Worth buying now or waiting until end of year?

cosmo811

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 27, 2011
9
1
England
I was hoping somebody might be able to offer me some advice here. I'm starting my PhD on October 1st this year. I currently have an ageing Dell XPS 13 which is three years old and out of warranty, and which has had three battery failures and one SSD failure since I bought it (not through poor care, I should add). As such, I'm really hoping to just buy a brand new Macbook in order to have the peace of mind that I'll have a solid, reliable laptop for my three years there. The 256GB i5 MacBook Pro is the one I'm most interested in.

My concern is the keyboard. I'm not too concerned about whether it'll break (I'll be living a 15 minute walk away from the nearest Apple Store and I'll also be getting AppleCare), but about whether it's going to fundamentally be a bad experience to spend extended periods typing on. While I'm at home in my flat, I'll probably hook it up to my monitor and use an external keyboard/mouse anyway, but I'll be spending lots of time using it at the library. For those who have spent time using this generation of the butterfly keyboards - what's it actually like to type on? I'm very used to fairly low-travel chiclet style keyboards (I currently use a Microsoft Surface Ergonomic keyboard), but I don't want to find that my fingertips get sore after a few hours of typing, as that's going to be the primary use for the machine. Especially anyone who's used to using chiclet keyboards like on the Dell XPS, HP Spectre or MS Surface lineup - setting aside reliability, what's the actual experience of them like?

If there are issues with it from a comfort standpoint, is it possible the Macbook Pro will be updated with non-butterfly keyboards before the end of the year? I really don't like the sharp angles of the Macbook Air (I find they cut into my wrists when I'm typing) and I do need the extra power for other tasks. But I also can't really be waiting until late next year for a new laptop as I don't know how long this one will last and I can't risk that interfering with my project. Would it be a terrible idea to get the 256GB i5 for now and either sell it or trade it in when one with a new keyboard comes out?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,474
3,863
If there is a non butterfly option this year, it looks like it's going to debut in a very expensive high end 16" Pro. I'd say at least $3K given the 15" stock options currently stop at $2,799. The 13" model will likely only get the same treatment next year, and it might also get a further price bump alongside it! o_O
 

cosmo811

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 27, 2011
9
1
England
Thanks for the info. In that case, am I better off just buying one now, taking advantage of the Back to School offer on the AppleCare/headphones, and seeing what happens next year then selling off/trading in towards it if it really is much better? I don't really care about the bezels, and 2 TB3 ports is all I need as my keyboard/mouse are wireless anyway.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,964
4,550
If there are issues with it from a comfort standpoint, is it possible the Macbook Pro will be updated with non-butterfly keyboards before the end of the year?
Whether you'd find the keyboard comfortable or not is very personal. For me, the butterfly keyboard is great for prolonged typing. For some others, it's the worst keyboard ever made. You need to try it out. Maybe spend half an hour (I know, not enough, but at least something ...) in the Apple Store typing on one of the machines?

There are rumours that the keyboard will be redesigned, but nobody really knows anything.

If there is a non butterfly option this year, it looks like it's going to debut in a very expensive high end 16" Pro. I'd say at least $3K given the 15" stock options currently stop at $2,799.
I wish people would stop presenting it as a done deal. The fact is, we don't know anything about how this 16" MBP will look like. It might be a new high-end model, or it just might be a replacement for the current 15" MBP with smaller bezels (fun fact — the current MBP chassis can easily fit a 16" display, I measured).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 960design

cosmo811

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 27, 2011
9
1
England
Whether you'd find the keyboard comfortable or not is very personal. For me, the butterfly keyboard is great for prolonged typing. For some others, it's the worst keyboard ever made. You need to try it out. Maybe spend half an hour (I know, not enough, but at least something ...) in the Apple Store typing on one of the machines?
Thanks. My hope is that because I actively prefer lower-travel chiclet style keyboards to mechanical keyboards in the first place, the transition shouldn't be too bad. I'm used to changing how I type as well - my ergonomic keyboard obviously have a very different layout with a gap between the g and h keys, so if I just need to learn to type a little more softly that should be fine.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,474
3,863
Thanks for the info. In that case, am I better off just buying one now, taking advantage of the Back to School offer on the AppleCare/headphones, and seeing what happens next year then selling off/trading in towards it if it really is much better? I don't really care about the bezels, and 2 TB3 ports is all I need as my keyboard/mouse are wireless anyway.
Yeah if you need one by September, I think this is it for the moment. The BTS promotion seems pretty decent and as long as you do have a failsafe (computer lab, USB/ wireless KB?) in the event you do experience a problem but need to get work done urgently you should be fine :)

I wish people would stop presenting it as a done deal. The fact is, we don't know anything about how this 16" MBP will look like. It might be a new high-end model, or it just might be a replacement for the current 15" MBP with smaller bezels (fun fact — the current MBP chassis can easily fit a 16" display, I measured).
I did say if it happens, and of course if OP is looking at a 13" (which I assume is the case as they mentioned an i5) even if the 16" does debut at 15" pricing that's still a lot more than what they're likely to be considering.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cosmo811

MrSpock75

macrumors member
Apr 10, 2015
70
67
Düsseldorf, Germany
I am still using my 2016 MacBookPro 15” daily for at least 8 hours which I bought on Day 1 and have zero complains about the keyboard. I use my keyboard quite a lot for typing and only because “some” have keyboard issues, it is not the case for everyone.

So buy any MacBook you like and you will gonna love it. In case the keyboard starts behaving bad, be glad you get it replaced at no repair cost for at least the next 4 years - no question asked.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 960design

cosmo811

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 27, 2011
9
1
England
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to pick one up on Friday, that way I have two weeks to spend time with the keyboard and see if I can get used to it. If I can, great, and if not, that's fine too I can just return it.
 

nStyle

macrumors 65816
Dec 6, 2009
1,092
199
I wouldn't worry about keyboard issues as long as you're comfortable with the keyboard itself given the new 4-year replacement program. That obviously means they're quite confident in the new design. I don't see them going back to traditional keyboard switches within a year given how aggressive they market it.

Who knows though...it is certainly a weird time to be buying. This current design is pretty old now and they'll likely do a complete update next year.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,182
5,536
If I had to buy a MacBook Pro RIGHT NOW, I'd try to get a 2015-design 15" (with the old-style keyboard and plenty of ports) from the refurbished section of Apple's online store.

If you've got time and money, wait for the 16" MBP (with the new keyboard) coming late this year. But expect to pay at least $3,000 for "the base model", and considerably more if you "want more"...
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
972
232
This is a perfect case for trying it out now (I don't think it is worth waiting for a new generation laptop - the first version of new Apple designs are never a good buy). If I was in your shoes I would buy now and use extensively with lots of typing during the 2 week return period and make your decision based off that. I don't have a 2019 keyboard to share my experiences, but I will say that the 2017 MBP I'm using currently is not the best typing experience. It is doable but I immediately appreciate whenever I switch to ANY other keyboard (and I've been using this computer since November of last year, so plenty of time to get used to it). I haven't had to do a lot of typing on it though so I still overall like the laptop.