Apple says the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard doesn't improve reliability, and that's not great...

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  • Reply 61 of 97
    That is such a small problem and, as always, overblown by the media.

    I have been using my MacBook Pro for a year now, and I never even once got a slightly sticky key.

    And everyone else I talk to, also have not experienced it.

    It's just like the bended iPhone 6 "problem". Mine is intact, and so is everyone elses!

    Till it happens to you the day after your Apple Care expires. 
    ireland
  • Reply 62 of 97
    jdwjdw Posts: 698member
    Article said:
    It has been re-engineered to give the users a quieter typing experience, which Apple has told us is the number one user complaint about the machine.
    Surely a falsehood propagated by Apple.  I have no doubt that the factually true "number one user complaint" is actually a complaint that Apple refuses to remedy (and therefore refuses to mention); namely, that the keyboards on all MBP machines from late 2016 and later have virtually no key travel, such that the user's hands feel tired only a short time after typing, akin to pounding fingers on a table or metal surface.  Hardly any professional writers that I know warmly embrace the butterfly keyboard.  And while I am not a professional writer, I do write many pages equivalent of email and document text every day.  And yes, I have typed on the butterfly keyboard before and I also own a 2015 15" MBP to compare, and I prefer the 2015 keyboard, even though its keys are arguably "comparatively less stable."  Key TRAVEL matters, folks.  It really does.  No manner of getting used to less travel changes that.  The health condition of your own hands will tell you that over time.

    Whenever the sad truth about the butterfly keyboard is told, "Cupertino is never wrong" worshipers crawl out of the woodwork to defend it saying, "key STABILITY is unmatched.  I didn't really like the keyboard at first, but now I do."  Mentally, if you know that is the only kind of keyboard Apple is ever going to kick out and if you are committed to only buying Apple, you must convince yourself it is a good keyboard.  But that doesn't mean it is good.  And hey, we all want "key stability."  I want that.  But I do NOT want key STABILITY at the expense of key TRAVEL.

    Stubborn hold-outs who blindly defend the butterfly keyboard, which regardless of the data presented in the article can still be harmed by debris under the keys which are NOT user-removable, do nothing to persuade Apple to change its ways.  Apple merely touts those people in its sales numbers as "hey, look at all the people buying our stuff and liking it -- we don't need to change anything."  Apple then becomes even more emboldened to continuing slimming down its notebooks so that batteries as get slimmer and adequate cooling for CPU/GPU chips becomes impossible without thermal throttling, making CPU/GPU speed bumps of questionable value.

    I call for the MBP body to be thickened so a good keyboard can be restored -- one with key TRAVEL that matches the 2015 MBP (the last great MBP), yet with the key STABILITY of the butterfly switches, and allow the keys to be removed by users for cleaning when necessary.  Including better cooling with improved, larger heat pipes and fans in that thicker chassis, along with a physically larger battery.  Just because something weighs more doesn't mean it's bad, especially for those of us who prefer to the 15" MBP to the 13".  The 13" has always been about portability, while the 15" has been about performance.  I laugh at those who say the 15" is "heavy and less portable" because most of those people saying that are too young to remember notebooks of old which weighed as much as a couple 17" MBP's put together.  Thin and light is a nice ideal that is not always practical, especially when considering the dissipation of heat for improved performance.

    Even staunch defenders of the Status Quo in Cupertino must on some level feel that THE MAGIC IS GONE at Apple with regard to Mac portables.  Remember your excitement when Steve Jobs was alive and got on stage and wowed us?  I do.  The very MacBook Air that Steve once pulled from an envelope, wowing me and the rest of the crowd, is now willingly allowed by Apple to languish.  

    It's not because Tim & Co. are lesser show-boys than Steve was.  It's that Tim & Co. are offering us less WOW.  They are merely offering us Minimalism taken to a radical extreme.  There are no "take your breath away" announcements that make me want to cry, "My Gosh!  They've done it again!"  Tim refuses to get involved in engineering designs like Steve once did and it shows.  We can hope for change, but the only positive changes are things we see in the Windows world, yet who among us die-hard MacOS fans are willing to ditch the Mac, however lackluster it now is, for the PC?  I certainly have eyed PC notebook hardware but remain a MacOS user.  There is not a single Windows machine in my home, nor has there ever been.  Never.  So it makes sense that I hope to see things from Apple that appeal to me, so I don't need to continue using older machines forever.

    It should also be mentioned that some people really want the thinnest and lightest available and those people genuinely like keyboards with less travel.  And truly, those people are the real target of the MACBOOK line, not the MBP.  The "Pro" in MacBook Pro has traditionally (and still SHOULD today) signified "something more" for your dollars, even if that more requires a physically larger machine to accommodate it.  People who decry larger MBP's and who demand them to be smaller should in fact focus their buying power on the MACBOOK and leave the MBP well alone so Apple can finally realize that folks who buy the MBP don't mind slightly bigger and heavier for better battery life, better cooling (and therefore performance), and a keyboard that feels good and won't harm our hands over time, nor be harmed by tiny debris under the keys.  There is no good reason to complain about the MBP being heavier and thicker when the MACBOOK exists.

    Apple's saving grace is the iMac, which thankfully hasn't been gutted like the MBP in terms of ports, nor has the iMac keyboard been transformed into a finger-harming abomination.  It still has its USB-A ports along side USB-C, where BOTH need to coexist, and the SD card slot remains in its proper place.  It's a crying shame the MBP has been changed into something Apple THINKS the iOS generation wants, when in face those iOS lovers mainly love iOS.  MagSafe and all the goodness Apple once gave us in their portable line is gone.  And while improved speed is great, it matters little if you refuse to buy it due to inadequate ports and no SD card slot.  The situation is really quite sad, and that remains true regardless of the MBP sales numbers Cupertino worshipers try to cram down our throats.  People who buy only MacOS portables buy those new machines feeling they have no choice, not necessarily because they LIKE the new machines.  People like myself who refuse to defect to Windows and who want portable Macs cannot help but feel greatly disillusioned with Apple since late 2016. 

    Wherefore art thou, Savior of the Mac?
    edited July 2018 henrybay
  • Reply 63 of 97
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    The iFixit teardown did reveal something!
  • Reply 64 of 97
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    ascii said:
    The iFixit teardown did reveal something!
    Little bit. I've just spoken with our sources within Apple again, and they say that reliability and dust intrusion is not why that layer is there. We'll see, I guess.
  • Reply 65 of 97
    KITAKITA Posts: 163member
    ascii said:
    The iFixit teardown did reveal something!
    Indeed, a membrane to try to prevent dust from entering the keys.


  • Reply 66 of 97
    toysandmetoysandme Posts: 193member
    Ifixit has new info on the new keyboards
  • Reply 67 of 97
    KITA said:
    ascii said:
    The iFixit teardown did reveal something!
    Indeed, a membrane to try to prevent dust from entering the keys.


    So the question becomes: how durable is this membrane. Will it break after 2 years and leave you in the same spot as 2017, 2016 keyboards?
  • Reply 68 of 97
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,637member
    That is such a small problem and, as always, overblown by the media.

    I have been using my MacBook Pro for a year now, and I never even once got a slightly sticky key.

    And everyone else I talk to, also have not experienced it.

    It's just like the bended iPhone 6 "problem". Mine is intact, and so is everyone elses!

    You're lucky. Mine has gone sideways several times. So far I've been able to fix it each time by putting it over my knee and giving it a good spanking (i.e. turning it upside and whacking the bottom of the case) but sooner or later that's gonna knock a tooth loose.
  • Reply 69 of 97
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 72member
    Jdw is absolutely right (refer his earlier post). The issue that Apple refuses to acknowledge is the lack of keyboard travel on these new MacBooks. These butterfly keyboards are terrible for extended writing - not much better than typing on a virtual keyboard. I know 3 full time writers who have used MacBooks for years but are now refusing to upgrade until Apple reintroduces a decent amount of key travel. This can’t be too difficult to fix - it just means introducing some more millimetres of travel. It’s not rocket science. 
    jdw
  • Reply 70 of 97
    YP101YP101 Posts: 54member
    I would guess by year 2020-2022, Apple will introduce entire touch screen keyboard with glass top.
    Which means current touch bar will be entire keyboard section.
    I think that is the reason Apple train customer to adapt thin keyboard now to used to it.
    With tactile feed back and more younger generation used to iPad touch keyboard, they will accept it,
    No more moving part and customer must have Apple care+ to replace touch keypad.
  • Reply 71 of 97
    backstabbackstab Posts: 138member
    henrybay said:
    Jdw is absolutely right (refer his earlier post). The issue that Apple refuses to acknowledge is the lack of keyboard travel on these new MacBooks. These butterfly keyboards are terrible for extended writing - not much better than typing on a virtual keyboard. I know 3 full time writers who have used MacBooks for years but are now refusing to upgrade until Apple reintroduces a decent amount of key travel. This can’t be too difficult to fix - it just means introducing some more millimetres of travel. It’s not rocket science. 
    "Refuses to acknowledge"?? WTH have you been? Apple sold reduced key travel as a feature. when these first came out
    And that's because it is. I love it. You don't?? Move on. Nobody will miss you.
  • Reply 72 of 97
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    YP101 said:
    I would guess by year 2020-2022, Apple will introduce entire touch screen keyboard with glass top.
    Which means current touch bar will be entire keyboard section.
    I think that is the reason Apple train customer to adapt thin keyboard now to used to it.
    With tactile feed back and more younger generation used to iPad touch keyboard, they will accept it,
    No more moving part and customer must have Apple care+ to replace touch keypad.
    Alternatively they could replace the keys with a large taptic surface like the touchpad. That would explain why the made the touch pad so big, to gain experience manufacturing large taptic surfaces.

    If you close your eyes and "type" on the touch pad the Taptic Engine is quite convincing that you actually pressed something down.
  • Reply 73 of 97
    bohlerbohler Posts: 18member
    why is Apple with all its billions spent on R&D not able to design keyboards for MacBooks and iPad Pros which just work ?? I hate it when people bring their MacBooks to internal meetings.....the loud clattering is very annoying. Forget client meetings ! The iPadPro‘s keyboard can be typed on with barely making a sound..,unfortunately I‘m now on my 3rd iPad keyboard due to the „repetitive key“ issue...at least Apple exchanged all of them without question so far.
  • Reply 74 of 97
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 148member
    That is such a small problem and, as always, overblown by the media.

    I have been using my MacBook Pro for a year now, and I never even once got a slightly sticky key.

    And everyone else I talk to, also have not experienced it.

    It's just like the bended iPhone 6 "problem". Mine is intact, and so is everyone elses!

    That's not the way data works... "I've never been shot with a gun, and no one I know has been shot with a gun, so gun violence is a bogus issue". Does the logical flaw make sense now? We need real numbers and it's clearly an issue. And if it's a small percentage, then even more reason for Apple to step up and show that they stand behind their products as doing so would be inexpensive if it's only a few units. BMW was the same with their issues... there was a design flaw with my 7 series in the 90s and they pulled this stuff... so after over a decade and spending about $500k on BMW autos and dealer service I left the brand... Apple is risking the same with the same attitude
  • Reply 75 of 97
    Something like "while the failures are only affecting a very small percentage of customers, we're doing the right thing and have made further enhancements" with the de rigueur marketing speak after it.

    But, we didn't get that. And we probably won't.”

    Correct, you won’t. Apple still sells the previous gen models (these new machines aren’t replacements for the older ones, they are in addition to them). To state that they have made an improvement in the keyboard design to mitigate the dust issue is de facto an admission that the older design - which they continue to sell - is flawed, and would be a field day for the class action lawsuits which have been filed. 
  • Reply 76 of 97
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 72member
    backstab said:
    henrybay said:
    Jdw is absolutely right (refer his earlier post). The issue that Apple refuses to acknowledge is the lack of keyboard travel on these new MacBooks. These butterfly keyboards are terrible for extended writing - not much better than typing on a virtual keyboard. I know 3 full time writers who have used MacBooks for years but are now refusing to upgrade until Apple reintroduces a decent amount of key travel. This can’t be too difficult to fix - it just means introducing some more millimetres of travel. It’s not rocket science. 
    "Refuses to acknowledge"?? WTH have you been? Apple sold reduced key travel as a feature. when these first came out
    And that's because it is. I love it. You don't?? Move on. Nobody will miss you.
    I seriously doubt Apple deliberately introduced reduced key travel as a feature, any more than they promote low battery life as a feature on some iPhones. The real reason for the reduced key travel is Apple’s obsession with thin-ness which forces them to make compromises. There is no need for MacBooks to be so thin because over 90% of the time they are being used in the same place (ie on a desk or table) and not carried around or used on a lap. Ultra thin-ness is driven by fashion not function. Hopefully, this trend will fade away like those silly micro- phones of the early 2000’s. 
  • Reply 77 of 97
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    mr lizard said:
    “Something like "while the failures are only affecting a very small percentage of customers, we're doing the right thing and have made further enhancements" with the de rigueur marketing speak after it.

    But, we didn't get that. And we probably won't.”

    Correct, you won’t. Apple still sells the previous gen models (these new machines aren’t replacements for the older ones, they are in addition to them). To state that they have made an improvement in the keyboard design to mitigate the dust issue is de facto an admission that the older design - which they continue to sell - is flawed, and would be a field day for the class action lawsuits which have been filed. 
    Nope. Apple will sell the 2017 as new in stores until they run out. They are not being promoted or sold on Apple.com, in much the same way that the 2015 is just now gone after remaining in the lineup for two extra years. The 2017 replaced the 2016, and the 2018 replaces the 2017.

    Obviously, the 2017 Function Key machine is still in play, though.
  • Reply 78 of 97
    jdwjdw Posts: 698member
    backstab said:
    henrybay said:
    The issue that Apple refuses to acknowledge is the lack of keyboard travel on these new MacBooks....
    "Refuses to acknowledge"?? WTH have you been? Apple sold reduced key travel as a feature. when these first came out
    And that's because it is. I love it. You don't?? Move on. Nobody will miss you.
    As a fellow Mac user and Apple enthusiast since my 128k in 1984, I stand by you, henrybay, and I would truly miss you if a "back stab" by other Mac fans in this forum ever provoked you to move on.

    I have never understood why some in online forums seek to so heatedly defend a multi-billion dollar corporation whenever their fellow Mac users say anything other than bowed-head words of Cupertino worship in an online forum.  Apple is big enough to defend itself.  But most importantly, we Mac users share our love for the Mac.  Let us therefore be united by that common love.  Mac fans who criticize Apple don't do it because they hate Apple or seek to harm the Mac platform.  They do it because of their love for the platform and because they encountered a setback or disappointment, which arguably those 2016 and newer keyboards have provoked.  That remains true even if some people love those keyboards.

    The statement within the quote above that I put in bold is not accurate.  The truth about the keyboard is that Apple emphasized KEY STABILITY as a selling feature, not REDUCED KEY TRAVEL. Apple never said, "our butterfly keys hardly move down at all now when you press them, and as a result, you are going to love them!"  No, Apple never said that or hinted at reduced key travel as being a selling point.  Stability is a completely different matter than Travel, and I addressed both in my previous post.  I call for greater key stability.  Who wouldn't want keyboard keys to wobble less?!  But I call for greater key stability without calling for reduced key travel.  You really COULD have both improved key stability with the same key travel of 2015 MBP keyboards if you tried to create such a key switch, but Apple instead chose to create a key switch with reduce travel too.  One can argue it was for the sake of sliming machines, but I addressed that mentality in my previous post.  There is a point beyond which Johnny Ive minimalism becomes usability-killing extremism that divides Mac users against each other, and we can see from bickering in this forum that has happened.  

    Some people like the 2016 and newer MBP & MacBook keyboards.  And even though I do not, I do not chastise my fellow Mac users who enjoy those keyboards.  I am happy for you butterfly keyswitch fans.  I really am.  But at the same time, I and others do not like those keyboards, and it would be nice if fans of those keyboards would be equally cordial with us who are not fans and refrain from speaking harshly against us for having slightly different needs or for having physical issues in our hands and fingers which make low-travel keyboards extremely uncomfortable for some of us to type on for extended periods of time.  

    I agree that Apple must innovate, progress and push their notebooks and humanity forward, but it is debatable whether "low TRAVEL" keyboards really achieve that progress, especially in light of the "speck of dust will kill it" problems that have been widely reported and recognized.  Suffice it to say, if the new membrane on the summer 2018 MBP revision is any indication, there is always ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.  Want more evidence Apple acknowledges improvements are necessary?  Consider the difference between the MacBook keyboard and that of the later MBP where Apple added more clicky switches.  They didn't address key travel, but they seem to acknowledge they need to improve the keyboard to satisfy Mac users.  The addition of that membrane is yet another area Apple is trying to improve.  That doesn't make me love the keyboard now because key travel is still reduced, but one can hope Apple is brilliant enough to do something to remedy that too.

    All said, keep the fire burning.  We users and Mac lovers are the ones key to helping Apple push humanity forward.  Criticism of Apple's choices by the Mac faithful is not something that ought to be condemned but rather encouraged because it really does benefit us all in the end.  Best wishes.
    edited July 2018 henrybay
  • Reply 79 of 97
    KENNY113 said:
    This article is garbage. The headline is clickbait. You have no evidence to support that a laptop released earlier this week doesn't improve keyboard reliability from previous generations. I appreciate what AppleInsider has done to bring the previous generations' keyboard issues to light. It's likely that AppleInsider's pressure helped force Apple's hand on the Keyboard Service Program. But do you really expect Apple to state that they fixed a design flaw which they can't admit exists while they're under multiple class action lawsuits? If the inability to get Apple to admit a design flaw existed in the previous generation keyboard is your empirical evidence for this headline, then you should probably take your journalistic chops on over to BuzzFeed. Why not wait for an iFixIt teardown before you go spewing unless garbage in the name of news?
    Apple itself is saying that there are no changes, and has at multiple venues, I'm comfortable repeating what they've said on the matter. Also, this is labeled as an editorial, you know.

    And, should there be a teardown that suggests otherwise, or a clear statement from Apple on it saying that they have taken steps, we'll talk about it again. But, given that Friday alone, that they have told five other venues that there are no changes, and are reiterating their previous statement about a "small percentage," I'm not expecting much to differ in the future.

    Regarding the rest of your comment, feel free to review the commenting guidelines. 
    So how’s that iFixIt tear down looking? New silicone membrane eh? Guess this “editorial” couldn’t have waited another day until there were actual facts rather than speculation stated as fact? Don’t post clickbait to hit your article quota. It defames the repuitability of AppleInsider. 
  • Reply 80 of 97
    blah64blah64 Posts: 915member
    jdw said:
    Article said:
    It has been re-engineered to give the users a quieter typing experience, which Apple has told us is the number one user complaint about the machine.
    Surely a falsehood propagated by Apple.  I have no doubt that the factually true "number one user complaint" is actually a complaint that Apple refuses to remedy (and therefore refuses to mention); namely, that the keyboards on all MBP machines from late 2016 and later have virtually no key travel, such that the user's hands feel tired only a short time after typing, akin to pounding fingers on a table or metal surface.  Hardly any professional writers that I know warmly embrace the butterfly keyboard.  And while I am not a professional writer, I do write many pages equivalent of email and document text every day.  And yes, I have typed on the butterfly keyboard before and I also own a 2015 15" MBP to compare, and I prefer the 2015 keyboard, even though its keys are arguably "comparatively less stable."  Key TRAVEL matters, folks.  It really does.  No manner of getting used to less travel changes that.  The health condition of your own hands will tell you that over time.

    Whenever the sad truth about the butterfly keyboard is told, "Cupertino is never wrong" worshipers crawl out of the woodwork to defend it saying, "key STABILITY is unmatched.  I didn't really like the keyboard at first, but now I do."  Mentally, if you know that is the only kind of keyboard Apple is ever going to kick out and if you are committed to only buying Apple, you must convince yourself it is a good keyboard.  But that doesn't mean it is good.  And hey, we all want "key stability."  I want that.  But I do NOT want key STABILITY at the expense of key TRAVEL.

    Stubborn hold-outs who blindly defend the butterfly keyboard, which regardless of the data presented in the article can still be harmed by debris under the keys which are NOT user-removable, do nothing to persuade Apple to change its ways.  Apple merely touts those people in its sales numbers as "hey, look at all the people buying our stuff and liking it -- we don't need to change anything."  Apple then becomes even more emboldened to continuing slimming down its notebooks so that batteries as get slimmer and adequate cooling for CPU/GPU chips becomes impossible without thermal throttling, making CPU/GPU speed bumps of questionable value.

    I call for the MBP body to be thickened so a good keyboard can be restored -- one with key TRAVEL that matches the 2015 MBP (the last great MBP), yet with the key STABILITY of the butterfly switches, and allow the keys to be removed by users for cleaning when necessary.  Including better cooling with improved, larger heat pipes and fans in that thicker chassis, along with a physically larger battery.  Just because something weighs more doesn't mean it's bad, especially for those of us who prefer to the 15" MBP to the 13".  The 13" has always been about portability, while the 15" has been about performance.  I laugh at those who say the 15" is "heavy and less portable" because most of those people saying that are too young to remember notebooks of old which weighed as much as a couple 17" MBP's put together.  Thin and light is a nice ideal that is not always practical, especially when considering the dissipation of heat for improved performance.

    Even staunch defenders of the Status Quo in Cupertino must on some level feel that THE MAGIC IS GONE at Apple with regard to Mac portables.  Remember your excitement when Steve Jobs was alive and got on stage and wowed us?  I do.  The very MacBook Air that Steve once pulled from an envelope, wowing me and the rest of the crowd, is now willingly allowed by Apple to languish.  

    It's not because Tim & Co. are lesser show-boys than Steve was.  It's that Tim & Co. are offering us less WOW.  They are merely offering us Minimalism taken to a radical extreme.  There are no "take your breath away" announcements that make me want to cry, "My Gosh!  They've done it again!"  Tim refuses to get involved in engineering designs like Steve once did and it shows.  We can hope for change, but the only positive changes are things we see in the Windows world, yet who among us die-hard MacOS fans are willing to ditch the Mac, however lackluster it now is, for the PC?  I certainly have eyed PC notebook hardware but remain a MacOS user.  There is not a single Windows machine in my home, nor has there ever been.  Never.  So it makes sense that I hope to see things from Apple that appeal to me, so I don't need to continue using older machines forever.

    It should also be mentioned that some people really want the thinnest and lightest available and those people genuinely like keyboards with less travel.  And truly, those people are the real target of the MACBOOK line, not the MBP.  The "Pro" in MacBook Pro has traditionally (and still SHOULD today) signified "something more" for your dollars, even if that more requires a physically larger machine to accommodate it.  People who decry larger MBP's and who demand them to be smaller should in fact focus their buying power on the MACBOOK and leave the MBP well alone so Apple can finally realize that folks who buy the MBP don't mind slightly bigger and heavier for better battery life, better cooling (and therefore performance), and a keyboard that feels good and won't harm our hands over time, nor be harmed by tiny debris under the keys.  There is no good reason to complain about the MBP being heavier and thicker when the MACBOOK exists.

    Apple's saving grace is the iMac, which thankfully hasn't been gutted like the MBP in terms of ports, nor has the iMac keyboard been transformed into a finger-harming abomination.  It still has its USB-A ports along side USB-C, where BOTH need to coexist, and the SD card slot remains in its proper place.  It's a crying shame the MBP has been changed into something Apple THINKS the iOS generation wants, when in face those iOS lovers mainly love iOS.  MagSafe and all the goodness Apple once gave us in their portable line is gone.  And while improved speed is great, it matters little if you refuse to buy it due to inadequate ports and no SD card slot.  The situation is really quite sad, and that remains true regardless of the MBP sales numbers Cupertino worshipers try to cram down our throats.  People who buy only MacOS portables buy those new machines feeling they have no choice, not necessarily because they LIKE the new machines.  People like myself who refuse to defect to Windows and who want portable Macs cannot help but feel greatly disillusioned with Apple since late 2016. 

    Wherefore art thou, Savior of the Mac?
    This.  Basically all of this, but a couple things I want to elaborate on...

    There is a reasonable optimization curve for the ideal key travel.  The physics of it, what people are used to, what people can get used to, etc.  If one considers what keyboards were like in the 80s, each key took a significant effort to press, and the throw felt like it must have been the better part of an inch!  Okay, maybe it wasn't that far, but it was pretty damn far.  And they took a lot of force, and made a huge click sound. Eventually manufacturers decided to make it easier and less fatiguing to type.  And lots of people complained when keyboards got shorter throws and easier to press, so there is an aspect of this that's a matter of what people are used to. 

    Personally, I like shorter-throw keyboards, and I've generally appreciated newer generations as they've come, but It seems like we may have moved past the optimum throw.  At some point, I think most people would agree that our fingers need some tactile feedback, and typing on virtualized keyboard projected on a desktop, for example, would not be as good as a "real" keyboard.  Right?  So there's an optimization curve, and I feel like Apple has been emphasizing thinness at the expense of a variety of things, not just keyboards.  Loss of ports, battery size/life, etc.

    Your latter points about the loss of functionality with the MacBook Pro line is frustrating.  Thinness is indeed very sexy, and it appeals to a certain class of users.  They deserve to have the current MacBook line, which is amazingly thin and sexy.  Fantastic machines.  They are so thin that they may very well need to have a super-short throw keyboard, I don't know for sure, but it's possible, right?  But in the quest for supplier parts uniformity, voila, now they're in the "Pro" machines as well.

    I've mostly sat out the arguments about "Pro" laptop features and functionality, but I guess I'll say my piece.

    Apple has unfortunately shrank the product differentiation between the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines so much that they've lost a lot of the differentiation.  We used to happily (sort of) pay an arm and a leg for pro machines because they were significantly and noticeably better-featured than the non-pro lines.  We could choose much larger displays, we had matte screen options, we had more built-in ports, generally longer battery life, etc.   Now we've been homogenized, and the product lines are more blurred than ever.

    Your statement: "so I don't need to continue using older machines forever" rings very loud and clear to me.  I'm typing this on a 2009 MacBook Pro with an ethernet port, 2 USB-A ports, and SD card slot, Firewire 800, miniDisplayPort, a DVD drive, and yes, a non-mirror display.  Sure, the DVD drive isn't really necessary anymore (but nice on occasion - I just used it yesterday!), Firewire has run its course, and miniDisplayPort would be better as HDMI today.  But we have essentially no convenience ports left anymore.  USB-C may well be the end-all be-all some day, but it's mostly an inconvenience today.  I upgraded my machine to a 1TB drive years ago, and replaced the battery once (myself).  Those days are gone because Apple has essentially (nearly) converged their Pro and non-Pro lines.

    I recently purchased a 2012 MacBook Pro on the used market, with the high-density matte display, because it's the last machine that Apple has manufactured that I can use.  It has a wonderful set of ports/slots, and a display that doesn't give me distractions and a headache.  Other than speed, can anyone point out something that I'm missing out on?  I feel like I'm stuck.  I have money to spend, and I'm not a particularly price-sensitive customer, but Apple isn't making anything that's interesting (or even usable, in a laptop) to me, and it's frustrating.  I'll probably buy another 2012 machine just to have around as a backup, because for my needs it's still the best laptop Apple has ever built.

    edited July 2018 henrybayjdw
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