Took me a minute...
Yep, it did. El Reg got me. Again
Apple has finally admitted the utterfly-mechanism keyoards in its Macook ad Macook Pro laptops are diaolical, and has offered free repairs and replacemets. It's funy what tens of thousads of complaints and a lawsuit will do. These minimalist noteook keyoards, asically, are terrile: the key tops fall off, ad they ecome …
I bought the only MacBookPro late 2016 model available without the OLED-touch-bar crap. It came with only two USB-C ports and no friggy other ports at all. One of the two USB-C ports is always needed for power. What a "great" experience. Of course, the crappy keyboard has such shitty keys, like no other notebook (only the the Surface tablet keyboard is known to be worse). I switched back to ThinkPad T-series running Hackintosh.
Johnny Eve is an idiot! Steve Jobs is rotating is his crave.
Johnny Eve is an idiot! Steve Jobs is rotating is his crave.
You've got one of those keyboards I see. But Jony Ive is the industrial designer concerned with appearance and aesthetics. He's not specifying the product, I doubt he gets a say on the type and number of ports. You'll have to pin your problems on somebody else.
> Jony Ive is the industrial designer concerned with appearance and aesthetics
Exactly. Form over function.
We all want the damn MacBookPro keyboard to work fine and be usable. Yet this Jony Ive wants it too look nice and unique but doesn't care about anything else. That's the problem. He is the problem.
The keyboard for an Apple laptop was once a removable board that was attached to the motherboard with a cable. Now the keyboards are built into the case and can't be lifted out, increasing repair costs or making it impossible to repair. Unfortunately, Apple also didn't design the keyboard keys to last, so we get problems like with this butterfly keyboard. I like being able to type on my laptop keyboard while water is pouring down over it, and the keys are usable even while wearing gloves. For the price Apple charges, the company should be able to put that sort of quality into its products instead of trying to aesthetically-improve technology that didn't need fixing and at the expense of functionality. I miss Steve.
I bought the only MacBookPro late 2016 model available without the OLED-touch-bar crap.
I waited for that round of new MacBooks to come out, then eagerly went to a store to try them. I absolutely hated the feel of the short-travel keyboard, even when it was brand new and the keys worked. This was also before it was general knowledge that you have to replace the entire keyboard assembly and half of the case if just one key goes bad.
I ended up buying a refurb 2015 core i7 MBP for several hundred dollars less, with a full complement of ports. I feel like I dodged a bullet.
(PS: Please don't bother replying about how I 'shoulda bought a Dell' or whatever. I have owned many PCs, and still have 3 Win7 boxen. The entire reason for buying a MacBook was to escape the Windows 10 slurp. And yes, I've tried Linux; the driver and hardware support for professional audio recording is terrible.)
> It came with only two USB-C ports and no friggy other ports at all
Bet that was a surprise...it's not like there are specifications and reviews all over the place. Ever considered you weren't buying a machine that suited your requirements? Or was it just new and shiny so you had to have it anyway?
It came with only two USB-C ports and no friggy other ports at all. One of the two USB-C ports is always needed for power. What a "great" experience.
And with the appropriate dongle that charging port can be simultaneously used for charging and other purposes.
Don't get me wrong, I do hate the minimalist number of ports these days that means you have to start carrying around multiple dongles - ethernet, video, hubs/port replicators - but it is possible to have more than 2 things connected via the lightning ports.
I'm an Engineer. I don't need to be able to spell properly. I only need to know that it is possible and what the tolerance limits for wrong spelling are for the particular job. Spell checking is a later process that comes well after the inspiration phase of the project.
For example, when designing an aircraft I would expect very small tolerances when writing the specification document. When writing a political manifesto plus/minus 50% is to be expected and permitted.
AFAIK, they will only repair Macs that are less than 4 years old and I imagine that they will find some way of weaseling out of many repairs- citing 3rd screen replacements or scratches on the lid, insisting that keyboard faults are constant rather than intermittent, etc.
You don't get to be the richest firm in the world by being good guys.
Ummmmm, not exactly true.
Managed to get my MacBook Pro (late-2013) repaired under an old callback to replace the screen because of faulty anti-glare layer that disintegrates after some harsh contact with the touchpad due to pressure of the closure. It was technically out-of-date. They're genuinely very good if you tell them honestly and state the callback on the phone. Another £300 not required to spend to get another few years out of the laptop. Being the richest, you generally get to ace at customer service. The big boys always get complaints surfaced because media like a good storm in a teacup.
Wonder if Microsoft/HP/Dell do that same? Probably not. I know Lenovo are better with their pro grade laptops.
And the issue with all USB-C isn't that bad. Wish they'd give a USB3/HDMI dongle with laptops, but you can get one for £15/20 (Kanex).
It was technically out-of-date. They're genuinely very good if you tell them honestly and state the callback on the phone. Another £300 not required to spend to get another few years out of the laptop.
You think you got special treatment but you didn't, it's only because it's a design fault that's in their list that they can't wiggle out in either the EU (consumer rights) or US (class action) so they're forced to extend the guarantee.
But then four years after purchase they declare your product obsolete just because and say they'll no longer repair it.
Non-retina 2012 MacBook Pros with two video cards aren't covered despite also having the same display issues as Retina 2012 MacBook Pros. They wouldn't touch them with a barge pole, strictly statutory guarantee period only.
Not only is the keyboard design crap, but the idea of riveting them to the case is crap too. The laptop I am using now is 10 years old and I wore out the keyboard... $20 for a new OEM keyboard and a five minute install and it was back in tip top shape. I know Apple devices are meant to be thrown away and not repaired (despite costing considerably more than my repairable Asus laptop), but that's just ridiculous.
I like using the term enforced obsolescence. Apple refuse to officially release board schematics, repair tools, procedures and replacements parts outside their authorised repair centres. When Apple don't want to repair your equipment... Tough. But. Apple are almost saintly compared to the Microsoft Surface laptop which can't be repaired without destroying it.
I know Apple devices are meant to be thrown away and not repaired (despite costing considerably more than my repairable Asus laptop), but that's just ridiculous.
Sadly, that seems to be the norm now with high-end "design-focused" laptops from many vendors, not just Apple. It's weird to me that I can easily upgrade the RAM, HDD/SSD, keyboard, etc. on almost any $400-500 laptop, while a $1500 model is likely to be a sealed-up, glued-together brick with soldered RAM and storage.
We had one of ours fail - out of notional warrenty. Forced Apple to replace it through the lageal protection available to buyers who have a reasonable expectation of a decent product that works beyond 1 year. Mind you it took a very snotty letter from a tame solicitor to force them to do it with a threat of legal action.
Macbook keyboards have been crap going back all the way back to the shitty plastic one were bits fell off the top case. Until I say the light I had the mentioned above not so plastic fantastic, then a 13 inch 2011 MacBook "pro". Both of them would miss keys occasionally and christ they were uncomfortable on the fingers.
We’ve two 2015 MacBooks bought on student discount (AppleCare for £50) and between them we’ve had 4 new keyboards, a new screen and a new main board. I should have bought the pro but even that is ruined.
They’ve been utter sh1te. I will keep them for now because I endlessly hope that Apple will pull their head out of their 4r5e and stop claiming a laptop with awful keyboard and needs a dongle to plug in a mouse or usb stick no proper USB ports is a “Pro” machine.
I’ve got 2 Lenovo Thinkpads issued by work (T450 and a T470) and a X240 I got off eBay for myself and they’re so much nicer to use apart from the OS.
[...] stop claiming a laptop with awful keyboard and needs a dongle to plug in a mouse or usb stick no proper USB ports is a “Pro” machine.
I know this is a matter of opinion, but I actually rather like the port strategy on the current MacBook Pro. It's clean and forward-looking. I carry a multiport dongle that has USB, HDMI, SD card & ethernet and just use that when needed. I have another dock on my desk that has a fuller range of ports and also provides power (which reminds me of when I used to use a docking station with my old Thinkpad, yet more convenient). But I know this is personal preference - all these adapters add £££ to the overall cost, and many people just find dongles annoying.
I'm not going to defend the shitty keyboards though.
As much as I hate to defend Apple, especially on such a contentious issue, but I can think of a couple of instances where they have predicted changes in computing by removing certain features - e.g. no floppy drive in the iMac, no optical drive in the Macbook. And - I know this is unpopular here - no easily replacable battery in the iPhone. I'll keep my removable storage and 3.5mm jack though, thanks.
Personally, I prefer a proper docking station - which is why I'm clinging on to my 2014 E-series Dell. The new ones use those fiddly USB-C port expander things.
P.S. Not an Apple user. I have a few broken iPhones people have dumped on me, and a Mac Plus. Spent several hours trying to install Mac OS on a regular PC, without success.
Spent several hours trying to install Mac OS on a regular PC, without success.
Except for AMD PCs and Intel Atom/Pentium/Celeron, every PC I saw out there could run macOS like a charm ...
Try again from scratch. If you do it correctly, it will run, even better than Windows, and arguably smoother than Linux.
but there's still a lot of people who need to run software that comes in Mac and Windows form, but not Linux.
There is an open-source project called Wine. It emulates Win32 APIs on macOS and Linux making you able to run quite a lot of Windows programs (including Photoshop, the most common complaint).
If only Apple would offer MacOS as a standalone product...
Then it would be as successful as OS/2, because there's an immense number of PC configurations.
And there's their brand and image, which cost money and would be wasted by this move.
Not to forget the malware spike.
"We’ve two 2015 MacBooks bought on student discount (AppleCare for £50) and between them we’ve had 4 new keyboards, a new screen and a new main board. I should have bought the pro but even that is ruined"
What this amply demonstrates is that that there has been a decline in initial design and then quality control and that both aspects have really got to be improved by Cook & Co.
From an external perspective, it looks like they just don't care any more, particularly about professional users, and that they're effectively turning the MacBook range into high value, but less than useful, lifestyle brand goods for updating Facebook accounts, etc.
Lifestyle indeed, i blame that woman from Burberry who joined them, in partnership with Johnny Rotten, style over substance. Pro range is now just for aspiring wannabes, completely unsuitable for professionals. Apple are going to lose their core base quickly at this rate.
Apple are going to lose their core base quickly at this rate.
With Windows 10 being unusable rubbish, people are saying the same thing about the Windows platform. Where are the Apple people going to go? Linux would be good, but there's still a lot of people who need to run software that comes in Mac and Windows form, but not Linux. If only Apple would offer MacOS as a standalone product...
Oddly, you've relieved my pain a little. I'm on my 3rd Acer Aspire keyboard, which is again having "mood swings", waking up forgetting short cuts (Linux Mint) and language switches. Is it so hard to make a decent keyboard? My old Thinkpads took a pounding (old journo here) and begged for more, even after the characters wore off. Might follow your lead on the X240.
Methinks if Apple made parachutes then members of the board would be facing jail time. A half-hearted fix is not a real fix - here, have a band-aid for your severed limb. If your business depends on your IT then losing it to the Apple repair shop every few months is coming off your bottom line - until you ditch Apple.
The 2016 MBP was a fuster cluck that incorporated all the worst of the 2015 Macbook. Apple just popped in its earbuds and sang "la,la,la" as even some its most ardent fanbois started to question its sanity. I hope this crack-papering scheme dents the profits sufficiently that major shareholders effect some change - time for some reality to penetrate that reality distortion field.
Apart from not being supported by their current OS, a late '08 Macbook upgraded with an SSD still works ok.
Nothing that couldn't be fixed with an EFI hack.
And support for it was dropped because of Wi-Fi card drivers (or that was why they dropped support for these Wi-Fi cards?)
If you do the EFI hack (or an equivalent one on the installer image) then upgrade the Wi-Fi card you're fine.
> It's actually reached the point where I'm afraid to buy anything from Apple now.
Agreed. I'm Ebaying my Mac Mini (quad core thing from 2011) presently, as I've had enough of Apple's crap.
Been CentOS 7 instead for a few months on my old i5-750, and it's working at out well. Much higher power consumption (70W vs 20W) than the Mac Mini though, as that uses laptop spec components. ;)
> Been CentOS 7 instead for a few months
But CentOS comes with systemd. That is a no go. You could run Windows 10 than too, both do shit without your knowledge.
Better Hackintosh or FreeBSD or something else from this list: Distributions that do not use systemd
> But CentOS comes with systemd.
Yeah. I just needed a Linux distro that I'm familiar with though, as I do Go development in my spare time and that's only practical on Linux.
Pulseaudio has been a pain, but the systemd parts haven't hurt things yet. The box hasn't broken, so I haven't had the pain experience, and things might change if that happens. :)
I remember around 1994 or 1995, before Jobs came back and saved their company, I felt the same way, I was afraid to buy from them. System 7.5 was terrible, and the hardware wasn't much better for the frankly insane prices Apple wanted.
At about the same time, Windows was getting usable so I switched to NT 4 about a year later and discovered FreeBSD around the same time, and also GNU/Linux, but I didn't and still don't particularly care for it outside of a couple of minor (for me) use cases, and of course Android but that's just the kernel and the kernel's never really been the issue.
And come to think of it, I haven't bought anything from Apple since. I did always kind of want to try OS X because its a for-real UNIX and not balls expensive, but I've never really had the urge to spend twice as much on half the performance just to try an OS.
"Despite all the scorn and negativity from the typical, rabid anti-Apple El Reg crowd"
That is just so wrong on so many counts.
I actually want Apple to succeed and be relevant and successful 20 years from now and to offer a good alternative to whatever Microsoft is putting out.
That means addressing issues of design, quality control of both hardware and software, repairability, upgradeabilty, outdated specifications (at least 18 months behind Windows machines) and so on right now and not pretending that these issues do not exist.
No, but it's the model for those of us who have a "Grandad's Broom" PC, where the PSU is original, Mobo replaced after 3 CPU upgrades, SSDs added and then expanded, AM expanded and upgraded at least three times, GPU changed every other month (or so it seems sometimes) and only the case (quick release bays, cover plates and side panels - no screwdriver required), fans and lighting rig are original. And with my new MSI X299 XPower board coming any day now, that makes me pretty much future proof until, oh, at least teatime.
Au contraire, mon frère. Apple user since 2004.
I still have a Retina 15-inch. I hope to Christ it keeps working until Apple start making computers again, because I'm not buying one of those new MacBook Pros as a replacement. Proper laptop, proper keyboard (no wanky touch bar), proper set of useful ports and please bring back Magsafe. Oh and 32GB of memory would be innovation where it matters. Get a clue Apple. Please. Times are hard and value for money (not to mention reliability) counts more than ever.
My wife's Macbook keyboard quit some months ago. When we took it to the Apple Disingenous Bar, we were told the Liquid Sensors had been tripped. If you saw how my wife cares for her MacBook, you would realize that this is a very low probability scenario...
We were subsequently informed that as well as the $400+ keyboard replacement (not under warranty - liquid sensors), there were also two other boards that required replacement that would be covered by warranty. I was out of town so my wife asked our adult son why the keyboard was not covered, but the two other boards were. His reply:
"They broke it taking it apart"
So if something other than the "liquid sensor" fails under warranty, it enables a claim for a repair under warranty. But if the "liquid sensor" fails, it cancels a claim for a repair under warranty. A second failure that cancels their liability for the first one, without any chance you can refute it!
Wow. Over on the PC side, so many are considering Macs for the first time because of Windows 10, and so many on the Mac side are fleeing the shoddy Apple construction and the "you're holding it wrong" attitude...
Im getting bored of the Mac haters, and the constant drivel on virtually every tech site out there, jumping on the bandwagon to moan about the latest keyboards.
I've used the
* Macbook 12 (2016)
* Macbook 12 (2017)
* MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2017)
They are great to type on! Sure they take some getting used to in the first instance, and the 2nd gen butterfly keyboards on the 2017 models feel more tactile.
Whilst they are not as robust as the older models, doesn't mean you hammer the hell out of the keyboards just to prove a point! I keep my clean and where possible, for example when Im working from home, will use an external bluetooth keyboard.
Remember peeps, the internet nowadays seems to be just for the haters / those who have had problems (minority) ... where are the people saying actually guys, these machines are pretty sweet?
How often do you go online to see how good a product is?
Oh and I typed this anti-rant on my Macbook 12 (2017) whilst sat in Starbucks :-)
Not really, up until a few years ago was and I guess still am still an avid pc user. However as I work from home and remotely in general, I needed something uber portable to work my magic with :-)
However when I'm in the mancave, I have the Mac hooked up to an external monitor and on a stand... hence the external keyboard and mouse.
Ever noticed that the pre-release reviews are always more positive than those written when the products have arrived in the shops.
Apple only dole out pre-release products to news outlets on the understanding that they will be wasted 5 out of 5 stars.
The Guardian made the mistake of honestly reviewing an iPad, giving it 3.5 stars and have been blacklisted by Apple ever since.
>Whilst they are not as robust as the older models, doesn't mean you hammer the hell out of the keyboards just to prove a point! I keep my clean and where possible, for example when Im working from home, will use an external bluetooth keyboard.<
So, you yourself prefer to use a completely different keyboard and you admit that it's less robust than earlier versions, but you don't understand why people complain about them?
Do you not see any problem with that?
“the Cupertino idiot-tax giant”
Stop insulting people for buying Apple by calling them idiots. Apple purchasers buy Apple for good reasons, including overall quality of software and hardware (software always comes first).
The term “idiot” means they have not really looked into things. Well, all the things that go on in the IT world are difficult to determine. But how do the others get their prices low – because they advertise and pass your details onto other third parties. This is being naive as to where the cost of your appliance comes from – with Apple you own the appliance, with advertising-based cheap prices, your appliance owns you.
Now I’m not going to insult those who buy these other products by calling them idiots, rather try to educate them about what is really going on, rather than being naive about what is going on.
It seems the Register is wilfully naive, or maybe being idiots. Usually those who repeat the same thing over and over, are just trying to promote a lie. The ‘idiot tax’ phrase is used over and over by the Register. It is not true, and it is insulting. Has Register been taking lessons from Trump?
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I have one of the machines in question, and the keyboard (whole top-case in fact) needs replacing. They quote 3 to 7 working days turnaround for the repair. I have the AppleCare extended warranty so cost is not an issue in my case - but being without a machine for a week or so is very much a problem for me. I have discussed this at some length with both Apple Store retail staff and "premium resellers".
Naturally, replacing the top case does not take 3 - 7 days. The issue is that when you hand over your Mac it goes into a queue. The turnaround time will depend on how many others are queuing ahead of you. I asked why the machine couldn't remain in my possession while it is queuing, but "that's not a service we offer".
I am able to work in the meantime by using an external keyboard but this is not always convenient. I now think I'll have to take it in for repair the day before I go on my summer holiday, then hope it's fixed by the time I return. This isn't straightforward either - you cannot book in for a repair more than 7 days in advance, and sometimes you'll find that all repair slots in your nearby stores are already taken.
A chap working in a London Apple Store suggested that I should buy a new MBP, use it while my old one is being repaired, and then return the new one "no questions asked" so long as it's within 14 days. Remarkable that they would tolerate this, but I won't do it anyway because it feels a bit too risky.
For the price of my AppleCare extended warranty, I could have added next-day onsite repair to a Dell laptop, and I'm sure that's true of many other brands as well. I like my Mac (apart from the keyboard issue), but for work I mainly run Windows on it. Next time I choose a new laptop for work, I cannot possibly buy another Mac because they have no "keep you working" service option.