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Psyclism

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Original poster
Jun 17, 2010
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I've been noticing some occasional missed keystrokes on my 16" MBP lately, especially with the arrow keys. So tonight I started experimenting and realized that my left, right and down keys don't respond to keystrokes if you press down on the outer right 1/4 of the key. For example if I press down on the right edge of the right arrow key, the key will depress, I'll feel the "thunk" of a successful keypress, but the computer doesn't register the keystroke and the cursor doesn't move. I can repeat it all night long if I want to. So far I've only noticed it on the cursor keys.

Anyone else noticing similar issues?
 
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redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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I can reproduce this on my Magic Keyboard 2, but it takes conscious effort to press the very edge of the up / down arrow keys. Don't really see it as an issue, in fact it may help to not have accidental presses of the arrow keys.
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Stop looking for issues and enjoy your new MacBook Pro.
 
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Psyclism

macrumors regular
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Jun 17, 2010
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Stop looking for issues and enjoy your new MacBook Pro.

Oh believe me, I'm not looking for issues. I've just noticed missed keystrokes when trying to navigate around my code editor, and wondered if others were noticing the same thing. These keyboards are serviceable, or so I've read, so it's possible a simple mechanism swap at the genius bar might fix it.
 
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Viamusic10000

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Dec 11, 2019
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Oh believe me, I'm not looking for issues. I've just noticed missed keystrokes when trying to navigate around my code editor, and wondered if others were noticing the same thing. These keyboards are serviceable, or so I've read, so it's possible a simple mechanism swap at the genius bar might fix it.
I can do the same thing on my magic keyboard if with numberpad if I try consciously. I dont think theres anything wrong here.
 
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Dovahkiing

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2013
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I can do this on my 16" - but as the other commenters noted, it takes conscious effort to reproduce this. I am also not concerned.
 
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tCC_

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2016
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Had the problem myself as well on my day 1 16 inch base, occasionally missing letters during normal typing (my 2018 butterfly air doesn't have that problem). I already sent it back and ordering a new one to see if that one's better.
 
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Dovahkiing

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Nov 1, 2013
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I just tried with my Lenovo work laptop and can replicate this too. My guess is this is normal for scissor switch keys when you press them at the very edge. I think Apple may have spoiled expectations with the butterflys rock Solid stability.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2016
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Pretty sure the outer edges of my 2015 keyboard are not quite as accurate as a centre depression either.
 
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throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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Pretty sure the outer edges of my 2015 keyboard are not quite as accurate as a centre depression either.
Just tried to replicate this with 2015 arrow keys.

I can MAKE it fail to register a keypress but i have to try damn hard to do so.

I've never had it fail to register before trying to deliberately make it fail - pressing the very edge of the key, not entirely completely (but it feels like it did the detent "thunk" feeling).

Hopefully this is an isolated incident for the OP and not something more serious, because Apple *really* don't need more keyboard problems right now.
 
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jr69

macrumors member
Oct 28, 2018
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This is why I returned my first 16". I hope the next one I get will solve it, but I highly doubt it.
 
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poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
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I've seen this on my 16", my 2016 15", and my 2013 Air. I think they all do it.
 
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Psyclism

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2010
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If I hit my arrow keys anywhere in the red area shown below, they don't register a keypress.

IMG_20191212_090750.jpg


Here's a YouTube video of the issue as well
 
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Psyclism

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2010
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Do you have tiny fingers? I have to try very hard to make this happen.

Not tiny. Not huge either. Wear a men's medium glove. If I place my little finger on the right arrow key just where I can feel the right edge, the key won't respond to presses. So basically any keypress that isn't very close to dead center of the key is ignored. It doesn't behave the same way when when I press in the same general area on the left side of the right key -- keypresses are recognized 100% of the time.
 
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CloudsNeverDie

macrumors member
Apr 11, 2015
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Yes this is one of the issues I mentioned in my Reddit review which got so badly flamed by Apple fanboys I had to delete it before I lost all my karma. It's not just the edges, if you press any key gently enough it's possible to receive the tactile feedback which Apple has been marketing as being so perfectly tuned, yet not actually register a keystroke. I do find it to be a problem in practice and do occasionally miss keystrokes while typing, though not very often. It's one of the long list of reasons I'll be returning the machine on Jan 8th.
 
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Psyclism

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2010
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Do you have tiny fingers? I have to try very hard to make this happen.

Here's a photo of my finger on the key in the area that doesn't respond. It's not like I'm pressing the key on the very outer edge. I'm just slightly right of center.
IMG_20191212_103711.jpg
 
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Dovahkiing

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2013
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Interesting. Maybe there is some variation? If I strike the arrow key that way I am not able to replicate this issue. I have to press the very edge to have issues.
 
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Psyclism

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2010
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Just noticed something else with the key.. if I press down in the center and activate the key (cursor moves on screen) then simply SLIDE my finger over toward the right without actually letting off the key, it quits responding as well.

Made an appointment with the Genius Bar for Saturday. Let's see what Apple has to say.
 
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Macshroomer

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Dec 6, 2009
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I can do this on my 16" - but as the other commenters noted, it takes conscious effort to reproduce this. I am also not concerned.

+1

I have to try really hard to do this and in real world use there is no way this is an actual issue.
 
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smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
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Silicon Valley
Well, this is a normal issue with traditional scissor switches, but it probably only affects a tiny number of people.

Traditional scissors are slightly flexible, but that allows them to have some play, which also makes them less likely to get jammed. The tradeoff is when you allow some play, you can get missed keystrokes as the result of glancing strikes and this is probably the reason why Apple increased the size of the keycaps is to reduce the likelihood of you hitting only the corner and failing to register a keypress.

The butterfly is a more rigid variant of the scissor switch. The rigidity does two things. It gives it a super clicky feed and it makes it so that even glancing keypresses will get registered. Try pressing the very tip of a cornern of a butterfly keyboard and it'll register. The tradeoff of such a rigid mechanism is that it can get jammed with small debrit. BTW, it's not the switch that gets jammed. It's the scaffold. The switch cannot be jammed. It's sealed.

Anyway, I wouldn't freak out. You'll probably adapt with time to strike the cursor keys more directly or you can use a remapping program to give yourself "additional" arrow keys. I do this to turn the IJKL keys under my right hand into an alterate arrow cluster whenever I have the Control key pressed down. This way, I don't have to move my hand to find the arrow cluster.
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I have to try really hard to do this and in real world use there is no way this is an actual issue.

I think you'll find a lot of people who'll disagree. It depends on a lot of things. Typing mechanics are a factor for sure, but some people are more likely than others to make glacing strikes. Your posture, the ergonomics of your workstation, and the size of your hands are just some other factors that can determine if this happens to you.

I'd doubt that this will be a huge issue in the wild, but it's definitely an actual issue for a small number of people.
 
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wallysb01

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2011
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Yes this is one of the issues I mentioned in my Reddit review which got so badly flamed by Apple fanboys I had to delete it before I lost all my karma. It's not just the edges, if you press any key gently enough it's possible to receive the tactile feedback which Apple has been marketing as being so perfectly tuned, yet not actually register a keystroke. I do find it to be a problem in practice and do occasionally miss keystrokes while typing, though not very often. It's one of the long list of reasons I'll be returning the machine on Jan 8th.

Oh boy, maybe you got flamed because this is so extremely subtle that normal usage would never reveal the "problem"? If I push as softly and slowly as I can on any key I can occasionally make the tactile feed back trigger (the click) before pushing far enough down to make the key actually trigger they typing event. Its maybe 1 out of 10 times. Doing this takes about 5-10 seconds to depress the key. Under normal usage or anything even remotely likely a normal key stroke this never happens out side the very edges of the arrow keys, where it can be 50/50, at worst, with light-to-medium pressing. Harder pressing still works 100%. Center of the key works 100% with a light touch. That's an issue, but a very minor one. The other keys are 0 issue what so ever.

I am wondering if this complaint is arising because the crap butterfly keyboard got some users so used to typing extremely softly and striking the center of the key became less important.... I don't know, I'm coming from the 2014/2015 era keyboard and still primarily use mechanical external keyboards. I hit the center of keys and don't type like I'm worried about punching my finger though a piece of taut tissue paper.

Overall, I love this keyboard. All designs have some sort of trade off. This appears to be one of them, but a very minor issue. Giving any general advice to avoid the product because of this issue would be highly irrational.
 
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smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
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Oh boy, maybe you got flamed because this is so extremely subtle that normal usage would never reveal the "problem"?

All keyboards have variances in manfuacturing. I tried a 16" MBP in an Apple Store and found the switches to be mushy and wobbly. I mentioned that in another post and got some irate replies about what I experienced.

Sometimes the same model feels considerably different from unit to unit. I found the Magic Keyboard 2 to be one of the most perfect low travel keyboards I ever put my hands on... the first one at least. The second I tried would have convinced me it was a cheap knock off had it not been inside the same Apple Store that I tried it.

I don't know why they felt different, but they were and under the right conditions and typing mechanics, you could more easily produce a certain type of error on one vs the other.
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Interesting. Maybe there is some variation? If I strike the arrow key that way I am not able to replicate this issue. I have to press the very edge to have issues.

I don't have a 2016, but I do have a 2009 and 2012 Unibody. I can replicate if I strike the left and right arrow keys off center and if press in a diagonal trajectory. I'm very unlikely to do that in real use, but someone who's taller or with bigger hands than me might have different typing mechanics.

It'd be very hard to do this with the regular keys given that it's almost impossible to strike a non-arrow key this way.

Everyone started making the left and right arrow keys in their arrow clusters full sized keys (not just Apple). I hated that, but I'm starting to realize that maybe that it was done precisely to avoid this kind of issue. It's harder to accidentally make a glancing press on a full key than it is a half key.
 
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Psyclism

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2010
116
99
+1

I have to try really hard to do this and in real world use there is no way this is an actual issue.

On my particular laptop, I have to try really hard to NOT do this consistently. I'd say that 40-50% of my right arrow key presses don't register and require multiple attempts. I don't smash the keys like a Neanderthal, but I'm not a soft typist either. The fact that I can also make the key respond and then not respond by simply sliding back and forth on the keycap, while keeping it pressed down like it's a joystick touchpad, tells me something else is afoot.
 
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