MBP 2018 keyboard poll: problematic or fine?

As an owner of MBP 2018 with 3rd gen keyboard, did you encounter *any* keyboard problems?


  • Total voters
    91

navaira

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 28, 2015
3,777
4,921
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Please only vote if you've owned a MBP 2018 (third generation butterfly keyboards) for at least 3+ weeks AND do not use it in clamshell mode with external keyboard :)

I've had three lemons in a row, currently on fourth which seems to keep going back and forth as I'm trying to decide whether the keys are going to work or not (at the moment, as I am getting close to the end of my return period, it's working perfectly). I'd love to know how many other MBP 2018 owners encounter problems. Please comment describing your usage and how long you've had the laptop so far – mine tend to work perfectly for, ooh, two weeks before something stops cooperating. I write a LOT, sometimes up to 10 hours a day, most probably more than 99% users here.

By keyboard problems in the poll I mean:
1. Keys registeering twiicee
2. Kys notregistring at all
3. Stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicky keys
4. Keysr egistering correctly, but with a smalld elay
 
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Crossbow.Wallaby

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2017
40
9
Sydney, Australia
No problems at all so far but I am only a month in. I had a nightmare experience with 2 13" mpb's the second ones kb was also replaced under the keyboard replacement program and came back with the issue immediately.

Now have moved onto a 15" 2018 model and all is good... so far. Fingers crossed.
 

Crossbow.Wallaby

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2017
40
9
Sydney, Australia
Ugh. Sorry to hear :/ Can you still return it or will you have to wait for repair?
Australian consumer law is quite good so I will likely be able to get a full refund for it if I ask politely.
Even without AppleCare our consumer law protects us very well. I know of several people who have received full refunds on faulty Apple products well beyond Apple's standard 1 year warranty.

I just can't accept problems like this for a computer I paid $4100 AUD for, It's very upsetting.

Yet I continue to buy Apple products like someone with Stockholm Syndrome though so can only blame myself for that.

By the way I should of mentioned it is only since I started playing games on this 15" that the keyboard has gone all weird, I really think this problem is heat related somehow. It is only Euro Truck Simulator / Colin McRae Rally I have been playing, I had never heard the fans so loud and the keyboard so hot before that.

Anyway I'll go to the Apple store and see what they suggest.

If it ends up being a refund I'll just use my work laptop which is a Dell XPS as my main computer also, but I far far prefer macOS. Just not these butterfly keyboard problems.....

Edit: I mean Dirt Rally not Colin McRae rally......
 
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Love Divine

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2014
152
134
My 2017, coming on 1.5 years old, is fine on it's original keyboard.

That said, the fact that people are noticing keyboard problems on the third gen is disconcerting.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,175
2,071
London
Australian consumer law is quite good so I will likely be able to get a full refund for it if I ask politely.
Even without AppleCare our consumer law protects us very well. I know of several people who have received full refunds on faulty Apple products well beyond Apple's standard 1 year warranty.

I just can't accept problems like this for a computer I paid $4100 AUD for, It's very upsetting.

Yet I continue to buy Apple products like someone with Stockholm Syndrome though so can only blame myself for that.

By the way I should of mentioned it is only since I started playing games on this 15" that the keyboard has gone all weird, I really think this problem is heat related somehow. It is only Euro Truck Simulator / Colin McRae Rally I have been playing, I had never heard the fans so loud and the keyboard so hot before that.

Anyway I'll go to the Apple store and see what they suggest.

If it ends up being a refund I'll just use my work laptop which is a Dell XPS as my main computer also, but I far far prefer macOS. Just not these butterfly keyboard problems.....
When I read your earlier post, I was wondering if it was heat related and I agree with your theory on the matter.
 
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Crossbow.Wallaby

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2017
40
9
Sydney, Australia
My 2017, coming on 1.5 years old, is fine on it's original keyboard.

That said, the fact that people are noticing keyboard problems on the third gen is disconcerting.
I also really don't understand how some of us seem to continually have the problem with multiple machines while others have no issue. My Mac lives on a desk at home in a clean environment, I am the only one who uses it and I am not eating food above it or using it outside during a dust storm. I take very good care of it, it has to be heat related. And guess what this entire thing I have just typed up the keyboard has felt perfect. This will land me in a psychiatric ward lol.
 

Non-Polar

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2017
104
200
Just going to say that the answers you receive here are going to be very skewed - there will be more people willing to say happily that their keyboards work, while those who experience the issues are going to 1) not want to admit to themselves and the forums that there is a problem, 2) not have the laptop in the first place while having it repaired, etc.

Is it going to affect everyone? No. Does the problem still persist? Yes. All Apple has done is just make it harder for debris to get inside the keyboard and damage it. There has been change to the keyboards otherwise. People will say that the repair program exists for you to bring in your computer if that problem exists, but having it taken away from you for 1-2 weeks and reappear is why I choose not to purchase any laptops with the butterfly mechanisms.

You will still see posts of people on here and on /r/mac complaining of how their 2018 models already have the keyboard issues.
 
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navaira

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 28, 2015
3,777
4,921
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Just going to say that the answers you receive here are going to be very skewed
Every poll on a forum like this is going to be skewed if only because we're hardly representing the entire user base. But I'm also aware of the fact complaints are aired more often than satisfaction. Which is why I formulated the question the way I did instead of "how severe are your problems" or "do you hate Apple and is Apple doomed". And 2/3 users didn't encounter problems yet! It Just Works (TM)

All Apple has done is just make it harder for debris to get inside the keyboard and damage it. There has been change to the keyboards otherwise.
I would like to point out that I had a 2016 rMB for 1.5 years and the worst thing that happened to it was me having to use canned air twice, whilst with the 2018 3rd gen MBPs I went through four of them in three months, which is why I'm typing this on a Lenovo Yoga C930 and our household is down to two Macs, iMac and the aforementioned rMB which keeps chugging along.

(Also don't forget that according to Apple all that Apple has done was make the keyboards quieter. ;) )

Right now that the choice is between super-loud keyboards in laptops that haven't seen an update for ages or keyboards that don't even last two weeks with extensive usage I can't see myself purchasing an Apple portable computer again unless I decide to get a Mac Mini, it's quite portable and I can use my Microsoft Sculpt keyboard with it.
 

Crossbow.Wallaby

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2017
40
9
Sydney, Australia
I popped in today to show Apple.

Waited about 5 mins to see a Genius, he typed a few sentences and said "yeah it doesn't feel right hey"
Walked off with it for about 10 mins not sure what he did with it but came back and said "it seems like a hardware issue we can swap that over for you today or give you a refund"

So I swapped it for another and it is sitting sealed on my desk until I have the time to set it up tonight and say a prayer to Tim Cook.
Frustrating having to do the swap in the first place but can't fault the ease of doing it. Going to get this one nice and warm from the get go with some games and 4k video exports to see if heat is the issue.

Wish me luck.
 
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CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
44
28
So I've got a 2017 and just bought a 2018 as a replacement (For Quad Core performance boost) but was reluctant to gamble as my 2017 has been very good so far, however, today the Right Cursor stopped working. on the 2017. (bought on release day)

I work in a class 10,000 electronic product test clean room most of the time. When I do use the Mac it's never it dirty or dusty places FYI.

So I've done some failure analysis and certainly, on mine, the dome switch appears to have lost tensile strength. It no longer pushes the key back up. Actually, it does but the dome is distorted and pushes slightly obliquely to the plane of motion. Now, this may be my typing style or heat-related damage, hard to tell and it's highly localised. Surrounding keys are fine. The result is a sticky feeling key that sometimes fails to respond.

I've spent 20 years testing electronics, I think there are multiple failure modes on these keyboards.
 

pubmsu

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2014
203
50
Sydney, Australia
I popped in today to show Apple.

Waited about 5 mins to see a Genius, he typed a few sentences and said "yeah it doesn't feel right hey"
Walked off with it for about 10 mins not sure what he did with it but came back and said "it seems like a hardware issue we can swap that over for you today or give you a refund"

So I swapped it for another and it is sitting sealed on my desk until I have the time to set it up tonight and say a prayer to Tim Cook.
Frustrating having to do the swap in the first place but can't fault the ease of doing it. Going to get this one nice and warm from the get go with some games and 4k video exports to see if heat is the issue.

Wish me luck.
Which store in Sydney?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
My "not-so-fearless" prediction:

Eventually, the 2018-design keyboards will start to experience failures, as did the 2016/17 models before them, but...

... the "protective envelope" around the 2018 keys will slow the number of these failures down.
 
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SBruv

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2008
518
222
My "not-so-fearless" prediction:

Eventually, the 2018-design keyboards will start to experience failures, as did the 2016/17 models before them, but...

... the "protective envelope" around the 2018 keys will slow the number of these failures down.
That would seem to be the case. Picked up my repaired 2018 13" TB this afternoon, with a new top case, as the previous keyboard had multiple repeating keys… and within three hours, the new one was doing exactly the f**king same! Different keys, same issue.

Much as I love typing on the butterfly ’boards, they're a total disaster…
 

PalidinoDH

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2014
68
26
2016 ntb I bought in Jan 2017 going strong. Had some keyboard issues a week ago that popped up out of nowhere (6-8 keys repeating or not registering including the spacebar, e, a and s, and 4-6) that were almost entirely fixed by blasting the keyboard with some compressed air. A key still sticks a bit, might just need another can. I also don't take amazing care of my computer, between letting it get dirtier than I should and using it while consuming alcohol. The casing easily has more wear and tear than the keyboard that I use for hours daily.
 

Crossbow.Wallaby

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2017
40
9
Sydney, Australia
I popped in today to show Apple.

Waited about 5 mins to see a Genius, he typed a few sentences and said "yeah it doesn't feel right hey"
Walked off with it for about 10 mins not sure what he did with it but came back and said "it seems like a hardware issue we can swap that over for you today or give you a refund"

So I swapped it for another and it is sitting sealed on my desk until I have the time to set it up tonight and say a prayer to Tim Cook.
Frustrating having to do the swap in the first place but can't fault the ease of doing it. Going to get this one nice and warm from the get go with some games and 4k video exports to see if heat is the issue.

Wish me luck.
Ok an update.
I am completely done with Apple.
I have said this before, but because I am a fool I handed them my money again.

The store manager called me acting concerned about the issues I had previously and said if I had the time to bring the new one in so they could go over it with me and make sure I was happy, which I found strange but had no issue with as I walk right past the Apple store everyday to and from work so said sure why not.

They took it off me and straight out the back for about 20 mins, I was wondering the whole time what was going on? they came back with a $3000 repair bill for "liquid damage"

I am the only one who uses the machine and I would not voluntarily take the damn thing in there had I spilt anything on it, they could not show me any tripped sensors in photos nor any liquid just kept telling me there was "evidence of corrosion" I started getting pretty vocal (stupid I know)

They then asked me if I use it in the shower!? After my stunned look added "I mean to listen to music etc, perhaps the steam is causing the corrosion"

Anyway they said I could take it home but the warranty is now void, I again stupidly went off and left the damn thing there so I could contact customer support without the store accusing me of taking it home and pouring lava on it.

I've been back and forth with their customer service staff on the phone for over a week who regurgitate the same generic responses or straight up lie then apologise for the "miscommunications"

Seriously..... Far out. I've been so loyal to Apple for years.

Anyway tin foil hat time but trust me the employees read these forums, they don't like us sharing info that the 2018 keyboards are still pieces of garbage.

I am meant to hear back by the end of this week for a "solution I will be happy with" but regardless the thing is going on eBay. I'm done and extremely frustrated.
 

SDColorado

Contributor
Nov 6, 2011
4,263
4,205
Highlands Ranch, CO
.... They then asked me if I use it in the shower!? After my stunned look added "I mean to listen to music etc, perhaps the steam is causing the corrosion"...

... I am meant to hear back by the end of this week for a "solution I will be happy with" but regardless the thing is going on eBay. I'm done and extremely frustrated.
OMG Apple, seriously? Do you use in the shower? smdh

I hope they take care of you. I think you kept your cool far better than I would have, had them asked me an asinine question like that.