Third generation butterfly keyboard

lucasromeiro

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 8, 2018
15
6
Does anyone have any third-generation keyboard reviews released for the MacBook Air?
does it spoil easy like its predecessors?
What improvements did you have in it?
I did not find anything about it.

Thanks
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,084
9,286
Detroit
I received the new MBA yesterday and its my first experience with the butterfly keyboard. So far I have no complaints with it. Its vastly different from the 2012 cMBP that I've been using, but that's just it; its different.

It's been less than a day with it for me, but so far, so good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe

maxgts

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2013
118
96
Sunnyvale, CA
All Apple did was put a condom under the keys to try and keep particles from ruining the keyboard. It helps but it’s not 100% effective. This video shows the 2018 MBP which uses the same keyboard as the new Air.
 

Kimcha

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2012
151
68
The 2nd generation is a problem with certainty. You can be pretty certain it will happen to you at some point, but you also have a confirmed replacement program that lasts 4 years from the purchase date.

So even though it likely will be a hassle to get it fixed, you know it will be free for four years and you get a free battery replacement with it.

It’s been shown that the 3rd generation keyboard definitely has the same problem, but it may be much rarer. This could mean that you might end up with a faulty keyboard, but apple may not create a replacement program for it and you are stuck with paying for it on your own.

That being said, there are software solutions (unshaky) that help mitigate the problem.
 

Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,763
5,555
The thing is it shouldn’t be happening at all, people are paying a premium for these machines. It also has an effect on how people come to judge Apple’s laptops, for example how many people are stopping to think before buying one, due to this issue I’d say it’s more than when there were no issues.

No I’m not an Apple hater before someone says it, I’m actually an Apple fan, I’m just being honest. Apple screwed up with the issues of the keyboard and they should fix it.
 

maxgts

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2013
118
96
Sunnyvale, CA
Does a keyboard cover help with the issue?
Definitely. It’s what many have resorted to. The problem with the free keyboard replacement program is they use the same keyboard with the same poor design. Apple charges $700 for keyboard replacement. Apparently some parts of the world don’t have the replacement program, so they’re forced to pay. It’s still an inconvenience to have to worry about it and if it does break have to schedule an appointment, drive across town, leave the laptop with Apple for a couple days and then go back again to pick it up. Some people rely heavily on their laptop for work and can’t afford the downtime the repair requires. It’s why I’m still using my 2015 MBP.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
6,078
9,006
Considering all the design and technical feats that Apple accomplishes it’s pretty amazing that they couldn’t design a keyboard that wouldn’t get hamstrung by a tiny speck of dust or dirt even after a couple revisions of the same design.

It’s basically just a bad concept and design with tolerances that are far too tight. It won’t be remedied completely until an all new design, perhaps with arm Macs.
 

Jimmy James

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2008
4,974
3,367
Magicland
What exactly is the keyboard change that merits the gen 3 name?

I’m guessing the membrane will eventually crack with normal use and age. Any particulate will probably greatly accelerate the breakdown. Will that itself cause jamming?

I’m looking to replace a 10 year old MacBook that has fully functioning hardware. Longevity matters to me.
 

triangletechie

Contributor
Apr 21, 2017
702
982
NC
Will it take another lawsuit to guarantee a 4 year fix for gen 3 keyboards? That's assuming they eventually will be problematic.
 

lucasromeiro

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 8, 2018
15
6
What exactly is the keyboard change that merits the gen 3 name?

I’m guessing the membrane will eventually crack with normal use and age. Any particulate will probably greatly accelerate the breakdown. Will that itself cause jamming?

I’m looking to replace a 10 year old MacBook that has fully functioning hardware. Longevity matters to me.
I have the same problem. I want to trade my mac .. But I'm afraid of this keyboard.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,620
3,535
It's called a butterfly keyboard because it's thin, delicate and doesn't live very long.

Even if these were 100% as reliable as the scissor-switch design in older MacBooks, I still find them quite unpleasant to type on. I've resigned myself to a) keeping my current two older MacBooks running as long as I can and b) possibly having to go over to a PC later down the road if Apple hasn't gotten their crap together keyboard-wise.

Maybe they're just trying to passive-agressively push us all to iPads.
[doublepost=1541709791][/doublepost]
This is why I picked up a 2015 macbook pro a couple of weeks ago from ebay. No need to worry about the keyboard.
I'm half-tempted to do this myself. I'm typing this on a 2012 MBP which is similar to yours, but I'm sure not as fast.
 

maxgts

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2013
118
96
Sunnyvale, CA
I'm half-tempted to do this myself. I'm typing this on a 2012 MBP which is similar to yours, but I'm sure not as fast.
I had a mid-2012 MBP 13" prior to this 2015, which I passed along to my kid. It has 8GB of ram and a 512GB SSD. Plenty quick. If you haven't upgraded your 2012 with an SSD, I highly suggest you do so.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yvan256

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,620
3,535
I had a mid-2012 MBP 13" prior to this 2015, which I passed along to my kid. It has 8GB of ram and a 512GB SSD. Plenty quick. If you haven't upgraded your 2012 with an SSD, I highly suggest you do so.
Yeah, fortunately it's got an SSD already thank god. It's a 128GB, which is sad, but it's workable.

The one thing I can see doing is replacing the battery at some point, which I believe you still can with this generation of MBP.
 

maxgts

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2013
118
96
Sunnyvale, CA
Yeah, fortunately it's got an SSD already thank god. It's a 128GB, which is sad, but it's workable.

The one thing I can see doing is replacing the battery at some point, which I believe you still can with this generation of MBP.
It’s very easy to replace the battery in 2012. That was the last year Apple made it easy for the customer to make hardware changes to their laptop. After that they started tightening their grip. Luckily the 2015 is still easy to change the SSD. I increased my capacity from 256GB to 1TB.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ignatius345

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,620
3,535
It’s very easy to replace the battery in 2012. That was the last year Apple made it easy for the customer to make hardware changes to their laptop. After that they started tightening their grip. Luckily the 2015 is still easy to change the SSD. I increased my capacity from 256GB to 1TB.
Have you done the replacement? It looks like there's glue involved...

 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
866
712
Pittsburgh, PA
I had a mid-2012 MBP 13" prior to this 2015, which I passed along to my kid. It has 8GB of ram and a 512GB SSD. Plenty quick. If you haven't upgraded your 2012 with an SSD, I highly suggest you do so.
I'm also using a mid 2012 MBP 13". I upgraded memory within a year of the purchase and a little over a year ago upgraded the HD to SSD. All I can say is WOW.

It is awful though to read of all the keyboard issues with new MacBooks. We all pay the Apple tax when buying our Apple products, which get more expensive year over year. To be hamstrung by an inferior keyboard with all of the resources they have available to them is positively mind boggling. Free replacements for 4 years after purchase is a step in the right direction but it's just not enough. The consumer has down time and for many that's just not acceptable. Part of why I switched to a MAC was inferior hardware which resulted in 3 Windows PC's in 5 years time. Apple needs to fix this and get a design that "just works".
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,395
2,283
London
The infurating thing is that the last generation of keyboard was working just fine. Nobody was complaining about them, they felt like normal keyboards to type on -- and they weren't dying left and right either.
Not just fine, the absolute best keyboard on a laptop next to some of the ThinkPad T series. No one ever was like “wish they improved their keyboard” or “damn all this wobble, wish someone stabilised it”.

The new keyboard was for only one reason and that was to make it thinner. Boo. Biggest cockup since Apple Maps.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.