Is the keyboard issue, with respect to 2017 models, being blown way out of proportion?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kingneptune117, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. kingneptune117 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2014
    #1
    Does anyone else feel this keyboard "issue" is being blown way out of proportion, at least for the 2017 MBP models?

    My girlfriend and I have not had any issues with our 2017 MBP keyboards.

    From what I have read, the main problem is that because of the butterfly design, getting any food crumbs under your keys will prevent the key from registering. Am I the only one here that takes care of their laptop and doesn't get a bunch of crumbs all over it?

    I know that good design means designing around the average user, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect users not to spill a bunch of crumbs all over their keyboard. Maybe that's just me.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. rdowty macrumors 6502a

    rdowty

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    #2
    I had issues with my 2016 MBP 15 but not the 2017 which is now almost a year old.
     
  3. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

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    #3
    That's like saying: the Ford Pinto is fine since mine hasn't blown up yet.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    Nope

    That's really good news, but for many others, including iMore's Rene Richie have incurred multiple failures. I remember another member here who would swear up and down that the issue is overblown, he owns multuple MBPs and none of them had issues, yet sometime later he posts, that he was wrong and all of his. laptops succumbed to the issue. I'm not saying yours will, nor am I alledging that it will impact everyone but its my opinion that the design is flawed that leads to the keyboard's failure.
     
  5. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #5
    Personally, I think it is overblown. All proper evidence we have suggests that only a small fraction of laptops is affected by these issues, even though the issue definitely exists. Statistics gathered by third party points to figures around 1-2% (by most conservative of estimates) of laptops having keyboard failures. At the same time, there are a lot of users claiming very alarming failure rates (like a user in a parallel thread said that all of their 10+ machines have suffered a keyboard failure), so go figure. I haven't seen any out-of-the charts keyboard failures in our organisation, and we own and aggressive use a good number of 2016/2017 machines.

    Business users won't be affected by this anyway, since they typically have good warranty coverage, but I understand that a person buying this computer privately would worry.
     
  6. tubeexperience, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018

    tubeexperience macrumors 68040

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    #6
    This same excuse has been made every time Apple released a lemon.
     
  7. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #7
    I just had Apple give me a survey to see how I was enjoying my MacBook Pro 13' TB. I made it very clear that I was extremely worried about the keyboard and that having to be worried about the keyboard on a $3k laptop has definitely soured my ability to enjoy this laptop to its fullest - and after having read the media and forums, I don't feel comforted if I am to have problems past the AppleCare+ 3 year warranty period.

    Do I think it is being overblown? It is popular to hate on Apple and be critical of it because of how successful and good its products usually are. I spent years and years on an Android forum before coming here - I still am amazed by the hate Apple and Apple products attract from people. Critical Apple videos on Youtube make a lot of extra views.

    I realize I didn't answer the question - I do believe it is an issue and Apple's response to it is unsurprising so far - but for a $3k laptop to have keyboard problems, that's just bad. So far my wife and I's 2017 MBP 13' are doing well - love the keyboard and the feel.

    I use an external keyboard a lot (bluetooth) but my wife is a PhD student and uses her keyboard 6x more than I do - going strong for her.
     
  8. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #8
    The reason the new keyboard is called the "butterfly keyboard" is that keys are as delicate as a butterfly's wings.
     
  9. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #9
    It’s not an excuse, it’s my conclusion based on the edivence that I am aware of. And it doesn’t change anything about the fact that the keyboard design is flawed and that it’s Apples obligation to extend a warranty on these machines. But acting like “omg every single of these keyboards is going to die, I’m so not buying” is silly as well. There is no evidence that even with the keyboard problem these laptops have a failure rate any higher than other premium brands.
     
  10. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #10
    Agreed. I'm less than impressed with the keyboards on the XPS laptops and other laptops today. My Dell Latitude 3480 keyboard is just horrendous. I've had it for less than a year and I don't think the keyboard will make it - albeit, a 10 min change and $30+ on ebay and I should be good to go again, but still...

    Agreed - people are acting like all these laptops fail when only a small % do. I do hope Apple extends warranty on these machines or I'll feel be "obligated" to sell mine back to Apple after AppleCare+ expires. :(

    Meanwhile, having a blast with my MBP TB 13' 2017. My wife loves hers too. We saved up for years to get them and hope to get 6+ years of usage out of them.
     
  11. project_2501 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 1, 2017
    #11
    luck you for not having a problem yet.

    Lots of users have had issues with 2017 models including myself. I finally got my money back.

    Some half-scientific estimates are that 40% of users have issues within the 1-year warranty.
     
  12. leman macrumors G3

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    #12
    Source for this?
     
  13. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #13
    "Apple's notebook shipments totaled an estimated 3.98 million units in the second quarter of the 2017 calendar year,"

    https://www.macrumors.com/2017/08/15/trendforce-apple-macbook-sales-q2-2017/

    40% of all users having issues would be a staggering amount, so much so that lawsuits would abound and even Apple would issue a fix. Just using my brain on that one, if 40% of just 3.98 million (in ONE QUARTER let alone all notebook sales in a year) were having problems, would mean that millions and millions of people are having this problem?
     
  14. kingneptune117 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2014
    #14
    Source on that number?
     
  15. clangers23 macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2016
    #15
    Nope, even allowing for the fact that most only post online when they have issues with their laptop, I still believe it's a genuine issue. Apple will do what they usually do, ignore or deny the issue as long as possible before quietly announcing an extended warranty period.

    I've owned the 2016 and 2017 models, both have suffered from regular stuck keys. I've managed to restore them so far but I'm now viewing my MBP keyboard as only a matter of time.
     
  16. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #16
    Very curious as a 2017 owner - what do you do to restore them? I'm spraying my laptop with a can of air every few days. What do you do when you get a stuck key? I've read that popping off the keys is a very bad idea.

    I'm hoping Apple does an extended warranty on the keyboard issue - I've only had my laptop for 1 month but I'd love to use it knowing I don't have to worry.
     
  17. jerryk macrumors 601

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    Nov 3, 2011
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    SF Bay Area
    #17

    Based on those sales number even 2% would is 80,000 failed keyboards per quarter. Since we are 6 quarters into the 2016/2017 systems that means over 320,000 failed keyboards! That is a lot of unhappy users
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018 ---
    Why do you have to spray it with canned air? That is plain nuts and shows a defective design.

    With my 2015 15 I just wipe the crumbs off once a month or so, especially if I ate coffee cake will coding at 2AM. The keyboard just keeps on working day after day after night.
     
  18. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #18
    Preventative maintenance - I don't have to, but I do so just because I like to take care of products that cost me a pretty penny - and because it seems to help based on what I've read. But agreed, I'm jealous of your 2015 model. My dad has a 2015 MBP 15' and that keyboard is nice - just like my old Macbook Air - that keyboard took a beating and I never did anything to keep it going (and I used it heavily).

    My MBP 13' 2017 is my first ever MBP and I saved up for over a year for it. So I'm babying it - probably unnecessarily so. I'm watching the lawsuits with interest. :)
     
  19. webstarcool macrumors member

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    Oct 27, 2010
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    SFO
    #19
    Like a lot of other people here, I have issues with my keyboard as well on my MBP 13" 2017 (touch bar, i7). And no - there's been no liquid spills.

    Some keys (right arrow) just feel different. Some keys feel the same as the working ones, but doesn't respond the same way as they require a harder press in order to type the letter. Some keys double type the letter.

    I took the computer to the Apple Store and they acknowledged there is a problem. They tried to clean it at first, but eventually told me they have to change the top case and that will take 5-7 days. So now, backup up my Mac in order to bring it in for repair.

    I absolutely do not think the issue is blown out of proportion. It's crazy to have this happening for a 2400 $ computer. Had no problems with my 2014 MBP and my old Air. Bring the good keyboard back, please.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    Indeed and its crazy how apple messed up probably one of the oldest and most established components of a computer, the keyboard. I mean keyboards have been with us for so long yet we have this issue.

    Another point, Apple prides itself as being a premium brand and they charge accordingly, for that reason alone customers we should not have this issue. Its ludicrious that we're halfway through 2018 and Apple has yet to truely address this situation.
     
  21. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #21
    I find that a lot times where there's smoke, there's fire.

    I don't know what the defect rate for keyboards was with the 2015 model. Let's say it was just 1.5%. However, let's say for the 2016 model it's 3%. That's "only" an extra 1.5%, but it would mean a 100% increase in keyboard defects, and that would likely be reported a lot more on forums like this.
     
  22. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

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    Aug 19, 2017
    #22
    It crops up with enough frequency that I’d say no, it’s not overblown. If Apple just came out and admitted there is an issue, and promised to fix it, free of charge, every time a key breaks up until the machines are made officially obsolete, or else they can offer a definitive fix, then that would be fair enough. But they have not done that, they have crafted a keyboard that fails with above background frequency, made the computer in such a way that if the keyboard breaks you have to throw out all the expensive logic with it, and are charging people for the entire topcase should their keyboard fail. That’s not unnecessary criticism from ‘haters’ that’s legitimate grievance from frustrated customers.
     
  23. zorinlynx macrumors 603

    zorinlynx

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    #23
    I think one of the main reasons this issue has caused so much outrage is the $600 out of warranty repair cost.

    A keyboard shouldn't cost $600 to repair. Even $100 is pushing it.

    So you have a higher than average failure rate, AND Apple being extremely greedy when it comes to repairing them out of warranty, and it just multiplies the upset. I've been avoiding this generation of MacBooks precisely because of this, and hope they soon release improved machines with better keyboards, or at the very least fix their outrageous repair costs.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    I'm not going to say greedy but its due to the design. Apple with their obsession with thinner computers made the MBP so thin that you cannot simply repair a key or even the keyboard, but the entire top case needs to be replaced.

    I just got the battery replaced for my 2012 MBP, and it wasn't as simple as popping a new battery in, they glued it in so much that my 6 year old laptop needed its top case, and trackpad replaced. So understanding that, its not surprising at the cost. Disappointing yes, but not surprising.
     
  25. jerryk macrumors 601

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    Nov 3, 2011
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    SF Bay Area
    #25
    Based on reading the forums and the experience of developers and professionals I have worked with, I would say the pre-2016 failure rate of keyboards was much lower than 1.5%. Maybe 0.1 or 0.2%. You hardly ever heard of a keyboard failing unless someone dumped something on them.

    Maybe the occasion wire popping off tab or space bar, which can just plugged in by the user or a someone that has done it before. Even a guy I worked with that smoked like a chimney while coding did not have issues.

    Display issues, sure. Lack of memory/disk space. Magsafe power supplies, yep. Bulging batteries. Sure. But broken keyboards with dead or stuck keys not due to a spill? Not many.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018 ---
    No knock on you for being vigilant. I guess it just sort of pi%%es me of that you need to do this. Apple fix this now!!!
     

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