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I'm disappointed that Apple didn't either kill the Touchbar, or commit to it fully: why is there no desktop keyboard (wireless or wired) with the Touchbar? Presumably a huge amount of Pro users (this is a Macbook "Pro", right?) plug into keyboard, pointing device, and monitor frequently...

At least Lenovo just ditched their Touchbar after the disastrous 2nd generation of X1 Carbon, never to be seen again. Also did a mistake with the 2014 series of ThinkPad by removing the mouse buttons due to a bigger touchpad, just to give them back when the users complained enough in 2015.

Have to give them credit for that.

The touchbar on the 2nd gen X1 Carbons was seriously bad, but in fairness it was worse than the Macbook Pro touchbar.

I wonder whether they'll turn back on their choice to solder RAM on basically all their ThinkPads...

One can only hope.

I really wish. At least the T490 and P-series are still available with replaceable RAM modules.

Buying max RAM from start is a $200 extra which may validate saved space. Not justified is soldered SSD. Ive doubled SSD size once a year to extend laptop life by 6 or 7 years.

I would not give them credit for not being able to create a touchpad as good as Apples and just giving up. The MacBook touchpad is an amazing piece of hardware. I still think its too big now, but the hardware itself is one of the best things about the MacBook.

And I'll add the obligatory comment how us ThinkPad users enjoy our keyboard with the TrackPoint, experience no other manufacturer provide. I'd just remove the touchpad for more keys to the keyboard.

Agreed that I wish they had embraced, extended, or extinguished the Touch Bar. A larger offset from the top row of physical keys, a physical escape key, some form of accidental touch elimination, and/or a taller display surface would all be useful changes.

WRT to an external keyboard with it - in addition to making keyboards more expensive and proprietary, the Touch Bar is powered by the T2 chip, which is not just used to power the Touch Bar and TouchID, but for system functions like boot-up.

Even with these features removed, dynamically paired TouchID sensors would be a change to Apple's security model (which requires a hardware/data reset to pair a new TouchID sensor for security reasons).

Haptic feedback. I don't understand how they can understand how essential this is and implement it with increasing sophistication in both phones and trackpads but abdicate it entirely with the Touch Bar. To the point that third party software to use the trackpad haptics on touchbar clicks is a thing now: https://www.haptictouchbar.com/

I suspect it's probably hard to get the keyboard to straddle the touch bar, but I couldn't help think: Why not physical escape and power keys at the ends?

They should have just kept the F-keys and provide a system level option to neuter the touchbar as just a modern day reference card for the keys. It's not like the wrist rest isn't big enough to sacrifice for more room up top.

Agreed. F Keys + additional touchbar would have actually been useful.

The lack of a physical escape key galls me the most.

I remapped caps lock to esc.

I remapped esc to caps lock (physically) on day one. 6 months later, I'm still mentally re-mapping it occasionally.

Emacs users remap caps lock to escape lock!

Isn't the Touch ID sensor a "physical power key"?

> Why not physical escape and power keys at the ends?


I work from home and open the laptop only if I need to be on a video call. Otherwise yeah, plug into keyboard. I had to work in a coffeeshop one day and had to use the keyboard. I have no idea how anyone can tolerate that piece of shit, to put it lightly.

I actually like the new keyboard quite well. It helps with RSI issues for me.

Killing the touch bar would make Tim Apple lose face, and he lacks the Jobsian stagecraft spin to salvage it.

The touch mbp should've been a macbook air-like spin off, used to demonstrate the viability of the tech by letting people who want it choose it... instead of forcing everyone who wants a high end laptop to pick that model.

But the Apple keyboards are already $150, with no “lower” model available. Add a touchbar and it will be a $300 keyboard. Note that the price bump for emoji-enabled Macbooks is about the same.

Third party keyboards are a lot cheaper and work just as well, plus you get real F-keys if you want.

While I personally wouldn't buy it (I'm kind of picky about the tactile feel of the keyboard), you can get this fully functional Bluetooth keyboard for $20.


Apple also sells external keyboards with real F-keys. Their newer external keyboards are meh, but the previous model, the A1243 Wired Keyboard with Numeric Keypad [0] is amazing. It goes up to F19, and I just generally prefer their layout. I've been using an A1243 as my programming keyboard for nearly a decade. When they stopped selling them I even bought a used spare as backup for when my current keyboard dies.

My only complaints with the A1243 are that the top row is half-sized, and that it has a useless eject button between F12 and F13 which can't be remapped.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Keyboard#/media/File:App...

The eject button can be used in the combination “Cmd Alt Eject” to put to sleep. If it can’t be remapped, at least let’s find a way to use it ;)

I have a theory that Apple will eventually replace the entire keyboard with a giant “Touch Bar.”

Try the HHKB. There's even a BT version (with USB as well). It does come at a price though.

I've never been able to justify spending $250 on a keyboard that put the backtick/tilde in the wrong place.

Plus, I actually use the "Windows" key now, so its absence would be missed.

Fair enough, it is an expensive keyboard, so any major issues you have with it make the price harder worth it.

I don't use tilde much.

There is no absence of a super key. Its on the spot where alt often is, and alt is on the spot super often is. It shares key with shift.

The ctrl is where caps lock is on today's keyboards. If I have caps lock I rebind it anyway. So ctrl and super are easiest to reach, whereas the spot where ctrl often is is difficult to reach (there is nothing there on the HHKB).

So in short this keyboard assumes you normally rebind caps lock to ctrl, it assumes you never use the ctrl elsewhere. It assumes you use super more than alt. It is pretty close to a traditional Sun keyboard.

Funny thing is also, you can buy the keyboard without print on the keys, so that you can rebind it in any way you prefer.

> I don't use tilde much.

What?? I use it all the time: Tilde in vim for upper/downcase and bash for home and backtick for jumping to marks and in JS for template strings. Great key.

It's for consistency across their product line:

force touch -> force touchbar


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