Buying 2019 MacBook Air but Have concerns over the keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Roykatz, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Roykatz macrumors newbie

    Roykatz

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    #1
    Hello everyone,
    I want to get a 2019 MacBook Air for my next year in college but I have concerns about the keyboard. I know that it’s supposed to be more reliable than previous models but I’m still worried about it because of the high cost of the product.
    what do you think? Should I be worried and consider other MacBooks or Do I worry too much?
    Would love to hear your opinions.
     
  2. SalisburySam macrumors member

    SalisburySam

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Location:
    Salisbury, North Carolina
    #2
    Have you actually used a 2019 MBA keyboard? If not, you might want to try it and make your own call. As to reliability, you’ll have a factory warranty for a year. You could also consider AppleCare to extend that warranty.
     
  3. Roykatz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Roykatz

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    #3
    truth is I didn’t try it yet. Does the factory warranty covers this issue? (Of course only if it happens)
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    The 2019 Macbook Air is covered by the Keyboard Service Program for four years. Note that is only for the keyboard. That also means it gets a new palmwrest, trackpad and battery when the keyboard is replaced.
    https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks
     
  5. Roykatz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Roykatz

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    #5
    Oh great! Haven’t noticed that! Thanks for letting me know!
     
  6. auxbuss macrumors regular

    auxbuss

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I've been using mine for nine (maybe ten) months now. Every day. Lots of hours. Lots of typing. Lots of exposure to the environment. Many environments. I move it around. Sling it in a backpack. Use it in the big wide world. Still works great.
     
  7. mj_ macrumors 6502a

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    I've been through four Butterfly keyboards in the last roughly 2.5 years. Three replacements on my 2016 MacBook Pro nTB and one on my 2017 MacBook. Granted, none of them was a 2019 model but that doesn't really make a difference. Adding a silicone membrane won't change the fact that they are broken by design and should have never seen the light of day. Personally, I wouldn't spend another dime on a Butterfly keyboard until Apple finally replaces it with a traditional and reliable scissor switch design. That said I do enjoy the typing experience on my current 2017 MacBook.

    If you get the 2019 Air keep in mind that the keyboard will break at some point in the next few years, and if it does getting it replaced will take between a few days and up to two weeks, depending on where you live and whether your local Apple Store performs the repair in-site or has to send the laptop off to the next repair facility. My first three keyboard replacements back in 2017 took two weeks each because the device had to be sent to Houston. The most recent one a few months ago only took three days because the replacement was performed locally in Austin. Oh, and you don't get a loaner in the meantime. Let's just hope it won't break when your final papers are due...
     
  8. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #8


    Sadly, I've heard no good news about Apple keyboards, even with the latest models. I gave up on Apple notebooks, but still have the last of the AIR models with the good keyboards. My desktops are still top tier Apple, but I'll go PC on the notebooks when the Airs finally age out.

    Such a shame.


    Rob
     
  9. racoop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #9
    I have never had the slightest issue with my 2016 MBP that I use heavily. Clearly your mileage may vary, but undoubtably there are folks that use their MBs in ways that the current gen keyboard is prone to fail. But, probably many, many more people have NOT had issues. The four year keyboard warranty should put your mind at ease. At this point I dont fear the keyboard and would not hesitate to buy a MBA 2019. I am a college prof and most of my students have newer MBA or MBPs - never heard of a single complaint from any of them re. the keyboard. Students around here never buy PC laptops anymore, so they don't avoid the Mac keyboard. I can't even recall the last time I saw a college student using a PC laptop.
     
  10. ATC macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Got my wife the new MBA on release day, so she's had it for almost three weeks. This is subjective of course but we both love the kb; it's fantastic to type on and it's been flawless. For peace of mind I also appreciate the fact that Apple has the 4 year coverage on it as standard. Overall we both really like the new MBA; its light, cool and silent with everything we've thrown at it. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
     
  11. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #11
    You've been using a 2019 Air for nine months? How is that possible? It was just released a few weeks ago, wasn't it?
     
  12. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #12
    It's rather silly to still be in denial about these issues and clearly the butterfly keyboard has been a problem prone bit of tech for Apple. Now they've extended the warranty on keyboards SPECIFICALLY to help people feel safer in their purchase. I can't afford to have my computer fail. Period.

    All I can say is this. I have two friends at the Genius Bar, here in LA and also in Chicago stores.

    And I know to pass on these machines until we get a better keyboard. If you want to roll the dice, go right ahead. Chances are it'll be fine. And there's also a reasonable chance you'll have an issue. Warranty will cover it, but my time is worth more than dealing with bad engineering from the get-go.

    People tend to defend their purchases. Heck, even I did it with my 13" and 15" models for a while. And then the keyboards went bad. And now, with the new MBA, my friends editing salon returned a new machine with the same kind of problems.

    So...it's a NO from me. But everyone's free to make their own choice. Good Luck!


    Rob
     
  13. jgorman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2019
    #13
    That is the key I think.

    What is the opportunity cost of dealing with keyboard repairs if or when they happen?

    Apple will not charge to fix it for four years after purchase, but they do not reimburse you for travel, lost time or lost work.
     
  14. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ocean State
    #14
    The new Airs are supposed to have the Gen3 butterfly type keyboards and they are "supposed to be" more reliable than the past gen butterfly keyboards. Even so, I don't think there have been too many people reporting issues with their new Air keyboards, key word.... too many people BUT there have been reports nevertheless.

    As Sam mentioned in the second post of this thread, "you’ll have a factory warranty for a year. You could also consider AppleCare to extend that warranty."

    I say get the new Air and use it as you normally would use any laptop and if you do run into issues with the keyboard (keys not working or keys sticking) then take it in for service/repair using either the factory warranty or the Keyboard Service Program for four years from date of purchase. Either way you won't have to worry about shelling out full price for keyboard repairs.

    If anything get a silicone keyboard cover to lay over the keyboard after purchasing the laptop and you should be okay. If I get to the point where both of my 2015 Airs (13 inch and 11 inch) are no longer useful for my purpose, I will then be faced with having to buy the newer Apple laptop and either accept the shortcomings (butterfly keyboard) of the new laptop or be prepared to deal with the repairs that may be required. Either way I won't worry too much about it and just enjoy using the new laptop.
     
  15. mj_ macrumors 6502a

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #15
    That's because the 2019 keyboard has only been out for a few weeks. With the new silicone membrane it takes a bit longer for dust and debris to find its way into the butterfly mechanism but once it does it's trapped in there for good, courtesy of said protective silicone membrane. Just give it some more time ;)

    That's actually the worst thing you can do. Yes, the silicone keyboard cover keeps the dust away. However, MacBooks breathe through the keyboard, and the keyboard is not only an air intake but also a mechanism to regulate internal temperatures. Thus, covering it with a silicone keyboard cover will increase heat on the inside, which in addition to dust and dirt is the butterfly mechanism's second nemesis (I've actually lost two keyboards to heat, and two to dust and debris). Plus, given the tolerances these laptops are designed and built with adding an extra layer atop the keyboard will also pry out the hinges ever so slightly every time you close the lid and cause major damage very fast.

    Whatever you do: never EVER cover a butterfly keyboard with a silicone keyboard cover.
     
  16. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ocean State
    #16
    That’s nice to know. I won’t be getting the new Mac laptops then until Apple can produce a laptop with a reliable keyboard then.
     
  17. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #17
    I don't know where you picked up that tidbit. The underside of Macbook keyboards are tightly sealed with multiple layers of plastic which make up the keyboard circuits and finally an adhesive film covering the entire keyboard bottom.

    [​IMG]

    The Macbook Air intakes and exhausts air through the rear with vents on the left and right. One for intake and one for exhaust. These vents are well concealed in the gap between the display and the body of the Macbook Air.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202179
     
  18. mj_ macrumors 6502a

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #18
    You're right, the air intakes have been relocated so adding silicone keyboard cover won't affect ventilation.

    However, the devices still use the keyboard surface to regulate internal temperatures, and it can get quite toasty when internal temperatures rise. Basically, the entire unibody case acts as a giant heatsink, and putting an airtight lid atop of it is not necessarily the best thing to do. It will also unhinge the display ever so slightly and cause wobbling much sooner than without the keyboard cover.

    But yes, you're right. It does not affect ventilation, thank you for putting it straight.
     
  19. jgorman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2019
    #19
  20. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #20
    I'd like a new MBA or two with the new screens.

    But there's no way I'm touching one until I'm certain the keyboard issue is fixed. For now I happen to know that it's NOT fixed. I'm using two i7 2017 MBA so I can wait a while.

    Rob
     
  21. ZeuSGoKiL macrumors newbie

    ZeuSGoKiL

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    Nov 6, 2016
    Location:
    Norlisk, Mother Russia
    #22
    Two weeks is considered a VIP treatment like already .. in my place it could easily reach till a month or more for any replacement that is.
     
  22. Saturn007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    #23
    Sometime in the winter could be a good time to buy Apple stock!

    There are so many of us holding off on buying MacBook Airs and Pros until the scissor keyboard returns that Apple should see a massive uptick in laptop sales in the spring or summer with redesigned models.
     
  23. vaugha macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    #24
    If you need a laptop now and can't take any chances of having any keyboard issues, then the next best thing is 2015 mbps or 2017 mbas. If you can wait, then 2020 refresh seems to be the next logical step for mba since we already had a refresh in July.

    I'd be wrong if they upgrade the processor this October but rumor has it that scissor keyboards aren't coming to the air until 2020.
     
  24. ZeuSGoKiL macrumors newbie

    ZeuSGoKiL

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Location:
    Norlisk, Mother Russia
    #25
    Indeed it is, the ever famous Analysis said the same thing. Wait is the wises thing to do, base on experience Apple will always bump up the price when ever new stuff are being introduce to their product .. and the price is anyway but a stiff climb.
     

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24 August 1, 2019