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

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  • Reply 81 of 97
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 62member

    Jdw and Blah64,

    Thank you for your highly constructive comments about the MacBook keyboard. I wish Tim Cook would read them.

    Let’s talk Apple company politics for a moment, because this may shed some light on how we ended up with sub-optimal keyboards.

    Before Jonny Ive assumed control of Apple’s industrial design and human interface, he was heavily influenced – and constrained when necessary - by Steve Jobs. Both men shared a purist approach to design with a strong emphasis on aesthetics. But Jobs was the more pragmatic of the two because, as CEO, he had shareholders to answer to. So every now and then he would put his foot down when things got too ‘blue sky’.

    The other big influence on Ive was the legendary designer Dieter Rams, who oversaw the design of Braun products for over 30 years. His ethos was about simplifying products down to their bare essentials and removing anything that was non-essential. 

    In light of these formative influences, there is a real possibility that Ive considers key-travel to be ‘non-essential’. Indeed, he seems to be waging a war on ‘tactility’ – so anything resembling a physical button, whether it be a keyboard or a home button on an iPhone, is going to be minimized or removed from the product. 

    The trouble with this ultra-purist approach is that it defies a basic human desire to physically touch and feel things in THREE DIMENSIONS, not just swipe icons on a two dimensional screen. People are tactile creatures.

    Which brings me back to the keyboard. 

    The lack of keyboard travel on the new MacBooks is a logical consequence of Jonny Ive’s design ethos, and given his enormous success so far, I doubt he will change direction. There is also no-one at Apple to challenge him.

    All we can hope is that Ives reflects on Dieter Rams’ key design principle, which is: ‘Imaginative design can never be an end in itself. It has to satisfy functional as well as aesthetic and psychological design criteria.’ 

    I would add to this, ‘When designing a product, be very careful about what is ‘non-essential’ – because for many thousands of people like me, adequate keyboard travel is an essential element in using a laptop computer.

    I say all this as a long time Apple user (since 1984), and also as an admirer of Jonny Ive. So I hope these comments are taken to be constructive and well meaning. 


    edited July 2018
  • Reply 82 of 97
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,534member
    blah64 said:
    [...] Other than speed, can anyone point out something that I'm missing out on?
    I can think of lots of things about my 2016 that *I* think are HUGE advantages over my wife's 2012, but you think they're liabilities so I don't know if there's much in the way of differences that you would consider benefits.

    I'm not going to try changing your mind, but I will point out that with USB-C ports, that DisplayPort you wish was now an HDMI port instead could be one. Using my wife's machine frustrates me sometimes because we run out of USB ports while the Firewire and Ethernet ports sit empty. That's not an issue on my machine, because ANY port can be ANY kind of connection. The only restriction, and it's a really minor and easy one, is you need a cable with a USB-C plug on one end. The other end can be pretty much anything.

    Also not intended to change your mind, but offered in case it matters to you or others reading this, is the reason for getting rid of anti-glare. The new screens have much wider dynamic range and colour gamut. In fact, these may be the highest quality, most accurate screens anyone has ever put into a laptop. They're a MAJOR improvement over the older models. Anti-reflective coating defeats the advantages of the better screen. Whites become duller, blacks become dark grey, colours are muted and brightness is decreased. You may not notice it after using it for a long time, but put yours next to one of the new models and the difference is really, really obvious. Putting an anti-glare filter on these screens would be like building the best speaker in the world then putting a layer of sound absorbing matting in front of it. There's no question that reflections can be annoying and adjusting the position of the screen or lighting to minimize it isn't always easy, but the benefits are worth it.

    The storage is also an advantage, but that falls under the general category of speed you mentioned. Not all solid state storage is created equal. The NVMe chips in these machines are insanely fast -- over 2GB/s write and 3GB/s read. A typical 2.5" SATA SSD only manages about a quarter of that.

    Touch ID is really handy, as it allows the use of Apple Pay and reduces the frequency with which you have to enter your password. It's not something you can't live without, but I sure prefer having it.

    The audio on the new machines is much, much better than the older ones. Way lots better. It's still laptop sound so don't throw away your stereo just yet, but the speakers have much wider response, distortion is noticeably lower, and the amp is powerful enough that you may actually reach to turn it DOWN every so often! Major improvement.

    I really like the larger trackpad. Some people apparently have trouble with it because they hit it accidentally, but to those people I say the same thing my piano teacher told me when I was five: "Keep your wrists up!" Aside from preventing the accidental pad problem, it's also better for your limb health. I find that having a larger area to work with improves the accuracy of control I get. Using purely arbitrary figures just for example purposes, let's say that on a small trackpad a movement of 5mm translates to 200 pixels on screen. With the larger trackpad that same amount of movement only moves the cursor 100 pixels, so you get much finer control. I carry a mouse and never used the trackpad at all on my old machine. The larger trackpad on the new machine is so much nicer to use that I sometimes forget the mouse is there.

    I also like the light weight. Before this I had a 2009 17" so I was accustomed to lugging around a heavy machine and didn't really care if the new one was any lighter. After living with it for a while I've come to really appreciate that difference though. It's one of those intangible, "quality of life" things that some of us refuse to believe matters -- until we experience it. It really is much more enjoyable to live with a light machine than a heavy one. My wife's 2012 feels like a boulder now, by comparison.

    The power supply on the new machines FINALLY has a detachable cable. When I'm not using it on the Mac, and I'm often not because the battery life on this one is so much better than my old one, I can use it to charge other USB devices. And if the connector at the computer end ever goes sideways like the one for my 2009 did (twice), I just replace a cheap cable instead of an expensive power supply. (Related to that, I am happy to report that I don't miss Magsafe. When the dogs fly by and catch the cable in their feet, the USB-C connector just pops out of the computer, no harm done. This has happened approximately seven or eight million times so far, so I'm confident that life without Magsafe will be just fine.)

    The keyboard on the new ones sucks. The one in your 2012, despite being sloppier and having smaller keycaps, is probably better. It's almost certainly more reliable. Mine keeps falling victim to tiny pieces of... I don't know what. Dust? Dead skin? Tiny organisms looking for a warm place to sleep? It's a nuisance. Then again, mine's the 2016 version. It's possible the 2018 version is better.

    Obviously it also has faster RAM and better processors with more cores.

    Despite my gripes about the keyboard, I am overall MUCH happier with this machine than I was with my 2009, and like it a lot more than my wife's 2012. There are lots of things to enjoy. The question is whether any of them matter to you.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 83 of 97
    jdwjdw Posts: 676member
    ...I am happy to report that I don't miss Magsafe. When the dogs fly by and catch the cable in their feet, the USB-C connector just pops out of the computer...
    USB-C does that a bit too easily for my taste.  It appears quite similar to TB2 on my 2015 15" MBP.  I use a MiniDP-to-HDMI cable in one of my TB2 connectors so I can close the MBP and use my external 27" EIZO 1440p display.  Unfortunately, when I bump the cable or machine, it sometimes drops the video signal until I remove and then reinsert the cable.  For that reason when I decided recently I wanted to buy an Ethernet adapter (yes, a dongle -- even on the superb 2015 model) for greater speed than WIFI affords me, I decided to go with a USB-3 (USB-A connector) adapter rather than TB2 to ensure zero intermittent connections.  I can say that I never have any connection issues with USB-A.  None.  With TB2 I do.  And I have read reports of 2016 and newer MBP owners who have experience minor (but nevertheless real) connectivity issues with USB-C due to its smaller size. 

    I am not saying USB-C is bad, nor am I saying it is not "the future."  I am simply reporting real life issues.  There are always sacrifices when you go smaller and leaner.

    By the way, I am typing this post on my 2015 MBP, and my fingers love every keystroke, let me tell you.  Less travel than the old Mac keyboards I once used on my desktop Macs in years past, and a lot less travel than the terminal keyboards I used back in the 1980's at work, but the 2015 15" MBP keyboard gives me enough travel -- the bare minimum travel, for my own personal pleasure and satisfaction.  The other benefit is that should the keyboard ever need cleaning, I can remove the keys.  Imagine that.  And the other good part is, even with dust and debris, I can keep on typing.  Typing and typing and typing and ....  :smile: 


    Blah64 & Henrybay, I appreciated reading your sentiments.  It's always a joy to hear such words from obvious kindred spirits.  As to whether Tim Cook reads our comments, I pretty much know he doesn't.  But that doesn't stop me from sending Apple feedback on a somewhat regular basis though.  Seriously, I've spoken out to Apple about the keyboards on the 2016 and later MBPs long before the news broke about specks of dust killing keys.  I've written my heart out about battery size, MagSafe, USB-A, the SD card slot, and the fact it is terribly unfortunate Apple did not make the 15" MBP a "bridge machine" with more than just USB-C ports to bridge the needs of today with the connectivity of tomorrow. No matter what we all argue about thinness and lightness and keyboards and all that, the fact remains the 15" MBP has plenty of space to accommodate an SD card slot, which by the way, some people once used for always-in supplementary storage (not just for camera photos or videos).  Even the thin machines of today would allow for that slot.  That's why when you call a machine a "Pro" model but don't include basic and widely used functionality like an internal SD card slot, it just boggles the mind.  Anyway, back to my typing and typing and typing on this 2015 MBP and loving every minute of it!
    henrybay
  • Reply 84 of 97
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,087administrator
    KENNY113 said:
    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. 
    Still fine, and still not clickbait.

    Apple maintains that the membrane isn’t a reliability change. It isn’t a solid seal, with many gaps and holes.
  • Reply 85 of 97
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,534member
    jdw said:
    USB-C does that a bit too easily for my taste. [...] when I bump the cable or machine, it sometimes drops the video signal until I remove and then reinsert the cable.
    Hm, now that you mention it, that does happen. Occasionally I find the computer hasn't recharged because somebody moved the table and dislodged the connector just a bit. Not enough to pull it out, but enough to interrupt the power. It seems the power connection is in the last half millimetre of insertion travel, so it doesn't take much to disrupt it.

    I wonder if this is inherent to the form factor and is something we're going to have to learn to live with, or just indicative of a relatively immature phase of connector design and will get better with manufacturing tweaks over time? Let's hope it's the latter. I guess it wouldn't hurt to send Apple feedback about it. Maybe if they see it mentioned enough they can find a way to improve future iterations.
    jdw
  • Reply 86 of 97
    I firmly believe that Apple is slowly training us to accept a fully iPad/iPhone like touchscreen keyboard (possibly with haptic feedback) by thinning the keyboard and lessening the key throw over time. Soon customers will have the choice of a physical keyboard or a touchscreen keyboard with a “dynamically changeable ui” as they created a patent for this capability nearly ten plus years ago.
  • Reply 87 of 97
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,365member
    jminnihan said:
    I firmly believe that Apple is slowly training us to accept a fully iPad/iPhone like touchscreen keyboard (possibly with haptic feedback) by thinning the keyboard and lessening the key throw over time. Soon customers will have the choice of a physical keyboard or a touchscreen keyboard with a “dynamically changeable ui” as they created a patent for this capability nearly ten plus years ago.
    And why shouldn’t they? I can’t really imagine a reason for a mechanical keyboard today. Even touch typists should have no problem keeping their fingers aligned on a flat surface with a little training. 
  • Reply 88 of 97
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,534member
    mac_128 said:
    jminnihan said:
    I firmly believe that Apple is slowly training us to accept a fully iPad/iPhone like touchscreen keyboard (possibly with haptic feedback) by thinning the keyboard and lessening the key throw over time. Soon customers will have the choice of a physical keyboard or a touchscreen keyboard with a “dynamically changeable ui” as they created a patent for this capability nearly ten plus years ago.
    And why shouldn’t they? I can’t really imagine a reason for a mechanical keyboard today. Even touch typists should have no problem keeping their fingers aligned on a flat surface with a little training. 
    The vivid imagination part of me really wants a dynamic touchscreen keyboard. The part of me that's tried to type on an iPad really doesn't. I haven't yet decided if it only bothers me because it's different and unfamiliar, or if there's something about the keyless experience that's legitimately less practical. At this point all I know is that I dislike it enough to put down whatever iDevice I'm using and open up the laptop if I need to type more than a few words.
  • Reply 89 of 97
    blah64blah64 Posts: 892member
    blah64 said:
    [...] Other than speed, can anyone point out something that I'm missing out on?
    I can think of lots of things about my 2016 that *I* think are HUGE advantages over my wife's 2012, but you think they're liabilities so I don't know if there's much in the way of differences that you would consider benefits.

    I'm not going to try changing your mind, but I will point out that with USB-C ports, that DisplayPort you wish was now an HDMI port instead could be one. Using my wife's machine frustrates me sometimes because we run out of USB ports while the Firewire and Ethernet ports sit empty. That's not an issue on my machine, because ANY port can be ANY kind of connection. The only restriction, and it's a really minor and easy one, is you need a cable with a USB-C plug on one end. The other end can be pretty much anything.

    Also not intended to change your mind, but offered in case it matters to you or others reading this, is the reason for getting rid of anti-glare. The new screens have much wider dynamic range and colour gamut. In fact, these may be the highest quality, most accurate screens anyone has ever put into a laptop. They're a MAJOR improvement over the older models. Anti-reflective coating defeats the advantages of the better screen. Whites become duller, blacks become dark grey, colours are muted and brightness is decreased. You may not notice it after using it for a long time, but put yours next to one of the new models and the difference is really, really obvious. Putting an anti-glare filter on these screens would be like building the best speaker in the world then putting a layer of sound absorbing matting in front of it. There's no question that reflections can be annoying and adjusting the position of the screen or lighting to minimize it isn't always easy, but the benefits are worth it.

    The storage is also an advantage, but that falls under the general category of speed you mentioned. Not all solid state storage is created equal. The NVMe chips in these machines are insanely fast -- over 2GB/s write and 3GB/s read. A typical 2.5" SATA SSD only manages about a quarter of that.

    Touch ID is really handy, as it allows the use of Apple Pay and reduces the frequency with which you have to enter your password. It's not something you can't live without, but I sure prefer having it.

    The audio on the new machines is much, much better than the older ones. Way lots better. It's still laptop sound so don't throw away your stereo just yet, but the speakers have much wider response, distortion is noticeably lower, and the amp is powerful enough that you may actually reach to turn it DOWN every so often! Major improvement.

    I really like the larger trackpad. Some people apparently have trouble with it because they hit it accidentally, but to those people I say the same thing my piano teacher told me when I was five: "Keep your wrists up!" Aside from preventing the accidental pad problem, it's also better for your limb health. I find that having a larger area to work with improves the accuracy of control I get. Using purely arbitrary figures just for example purposes, let's say that on a small trackpad a movement of 5mm translates to 200 pixels on screen. With the larger trackpad that same amount of movement only moves the cursor 100 pixels, so you get much finer control. I carry a mouse and never used the trackpad at all on my old machine. The larger trackpad on the new machine is so much nicer to use that I sometimes forget the mouse is there.

    I also like the light weight. Before this I had a 2009 17" so I was accustomed to lugging around a heavy machine and didn't really care if the new one was any lighter. After living with it for a while I've come to really appreciate that difference though. It's one of those intangible, "quality of life" things that some of us refuse to believe matters -- until we experience it. It really is much more enjoyable to live with a light machine than a heavy one. My wife's 2012 feels like a boulder now, by comparison.

    The power supply on the new machines FINALLY has a detachable cable. When I'm not using it on the Mac, and I'm often not because the battery life on this one is so much better than my old one, I can use it to charge other USB devices. And if the connector at the computer end ever goes sideways like the one for my 2009 did (twice), I just replace a cheap cable instead of an expensive power supply. (Related to that, I am happy to report that I don't miss Magsafe. When the dogs fly by and catch the cable in their feet, the USB-C connector just pops out of the computer, no harm done. This has happened approximately seven or eight million times so far, so I'm confident that life without Magsafe will be just fine.)

    The keyboard on the new ones sucks. The one in your 2012, despite being sloppier and having smaller keycaps, is probably better. It's almost certainly more reliable. Mine keeps falling victim to tiny pieces of... I don't know what. Dust? Dead skin? Tiny organisms looking for a warm place to sleep? It's a nuisance. Then again, mine's the 2016 version. It's possible the 2018 version is better.

    Obviously it also has faster RAM and better processors with more cores.

    Despite my gripes about the keyboard, I am overall MUCH happier with this machine than I was with my 2009, and like it a lot more than my wife's 2012. There are lots of things to enjoy. The question is whether any of them matter to you.
    Hey, thanks for this.  I read through it all a couple times earlier, and couldn't decide if a "blanket thanks" was better than a point-by-point response, because I don't want it to sound like an argument.  I asked for what I might be missing, and you gave a bunch of ideas, which is cool.  Everyone cares about different things, and to differing degrees; I'm very picky about the stuff I care about.  With that in mind, I figure it's worth responding in some detail, if for nothing else to show appreciation for actually responding in a helpful way.

    The DisplayPort/HDMI is a good point.  Still requires an adapter-dongle-whatever, but I use an adapter from DisplayPort to HDMI on those occasions when I use an external display anyway. 

    That said, I use 3 (and sometimes even a 4th) laptops, so anything that requires adapters and dongles in general is a huge PITA for me because I'm just not going to carry around a set of them with me wherever I go and/or keep them in multiple bags.  I use several external drives and thumb drives (all USB-A, of course), across multiple machines, maybe not every day, but multiple times/week.  And I use SD cards for transferring stills, videos, burning/saving Raspberry Pi images, multiple times/week, and occasionally for storage.  So yeah, I have a strong distaste for pulling essentially ALL non-USB-C interfaces with what is supposed to be a "pro" machine, especially before USB-C is ubiquitous.

    One small note while we're on the topic of USB.  One of the biggest differences to me between my 2009 MBP and 2012 MBP was the change from USB-2 to USB-3.  Leaps and bounds faster at moving files to and from external disks!

    I'll hold off on matte/glossy stuff for a minute.

    SSD speed; something I pay some attention to, and I have a pretty fast SSD on my 2012 that definitely helps it feel like it's not an ancient machine, but I'd kind of forgotten about the fact that newer machines support even faster throughput.  Not that big a deal in my primary day-to-day use case, but would be really nice when I'm doing Xcode work.

    TouchID; I really like TouchID on mobile devices (and really dislike FaceID, for reasons I won't get into here), but I doubt I'd use it much on a laptop other than for than signing back in after stepping away for more than a few minutes.  I maintain very few third-party accounts, and in general I prefer to remember my passwords.  Better for keeping memory sharp.  I don't use a password manager app (and people who use cloud-based ones are naive!), but I do maintain a password vault with multiple layers of encryption, for accounts that I use so infrequently that I don't remember them.  I suppose I would use this for general account signing in, just like on a mobile device, but not a big deal to me.  Same with the Touch Bar.  I see some potentially very good use cases for it, like video editing, 3D modeling, or other specialty software, but it seems like the same functionality could often be provided on the touchpad, and I rarely use any of that kind of stuff anyway.

    Audio; just not an issue for me.  I almost never play audio out the laptop speakers, and when I do it's very rarely music.  And I LOVE my airpods! ;-)  I use my iPhone for all my music, whether playing at home or on the road, it's just a lot easier since that's where I keep it.  I keep my devices offline and or firewalled from open internet access as much as possible for security reasons, so there's no Apple Music or other online sharing between devices happening.  Still, this is good to know, and I'm glad the improvements are there for others.

    The larger TrackPad is an interesting point.  I've played with them in the Apple Stores, and while I can't say I liked them much more than what I'm using now, I could see where the larger physical space might be something you'd get used to and want.  I don't find I need any better accuracy than what I have now though, once I set them up, the speed curves work really well for me.  Maybe if I was using photoshop or autocad every day I'd have a different opinion, but doing stuff like that is very rare for me these days.

    Weight; I guess lighter is always better -- ALL ELSE EQUAL!  Heck, I'm often hefting around 2 full laptop setups, but only from location to location, not in a bag that I carry around with me all day.  Clearly lighter is a good thing, I'm just not okay with light/thin causing decreased functionality, like slots, connectors, battery life.  Though battery life is always going to be a compromise because a manufacturer can basically select any amount of MWH they want, and add or subtract weight to achieve that goal.

    Power supply; the detachable cable is a great point that I seemed to have missed.  Magsafe, well...  I have to say I'm a HUGE fan of magsafe and I'm really, really disappointed that it's gone on newer machines.  I guess your doggie tale (heh) gives me some hope that it won't be as terrible as it seems, but for me it's not just the safety of having it pop off by design when pulled, but also the ability to trivially attach the power from the opposite side, without looking, or in a dark room, which I do all the time, probably more than once/day.  I have a hard time believing that USB-C getting jerked out, especially with pressure coming from different angles, isn't going to slowly damage either the cable (bad) or the port (very bad) over time.  Doesn't happen to me very often, but for the once or twice/year it does happen I'm really glad I have magsafe.

    Keyboard; And then there's this, which basically started the whole conversation.  I could probably tolerate a very short-throw keyboard better than many people, but the reliability and (lack of) repairability really stinks.  I haven't had to replace *any* keys on *any* of my 2009-2012 era laptops or desktops, so count me as a lucky and happy user on that front.  I did have to replace a few on my G4-era PowerBook keyboards, and I was very happy it was an easy process.  In fact, I was able to go to my local Apple Store and they'd just rummage around in a drawer and pop off keys from other broken keyboards.  I could type faster (and more quietly) on those keyboards than anything before or since, and I'm a fast (up to 100wpm) typist.

    General speed; clearly this is always a good thing, all else equal.  It feels strange as someone with a dev background to say this, but for most of my daily use I don't really need more horsepower anymore.  Yes, when I'm off working in Xcode, I'd want everything a new laptop could give me and more, but that's not something I do every day.  And in that sense, I'm more like a typical user.  Still, if I didn't have to make so many compromises to get a newer machine, I'd do it in a heartbeat simply for speed.  Back in the day, speed bumps were the main reason I'd buy a new machine every ~18 months.  But in the same vein as the conversation with JDW, we didn't generally have to make sacrifices to get a newer, faster machine.  Now it seems like every new generation of machine takes as much away as it adds, and that's incredibly frustrating.

    Display; this is something I could write an essay on, and I probably have in the past.  Wider dynamic range and gamut are great to have, but they are completely and utterly useless to me when all I can see is a reflection on my screen.  I've tried.  Repeatedly.  I honestly can't understand how people can ignore the reflections, because they are absolutely there.  Even in a relatively dark room, the screen itself lights up my face and other nearby objects so they reflect in the screen.  Your point on anti-glare filters is well taken, and I don't use them for exactly that reason.  But the original matte displays are great, have virtually no (clear/focused) reflections, and don't have the crappy feel that anti-glare filters have.  Would I like "retina" resolution, deeper blacks, etc?  Sure.  But the 1680x1050 is awfully damn good, and the text is sharp and clear at the smallest size I'm comfortable reading.  I literally cannot tolerate reflective screens.

    i don't disagree with any of your assessments, and your last point of "what matters to you" is truly the bottom line.  For me, I still think I'm better off sticking with my 2012 machine and even buying a backup, because I'm not sure what I'll do if/when these older machines finally die.
  • Reply 90 of 97
    blah64blah64 Posts: 892member
    jdw said:
    USB-C does that a bit too easily for my taste. [...] when I bump the cable or machine, it sometimes drops the video signal until I remove and then reinsert the cable.
    Hm, now that you mention it, that does happen. Occasionally I find the computer hasn't recharged because somebody moved the table and dislodged the connector just a bit. Not enough to pull it out, but enough to interrupt the power. It seems the power connection is in the last half millimetre of insertion travel, so it doesn't take much to disrupt it.

    I wonder if this is inherent to the form factor and is something we're going to have to learn to live with, or just indicative of a relatively immature phase of connector design and will get better with manufacturing tweaks over time? Let's hope it's the latter. I guess it wouldn't hurt to send Apple feedback about it. Maybe if they see it mentioned enough they can find a way to improve future iterations.
    Good point.  Indeed, let's hope it's the latter!  If not, it would be another case of sacrificing quality and/or functionality to get newer, faster machines.
  • Reply 91 of 97
    blah64blah64 Posts: 892member
    Blah64 & Henrybay, I appreciated reading your sentiments.  It's always a joy to hear such words from obvious kindred spirits.  As to whether Tim Cook reads our comments, I pretty much know he doesn't.  But that doesn't stop me from sending Apple feedback on a somewhat regular basis though.  Seriously, I've spoken out to Apple about the keyboards on the 2016 and later MBPs long before the news broke about specks of dust killing keys.  I've written my heart out about battery size, MagSafe, USB-A, the SD card slot, and the fact it is terribly unfortunate Apple did not make the 15" MBP a "bridge machine" with more than just USB-C ports to bridge the needs of today with the connectivity of tomorrow. No matter what we all argue about thinness and lightness and keyboards and all that, the fact remains the 15" MBP has plenty of space to accommodate an SD card slot, which by the way, some people once used for always-in supplementary storage (not just for camera photos or videos).  Even the thin machines of today would allow for that slot.  That's why when you call a machine a "Pro" model but don't include basic and widely used functionality like an internal SD card slot, it just boggles the mind.  Anyway, back to my typing and typing and typing on this 2015 MBP and loving every minute of it!

    Thanks.  I totally 100% agree that they should have made a "bridge machine" with at the very least 2x USB-A and an SD slot.  But that's not been Apple's way of doing things for many years.  They'll jettison prematurely rather than risk waiting longer than necessary.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

    Eventually USB-C may be the "one port to rule them all", but it's not a certainty that will happen.  What IS a certainty is that it's NOT where things are today in 2018, which is frustrating.
    jdw
  • Reply 92 of 97
    jdwjdw Posts: 676member
    blah64 said:

    Eventually USB-C may be the "one port to rule them all", but it's not a certainty that will happen.  What IS a certainty is that it's NOT where things are today in 2018, which is frustrating.
    USB-A is ubiquitous today and USB-C is not.  I would not at all be surprised if that was still true 5 years hence.  

    We consider MacOS to be superior to Windows, yet the world embraced Windows over the Mac even before Windows95 came on the scene.  Even to this day, MacOS share of the global desktop and portable computer market is quite small.  We think that USB-C is the future, but that assumes nothing superior will come along BEFORE USB-C becomes ubiquitous.  USB-C is supposedly a port that "rules them all" but it is not as very solid connector due to its tiny size, relative to physical connections made by USB-A.  When a wiggle and a giggle can cause intermittent connections on a USB-C connector (akin to TB2 connectors), the "rule them all" statement is at least partially called into question.

    While this may sound like I am against USB-C, I am not.  But tech doesn't stay the same forever and that helps me keep USB-C in perspective.  USB-C is as much on its way in as it is on its way out.  I'm not sure USB-C will become as popular or be used as long as USB-A has simply because something superior to it may very well come on the scene in a few years, and as I said, there are connectivity issues to consider.  It reminds me of the quote attributed to Bill Gates (which he denies having said) which goes, "640k should be enough for anybody."  There was a time when that was true, but no longer.  For now, USB-C is the king of ports, but no king rules forever.  USB-C too shall be cast aside in the future for something deemed "superior."  I flinch at the thought its replacement connector size may be even smaller, such that a strong wind or even a fan in your home would wiggle it enough to cause signal errors in the cable!

    I've been following the performance gains of the newly released MBP's.  While I would love a power boost in my 2015 MBP, I would not give it up because my 2015 is more usable to me.  That's why when I read news about newer MBPs, I have literally zero interest in buying or even recommending them.  That wasn't always the case.  I used to lust after new Mac models and couldn't wait to read my next issue of Macworld.  Today, I still follow Mac news religiously (especially here on AppleInsider), but the excitement is gone.  I used to think Apple's new tech was magical, especially because each new release was practical for me and could make my life better.  That's no longer true with the MBP.  Now I merely read about machines that appeal more to other people than to me.  It's rather depressing, actually.  Thankfully, Apple's saving grace is the iMac.  Despite all the 2016 and newer MBP worshippers who so often claim USB-A is on its death bed, Apple still includes USB-A even on its latest and greatest iMacs.  And there's an SD card slot too!  Imagine that!  As a result, the iMac is still dear to my heart.  But again, the MBP though is another matter.  

    A lot of people laud the thin and light design of the latest MBPs while forgetting that the thinner you go, the less COOLING you can accommodate inside the machine -- the smaller those copper heat-pipes and fans can be.  Which means you cannot get as much performance out of a thinner machine than you can a thicker machine, and all your gains are pretty much achieved through CPU and GPU chip revisions.  You can only drive the clock speed so high for so long on a machine with inadequate cooling, and that is why "thermal throttling" comes into play.  Even the iMac has been criticized for that, which is why Apple created an improved cooling system in the rather expensive iMac Pro.  Now consider how much smaller and thinner the latest MBPs are compared to the iMac and you can easily see why they would never be faster than a notebook PC that is thicker and therefore can be made to run cooler.

    Lastly, the MBP is somewhat becoming morphed into an iOS device in that USB-C powers the machine like a Lightning cable does an iPad.  Both devices now chime when you connect the cable (often delayed by several seconds rather than being instant -- another gripe), and there is no LED to tell you the battery state, forcing you to wake the device and look at it.  Some people don't mind that.  I'm one of those old school guys who does.

    When thinking about all these things, can you even imagine what the MacBook Pro of 2030 will look like?  As thin as a credit card with no ports, but it will read your mind and use AI to do your work for you, so all is well.  It will be the MBP to rule them all.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 93 of 97
    blah64blah64 Posts: 892member
    jdw said:
    blah64 said:

    Eventually USB-C may be the "one port to rule them all", but it's not a certainty that will happen.  What IS a certainty is that it's NOT where things are today in 2018, which is frustrating.
    USB-A is ubiquitous today and USB-C is not.  I would not at all be surprised if that was still true 5 years hence.  

    We consider MacOS to be superior to Windows, yet the world embraced Windows over the Mac even before Windows95 came on the scene.  Even to this day, MacOS share of the global desktop and portable computer market is quite small.  We think that USB-C is the future, but that assumes nothing superior will come along BEFORE USB-C becomes ubiquitous.  USB-C is supposedly a port that "rules them all" but it is not as very solid connector due to its tiny size, relative to physical connections made by USB-A.  When a wiggle and a giggle can cause intermittent connections on a USB-C connector (akin to TB2 connectors), the "rule them all" statement is at least partially called into question.

    While this may sound like I am against USB-C, I am not.  But tech doesn't stay the same forever and that helps me keep USB-C in perspective.  USB-C is as much on its way in as it is on its way out.  I'm not sure USB-C will become as popular or be used as long as USB-A has simply because something superior to it may very well come on the scene in a few years, and as I said, there are connectivity issues to consider.  It reminds me of the quote attributed to Bill Gates (which he denies having said) which goes, "640k should be enough for anybody."  There was a time when that was true, but no longer.  For now, USB-C is the king of ports, but no king rules forever.  USB-C too shall be cast aside in the future for something deemed "superior."  I flinch at the though its replacement connector size may be even smaller, such that a strong wind or even a fan in your home would wiggle it enough to cause signal errors in the cable!
    Yep, clearly we're in agreement on this.  You should send this to Apple's feedback.

    The thing is, I can't imagine that they'd ever backtrack on this kind of a strategic decision, and include stuff like USB-A and SD slot on next year's model.  It would be an overt admission of error in their rush to standardize on USB-C.
    Lastly, the MBP is somewhat becoming morphed into an iOS device in that USB-C powers the machine like a Lightning cable does an iPad.  Both devices now chime when you connect the cable (often delayed by several seconds rather than being instant -- another gripe), and there is no LED to tell you the battery state, forcing you to wake the device and look at it.  Some people don't mind that.  I'm one of those old school guys who does.
    OMG, I didn't know they'd taken away the LED status indicator for the battery.  I use that multiple times/day, every day, on multiple machines.  One more strike against the newer machines. :-(
    When thinking about all these things, can you even imagine what the MacBook Pro of 2030 will look like?  As thin as a credit card with no ports, but it will read your mind and use AI to do your work for you, so all is well.  It will be the MBP to rule them all.
    Tongue-in-cheek perhaps, but scarily enough, it fits the trend line.
    jdw
  • Reply 94 of 97
    jdwjdw Posts: 676member
    blah64 said:
    Yep, clearly we're in agreement on this.  You should send this to Apple's feedback.
    I would encourage everyone who wishes to see more practical MBPs from Apple to write them feedback here:

    https://www.apple.com/feedback/macbookpro.html

    Below is an example of feedback I sent to Apple.  Please keep in mind that single paragraph is about the maximum amount of text their form allows you to type.  So you either have to keep it short or submit topics individually.

    The new 2018 MBPs are the fastest ever, but I have no interest in buying or recommending them. That wasn't always true. I once lusted after new models and couldn't wait to read my next issue of Macworld.  Today, I still follow Mac news religiously but the excitement is gone.  I once thought Apple's new tech was magical, especially because each new release was practical for me and could make my life better.  Now I just read about MBPs that appeal to other people. It's depressing. While I would love a power boost in my 2015 15" MBP (the last great MBP), I would not give it up for a new MBP because my 2015 is more practical in terms of ports, keyboard and MagSafe (with LED). At the very least, please ditch that low travel keyboard. Please excite The Rest Of Us again.

    And here is yet another single paragraph example of feedback submitted to Apple:

    It is said USB-C is the king of ports. Prior to that it was TB1 and then TB2. But stability of these tiny connectors is not ideal. A little jiggle or jolt to the cable or MacBook can and does cause signal errors. For that reason I recently purchased a USB3 (USB-A) Ethernet Dongle for my 2015 15" MBP. I did that because I know from experience in using a TB2-to-HDMI cable with my external display that jolts cause the display to drop the picture, and I have to remove and reinsert to the TB2 cable to fix the problem. I've read others have similar issues with USB-C. We don't see these problems with USB-A. Yet another reason at least 1 legacy USB-A port should have been included on your 15" MBPs.

    Some kindred spirits out there reading this may be inclined to send your own feedback but not know what to write.  Feel free to copy and paste my words if you so desire, or make modifications of them.  But please don't remain silent.  It may seem logical that Apple has gone down a particular path and they would never go back, but that's thinking too deeply.  Send Apple feedback you feel passionate about.  I personally love the Mac and want it to continue appealing to me for many years to come. Speaking out with intelligence and reason is how we make our own little dent in this universe.
  • Reply 95 of 97
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 62member
    Thanks Jdw, this is an excellent suggestion. I will certainly be writing to Apple about the shallow keyboard issue. I will also try to write to Tim Cook directly about it - or at least via his secretary. I suspect that he may not be fully aware of MacBook Pro problems because any negative feedback to him would be filtered through layers of bureaucracy (which will tend to put a positive spin on things). 
    edited July 2018 jdw
  • Reply 96 of 97
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,617member
    jminnihan said:
    I firmly believe that Apple is slowly training us to accept a fully iPad/iPhone like touchscreen keyboard (possibly with haptic feedback) by thinning the keyboard and lessening the key throw over time. Soon customers will have the choice of a physical keyboard or a touchscreen keyboard with a “dynamically changeable ui” as they created a patent for this capability nearly ten plus years ago.
    If they give you a choice then the  touch screen keyboard will be $500 more till they kill off the physical keyboard.
  • Reply 97 of 97
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,617member
    jdw said:
    blah64 said:
    Yep, clearly we're in agreement on this.  You should send this to Apple's feedback.
    I would encourage everyone who wishes to see more practical MBPs from Apple to write them feedback here:

    https://www.apple.com/feedback/macbookpro.html

    Below is an example of feedback I sent to Apple.  Please keep in mind that single paragraph is about the maximum amount of text their form allows you to type.  So you either have to keep it short or submit topics individually.

    The new 2018 MBPs are the fastest ever, but I have no interest in buying or recommending them. That wasn't always true. I once lusted after new models and couldn't wait to read my next issue of Macworld.  Today, I still follow Mac news religiously but the excitement is gone.  I once thought Apple's new tech was magical, especially because each new release was practical for me and could make my life better.  Now I just read about MBPs that appeal to other people. It's depressing. While I would love a power boost in my 2015 15" MBP (the last great MBP), I would not give it up for a new MBP because my 2015 is more practical in terms of ports, keyboard and MagSafe (with LED). At the very least, please ditch that low travel keyboard. Please excite The Rest Of Us again.

    And here is yet another single paragraph example of feedback submitted to Apple:

    It is said USB-C is the king of ports. Prior to that it was TB1 and then TB2. But stability of these tiny connectors is not ideal. A little jiggle or jolt to the cable or MacBook can and does cause signal errors. For that reason I recently purchased a USB3 (USB-A) Ethernet Dongle for my 2015 15" MBP. I did that because I know from experience in using a TB2-to-HDMI cable with my external display that jolts cause the display to drop the picture, and I have to remove and reinsert to the TB2 cable to fix the problem. I've read others have similar issues with USB-C. We don't see these problems with USB-A. Yet another reason at least 1 legacy USB-A port should have been included on your 15" MBPs.

    Some kindred spirits out there reading this may be inclined to send your own feedback but not know what to write.  Feel free to copy and paste my words if you so desire, or make modifications of them.  But please don't remain silent.  It may seem logical that Apple has gone down a particular path and they would never go back, but that's thinking too deeply.  Send Apple feedback you feel passionate about.  I personally love the Mac and want it to continue appealing to me for many years to come. Speaking out with intelligence and reason is how we make our own little dent in this universe.
    Thanks for the information .  I don’t like the shallow travel either.   So last year I got a MBP 2015. With ports and MagSafe-that’s one of the things that made it Insanely Great.

    On one hand the new MBP is I’m sure an excellent machine but the keyboard is a deal breaker  for me.  Now I actually expect that sometime in 2 years Apple will really come out with a new machine that will use LPDDR4 and it will be incredible - I just wish they gave us a choice of new or old keyboard.  - On some things Apple is screwed by Intel delays.
    jdw
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