2016 MBP keyboard is a deal breaker. What now?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by badlydrawnboy, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #1
    I bought the 2016 TB MBP right when it came out. Yeah, the TB is useless but I do like TouchID. But the keyboard is an absolute piece of junk. I've been using Macs for 30+ years (we had an Apple IIe and IIc growing up), and this is literally the first time I've even remotely considered switching to PC.

    It is so much harder to type with this keyboard, and I'm so tired of keys getting stuck. I've gone through multiple canisters of compressed air, and sometimes that doesn't even work. I have an iMac and the normal Apple keyboard is 50x better.

    Seriously, were people really asking for a thinner, lighter MBP? Does Apple do market research or do they just make these decisions on their own? I wish I hadn't sold my 2013 MBA. I would easily trade the fancy retina screen on the MBP for a usable keyboard, and the MBA was plenty fast for me.

    The worst part is there's no relief in sight. It's highly unlikely that Apple will ever go back to a thicker MBP, which is what's required to have a normal keyboard.

    I'm about as much as an Apple fanboy as one can be (I've never owned a single piece of PC hardware or a non-Apple smartphone), I have an AppleTV and just about everything else they make. But I just don't know what to do for a laptop now. So frustrating.
     
  2. Nik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    I feel you. Just returned a 2017 MBP and I am back on my 2014 MBP. No clue what to do next. The only hope on the horizon is the rumor that Apple will switch to a magnetic key mechanism in 2018/2019 because the current butterfly mechanism turned out to be unreliable.
     
  3. Ashton Cofer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #3
    I also purchased a 2016 TB MBP right when it came out but I have been more than happy with the new keyboard. In fact, I have grown to love it more than previous keyboards. Whenever I type on other keyboards now, the keys always feel like they're too mushy. However, I know that though some people (like yourself) are not fans of the new keyboard, I don't think that Apple will be going back any time soon.

    As far as solution to your problem, I would suggest getting a keyboard cover for your computer as this could help in bringing back the feeling of the old macbook keyboards. I would also suggest taking your computer to the Apple store to get the stuck keys fixed as that is not normal. They should be able to fix the problem if your computer is still under warranty.
     
  4. Branflaakes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    #4
    Honestly, you love it or you hate it, or you're capable of adapting in an ever-changing world and can live with it. I don't doubt that some people might have issues with keys getting stuck, but glitches from a few products aside, most people that I know from college and work that have said keyboard overwhelmingly like it. I personally (103WPM typist) type faster on this keyboard than the chiclet keys from older MBPs. But to be objective, everything around us changes, and those who thrive in the tomorrow are able to adapt to the trends and changes that go along with it, whether one likes it or not. That, i think you can agree, goes along with Apple's philosophy.

    However if you do feel that after quite a strenuous period, and you still do not like the keyboard, well, can you live with it? If the answer is no, then go buy an older generation mac (which seems to be an avoidance, rather than a solution to your problem). But please don't equate your own experience with whether or not an 800 BILLION dollar company does market research. Have you some of your own research to back your own experiences up? I (personally) seem to only have encountered people who love the keyboard straight off the bat, or others who were unaccustomed to it at first, but after a while, love it.

    And you're right, it doesn't seem like Apple will revert back to the chiclet keys, mac sales have been growing, people are getting accustomed to the new keyboard, and the newer iMac keyboards teased during WWDC seem to be of the layout of the new keyboard. So ya either adapt or go to PC's, I guess. Who knows, down the line, PC manufacturers (maybe to emulate macs, maybe not), would probably switch to a thinner layout too. So....
     
  5. Pangalactic macrumors 6502

    Pangalactic

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    #5
    Get a Macbook for a couple of weeks and type a lot on it, afterwards you will be able to decide.

    If you still don't like it, then compare it side by side with say a Dell XPS or something like it. For example:
    the value of the Dell keyboard is 10 for you and the Mac keyboard is 3
    the value of the Windows ecosystem is 6 for you, whereas the Mac ecosystem value is 10

    10+6>10+3 so you buy a Dell.

    I'm simplifying a lot, but you get the idea.
     
  6. JesterAZ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    #6
    My 2017 is perfect.

    My mate's 2017 is perfect.

    Girl next to me in one of my classes, her keyboard for her 2017 is perfect.

    Go on here, two guy's have bad 2017 keyboards...And that's it I've seen.
     
  7. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #7
    Have you considered requesting that Apple replace your keyboard with a 2017 version? These appear to have fewer issues than the 2016.
     
  8. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #8
    Maybe I will. Just after I bought my 2016 I came to the forums and a lot of people were complaining about their keyboards, especially the stuck keys. A few had their MBPs replaced but the new ones had the same issue. I use my MBP every day at work so I can't afford to take it to Apple and have no computer for several days.

    The other thing I don't like about the keyboard is how loud it is compared to the MBA keyboard. I'm often typing while on calls and I've had several people tell me it sounds like I'm banging on the keys relentlessly.

    Frankly I'm shocked that anyone would prefer this keyboard over the old ones, but doesn't really matter what I think. I lose.
     
  9. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #9
    Apple makes mistakes, case in point, the Mac Pro and the reports of issues with the keyboard are not an isolated one. There are numerous reports here on the forum from fellow users about the keyboard. I personally tried it out and I must say, its crappy and thats my opinion but its perfectly true and there is no way around it. I don't look at Macrumors as a small group of users who coincidentally are experiencing problems with the keyboard, 40 million visits per month would suggest its basically half of the entire Mac population on here.

    If Apple does a mea culpa on this, I will be surely returning to this thread. Some of us need to stop defending the company because it has nearly a trillion in cash. Humans work there that eat, sleep and **** just like the rest of us and they make mistakes. Look at what happened since Friday with the leak of iOS 11 GM. That was done by a disgruntled employee, not to mention, key folks in the press are admitting, iPhone X is looking like a rush job.

    The OP has every right to complain, its their hard earned money they spent buying it. You have a right to your opinion too, but you certainly never, ever have a right to tell anyone to suck it up and live with it. If thats your thinking, you are probably generational PC user who hopped on to the Mac bandwagon, Apple Campus, Lisa Jackson Green initiative, when the company became trendy, popular and money making and swallowed by the hype.

    Again, the keyboard is crappy and thats a fact!
     
  10. Branflaakes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    #10
    Never have I said Apple does not make mistakes, I'm saying I AGREE that some users might have keys sticking/stuck or other problems, but to say that the new butterfly mechanism is a FAILURE is based on what? self failure to get accustomed to it, or lack of mac sales(which GREW YoY), which is NOT happening, or what? That's right. It's opinion, just like how it is my opinion that the keyboard is amazing. I did not tell him to suck it up, I'm saying that it does not look like Apple will be returning to the chiclet keys, and it's not like 70% of the mac population overwhelmingly hates it enough to have a consensus to do so. Yeah, don't forget dissatisfied consumers tend to be more vocal, whether on the internet or in person.

    OP said he has been a mac user for 30+ years, so is it illogical to say the right thing to do is adapt the new keyboard, since it's implied he will still be on the mac platform given his time already spent here? You've seen the teaser space gray external keyboard at wwdc, thin keys. So if you'd stop throwing out accusations and take in facts, it's not as bad as a keyboard as one might read on macrumors, or else the world would burn because Apple has a product problem. If OP complains about hardware defects, FAIR ENOUGH, he has all the right to, but if he complains because he himself cannot adapt to the keyboard, then Apple cannot please everyone, and he either needs to switch platforms or adapt. We've reached the top of the food chain not by remaining the same, it's evolution and adaptation to the new.


    For reference, I've used PCs along with Macs all my life, and I find no problem switching back and forth between PCs and Macs, whether it be typing on my mac keyboard or an external keyboard.
     
  11. Nik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    You cannot make any assumptions about the longevity of the new keyboards. The 2016 has a lot of problems. The 2017 is only out for 3 months. After this short time we cannot judge if it is a good keyboard or not. We only know that some are failing after just a few weeks of use. Mine went bad after a few days. If younextrapolate keyboards having issues after a few weeks, then you get a big mess after a long time of use.
     
  12. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    PVB, Florida
    #12
    Had 2016 failures & repairs. Had 2017 show early issues of my 2016. Returned it.

    Trying 2017 MB now. Love it but not sold on this keyboard yet.
     
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #13
    A bunch of people here have reported issues with new keyboard’s reliability. We don’t have any data to evaluate the extent of those issues. Our 2016 and 2017 models are working perfectly so far, and I guess that we own over two dozens by now. I did have a problem with my space bar sticking but it was because I ate cookies. Lesson learned :)
     
  14. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #14
    The feel of the gen 2 is honestly alright (and this is coming from someone who hated the gen 1 in the 2015/16 MB) but reliability does seem to be a genuine problem on some machines. Considering we've gone from a very comfortable design with zero reliability issues, to a design that feels ok to type on, and with reports of stuck keys, double presses, non functioning keys, premature 'shine' wear to the key cap, and intermittent functionality I'd say this is definitely a retrograde step at present.

    Honestly though, I think Apple will resolve this, even if it has to make the MBP a little thicker to do so. I did wonder if they were trying to condition us to the idea of a touchscreen KB with Taptic feedback, but their continuing efforts to improve the KB make me think they do still care about providing a decent physical keyboard typing experience. I'd wait and see if they quietly or openly change the design of the KB again, and if they end this design cycle of MB pro's early in favour of a thicker unit with a redesigned KB.
     
  15. Nik macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 3, 2007
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    Germany
    #15
    If you got reliability problems after a few weeks then you have a major problem after a year or more. I wonder what happens then.
     
  16. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #16
    Exactly. And what do those of us do who use our computers professionally? Even if Apple agrees to replace the keyboard, that will take several days. I need my MBP for work and can't work without it.

    I've considered buying a 2017 MBP, sending my 2016 in for repair, and then returning the 2017 when I get the 2016 back. That's not something I would typically do for ethical reasons, but this problem is on Apple, not me. Another option is to just sell the 2016 when it's fixed and keep the 2017. But in that scenario I'll end up spending another several hundred dollars without any guarantee the problem will be fixed, given that some people are still having issues with the 2017 keyboards.
     
  17. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    PVB, Florida
    #17
    I bought refurbs as loaners/test units during my repair cycle issues. I don't feel guilty. Apple couldn't repair the 2016 without issue reoccurring.
     
  18. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #18
    So you bought a refurb from Apple, then returned it when you got your 2016 back?
     
  19. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #19
    I love the keyboard. I have a 2015 15" MacBook Pro for work and a 2016 15" MacBook Pro for personal use and I can't stand the older keyboard anymore. It's too inaccurate.
     
  20. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #20
    I could learn to live with it if it didn't have sticky keys. That's the deal breaker part. I'd still prefer the older keyboards, but at least this one would be usable.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    OP wrote:
    "But the keyboard is an absolute piece of junk. I've been using Macs for 30+ years (we had an Apple IIe and IIc growing up), and this is literally the first time I've even remotely considered switching to PC. "

    The solution is simple:
    Return it and get a refurbished (or possibly new if you can find one) 2015 MacBook Pro, which still has the "old-style" keyboard.

    The 2015 design remains an excellent one, offering legacy ports and a superior keyboard.

    Nuthin' to it!
     
  22. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    North America
    #22
    idk. My keys aren't sticky
     
  23. Huginnmuninn macrumors regular

    Huginnmuninn

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #23

    I write for around six hours a day and for me the only option is using my own keyboard when I'm at work/home, and merely tolerating a laptop's keyboard when on the go.

    I haven't liked a keyboard from Apple since 1994. I currently use a wired Das Keyboard mechanical keyboard, and as a backup have a wired Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (recently discontinued, still available in places for $50) in a closet.

    I've never liked any of the keyboards on Apple laptops ever, going all the way back to my old Duo 230. And I've never been crazy about laptop keyboards in general, from any manufacturer.

    And the original Mac keyboards on the Mac and Mac Plus had horrible-feeling, CLONK-y keys.
     
  24. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    PVB, Florida
    #24
    Yes. Apple offers no loaners. I needed a laptops and wanted to test options.
     
  25. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #25
    Well, I ended up ordering a 2017 MBP with the same config. If I'm gonna go through the hassle might as well get a little upgrade. I got a good deal at B&H ($100 off Apple price, and no tax) and had a rewards card there I needed to use before it expired ($150), so I figure that after my 2016 is repaired I'll sell it and probably only lost $200-$300 on the transaction. Hopefully this new 2017 doesn't have the stuck keys issue.
     

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48 September 9, 2017