I don't know why they didn't vent from the bottom instead, but that's how completely sealed (i.e. waterproof) keypads are vented.
Edit: wow, downvotes? Care to explain...?
>  For example, FIG. 3D depicts a third alternative example of the key assembly of FIG. 3A. In this example, the membrane 213 or gasket defines a vent 320, aperture, or other hole in one of the sides 318A. When the key cap 103 is moved towards a depressed position, the membrane 213 compresses gas inside the internal area 319, forcing the gas through the vent 320. This allows the embossed area of the membrane 213 to act as a bellows mechanism, forcing gas in a direction 321. This may force contaminants away from the internal area 319 and/or out of the aperture 210. This may also reduce compression of the membrane 213, reduc- ing how much the membrane 213 affects the force curve response.
The specific point about sizing is this next section:
> In various implementations, the vent 320 may be configured with sufficiently small dimensions that gas can be forced through the vent 320 without easily allowing liquids, dust, and/or other particles to enter the internal area 319 from the aperture 210.
Also here's the Patently Apple analysis , which points out that this patent covers three different designs (the vented one being the third). I'm not sure the third design we're discussing is the one implemented in the 2018 models though.
This doesn't fall under improper discourse as there was no discernible inflammatory tone. HN is a collection of critical thinkers and in this case offered an enlightening and relevant mechanical design point.
> Please don't comment about the voting on comments. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading.
Don’t worry about downvotes, even if you care about the karma points you can at most get to -4 anyway.
Literally all they needed to do was retina screen, upgrade the internals, and add a few USB-C ports. Was anyone ever legitimately inconvenienced by the thickness of the 2010 MBP? I know I was directly inconvenienced by the loss of MagSafe, ethernet, SD card and USB-A, the loss of the FN key row, and loss of serviceability.
So much so that my 2010 MBP will very likely be my last Apple purchase ever.
The keyboard is so much better on the modern ones, so I’d recommend giving it a chance !
It’s size was also the only thing putting me off a personal purchase. Reliability issues aside (I haven’t been affected but I assume it’s a matter of time) it is a nicer machine.
Lost macOS though, which, in the end, didn’t matter as much as I thought it would.
Or you could run it in a VM. I had to test something with macOS not long ago (not a regular Mac user) and was pleasantly surprised when, after doing a small amount of configuration, VirtualBox booted up from the ISO and installed a macOS VM that ran pretty much perfectly.
Having a T25, X1C5 and X1C6 in the family and the keyboard+mouse experience is so much ahead of everybody else.
But yeah, I can't imagine Micro-USB being more reliable than regular USB-A.
It’s hardly an industrial connector, but AFAIK it’s rated for 10k inserts which is more than enough.
Of any problem with USB-C it unplugging has never been an issue...
My tinfoil hat theory is yes - Apple's supply chain folks. Thinner and lighter laptops means more fit on a cargo airplane, which means lower shipping costs.
Tim Cook cut his teeth on Apple's supply chain as COO before becoming CEO, after all.
Sure. Here's a certain Linus Torvalds:
"I’m have to admit being a bit baffled by how nobody else seems to have done what Apple did with the Macbook Air – even several years after the first release, the other notebook vendors continue to push those ugly and clunky things. (...) I don’t think I’m unusual in preferring my laptop to be thin and light. (...) Btw, even when it comes to Apple, it’s really just the Air that I think is special. The other apple laptops may be good-looking, but they are still the same old clunky hardware (...)"
To me the Air is magical because it has a balance of my exact needs: portability, toughness and, battery life. I would give anything for an updated model.
Most people ignore Chromebooks as direct comparisons, but many are just as tough, have similarly crummy/capable internals, cost a pittance, are as unupgradeable, and run Linux like champs. They're the platonic ideal of single function computing.
The 13" Acer I bought in 2012 had a 1080 display, could output over HDMI at 2160p, and played video for at least 8 hours on a full charge. Cost maybe $250 and had a very sturdy case that didn't bend or break when dropped. Not that shabby.
We don't need to speculate. How many MBPs fit in a cubic meter, and how much does it cost to ship a cubic meter of goods on a cargo plane?
According to this, flying a 40-foot container from Shenzen to London is around $2000. A 40-foot container has a capacity of 76 cubic meters.
The MBP fits in a 17” x 13” x 5” shipping box, which leaves some room for bubble wrap. That's 0.02 cubic meters, so 50 MBPs per cubic meter. So for $2000, 50*76 = 3800 MBPs can be shipped.
That's around 50 cents shipping cost, for something that sells for $1000, which means Tim Cook would have to be quite irrational to reduce the size of the MBP in order to reduce the (50-cent-per-MBP) freight expenditure.
I don't believe this problem is really a limited as Apple has been saying, but they never seem to admit the true scale of problems.
Oh well, hopefully my current one lasts another few years, otherwise I'll probably have to give Windows a try as my main machine again, for the first time in ~10 years.
And refurb models are also eligible for AppleCare if you want a 3 year warranty, but you have to buy AppleCare within 60 days of the Mac purchase.
For an alternative perspective, http://chainsawsuit.com/comic/2016/10/29/the-new-macbooks-ar...
> Battery life is not great. But you can't use it outside anyhow because it'll blow away.
> We want to make a laptop so thin you'll close it and never find it again.
Traditional UNIX keyboards had the control key in the position of where the caps lock key is now. If you remap your keyboard like that, bash and the Emacs shortcuts enabled throughout macOS will suddenly make A LOT of sense. After a few days it will seem be impossible to work in any other keyboard, which is further proof that the remapping is essential for working efficiently in a Unix environment.
I would personally remap the far away control key to act like an Escape key instead.
Sure, if you're a vi user, the caps lock as ESC will seem rational at first, but outside of vi, all other Unix tools work with control key combinations.
It works super well. I can hit key combos that would normally be tricky super easily.
Now if only I could find a way to standardize my hotkeys across sublime, chrome, vim, terminal and tmux. I’ve gotten close but not where I want to. (As an aside, does anyone know how to make ctrl+w delete the word left to the cursor in chrome and put it in the buffer like in the terminal (and also do the same for subl)?)
Couterpoint: when I was working at Lucent around 1999, they gave me a Sun workstation with a keyboard that had Esc instead of Caps Lock. There were others that had a Control key there, though.
Edit: I'm searching online and can't find a Sun keyboard with that layout. Now I'm wondering if I misremembered...
It actually improves the ergonomics of bringing up the Force Quit dialog (my primary use of the ESC key, since I'm not a vi user).
I do this even though I don't currently have a TouchBar model.
1. Having never used caps lock in years, I think any remap is an improvement.
2. I'm guessing you don't use Vim ;) For me, esc is one of my most frequently used keys.
THAT KEY HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR
For the 15" model only, which costs £2,709 ($3,580)
So, it might be reasonable to say they fixed it last year, in terms of prevalence of issues, although absurd cost to repair issue remains; combined with PR, probably explains this year's mod.
It's likely there were manufacturing issues that were still being worked out throughout the 2016 cycle and that there were very minor tweaks made during that year's run to improve reliability. If that were the case, the issues would be weighted toward 2016 models manufactured early in the year, and we'd only be able to know if we compared return data to build date.
In my personal experience with a 2016 MBP, one of the issues with the keyboard was that when the system was under load for a significant amount of time, the resulting increase in temperature around the left side of the keyboard would cause keys to stick. The keys would unstick after temps decreased. This was an issue discussed by several people in forums. A manufacturing change to something like the application of thermal paste on the CPU/GPU might change that, without any change to the keyboard design itself.
And what percentage of the pre butterfly design were because of sand/dust etc. then contrast that to the butterfly design percentage. They could have merely improved reliability in another way(s) with the butterfly design.
EDIT: Below is wrong, but keeping it for posterity:
Note that the desktop Magic Keyboards that employ the butterfly mechanism do not seem to have the same key sticking issues as those on MacBooks, so it's likely they felt the fundamental design of the mechanism was fine but that it did need an additional silicone barrier for the lower-travel MacBook variant.
It’s just a soft key rather than a physical one. I use it hundreds of times a day with vim and have never had problems.
To me using a remapped escape takes more cognitive energy than using the soft escape.
My approach was to remap caps lock to escape as a press and ctrl as a hold, and then disable the touchbar as much as possible (whoever put unmute and siri next to each other should be taken out and shot btw, that caused me so much annoyance)
> After all, Apple told The Verge that “this new third-generation keyboard wasn’t designed to solve those [dust] issues.”
Apple having a hardware fix for their keyboard disasters in this revision is also inline with their repair program they just issued.
What, like delivering a keyboard that actually works reliably?
It seems very much the opposite of under-promise, over-deliver in that they promised it and the touch bar would be better. The most that can be said is both are proving hugely subjective and controversial.
Now, had they managed to get Thinkpad feel in 2mm travel...
Under all other constraints you have. Which is not just simple "put any old working keyboard in there and call it a day".
Yes, they just issued a repair program. Until precisely 3 weeks ago Apple refused to acknowledge the issue and forced customers to pay for costly repairs on their own dime. This patent was filed in September 2016. Apple was fucking lying through their teeth for a full 22 months and have been caught in that lie.
Frankly I'm amazed there isn't more outrage at this. How could anyone trust them going forward?
Do you expect companies to immediately jump to full repair programs the minute the first few users complain?
Especially when people will complain about anything.
Of course they'd wait to see if it's a widespread issue.
They designed a fix innovative enough to file a patent on, 22 months before they acknowledged the issue. That requires costly engineering time and organizational direction that is not used on a whim. They knew back then that this was a real issue.
They work on changes, ideas, and improvements all the time, and they have 1000s of similar patents for everything, doesn't mean the work that lead to that patent was a response to the specific product issue -- could be just a patent about avoiding dust in keyboards in general (a problem that harks back to the ages).
>That requires costly engineering time and organizational direction that is not used on a whim.
Again, you'd be surprised. It just requires the idea, and someone to write it in patent-ease. They have patents for all sorts of ideas and some make it into products while others never see the light of day. They literally use those "on a whim". For Apple filling a patent is peanut money.
Not everything is some conspiracy. Filing patents on improved designs doesn’t mean the old design was flawed and terrible. They are always filing patents on the next thing and hopefully everything is an improvement on what came before it.
Claiming they are lying is unfounded nonsense.
It took me a week to get used to the sound. Six months in and I still can't reliably hit the arrow keys. It's as if they're designed to be as difficult as possible.
I just hate that in 2018 I have to do such a stupid thing to a new computer from what's supposed to be a premium computer hardware company.
Apple users have enjoyed the perfect keyboard layout for 15+ years, only for some idiot manager to come along and change the layout for brainless aesthetic reasons. It's infuriating because the change is so unnecessary.
I won't buy or accept another Apple laptop until they go back to the old layout.
Even on the Apple's new desktop keyboards, the split between the up/down keys is much smaller and much more difficult to detect than their older keyboards. It's much worse on the laptop keyboards.
And because the left and right arrow keys are now full height, it is literally impossible to determine if your middle finger is over the up/down keys or over the shift/up keys. And if your hand is in the wrong spot, nothing works.
As someone who writes code, it is hugely frustrating and it slows me down to the point that I now avoid writing code on Apple's laptops whenever possible.
The touch bar fake Escape key is more of an issue for me.
Nobody predicted the failure rate.
Totally with you on the arrow keys. I absolutely hate those and I still hit the down arrow around 50% of the times I aim for the up arrow.
The types of keyboards I've cycled through in my life between various VAX, DEC, C64, Apple 2e, PC, ergonomic keyboards, laptops, I seem to adapt without really noticing. I look forward to seeing if I am flummoxed by the new arrow key layout, as much as I am by the constantly shrinking iOS onscreen shift keys.
I haven't used arrow keys on my Mac that I can recall.
But the keyboard is just horrible, compared to any ThinkPad X/T. There's no reason a $900B company can't make a great keyboard, except a culture of letting designers get away with sacrificing function for thinness and form.
Dragging an old $10 USB keyboard around with you makes you look like you really like mechanical keyboards.
It's been about a year and a half now. I guess you get used to it.
I was in the same situation and Apple also quoted me $500 until I asked to replace the battery.
So if you need to get your keyboard replaced, just ask for a new battery instead.
For newer models, no need to do this since keyboard repairs are free.
I agree that too-expensive machines shouldn't fail so badly, but so it goes.
“Non-issue” is comical word choice.
The Apple genius also told me that the replacement part won’t be identical to the original keyboard. We’ll see if it’s the new 3rd generation butterfly or just a tweaked 2nd gen.
> In my case, they are sending out to have the top case replaced. Can’t speak for others, but they’re not just kicking the can down the road.
They built the thing so they have no real option other the replacing the whole top case. The in store repair is blowing air into the keyboard and hoping it fixes it.
I ask how long because my late 2013 MBP (granted, maxed out top of the line 15 inch) is still running like a complete champ and with how slow cpu/ram is increasing in power these days (mine has 4 cores/16GB ram and now 5 years later, you can only get 6 cores and 32GB of ram) I would expect a top of the line laptop to last a decade before recycling.
Laptop keyboards are not something you can easily/cheaply replace because if they fail, it totally screws over the "laptop" feature since now you need to pay to replace the entire keyboard or get an external one.
So no, laptop keyboards should have even higher standards for reliability these days and I haven't seen any commitment for these new ones.
There are many laptops with easily replaceable keyboards, this is just typical Apple being Apple.
I don’t get the rage about all this. Life is too short to care about a MacBook keyboard problem this passionately. It works pretty well and feels great to type on: the end.
Edit: Apple did announce a keyboard service program for affected users.
A drop of water managed to break the power button such that is was constantly being pressed if no other key was pressed, causing hard shutdowns. BUT - if I used a tooth pick to stick one of the unused F-keys I could continue using the computer, with the downside that certain key combinations stopped working (mostly shift combos).
Until I figured out the toothpick fix coding was like a Lost episode in high speed, where all was lost if I forgot to press the button within the allotted timespan.
This is a pretty sad day that sonething like this can be patented..
Anything wrapped in a cover can “prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress”
Does any patent office in the world really think nobody has thought of this before?