The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has been discussed on this blog many times, and most of the discussions are positive. The Butterfly keyboard did have a two-day learning curve for me, but I was able to get used to it. They wanted to make an ultra-light notebook and needed to make some compromises.
However, many people have had issues. Early last year, 9to5Mac was one of the first to report on the problems of stuck keys with Apple’s new keyboard.
“An Apple Support Communities thread has multiple reports of stuck keys on the 12-inch MacBook. Some users report that they were able to resolve the issue themselves by cleaning out debris, while others have had machines replaced by Apple under warranty.”
Over the past year and a half, there have been a lot more reports. Finally, Apple acknowledged the issue. According to The Verge, the Cupertino company is now offering an extended keyboard service program for computers hit by the issue. The extended warranty covers the replacement of key or even the entire keyboard.
While most people who purchased the new MacBook Pro aren’t affected by the issue, the amount of those who are is still troubling. And it makes one ask if the short-travel keyboard design is really worth it. In some case, it is. For example, lets take a look at the Dell XPS 13 9370 keyboard.
The travel on the keys is smaller than previous versions of the XPS, but the click feels natural, not crunchy like the Butterfly keys on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro devices. Dell was able to fit this keyboard on a device that is lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. However, the new XPS 13 isn’t the only device that has a newly engineered keyboard that Apple can take notes from.
The keyboard on the XPS 15 2-in-1 has magnetic keys that are similar to the Butterfly keys. However, I have never experienced keys getting stuck. And the magnetic keys gives your fingers the illusion of a full-travel keyboard. This takes more to get used to than other keyboards, but after three days, it feels like one of the best keyboards ever put on a laptop.
Perhaps Apple shouldn’t worry about making the keys shorter, and put back a keyboard similar to the MacBook Pros from 2015. People would rather have a regular keyboard than a lighter unit that makes compromises. And as many have complained about, Apple has already made too many compromises on their latest laptops. Let’s hope that changes when Apple releases the 2018 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to arrive in stores during the fourth quarter of 2018.