when I'm writing mindless code.

I run an older macbook, with some semi-heavy docker containers for dev work. It's fine enough for most of my work.

I think it boils down to UI navigation. With a window manager, terminal, and an editor/IDE I don't really need to use the mouse to work effectively as a programmer. Once my muscle memory adapts to the keyboard layout, I'm set. However, navigating a 2D schematic/PCB/drawing or a 3D part with a touchpad is a nightmare and most software doesn't support the touch screen mechanics that I need to effectively replace navigation with a physical mouse. Even with a 3dconnexion portable 3D mouse, there's just too much clicking and precise movement involved in a UI like Altium or Solidworks to be usable.

That and I've never seen a portable laptop that can handle a Solidworks multi-hundred part assembly or a 20 layer Altium PCB, except for massive 17" workstations that are ostensibly laptops.

Plug it in to a keyboard and mouse as well as a monitor when you are at your desk and the problem is solved.

For me, it's the portability. I can work from my desk, a coffee shop, a park, or the floor of my living room, which is where I am right now. Working remotely is never an issue because I have everything I need with me.

People who work in businesses frequently need to take their computer along to meetings, or for pair programming, or if they're going to work remotely.

I believe developers should have a powerful workstation and a small laptop which is able to remote into the workstation.

Pair programming can be done through Slack or Skype (highlight the screen when you want to pinpoint something - it's easier than pointing to the monitor)

Although this setup doesn't solve the remote work issue as remote control protocols can be pretty slow or plainly unusable with a slow internet connection.

I guess I'm in a totally different work environment, as I've never had an internal meeting with a laptop present.

My previous workplace had meetings like that. On my current project we just gather around on Skype from our workstation if we need to collaborate digitally.

> So what is it with software developers and laptops? The portability?

Yes, the portability, that bit is non-negotiable. Plus, when I'm seated at a desk I can always plug in a good mechanical keyboard and external monitor.

personally, i like to work from random areas and not be confined to a desk per se.

> I have an XPS-13, and it's handy for field use with an SDR, but can't fathom doing anything productive on it.

im just a lowly developer working on the backend of sites running rails. im pretty sure i can code on a toaster if need be. probably highly depends on what kind of architecture youre coding on. i'd wager that game developers need beefy machines.

I got sick of it myself and switched to a Lenovo X1 Carbon. Comparison here: http://blog.richard.do/index.php/2018/05/2018-macbook-pro-vs...

I moved to an X1 Carbon (running Ubuntu) from a MBP too. Very happy with it. Keyboard and trackpad are both great.

Did the same (MBP --> X1 Carbon) running Lubuntu 16.04.

Few minor irritations - super sensitive touchpad, multi-monitor setup isn't seamless (but works), FN (touch) keys don't all work. Volume keys don't work, but brightness keys do.

All in all, happy with it far. Had to get used to a more keyboard-based workflow rather than touchpad-based -- switching to apps & desktops, moving windows, copy-paste, etc. all now using keyboard.

Thanks for the concise review. Off-topic question, though:

> but due to the ports issue (which Apple are taking the piss with)

What does "taking the piss with" mean in this context?

In British English this would mean "playing a joke", essentially.

If I tried to convince you that London is actually located on Mars, or that Brexit is a good idea, I'd be taking the piss.

Not taking seriously, fucking around, joking about, assuming a less than professional attitude about, etc

Can you Hackintosh it? Like ZenBook? Meaning you can run Linux, Windows 7/10 and macOS on the same comp without any compromises?

A bit old ;-) Mountain Lion on some earlier generation.

I've heard X1 Carbon 5th is great for Linux, but 6th gen still had issues. Anyone know if the 6th gen is okay with Linux yet?

It’s still a bit iffy. The lack of a proper S3 sleep state is a big, big problem for me. I lose about 6% of the battery life an hour in sleep on F28, and it generates enough heat that I don't feel comfortable putting it in its sleeve while in sleep. Some people have had good luck patching the ACPI tables, but that doesn't work on every distro. I can hibernate okay, but that's really much worse than sleeping.

Other than the power issues, it's a lovely laptop.

I don't regret buying it at all because I don't really mind shaking out problems with new hardware and I usually keep my laptops for ~6 years, but if it's a big deal, I'd buy a used 5th gen X1. Those work flawlessly.

How does Dell XPS compare to Lenovo?

Had both, pretty similar. Better keyboard on X1 Carbon, nicer form-factor on XPS 13, better camera placement on X1 (but I don't use it, so...), X1 is just better. This is using Fedora, you need a later kernel for both of them (4.17+) to stop bad things happening.

Let’ss Hope soo becausse it’s gettiing to be quitee annnnoying.

I laughed and then I cried and then I laughed tears at this commment.

I bought a 2015 refurb instead of a new macbook because of the keyboard issues. It'll get me over this issue and into 2020, I believe.

I bought a new 2015 model, although in my case the Touch Bar was the main reason -- I absolutely hated the new keyboard layout (lack of Esc, no physical function keys, arrow keys are now arranged in way where your fingers can't easily find the right keys without looking down).

Unfortunately, turns out they're no longer made with a discrete GPU -- they only have an Intel Iris integrated graphics chip now, no AMD Radeon. The discrete model was discontinued in 2016.

As a result, graphics performance is horrible. It's especially noticeably bad with the scaled Retina mode. I have to use the scaled mode on my external 4K display because otherwise the UI becomes so small the text is unreadable. That's when you realize that Apple's approach to resolution independence is pretty crappy. You'd think they could just run in 1:1 and just render text, buttons and so on a little larger, but that's not possible.

That is what my entire office did too, holding out hope the next generation has a reliable keyboard and no touch bar

Same at our office. mid 2015 model 15" is the standard issue for developers. A few people go the latest model and all have regretted it.

Seems like Apple can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. iPhone and Watches is all they care about and they don't put any thought into Macs anymore.

I didn't think it would drag out this long.

I'm hit with the not support of mojave with my 2011 iMac, and all the options now are bad, and cost a LOT for me (specially because SSD upgrades cost so much).

The ironic bit is that old machines are almost as costly as new ones...

I have the 12" MacBook, so it's the v1 keyboard, and after I got used to it, I was OK with it.

I'm not exactly sure which "issues" the OP is talking about, but one of the biggest issues isn't just "getting used to" the new keyboard, but the fact that the new keyboard breaks so easily and then costs so much to replace. At that point it doesn't matter how much you like the new style of keyboard, because if your S key is broken, the keyboard is practically unusable.

I have a v2 butterfly keyboard and I actually do prefer the tactile feel over older MacBooks, but the fact that a single piece of hair/dust has broken my keyboard is really unacceptable and something I definitely would like to see addressed.

Breakage applies to a subset of users. Everyone has to get used to typing on it. Typing on it was the issue I was referring to.

I also didn't like it at first, but after some getting use to, I love it. I like it better than my mid 2015 MBP.

edit: I also bought a new MBP 13" and I like it the best. I prefer a 13" form factor, but I primarily got it because it has physical keys instead of the bar.

Do you remember when Apple laptops had the best keyboards in the business? I miss those days.

I wonder what it’s like on Apple’s campuses? I’d guess their employees all have new laptops, or at least Touch Bar equipped models. How many have the Bluetooth Magic Keyboard & Track Pad at their work station too? If they do use external keyboards how do they charge them? From a monitor’s USB3 ports? wall outlet with charger nub? USB C to USB 3 dongle? You have to have one of those methods to charge by Thunderbolt on the Touch Bar laptops … Seriously, that seems like a viable metric to understand satisfaction with the onboard keyboard & trackpad. Or maybe Apple doesn’t think this is as big an issue as it is because so many people are now relying on alternate input devices.

The keyboard is one problem, but there are others.

My secondary machine, a 2014 13'' retina MBP, started having battery problems. Went to an official repair service (Apple does not fix stuff here in Mexico). To replace the battery I would have to replace the whole top panel of the machine (keyboard, trackpad, etc) which costs like $600 USD. Apple would in turn buy the piece removed from my computer and lower what I had to pay to $350 USD.

$350 to replace a battery is still ridiculous, specially considering that it's the first piece to degrade on a laptop.

Since I don't depend much on that laptop I will live with a bad battery as long as I can. In a year or two I will reconsider my options.

I have broken v1 and v2 MacBook Pro keyboards from normal use. Confirmed defective / useless. Really disappointed.

I broke my own rule and bought a first iteration of new technology from Apple.

I'm conflicted. I actually enjoy the feel of the new keys, with the notable exception of the stunningly user-hostile arrow keys.

But I'm a bit of a slob, and I've gotten key stick a couple times. I have to baby this thing and I'm used to smashing the keys clean off and having it keep working.

Literally, my 2010 era MBP was missing two keys when it retired.

Half-height left and right arrow keys, and a keyboard that can withstand the crumbs of outrageous fortune. That'd do it for me.

I'm absolutely with you on this. (Well, I haven't gotten any keys stuck, but I'm with you on the rest.)

It's a great keyboard, or it would be if it didn't have the crazy failure rate, terrible repairability, and awful arrow keys.

So it's actually, just... kinda... fine.

I'm not entirely sure if the problems with the keyboard are simply inherent. The gap between the keys on the new one and the frame is simply tiny, and since the key doesn't move, and because the key hits the bottom when pressed, anything that gets in there isn't going to come out or let the key work normally. With that said, I still do appreciate the thinness of the new MacBooks.

Interestingly enough it also seems to vary between units. The 2017 TBMBP is apparently V3 of Butterfly according to someone who worked at Apple on Reddit, who claims they tried to fix the issue.

The 2016 Retina MacBook (12") that I had was able to handle some serious crumbage and never had issues. I at some point had some real crumbly snacks over it and nothing got inside the keyboard.

Then I got a 2016 MacBook Pro (13", touch bar). Even with lighter use, and trying to keep anything getting into it, I had basically every problem with that keyboard. The only thing that fixed it was a silicone keyboard cover from Amazon, after taking all the keys off and cleaning under them. Then it never broke again because it was effectively sealed.

I wonder if the thinner MacBook has a different keyboard than the Pro (It does, I know that now). I think that might have made a big difference, since the thinner one was definitely less susceptible to pulling stuff into it. Might also have something to do with the airflow from the key going in and out.

On the plus side though, the keyboard covers impact typing a LOT less than they used to because of how thin the keyboard is.

Seems like the post should provide some context. What exactly is the issue?

The keys on the keyboard randomly stop working. This appears to be due to a design flaw that allows even a small amount of dust to interfere with the key action mechanism. Apple posted a 'fix' involving holding the laptop at odd angles and blowing compressed air under the keys to attempt to get them working again. Anecdotally, several HN users have reported having their keyboard replaced multiple times under warranty due to this issue.

Dust or debris can get under the keys and cause them to fail. There are also complaints that some keys don't register as well as others, and that some keys have a different feel than others (in terms of sponginess, etc.)

Like other users said, even a small piece of dust can cause keys to fail. The keyboard is not user-servicable and can only be repaired by taking the laptop apart (ungluing the case).

The keys have so little travel on them that even a spec of dust can lock them in place.

Actually, the current version is v3, found on 2017 MBPs. v2 appeared on 2016 MBPs, and v1 on the first 12" MacBook.

I have the v2 version, and this is my third top case, if it were not for consumer laws here, I would have moved to another laptop.

As far as I'm aware there are no plans to address them, we have to wait until the next Apple event to hear more, hopefully.

I currently have a 2017 MacBook Pro and the keyboard isn't giving me much trouble. Sometimes something will get in the key mechanism, but blowing into the gap between the key and the case fixes it. After using it, my wife's 2013 MacBook Pro feels really spongy (a keyboard I loved).

I don't even want to count how many compressed air bottles I'm through.

Most of the time it fixes the problem, but (so far) three times I had to take it to the Apple Store and claim Consumer Law because the key mechanism broke.

Same model with compressed air and an Apple Store visit not fixing the issue. I am waiting a bit to send it in since there is no real fix and I have an external keyboard at work (with an LG monitor) so it stays closed all day anyway.

ah ok thanks

Out of curiosity, what other laptop would you have moved to? Another apple laptop or something different altogether?

I was thinking of either the Lenovo X1 Carbon, or the Dell XPS 13. They seem robust, lightweight and run Linux.

I have a 2015 XPS 13 Developer Edition (9343) that I still use and love. Also have a 4K XPS 15 (9560) that is dual booting Ubuntu 18.04 and Win10... 18.04 has some quirks during install - and an issue with shutdown out of the box, but https://github.com/stockmind/dell-xps-9560-ubuntu-respin resolved all of that. In my opinion - you can't go wrong with an XPS. The new 13 looks pretty sweet too.

I've been using an XPS 13 (9350) with Arch Linux for a while, and been very happy with it. Good battery life, and good performance.

Only goofy issue is that sometimes on AC power the CPU gets stuck at the lowest frequency, but unplugging for a moment fixes it.

I had a really good experience with the XPS 15, and a colleague of mine was really happy with the 13 model. They seem to work perfectly fine with the latest ubuntu and fedora and they had a decent battery life

Would you get the Developer Edition on the XPS 13?

Does anyone know why there isn't a Developer Edition on the 15 inch XPS?

The Precision 5520 is exactly what a Developer Edition XPS 15 would be, and you can get it with Linux preloaded. I did, and I'm very satisfied with it.

I haven't looked too much into the differences, but I suspect DE since it seems to support Linux better.

I recently switched from a 2015 Macbook Pro to a Lenovo T480s (w/ Fedora 28) and have been relatively happy with the purchase over all. A key did break off within 2 weeks, but I'm hoping after that is taken care of it'll be smooth sailing from here on out.

Who knows? Nobody knows outside of Apple.

My best guess would be that maybe by sometime late next year at the earliest they will have redesigned the keyboard, but it could easily be 2020 or later, or maybe never. It's also possible the next version won't be an improvement, as many learned when the 2012-2015 MacBook Pro was getting long in the tooth, and the 2016-???? replacement arrived to replace it.

In the meantime, you can do what many of us did: upgrade to a three year old 2015 MacBook Pro, it has many useful ports, MagSafe, an escape key, function keys, a working keyboard, etc, it's an improvement in every possible way except that the enclosure is a little bit thicker.

Or you can do what many of my other colleagues are doing and get a Lenovo as they migrate back to Linux/Windows.

I got a macbook 2016 model with touch bar as a work laptop. I was scared of all things, the lack of esc, ports, magsafe. However after using it for X months, I am never going back.

- The touchbar is great with sliders for brightness and volume. That's ALL I use it for though, so it is a bit under utilized.

- The esc key might be the only minor issue, but it's mostly the lack of feedback.

- Ports - I love having to unplug only one dongle instead of the 4-5 USD/HDMI/ETC/ETC I always have plugged in every time I need to move away. And plugging them all back in is also a single action. I'd be ok with less ports even.

- Magsafe, I still love it but I haven't even missed it.

- No issues with the keyboard and I haven't used function keys in years anyway.

I think it 'clicked' for me after a few weeks of usage, so I understand people judging it or even returning it after a few days.

Word of warning: The current 2015 models sold by Apple don't have the discrete GPU, only an integrated Intel Iris chipset. Graphics performance is atrocious, especially with scaled Retina. I often experience sluggishness related to graphics performance. To get the discontinued, superior discrete model, you have to find a refurb or a used one on Craigslist/EBay/etc., and you have to be pretty lucky to find one with all the right specs (for me, minimum 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM).

I think they'll address it by eliminating the keyboard entirely à la the MacBook Wheel[0], albeit perhaps with a touch screen. From an absolute, ergonomic standpoint, it will suck. But soft keys won't fail or get crud in them like hard keys do, and Gruber will soon be writing thinkpieces about how the keyboard is the most failure-prone part of a computer, and the complaints about recent MBP keyboards are inherent failings of hardware keyboards themselves rather than Apple skimping on quality, and Apple is taking the lead in something the industry should have done a long time ago by eliminating the hardware keyboard.

[0] https://youtu.be/9BnLbv6QYcA

When I invoke 1Password with ⌘\, I have to press the \ key reallllly hard. I have to get my hand up on one finger, and use the mass of the hand on just one finger, from a ninety-degree angle, to get that \. That's because a little piece of dust got into my keyboard.

This is pretty much what happened to me, except after a few keypresses, the key broke and never recovered. Apple Store fixed it, though.

My downarrow was like this for a while. Then it broke and I'm sending it in.

I've had so many keys stuck due to dust or some other particle . When I press hard enough I can hear it crack and the key usually works again...I really hate the keyboard :P

My guess is the touch bar along with haptic feedback is going to replace the whole keyboard.

The multitouch technology in their phones was developed by a company that made a completely flat keyboard with no haptic feedback of any kind. (The Fingerworks Touchstream).


It had some pretty powerful macro/gesture functionality. A friend of mine had one and loved it, but wound up having to buy a humidifier to keep it working in the winter.

I can't tell if you're joking, but I've long wondered about keyboards transmuting into touch pads of some kind. Haptic feedback is only part of it, though. I really depend on affordances like the nubs on the F and J keys or the valleys between keys to orient my hands above the keyboard properly without constantly having to look at them. The lack of such affordances on your average on-screen keyboard make high-speed touch typing very difficult for me. Does anyone know if there's been any research in this area?

I don't know about formal research, but there's definitely a track history of membrane keyboards and other such "advances" that kill the physical feedback becoming miserable market failures. Given Apple's usual attention to detail about the importance of such tactile feedback, I can't imagine them going to a system that rejects it. Moreover, we're not seeing non-Apple PC vendors moving in that direction too, even though it's hardly expensive or technically difficult these days.

To the extend that tactile feedback is important for efficient typing, I imagine keyboard design for laptops is a tradeoff between good feel, durability, and making the mechanism as lightweight and shallow as possible. I'm typing this on a recent-model Thinkpad, and the key throw is about 2mm, substantially less than a high-feedback clicky-key type keyboard.

I have a MacBook 12". It took me either months or more than a year to notice that the haptic touchpad does not depress at all when you click. It happened suddenly when I pushed it while the laptop was powered off, and I panicked, thinking the pad was broken / stuck.

I still grin like an idiot pushing into the pad and telling myself that no, my finger did not go down. It is really magical.

If this can be done behind an eink screen or something similar, with a distinct feel for resting a finger and pushing a button, I believe it can be day and night for laptop keyboards. Alternatively, these eink screens could for sure have ridges for key delimitation.

My guess is that your joking, if not then you must be one of the few touchbar fans ("there are dozen's of us...dozens!").

I would absolutely love the touchbar ... as long as it were in addition to the regular keyboard, instead of a replacement for that top row of keys. Put it above the keyboard and keep the ESC and function keys, and I think it would be great.

It is useful in some apps although I wouldn't have gone out of my way to pay extra for it. Having Touch ID on a corporate laptop with strict requirements to change passwords often is amazing though.

I hate the touchbar, but love touchid on my laptop

I'm in the same boat, I really like touchid. I have CAPS LOCK mapped to ESC and have rarely if ever use anything but the function keys on the touchbar. I wanted to like it and use it, but it just doesn't work well for me.

No on both counts, I'd rather they just bought their keyboards from Lenovo.

You mean like the Atari 400? http://oldcomputers.net/atari400.html

On the plus side, very easy to clean.

Thanks for the memories! I hated that keyboard, but the one on the 600XL even though it was full-travel was arguably worse.

They'll probably call it "ipad"

let me piggy-back, is Apple going to have proper HDMI ports in future? Im going surface book the moment my current macbook stops working.

> let me piggy-back, is Apple going to have proper HDMI ports in future? Im going surface book the moment my current macbook stops working.

Unlikely. That would require a 180 degree change of direction. Apple has decided that fewer ports in kind and number is what they're going to do, and I don't really see them responding to external feedback (and basically admitting to a mistake). They're too insular. Case in point: there have been loads complaints for half a decade about the current Mac Pro, and all we've seen so far is a souped up iMac and vague promises.

I'd go with 99% no.

What's wrong with a USB-C to HDMI cable? You've gotta have a cable anyway, and it works great!

apple's mo has always been "why go with standardized ports when we can make our own, nearly identical ports and sell you the adapters?"

i think usb is one of the only cases where they haven't. and thunderbolt, sort of. apple loves their proprietary stuff though.

That doesn't seem fair. The MBP sitting in front of me has mini DisplayPort, USB, HDMI ... all are standards. The newest MBP has USB-C, which is a standard. My last MBP also had FireWire, which was also standardized.

There are dongles to buy, but that seems to mostly have to do with such things as Thunderbolt and the ability to piggyback older legacy technologies on newer connectors.

Now if you were talking about the phone, I agree. But I also see the point -- micro USB is a terrible, terrible thing. As long as it's robust I would like to see the next phone ditch Lightning for USB-C, but I am otherwise much happier with Lightning connectors than I have ever been with micro USB.

Has there ever been a time when Apple removed something from hardware, like a port or a popular component, and later added it back?

Serious question, as I am not personally aware of such a thing.

100% no. Even my MacBook Air 2013 did not had that.

Yes, someone knows. (Seriously though, I hate it when people online will ask "does anyone know....?" )

But to answer the question, apple say their plans ahead of time. I'm sure that when they release their next model of laptop it will have a revised keyboard.

They will fix it eventually in their own way, as almost always after losing class action lawsuit they release info saying 'some keyboards' and 'in specific conditions', for 'some users' and so on. Then replacement will be $175. But who else to say it better as my favourite Apple basher Louis Rossman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUaJ8pDlxi8 (see description below video if you want tl;dr)

Many people report X1 to be great MBP replacement (I have mid 2014 MBP 13" retina - couldn't be happier and 2017 MBP 15" with s*it strip - well keyboard is awful as well as this touch strip) and from using X1 for a week and from input from people @ work those are not that great either. First of all fan noise and it's rpms it's very annoying, screen quality and resolution (after using MBP with retina) is just horrible, touchpad is just rudimentary - works but can be better.

Wouldn’t there have to be an acknowledgement of the “issue” to address the “issue”?

Well, there are a couple of class action lawsuits going on.

If they do, I’ll buy one

Well when the internals don’t provide meaningful productivity differentiation for 90% of users for the last about 6-8 years now, and the MacBook Air design circa 2012 is virtually indestructible, how else are they going to get their users to upgrade machines every 2-3 years if not for shitty keyboard redesigns?

The glued-in battery (not endemic to Apple) genuinely wears down and forces people to upgrade. Not in 2-3 years, though.

Takes about 10 minutes to replace. I’ve done it and it was surprisingly easy.

There is no glue on my 2012 model.


You can still get Apple to replace the battery right? Seems like a small issue if the rest of the computer works well.

You can get it replaced for like $200...

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