3 new MBA - 3 Keyboard Failures

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by CaptRB, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #1
    Working on a film project, our producer picked up 3 brand new MBA's. I did warn her that I had plenty of experience and knowledge to suggest that the keyboard issues were not resolved, but she decided that it must be a rare problem that was likely fixed.

    It took less than a week for the 1st unit to fail. The left side of the spacebar wasn't working. The 2nd unit quickly developed double spacing W, E and B keys. The 3rd unit lasted almost two months before the N key had to be pressed very hard to register. The first two units had keyboard replacements and one exhibited the SAME problem in about two weeks. The 2nd serviced unit also got a new keyboard and is (so far) still working. The 3rd unit went in last for a keyboard replacement, but this time (in about a month) the Y-O-U keys comically started to fail. They either needed hard presses or double typed.

    Takeaways:

    1) All three units were on and in use for 12 hours a day+.

    2) Nobody ate or drank anything over the units. Service found zero debris.

    3) The company is now willing to sue Apple if they don't refund in full for the units. I've went through this with my MBP units and the keyboard failures. Apple will eventually do the refund.

    Meanwhile...I'm working on the last of the good MBA's with the "old" keyboard that just works and works and works.

    If you're one of those people who's a very light user, you may be fine. But don't kid yourself about these butterfly keyboards. They's ruined the line, MBA and MBP alike. Warranties are useless when you have work to do, folks. I'm interested in gear that WORKS and keeps working. Apple was once known for that, but not any more.

    Rob
     
  2. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
  3. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #3


    No, you didn't.

    This just happened on the film project we're on.

    Play netkop with the kids.


    Rob
     
  4. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #4
    I think what our Texas friend is trying to say, Captain, is that your first 30-odd posts on keyboard failures have made your point more eloquently than retelling any more recent experience might.

    Having read all your posts on the topic, I certainly believe you've contributed to the definitive keyboard saga. In my admittedly limited experience, however, an increase in vitriol doesn't necessarily promote an increase in attentive readership.
     
  5. smirking macrumors 68020

    smirking

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #5
    In my experience it was the opposite. I had a 2016 MBP that had occasional key jams that cleared up once I started typing on it all the time. I initially hated the feel so much I rarely used it directly. I got used to it and started using it a lot more and it stopped jamming.

    I've never thought that debris was the real primary culprit. I got to see a butterfly switch up close and it's not as fragile as people think. Ordinary dust alone is not going to jam it. No way. Small debris like sand could still jam it and kill it, but my feeling is that manufacturing issues were the most common cause of failure, which would explain how some people could get one bad unit after another. If there were bad batches that got past QC, people downstream from specific distribution points would be disproportionately affected.
     
  6. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #6
    I've had some indication that the most recent issues have to do with the heat of the unit during extended periods of usage.

    I'd love to swap out my 2017 for a new model, but no way will I risk it.

    Rob
     
  7. smirking macrumors 68020

    smirking

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #7
    Someone speculated that the real change to the 2019 MBP keyboards that are supposed to fix the issues for good are actually not to the keyboard at all, but to the thermals. In a thread where performance metrics for the 2019 MBP was being compared, some people noted that the thermal control was much improved in the 2019.

    FWIW, I now have a 2018 MBP. I've been using it all the time for over three months now and haven't had a hitch. I had a key jam every 1-2 months on my (now sold) 2016 MBP for the first year. It stopped entirely after the 1 year mark. Most of the time when the key jammed, I was able to fix it just by pressing down and jiggling it. That fixed all but two jams. Those two exceptions worked themselves out over a few days of continued use.
     
  8. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Yes. He has become the boy who cried wolf. We don't need another thread for this.
     
  9. kreasonos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #9
    Go thinkpad, don't look back.
     
  10. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #10
    I'm a professional writer. I beat on my 2018 Air all day long. Had zero issues so far. However, I do keep a can of compressed air nearby and blow the keyboard out once every few days. So there's that.
     
  11. Kung gu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    #11
    they have their own share of issues as well
     

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10 June 3, 2019