The New MacBook Pro Keyboard Is Ruining Our Lives

October 17 2017

Casey Johnston has an article at The Outline about how bad the MacBook Pro keyboard is, which is an issue that has plagued many people I know — including myself.

In March of this year, a scant five months after I bought my 2016 13” MacBook Pro With Touch Bar (Apple could stand to shorten the name too), my space bar got stuck.

At first, I thought it was me. In my ten+ years of owning Apple equipment, I couldn’t accept that the fault was the laptop. I actively thought I was hitting the key wrong. This was before there was a ton of hubbub about these keyboards, or at least before I was aware of the hubbub.

About a week after I first noticed the issue, it was to the point where the space bar never worked. No matter how I hit it. So I brought it to an Apple Store tout suite. First, they told me I was hitting it wrong.

I’m not joking. The Apple Store Genius told me I was typing wrong.

Then, after trying it himself, he agreed this was a real problem. He set out to fix the issue, and told me they were going to replace the space bar on my keyboard.

He came out about an hour later and told me the problem was solved, and that they had removed and replaced the space bar. There was a piece of dust, I was told, and they had removed it. This “fixed” my issue, he claimed.

But the keyboard still didn’t work.

I tested it before I left the store, and promptly returned the laptop to the Genius’ hands. First, he assured me (again) that I was typing wrong. Then, he tried it, and agreed there was still a problem.

Keep in mind, this was the same Genius who helped me before.

He took my laptop away and told me they’d “let me know” when they identified the issue. I was told they’d keep my computer overnight to run some diagnostics and take a look at it, since they had “never encountered” this issue before.

Twenty-four hours later, they called me mid-afternoon to ask if I had a recent backup of my hard drive. They took my space bar off, but they couldn’t get the space bar back on because they key had snapped. So they needed to replace the entire bottom case on my laptop, and that part order and replacement would take three days or less. They were going to rush it because they knew my business relied on my laptop. It should go fine, they said, but they wanted to make sure I had a backup in case something happened.

Two days and twenty-three hours later, they called me with good news and bad news. The good news was that my part had arrived. The bad news was that the keyboard was somehow associated with the Touch Bar, and the connection there had gone faulty, which meant they had to replace the Touch Bar. They said that all of my keys were mis-aligned, because the keyboard wasn’t properly set in the factory to begin with, and that was when the problem started. I was lucky to have made it five months into my usage.

But Touch ID is connected to the Touch Bar, so they had to replace that too. And Touch ID is connected to the logic board, so that was getting replaced. And the hard drive and the RAM were both soldered to the logic board, so…

Well, you get the picture.

Then, instead of replacing the laptop, which would have made more sense at that point, they replaced the logic board, SSD, RAM, Touch Bar with Touch ID, and external casing on my MacBook Pro. I got it back eight days after I handed it to the Genius Bar.

Just the other day, I realized that my warranty was coming up to a close on this MacBook Pro. I’m approaching my first full year of ownership. So I spent $375 (Canadian), including taxes, on AppleCare for my $3,000 laptop. Because for the first time since I started buying Apple products, I absolutely do not trust this machine.

But it’s my daily driver. What can I do?

I really like typing on this keyboard, but I hate this keyboard.

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