The Failure of the Touchbar MacBook Pros: Emergency Redesign Needed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by booksbooks, Jun 9, 2018.

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Do you think Apple needs to redesign the keyboard, trackpad, and other aspects of the Touchbar MBP?

  1. Yes

    211 vote(s)
    65.1%
  2. No

    113 vote(s)
    34.9%
  1. booksbooks macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #1
    I've owned every single Apple laptop made. I'm a collector. I've used them and taken almost all of them apart. I have iBook Clamshells, a Powerbook 2400c, PowerBook Pismos and Wallstreets, MacBook Airs, and many more.

    So, I had a Retina MBP 2014 15". Great laptop. I used it a lot. Had the dual graphics cards. Sold it last year and bought a loaded 15" Touchbar MacBook Pro that I've been using as my main computer.

    Over the past 8 months, I've tried to like this computer and use it. I wordsmith a lot, but also work with presentation and some graphic stuff.

    I hate this computer.

    There are things I like about it, like the screen and the design. But that doesn't counteract what's wrong with it. For starters, the keyboard is horrible. I struggle typing on it everyday. And the battery life is terrible. I see that the capacity is only around 6500 mah vs the rMBPs at around 8500 mah.

    • The keyboard sucks. It's the most frustrating experience typing on this thing. Lots of errors because the keys are too close together and the travel is so shallow it's like typing on a wooden table.
    • Battery life plain sucks thanks to the reduced capacity.
    • The Touchbar is just a useless gimmick: I'm not going to take my eyes off the screen and look down at this pixelated mess of a thing, especially when I can: 1) Use onscreen UI elements. 2) Use keyboard shortcuts. 3) Use the trackpad gestures.
    • The trackpad is too large as to create waste. By the way, typing waste, I had to go over it 3 times because keys weren't registering and there were mistypes.
    So here's what I've done. Bought a new 15" rMBP mid-2015 yesterday and will use it for heavy typing and try and keep using this because I paid so much money for it and it is somewhat powerful.

    I realize that there are some people who may like the Touchbar or even the keyboard, but I suspect that the list of those people is few.

    My perspective... is that Apple needs a redesign asap. Without delay. It's clear to me that nobody really took ownership of this product other than Jony Ive and his Touchbar nonesense. How could this pass testing and product design reviews unless it's an environment of design by committee and politics. Steve Jobs, the person who would say it sucks and no, is long gone...
     
  2. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #2
    So sell it and move on. Don’t need 500 different threads about it . You could of easily add your complaint in the other ones but nah you had to make thread number 5 or 6 about it . ‍♂️
     
  3. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    North America
    #3
    I.E. learn to type. The keyboard is far superior to the previous one.
     
  4. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #4
    I wouldn’t call it superior but I don’t hate it anymore
     
  5. Nathan King macrumors member

    Nathan King

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #5
    I just don’t get it. It’s almost like I own a different machine than everybody else. The touchbar, honestly, I could take or leave. It is not the most useful thing but is well executed; however, I would hate to go back to a smaller trackpad. Being able to move the cursor completely across the screen without hitting the edge is wonderful. Perhaps my opinion would differ if I rested my wrists on the laptop when typing. The keyboard isn’t as nice as a good mechanical model, but I’ll take the portability with a shorter key drop any day of the week - a worthy compromise, I think. It’s not a perfect machine, but I think it’s the best laptop on the market right now.
     
  6. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #6
    By no means it’s the best laptop. That I would go say buy X windows laptop because they are flat out a better value spec to cost ratio. Reason why I have a MacBook is the better OS though and it’s just flat out better for my needs.
     
  7. Nathan King macrumors member

    Nathan King

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #7
    I agree that there are laptops with better specifications out there, but the user experience of the MacBook Pro is unmatched.
     
  8. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #8
    I don’t disagree as a convert myself being a windows user for years and it still is for gaming but playing devils advocate I can make an argument for windows. Window OEMs have caught up and so has Microsoft with the OS. Edge browser isn’t bad and actually out of the biggest ones I would either suggest Edge or Firefox. Wouldn’t suggest google for privacy reasons even though I’m heavily invested in google products lol.
     
  9. booksbooks thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #9
    Hi.

    That's cool, I know not everyone has the same opinion. But let me focus on a few aspects of your comments.

    1. Trackpad size. In your post you say that the size of the trackpad is effectively optimal because it allows you to move the cursor across the entire screen without hitting the edge of the trackpad. In UI design, I use something called FITTS Principle and a logarithmic curve to determine the optimal size of UI elements. Too small or too big is practically wasteful and an erosion of the user experience. I just tested the trackpad on my Touchbar 15" MBP and with Fast Tracking set in System Preferences, I get from one side the screen to another with the cursor and still have 40% of the trackpad left. I sometimes get spurious inputs from the trackpad when typing and using the device because the palm rejection isn't perfect/able to account for the multiple scenarios a User goes through and simply because the trackpad is too big. I have not been able to get any practical use out of the huge trackpad. I can see it being bigger than what was on the previous generation rMBPs, but this is far too large that it causes usability issues.
    2. The Touchbar. I'd like to meet the unicorn who is a Touchbar Whisperer. Haven't met that person yet. And nobody has been able to show even in a video how the Touchbar is superior to keyboard shortcuts, trackpad gestures, and using the mouse for activating UI elements. The number of times Siri has been activated because I've accidentally hit it over the delete button... too many times to want to recall. As a heavy user, I have no time to look down at a little pixelated bar on a keyboard, find an option that I need, and then select it where there's no haptic feedback. It's much faster to use one of the other 3 options I have at my disposal as pointed out.
     
  10. Nathan King macrumors member

    Nathan King

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #10
    I actually agree with much of what you said about the touchbar. Nine times out of ten I use a keyboard shortcut. It’s well implemented for what it is. As for the trackpad, I like that I can lower the speed for added accuracy and still not run out of space. Your use case very well may be different from mine though.
     
  11. DeanPSN macrumors regular

    DeanPSN

    Joined:
    May 21, 2018
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #11
    Like most said above, the new 2016/2017 MBP might have their flaws, but no doubt they are the best and most premium laptops you can buy.

    I keep seeing few complaining about the large trackpad...thats nonsense honestly, the new trackpad is a joy to use and i would never be able to go back to using a smaller one daily + the new MBPs have the best speakers out there, best lcd's and best build quality.

    I had my fair issues with this, but i had it sorted out right away and i would never go back to anything else.
     
  12. moostrax Contributor

    moostrax

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Location:
    Florida
    #12
    Completely agree. I have had a great experience and it feels like I own a different machine.
     
  13. Falhófnir macrumors 68020

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #13
    It breaks more and gives you sore fingers if you’re typing for more than an hour or two a day (because the keystrokes have no dampening) that’s not far superior... in having less key wobble than the previous one it does win back a couple of points in its favour, but overall it’s a retrograde step.
     
  14. booksbooks thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #14
    Totally agree about the keyboard being a retrograde.
     
  15. old mac Suspended

    old mac

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #15
    So ignore the thread and move on.
     
  16. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #16
    Or we don’t need 50 threads about the same thing? It’s called clutter
     
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    Na, its just people disliking new things being very vocal. Most owners of the new MBPs either don't really are and have easily adapted to the changes or prefer them.


    It will become more useful for power users in 10.14, with custom contextual automator workflows.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2018 ---
    Oh, imagine everyone who actually likes the new MBP coming here and opening a thread about how great it is. Of course, that won't happen since forums are there for people to complain ;)
     
  18. old mac Suspended

    old mac

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #18
    I understand fanboys don't like to read anything negative about Apple, but they are free to post what they like.

    What new MBP are you talking about?
     
  19. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #19
    I’ll give you that it breaks more. That’s certainly a problem (the extent of this problem is still something to be seen) but aside from the potential to break it’s definitely a better, more accurate keyboard. Idk how in the world it makes your fingers sore that makes 0 sense if you type properly. I have a 2015 and 2016 and every time I go back to the 2016 it’s like a breath of fresh air to use that keyboard over the mushy 2015 keyboard.
     
  20. jksu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    #20
    having both a last generation mbp 15 and a newer generation mbp 13, i some similar feelings...

    the new generation does some things well...the screen is much brighter and colors more vibrant. the trackpad functionally is a pleasure to use vs my 2014 mbp mechanical one. if they only kept the size a bit more reasonable, i'd get fewer undesired cursor jumps

    for me, the keyboard took some getting used to but in jumping back and forth i actually do kind of like the wider keys and firm feel of the newest keyboard. if it had another 0.25-0.5mm of travel it'd probably be close to perfect...that's assuming it also was durable and didn't fail. i've had to replace mine once already. i have applecare but when it runs out, it's sad i won't have a durable apple laptop to hand off to a family member with a good conscience
     
  21. mctrials23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #21
    Only issue I have with the keyboard is when I don't use it regularly and lose the "feel" for it.

    The touchbar is a completely pointless addition. The only time I use it is for things the the old function keys used to do better. I do like touchID however.
     
  22. donawalt macrumors regular

    donawalt

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #22
    As has been stated in many other threads, there is disagreement on how people feel about the '17 MBP. For me, I did not like the keyboard initially, but I stuck with it, and now without question I type much faster and more accurately with it. If I go to a laptop with a more traditional keyboard travel, it feels like I am typing in mush. I agree with others that I like the Touch Bar but I don't think I would miss it - I do use it periodically, it's just faster to start things when they pop up there sometimes, for me.

    As for the trackpad, I love it - and I can say, this was the laptop where I got rid of my mouse for good, and never looked back. I can see how it might get in the way for a heavy mouse user though. This trackpad is so much more responsive than old ones, I customized it to how I like to work, and wow. Unless something really changes for the worse I will never use a mouse again.

    I expect/hope/assume that Apple will tweak all these areas to make them even better in the next rev, but I would be shocked if they threw any of them out and started over with a new design. IMHO just like Apple is removing ports because they see a world where everything connects wirelessly (and I can't remember the last time I plugged my iPhone into anything, so it's coming true), they have a vision for Touch Bar vs. touch screen, hi performance keyboard, trackpad vs. mouse that they are moving toward, like it or not. I think their vision has some great potential.
     
  23. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #23
    My 15" MBP turned one the other day and I think as a whole the keyboard is fine as long as you keep it cleaned. There have been a few different times where a key has jammed due to debris and I was able to clean it and continue using the computer. I find myself typing quicker on this keyboard than the previous MacBook keyboards though I do which they had that incredible feeling of Lenovo Thinkpad keyboards. They are still the gold standard in my eyes.

    As for the rest of the computer I think it's pretty fantastic. I feel the touch bar, while nice, is a gimmick and probably not something that would compel me to buy another MacBook Pro. If Apple had offered a lower end model without the touch bar I would've ended up with that instead. The screen is gorgeous, speakers are fantastic, the I/O is easily expandable and it's damn quick.
     
  24. booksbooks thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #24
    I agree about the Touchbar being mostly superfluous. The problem is that it has added complexity to the design and takes a bit of battery power to operate. It also makes this more expensive. That's the other problem: these things are just too expensive.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2018 ---
    For the 8 months I've had this 15" Touchbar MacBook Pro, the trackpad has been anything but responsive. In fact, it's not been responsive. It fails to respond to finger movements a lot. It's beyond frustrating. This wasn't the case with the previous generation MBP models.

    Strangely, having just updated to the OS X 10.4 Beta two days ago, the trackpad feels different. It actually feels responsive. There are so many times when I've gone to just put my finger on the trackpad and move the cursor and get no response. Then I have to try again and it moves, but even so a bit reluctantly. Perhaps this had to do with a lag in the palm rejection being activated.
     
  25. leman, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018

    leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #25
    Maybe your particular unit is defective? This is certainly not typical for any of the MBP I have used, no matter which model. As to palm rejection, it just does what it supposed to do. There should be no lag. In fact, you are not even supposed to notice its there. There are users who complain about palm rejection, but I can't even imagine how they must be using their computer. One-handed with the hand fully resting on the trackpad? When I am typing on the keyboard with both hands, I am physically unable to bring my palms together so that they would touch the trackpad...
     

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