Does the MacBook keyboard get a bum rap?
3:37

Does the MacBook keyboard get a bum rap?

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I come not to bury the Mac Book keyboard, nor to praise it, the super flat keyboard on current math books is one of our favorite things to hate it ranks right up there with millennials ordering avocado toast DC Universe movies and robo calls and fair game for everybody to knock. And that's not without reason. The design, which slims down a standard keyboard by laying the key cap over a low profile butterfly mechanism is not necessarily an improvement over what came before. But the sheer level of Mac Book keyboard hysteria may be overstating the case. Like all computer horror stories, the evidence is largely anecdotal, except from the lawsuits. And is magnified by the fact that people simply don't take to Twitter to report that their product is working as expected. My long time friend and industry colleague Joanna Stern has written a brilliant first-person account for a MacBook Air Kyboad issues for the Wall Street Journal. Her E and R keys didn't work and she found several other MacBook users reporting similar issues. It's been an ongoing problem since this style was introduced in the 2015 12-inch MacBook. Apple told her, we are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry. Well for what it's worth, here's my story. [MUSIC] I've personally used and often reviewed at least eight different Net books with butterfly keyboards over the past four years. The at least one in almost constant rotation that my laptop line up at any given time. I can say I've used the style keyword almost daily for that past four years and after all that time and all that typing my experience can be summed up as Not great but not as bad a people say now is that a hedge on the ultimate value of back key keyboard but like most things in life this falls somewhere at the middle part of the bell call not great not terrible this is not to minimize the issues many many people has Mac book keyboard Repairs, returns and lost productivity are really frustrating. And I probably reassign whoever decided that this needed to be the single keyboard design for every Macbook to be up in all Apple store in Siberia. But my experience has been somewhat traumatic. The worst version of this keyboard was the inital one in the 2015 12 Macbook. The keys felt [UNKNOWN] like they had no bounce. The best version is the newer 2018 update which put a rubber membrane under the keys. Yes this was said to be for keeping tiny dust particles and debris out of the keyboard but it also added a bit of much needed bounce back to keystrokes. Even later versions of the 12 inch Macbook got much better. I literally wrote most of a 75,000 word book in coffee shops. On a couple of different 12 inch Mac Books, was it the greatest [INAUDIBLE] typing experience ever? No, but it didn't derail me on either. I've had a handful of instances of keys getting stuck. But for me the issue usually resolves itself by banging on the key a few times. Not scientific but effective. I did have one more issue with seemingly dead keys. There I found some online advised involving inverted angles compressed air and fingernails, and it worked. I can say it'll do the same for you, but in my worst case of stuff Mac bookies, it did the trip. My goal here is not to change any hearts and minds about Mac Book keyboards and truth. It's not a great triumph for keyboard design, and probably came from the ongoing arms race towards thinner, lighter laptops. Bigger batteries and bigger keys mean bigger and heavier laptops. Thinner laptops mean less room for deep keys, and less room for large batteries. Sometimes, you just have to pick your poison. [MUSIC]

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