The Terrible Keyboard Got a Slight Update
Apple invited some journalists to see new MacBook Pro laptops, they have newer and faster chipsets and processors with more RAM as an option, but didn’t talk about reliability. Dieter Bohn:
…it’s just hard to trust a keyboard after so many reports that it can be rendered inoperable by a grain of sand and that is incredibly difficult and expensive to repair or replace. This new third-generation keyboard wasn’t designed to solve those issues, Apple says. In fact, company representatives strenuously insisted that the keyboard issues have only affected a tiny, tiny fraction of its user base. (There’s now a four-year repair program for the keyboard in case it fails.)
Casey Johnston wasn’t invited to the event.
Apple also stopped selling the only reliable laptop you could buy from them, the 2015 MacBook Pro that had the old keyboard.
The “winner?” of the ongoing Apple portable keyboard saga, Casey Johnston, writes about the new repair program for Macbook keyboards:
While the repair and replacement program covers costs and notes that Apple will repair both single keys as well as whole keyboards when necessary, it doesn’t note whether the replacements will be a different, improved design that will prevent the problem from happening again (and again, and again). Having become a one-woman clearinghouse for people complaining about these keyboards since I broke this story, I feel justified in saying that keyboard failures – dead keys, sticking keys, double-spacing spacebars – appear to happen early and often, and repairs do not permanently fix the issue. I also feel justified in saying that the design on offer as recently as February still presented the exact same issues as the design I purchased in the fall of 2016.
Of course, that means nobody should be buying Apple’s modern* laptops until there’s some kind of hardware revision to stop the problems with minuscule grains of nothing destroying these delicate keyboard keys. It’ll be better when I have a reason to stop pining for an iPad with XCode, gcc, an official Terminal.app, and a clamshell keyboard case from Apple.
*Apple will still sell you the 2015 MacBook Pro in various configurations online if you want more standard ports and a keyboard that won’t quit on you if a butterfly flaps its wings within the surrounding 200 miles.