My MacBook Pro 15" Take: Terrible Keyboard, TB is Annoying, more...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by booksbooks, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. booksbooks macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #1
    I've had almost every Apple laptop ever. I also collect Apple portables. I have Pismos, iBook Clamshells, etc.

    I bought this new MacBook Pro 15" 2017 about 4 months ago. While there are some things I like, there are several things that are significant issues for me:
    • The keyboard. It's terrible. I make more mistakes with it than any other keyboard I can think of. The travel just isn't quite enough.
    • The battery. Wow, did battery life ever fall off of a cliff! It seemed like my 2013 Retina MacBook Pro 15" had better battery life than this and that is comparing it in such a way where the 2013 MBP had 2.5 years of use on it! I know they reduced the battery size in this. The battery is not strong enough: I never get even close to 8 hours of use, or even 6. Maybe 5 hours. I'm not running really heavy duty Apps either. I can use it on and off for an 8 hour day, but actually using this thing constantly I seem to get around 5 hours.
    • The TouchBar. I hate it. I find it all but useless. Just adjusting the volume or screen resolution takes more work than with physical buttons. When in Apps, why do I want to look away from the screen and down on the keyboard to input functions on some low resolution keyboard button bar? Sometimes this can be ok, but most of the time, it's just inferior to using on screen user interface functions. And how many times have I accidentally hit the Siri button on the top right of the keyboard! Lots.
    • The trackpad. Man, is this thing unnecessarily big! I get spurious inputs sometimes because my palms will brush up against the sides of the trackpad, etc. And, just resting my palms and typing, I can feel the trackpad line where it starts on my palms. The trackpad needs to be slightly smaller. And does anyone think that the trackpad isn't as reliable as previous generation MacBook Pros? Many times I will do something on the trackpad, like try and scroll a Webpage with two fingers, and the first swipe isn't recognized. Then I have to do it again. I also find just moving the mouse pointer is not always reliable: I start to move my finger and there can be a slight delay before it starts moving. And then when slowing down, it's like it can miss a bit of the slowing down swipe, so the arrow doesn't always move smoothly throughout a mouse arrow swipe move. It's like it's not as sensitive or something, and it's annoying beyond words.
    • Performance. I find that moving windows, typing text into Safari's URL field, and some other things can be jittery on this 2017 MacBook Pro.
     
  2. old-wiz, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

    old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    Lots of people hate the new keyboard, including me I am typing on a 2013 MBPr, even though I have a 2015 MBPr which has terrible keystroke. I use the 2015 mostly just for viewing video.

    Maybe I should have said 2016 MBPr - the first one with taskbar (which I don't use or find useful.
     
  3. Machead2012 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    #3

    I agree w you on all fronts but sadly when replacing my 2014 MB air there was little choice. So the 2017 MB pro w touch bar it was.
    It serves my overall needs quite well but the KB and the Battery are less than desirable. The trackpad actually works well for me due to the apps that I use.
     
  4. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #4
    I have to say I find the second gen keyboards feel ok for short bursts of writing - and I was someone that absolutely abhorred the first gen in the 2015 and 2016 MacBooks (thought the lack of feedback made them borderline unusable). I can even see why some people who only do small amounts of typing might prefer it... where it falls apart for me (apart from the reliability issues) is that, even when not 'hammering away', after extended periods of typing, I find my fingers begin to feel sore. I presume this is because there isn't adequate dampening - there can't be when the keys are only moving half a millimetre, the keys bottom out almost immediately. To think Apple abandoned a lauded keyboard to go to one that's ok-good under certain circumstances, seemingly has an issue that can cause keys to fail and isn't ideal for anyone typing longer pieces.

    I haven't heard so much about battery issues with 15" models before - I thought it was mainly the 13" touch bar models affected, and the 15s were broadly going a good 8 hours of actual usage (quite similar to the previous design). The touch bar doesn't seem to be something that would be a boon or a detraction to me, it just kind of is.

    I don't see why they didn't use the same size trackpad on the 13 and 15 as they have for previous generations. Sure the big edge to edge glass panel with minute tolerances looks cool for a few moments, but the 13" trackpad seems to be something of a usability sweet spot. For window animations and the like, at the time the new design released in 2016, people were speculating it was because the HD integrated graphics wasn't man enough to handle the resolution, especially when scaled (It's drawing the screen at 2,100x3,360 and then interpolating that to a 2,880x1,800 panel while trying to work out what a pretty complex animation should look like). That was supposed to be fixed as of High Sierra. I dont know why text input should lag, I've not heard that one before...
     
  5. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #5
    Small wonder so few now use the platform professionally. Can't wait for the next round of excuses why Apple is incapable of delivering...

    Q-6
     
  6. impulse462 macrumors 68000

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #6
    This jittery thing you mention I think may be due to high sierra. I’ve inky experienced jittering when switching to an app in another desktop space. Ive seen it happen on a 2013 MBA, 2017 13” MBP and my 15”. The MBA never had this issue on Sierra which led me to believe its software based
     
  7. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #7
    I can't help but wonder why you purchased such a device if you hate virtually everything about it. Like did you even try it in-store, just a bit? How on earth did you make it past the return window without returning it?

    Suffice to say I believe on some of these things (trackpad, battery life) you're in a very small, but vocal minority.
     
  8. Sedulous macrumors 68020

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #8
    After using butterfly keyboard on 2017 MBP, I can appreciate both arguments. I think I like it.
    TB ports are the future but yeah, Apple should have kept one or two USB-A ports.
    Touchpad is huge but very nice. Still not many uses for forcetouch on macOS.
    Battery endurance is not as impressive as hoped.
    Thermals are awful for a "professional" device. It throttles CPU constantly even when fans run at high RPM.
     
  9. impulse462 macrumors 68000

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #9
    Really? Most benchmarks and my own experience show that the thermals are wayyyy better than the 2015 version with no throttling.
     
  10. gobikerider Suspended

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #10
    Using the new keyboard I wouldn't say I hate it...but it definitely has an unsettling feeling of brittleness...like if I type to quick I might break a key. Just the way the key feels its seems more fragile then previous ones.
     
  11. csurfr macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    I feel like I type faster on the new keyboard than the previous model, it took some getting used to as far as not pressing the keys so hard when I type.

    Other than that, I haven’t experienced any of the issues that the OP addressed.

    Battery life on both of mine has been fine, the touch bar could go either way, and I actually like the size of the new trackpad.
     
  12. Jaekae macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #12
    If you have that many big dislikes you seem a bit very stupid to spend that much on buying it..
     
  13. gobikerider Suspended

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    I have disabled the Touch Bar except for the normal functions that function keys would be. It works, I don't think its terrible more so then just a different way of doing things. Touch ID is so awesome to have on the Mac though so props to Apple for that.
     
  14. csurfr macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    Agreed with Touch ID. In fact I turned off the ability for my Apple Watch to unlock my MacBook Pro as I thought it might turn off Touch ID.
     
  15. Digimutant macrumors newbie

    Digimutant

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    #15
    To be honest, I should agree on the keyboard. As I tried one in store, it feels solid yes but it felt like it had no feel of tactile feedback. And it threw me off even further seeing the lack of ports and changing everything to USB-C actually made my current rMBP seem more professional. I understand the point but going all-out USB-C is pretty stupid in my opinion.
     
  16. gobikerider Suspended

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    USB-C is so obvious, Apple is a design company...they pride themselves on it and I can't blame them, this MBP is Fu*** gorgeous. Anyways USB-C not only has a very aesthetically pleasing look that seamlessly blends into the design of the notebook, but it also simply is the most powerful port in the versatility and bandwith of the thunderbolt 3 io. So yes while its inconvenient for a lot of people it makes perfect since why Apple went ahead and used them.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 10, 2018 ---
    Can confirm the jittery performance on High Sierra its annoying...hopefully 10.13.4 fixes it.
     
  17. csurfr macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    I see both sides of the port argument. Some people need a card reader, hdmi, usb-a, etc and some people (myself included) don’t. I think, for Apple, this was about future-proofing the MacBook Pro, while also giving users (some) choice.

    If one person needs hdmi they can grab a dongle, if the person doesn’t then they don’t have to carry it around. Same with the other ports.

    For me, I’ve replaced my lightning cable with a usb-c one, my external ssd is usb-c, and I picked up a usb-c cable for my other western digital drive should I ever need it.

    I know this caused a ton of uproar originally, but I feel like it has calmed down for the most part. And certainly I can’t imagine Apple ever going back.
     
  18. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #18
    This is why im sticking with my 2015 15" rMBP, the new ones are so bad and unreliable. I sometimes get accidental clicks with the trackpad while i type (palm recognition is ok), but wow the new ones must be worse. I have read many threads about the poor reliability of this generation of laptops (the 2016+).
     
  19. gobikerider Suspended

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #19
    I hate that I read this thread daily, because I am gonna end up returning this Pro and just waiting for the 2018 model, I hope Apple implements the new keyboard and doesn't wait until the next generation of the Pro in 2020.
     
  20. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #20
    Well if the latest rumours are correct, the 2020 redesign won't have a keyboard but a flat glass touchscreen (think iPad) in it's place, maybe with taptic feedback. Without trying to pre judge too much, I don't see myself continuing to be interested in the MBP line if they do that.
     
  21. gobikerider Suspended

    gobikerider

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    Apr 15, 2016
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    United States
    #21
    I feel like that would use so much extra energy as well...all in the name of thinness I guess :D
     
  22. RNGesus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Location:
    Southern California
    #22
    I've had mine just under 2 weeks but loving it so far. Keyboard is great, a little too noisy but fine to type on so far. Only used the thing for light use so far so haven't really tested it out yet. I've had zero issues with the huge track pad and it's nice that I have so much real estate. I like the Touchbar with Safari, makes it easy to switch between tabs or add a new tab. This is also my first Mac product though, but so far in the initial honeymoon phase I'm loving it and glad I bought it.
     
  23. raqball macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    #23
    • The keyboard. Other than the high failure rate, the keyboard key travel and typing experience does not bother me at all.
    • The Battery. Mine is fine and I get 10'ish hours but I am using the nTB
    • The TouchBar. Agree 110% and it's a pure gimmick to me as well. I had a 2016 TB and what a complete waste
    • The Trackpad. I dig the larger trackpad.
    • Performance. It's fine for the most part but there is no reason for me to constantly get the dreaded beachball in Safari. This can be addressed by Apple via an update I assume. Happy overall with the performance though but I am a light home user. I do edit small 4K video every so often and edit photos as well but never anything overly taxing.
     
  24. senttoschool macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    #24
    I had the exact same complaints as the OP.

    - Worse battery
    - Worse portability without the ports
    - Touchpad brushing against the palms
    - Low keyboard travel. My space key broke on third day.
    - Touchbar is dumb and makes volume, brightness, and music controls harder. I also accidentally pressed esc a lot which is scary considering how much I value my work.

    Returned it and got a 2015 15".

    I hope they release a 13" Macbook Air with Retina and upgraded CPU.
     
  25. Frankfurt macrumors 6502

    Frankfurt

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    #25
    I love mine. Top spec 2017 15" since June 2017. Zero issues so far.
     

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28 November 11, 2017