SurfaceBookUser

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 13, 2016
70
37
I've been using my 2016 13" TB MacBook Pro since release, November 2016. I've used it 60+ hours per week since I use it for work as a software engineer, and it's my personal computer as well.

I thought I was in the clear by now but nope, my "r" key is starting to act up by not registering at times or double registering upon releasing the key. After going so long without any issues at all this makes me wonder if every single one of our keyboards is destined to fail after enough usage.

Just thought I'd share incase anyone wants to reconsider purchasing Apple Care before their warranty is up.

Edit: Just wanted to clarify that I've actually loved the keyboard and the entire machine since day one, I'm not one of the people who's been overly paranoid or worried about it.
 
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Lastgreen

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2017
85
11
i truly hope that all keyboards arent destined to fail.. sigh.. i just bought mine :/ maybe pop out the key with a thing plastic and clean it out?
 

r.harris1

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2012
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Denver, Colorado, USA
i truly hope that all keyboards arent destined to fail.. sigh.. i just bought mine :/ maybe pop out the key with a thing plastic and clean it out?
You'd think that would be a great idea, and it would be with a "legacy" keyboard. My wife and I each have 2016 MBs and the space bar keys on both got dirt/dust under them and wasn't registering or would take excessive pressure to do so. I popped out the key on mine and it promptly broke the tiny plastic hinges on it that are part of the new design. No Apple Care on it and there's no such thing as replacing a single key at Apple for these - you have to replace the whole keyboard mechanism, which means replacing the entire upper portion of the MB. $700.00 or so. I did find 3rd party keys, but because there are no instructions from Apple and only a few really bad videos by YouTubers online, it took a while to get it back on correctly. Unfortunately, it's not just popping it back in. I was much more careful cleaning my wife's spacebar but still managed to break one of the hinges, but breaking just one didn't seem to be much of a problem.

I also now have a 2017 MBP, so we'll see. Apple Care with this one, of course.
 

Lastgreen

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2017
85
11
You'd think that would be a great idea, and it would be with a "legacy" keyboard. My wife and I each have 2016 MBs and the space bar keys on both got dirt/dust under them and wasn't registering or would take excessive pressure to do so. I popped out the key on mine and it promptly broke the tiny plastic hinges on it that are part of the new design. No Apple Care on it and there's no such thing as replacing a single key at Apple for these - you have to replace the whole keyboard mechanism, which means replacing the entire upper portion of the MB. $700.00 or so. I did find 3rd party keys, but because there are no instructions from Apple and only a few really bad videos by YouTubers online, it took a while to get it back on correctly. Unfortunately, it's not just popping it back in. I was much more careful cleaning my wife's spacebar but still managed to break one of the hinges, but breaking just one didn't seem to be much of a problem.

I also now have a 2017 MBP, so we'll see. Apple Care with this one, of course.
i believe the spacebar is a completely different story from the others keys.. at least so i have read. nevertheless you are right its pretty risky
 

Macalicious2011

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2011
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855
London
It will be interesting how Apple will handle failing keyboards when all the 2016 and 2017 laptops are out of warranty. The EU is very protective of customers when it comes to known manufacturing defects.

Apple will likely have to replace failing laptops with newer models that are not prone to keyboard failure. Watch out for a replacement program in 3-5 years time.

At that point I might even pick up a cheap used 2016 model and sit on it in anticipating of a replacement program.
 

eddjedi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
536
571
After going so long without any issues at all this makes me wonder if every single one of our keyboards is destined to fail after enough usage.

Isn't that kind of stating the obvious? Of course it will fail at some point, everything will. The question is how many, and whether it's likely to be <1 year which is not acceptable, or >3 years which people should expect.
 

eddjedi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
536
571
Expecting anything to last forever is more absurd IMO. I replaced my last Apple external keyboard after two years because as a developer I had used it so much the keys were all wearing off. That's not Apple's fault, it's called wear and tear.
 

Macalicious2011

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2011
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Isn't that kind of stating the obvious? Of course it will fail at some point, everything will. The question is how many, and whether it's likely to be <1 year which is not acceptable, or >3 years which people should expect.

No one should expect a $2000-3000 laptop to need a $600 top case replace after 3 years because a key has failed.

I've used numerous laptop and keyboards throughout my life and none has required the keyboard to be thrown out. Yes a keyboard is a wear and tear item but if there's a manufacturing or design default defect then the manufacturer should be held accountable for any failure.


I once had a HP Pavilion laptop which needed a motherboard replacement three times. I had a hunch there was a manufacturing defect which HP, for legal reasons, denied. Eventually they came clean and released a statement that the on board Nvidia GPU had a design fault that toasted motherboards. At that moment I sent HP a letter stating that they have knowingly sold me a laptop with critical defect.

Within 6 days I was, no questions asked, refunded 50% of the money I paid for the laptop 3 years earlier.
 

eddjedi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
536
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A keyboard is very different from an internal piece of hardware. It's the part of any laptop that suffers the most abuse. Yes of course the manufacturer should try their best to prolong its life which I believe Apple do. But you can't expect something that gets pressed thousands of times a day to have a 100% non-failure rate. The mistake Apple have made is making it so hard to replace, not the fact a fraction of them fail in the first place.

(By the way, typing this on a 2016 MBP keyboard right now...)
 
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New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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So you're all actually now arguing about a future that may or may not exist, and the possibility of replacing something at a random point in time that has not occurred yet? And largely this seems to be people who don't own one arguing this point?

Okay just checking, carry on. I wish people would just be happy with the computers they brought instead of constantly attacking others based on 'opinions'. On the plus side at least it's a warrantable complaint, beats the earlier complaints about, some of the greatest hits of which included the "MacBook Pro text", "No glowing Apple logo", "If it was just 1mm thicker!", and of course "The trackpad is TOO LARGE!".
 

Naimfan

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Jan 15, 2003
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Expecting anything to last forever is more absurd IMO. I replaced my last Apple external keyboard after two years because as a developer I had used it so much the keys were all wearing off. That's not Apple's fault, it's called wear and tear.

Kindly point to where I wrote, or implied, that it would last forever? Correct. I did not.

And bravo on extrapolating your use case to the universe of users. :rolleyes:
 

r.harris1

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2012
1,290
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Denver, Colorado, USA
I should add to my above expressed frustrations that I actually like the new keyboards quite a bit. I just wish it were easier to maintain when something inevitably does go awry.
 

eddjedi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
536
571
And bravo on extrapolating your use case to the universe of users. :rolleyes:

If you want to be pedantic and patronising, expecting doesn't mean it is definitely going to happen, just that it might. 3 years is Apple's maximum warranty period, therefore it seems reasonable to me that after that period you can expect that you may have to replace or renew.

And apologies if my real-life use case doesn't fit in with your make believe ones.
 
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Naimfan

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If you want to be pedantic and patronising, expecting doesn't mean it is definitely going to happen, just that it might. 3 years is Apple's maximum warranty period, therefore it seems reasonable to me that after that period you can expect that you may have to replace or renew.

And apologies if my real-life use case doesn't fit in with your make believe ones.

"Reasonable" is an objective standard. We'll wait while you go look that up and pretend you knew it all along. Your assertion fails that test.

Have a wonderful, overworked life.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,186
8,231
OP wrote:
"After going so long without any issues at all this makes me wonder if every single one of our keyboards is destined to fail after enough usage."

The 2016-17 "keyboard design issue" is going to become a time-bomb for Apple in the years to come.

I predict that the failure rate will increase with the age of the laptops, and that this has the potential to be far more damaging to Apple than was "RadeonGate" with the failed GPU's of the 2011 MacBook Pros.

It's less of a problem for laptop -owners- so long as their MBPro's remain under warranty or AppleCare coverage. But what happens when keys start failing after the warranty has expired? The keyboard alone can't be replaced -- the entire topcase must be changed out. The cost of replacing the topcase runs over $700.

Gonna be a lot of unhappy MacBook owners out there when THEY have to start paying for these repairs!

Personal experience:
When the 2016 MBPro's were introduced, I tried one side-by-side with a 2015 model. I immediately "found the new keyboard wanting" -- just didn't like something about it. I chose the 2015 over the 2016 largely for this reason. I'm glad that I did!
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,667
7,548
If you want to be pedantic and patronising, expecting doesn't mean it is definitely going to happen, just that it might. 3 years is Apple's maximum warranty period, therefore it seems reasonable to me that after that period you can expect that you may have to replace or renew.

And apologies if my real-life use case doesn't fit in with your make believe ones.
My Retina MacBook Pro's keyboard is 4 years old and every key still works fine. That's not an unreasonable expectation at all, especially when I have PowerBooks that are 12+ years old and I can also say the same for those.

The quality and longevity of Apple products is one of the reasons people buy them over competing products in the first place.
 
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Mainsail

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Sep 19, 2010
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I understand that anecdotal information from MR posts does not constitute a scientific study of quality or product defects, but we all come to these forms to get some product info and feedback. That feedback leads me to believe that there are issues with this new design. Personally, I would be pretty unhappy with myself if I paid $1,500 for a laptop that had a widely reported keyboard defect. If/when I experienced the problem, I sure would be kicking myself for making a bad decision.

I am a big Apple fan, but it sure looks like they screwed up on this one. Keyboards are the primary user interface for laptops. So, when you mess around with the design for the sake of thinness and aesthetics appeal, you damn well better be sure they work reliably. Sorry, I don’t buy the notion that alll keyboards wear out after 3 years of normal use. We have four older MacBooks with traditional keyboards in our family, and they all work just fine. These machines are getting seriously used and abused for years and years at college and high school......no problems.

The new keyboard is definitely looking like a defective design. Well, you can argue that this can not be definitely stated unless you have manufacture data on failures......but, you aren’t going to have access to that information until someone files a class action lawsuit. In the meantime, people must make purchasing decisions now to meet their current needs. Personally, I would not recommend these new MBPs to my friends.
 

Nixir

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2011
94
92
Toronto
The question is how many, and whether it's likely to be <1 year which is not acceptable, or >3 years which people should expect.

This is hands down the stupidest thing I've ever read. I have a 2008 core duo plastic white Macbook, and a 2010 core2duo aluminum macbook "pro" - which my father still uses to this day as an internet machine, the keyboards on both work absolutely perfectly. In fact, for average usage like web-browsing and running Office apps, I can't tell any difference between the 2010 Macbook (upgraded with 8GB ram and SSD) and my Mac Pro, both running 10.12.6.

Keyboad failures on any computer (yes even on @$200 Chinese cheapos) were literally unheard of until Tim Cook's Apple came along.
 

canuckRus

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2014
703
233
I've been using my 2016 13" TB MacBook Pro since release, November 2016. I've used it 60+ hours per week since I use it for work as a software engineer, and it's my personal computer as well.

I thought I was in the clear by now but nope, my "r" key is starting to act up by not registering at times or double registering upon releasing the key. After going so long without any issues at all this makes me wonder if every single one of our keyboards is destined to fail after enough usage.

Just thought I'd share incase anyone wants to reconsider purchasing Apple Care before their warranty is up.

Edit: Just wanted to clarify that I've actually loved the keyboard and the entire machine since day one, I'm not one of the people who's been overly paranoid or worried about it.


Possible CC warranty coverage for 2nd year?
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,763
2,647
East of Eden
I understand that anecdotal information from MR posts does not constitute a scientific study of quality or product defects, but we all come to these forms to get some product info and feedback. That feedback leads me to believe that there are issues with this new design. Personally, I would be pretty unhappy with myself if I paid $1,500 for a laptop that had a widely reported keyboard defect. If/when I experienced the problem, I sure would be kicking myself for making a bad decision.

I am a big Apple fan, but it sure looks like they screwed up on this one. Keyboards are the primary user interface for laptops. So, when you mess around with the design for the sake of thinness and aesthetics appeal, you damn well better be sure they work reliably. Sorry, I don’t buy the notion that alll keyboards wear out after 3 years of normal use. We have four older MacBooks with traditional keyboards in our family, and they all work just fine. These machines are getting seriously used and abused for years and years at college and high school......no problems.

The new keyboard is definitely looking like a defective design. Well, you can argue that this can not be definitely stated unless you have manufacture data on failures......but, you aren’t going to have access to that information until someone files a class action lawsuit. In the meantime, people must make purchasing decisions now to meet their current needs. Personally, I would not recommend these new MBPs to my friends.

I'm not quoting you to disagree, just to say that while forums like this can attract people (including me) with all kinds of agendas and alternative factual perspectives, I think this is fair to say:

- we should not be seeing any posts about a failing keyboard, not one.

[doublepost=1512062866][/doublepost]
I've been using my 2016 13" TB MacBook Pro since release, November 2016. I've used it 60+ hours per week since I use it for work as a software engineer, and it's my personal computer as well.

I thought I was in the clear by now but nope, my "r" key is starting to act up by not registering at times or double registering upon releasing the key. After going so long without any issues at all this makes me wonder if every single one of our keyboards is destined to fail after enough usage.

Just thought I'd share incase anyone wants to reconsider purchasing Apple Care before their warranty is up.

Edit: Just wanted to clarify that I've actually loved the keyboard and the entire machine since day one, I'm not one of the people who's been overly paranoid or worried about it.

OP: did you purchase AppleCare on this machine?
 
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turbineseaplane

macrumors 604
Mar 19, 2008
7,621
11,902
Personal experience:
When the 2016 MBPro's were introduced, I tried one side-by-side with a 2015 model. I immediately "found the new keyboard wanting" -- just didn't like something about it. I chose the 2015 over the 2016 largely for this reason. I'm glad that I did!

Strictly on feel/experience and leaving aside reliability, I find the newer/low travel KB's to be just fatiguing after a while. I find I have to mentally be careful about what my hands are doing as they are so easy to depress. They can leave you with the feeling of "flying" and really going fast, which I think is very attractive to many people on feel alone, but for me it leads to way more errors and corrections and also leaves my fingers tired from bottoming out no matter how much I try not to.

If this is the direction overall, I'd just like them to get as close as possible to the Magic Keyboard in the laptops. Heck, go back to those scissor switches. They are ultra reliable, feel much better and still are lower travel than the 2015 KB's (if that's the main goal).

We have a 2016 and 2017 13" MBP around the house from my spouse's work, thus I still get exposure to these newer KB's and it's just not a clear win on design alone if you ask me.

Obviously reliability issues are a whole other bag of problems.
 
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Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
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So you're all actually now arguing about a future that may or may not exist, and the possibility of replacing something at a random point in time that has not occurred yet? And largely this seems to be people who don't own one arguing this point?

Do you have people in mind? You might perhaps name them; else your post lacks any evidentiary value.
 

eddjedi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
536
571
This is hands down the stupidest thing I've ever read.

Really, the stupidest thing you've EVER read? I assume you don't follow the president on Twitter.

Please explain why I am 'stupid' for saying something might break after the manufacturers warranty period has expired. I'd say that's the definition of reasonable. Sure you might get lucky and your Mac keyboard will last 10+ years, I have a 23 year old Commodore Amiga keyboard that still works perfectly myself. But that doesn't mean EVERY piece of technology I buy will last that long.
 
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