To paraphrase actor Tom Hanks in the Apollo 13 movie, “Cupertino, we have a problem.” The Mincey Plantation is home to about half a dozen Mac notebook models; from an old older MacBook Air, to a couple of MacBooks, a new MacBook Air, and one older and one newer MacBook Pro.
What do they all have in common? Keyboards. What do two of them have in common? Keyboards that don’t work properly. Yes, those Macs are equipped with the infamous and notorious butterfly keyboards which are so bad that Apple issued an apology.
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Now I know why Apple moved headquarters from One Infinite Loop in Cupertino or the new Apple Park down the highway. The engineering team responsible for those faulty keyboards were executed and their ghosts wander the halls. Or, maybe their bodies are still hung somewhere outside as a reminder to engineers who design something that Does. Not. Work.
OK, to be fair, Apple did replace our faulty butterfly keyboards on two of the Mincey MacBooks. Apple was kind enough to do it twice on one MacBook. But we’re not alone. Mac notebook users all over the world have something else in common.
Apple notebook users have had a love-hate relationship with their Macs. As in, they love everything about the MacBook but hate hate hate the keyboard.
This is not an issue of different strokes for different folks. Most of those haters hate the fact that far too many of the butterfly keyboards have proven faulty. Apple has a special keyboard program to repair problematic keyboards.
I might be in the minority, but I don’t have a problem typing on the butterfly keyboards, and I can understand the difficulty Apple’s engineers– those that dare to work on Mac keyboards– have to design and build a keyboard that makes 80-percent of the company’s Mac customers happy. With an iMac or Mac Pro or iMac Pro or even a Mac mini, you can easily find a keyboard you like and make it work. That option is more problematic with Mac notebooks.
Who wants to carry around an extra keyboard for a 2-pound notebook? How bad is this butterfly keyboard problem?
Appl Still Hasn’t Fixd Its MacBook Kyboad Problm
Sorry. That one is behind WSJ’s paywall, but you’ll get the gist of it from this sub-head:
Apple’s third-generation butterfly keyboard was supposed to fix all the previous defects but buyers are still having problems
What is it they say? Three strikes and you’re out?
My absolute favorite Mac notebook is a 13-inch MacBook Pro, the model previous to the butterfly keyboard fiasco, the slightly thicker and heavier model with more ports and easier typing.
One of our offspring plans to head out to Europe for the summer and we decided to get him a new MacBook Air. Thin. Light. Affordable. After enduring a few months of poor spelling and a fried keyboard, he said, “No thanks, Dad. Can I take your MacBook Pro instead?”
Certified Apple watcher John Gruber:
I consider these keyboards the worst products in Apple history. MacBooks should have the best keyboards in the industry; instead they’re the worst. They’re doing lasting harm to the reputation of the MacBook brand.
Strong words, yes, but seemingly accurate for any Mac user who has suffered through the butterfly keyboard syndrome.
Apple needs a new and improved keyboard design. Soon. If not, it’s possible the MacBook’s reputation will suffer irreparable harm, and for a product line that is stagnant, that’s not going to bode well for the future.