How reliable has your new MacBook or MacBook Pro keyboard been?
The new-style keyboards found on 12-inch MacBook and, more recently, 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks Pro are divisive. Some people prefer them. Some don't care one way or another. Some hate their clicking guts.
The difference is that the new keyboards use new butterfly switches that provide more stability but also tremendously less travel.
Personally, I like the new keyboards and, when I go back to the old ones, I find them mushy and wobbly. But that's just me. Plenty of people whose opinions I hold in the highest of regard detest the new keyboards, and that's not good for a product that, due to its single supplier, has to have the widest possible appeal.
Regardless of how you feel about them, they also have to work and be resilient enough to keep working for years.
That's the part that's most recently come to attention following an article by Casey Johnston, writing for The Outline:
It also prompted this video by Jonathan Mann:
I've been using the butterfly-style keyboard since the 12-inch MacBook came out in March of 2015. I've since used it, counting review units, on 7 different MacBooks and MacBooks Pro. I've kept using them, full-time, through all manner of dust, dirt, and debris, and I've yet to have a single problem with any of them.
That's just my experience, though, and it has to be weighed against the many and varied experiences of others.
For now, if you have unresponsive or unusual feeling keys on your 12-inch MacBook or new MacBook Pro, Apple Support (opens in new tab) recommends cleaning them out with compressed air. That seems to have worked for some but not everyone.
If butterfly keys are more prone to dust ingress than previous keys or prove to have a higher failure rate, it'll have to be dealt with accordingly.
After all, they're the MacBooks everyone at Apple are using as well.
○ MacBook Pro with M1 Review
○ Macbook Pro with M1 FAQ
○ Touch Bar: The ultimate guide
○ MacBook forums
○ Buy at Apple (opens in new tab)
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
I constantly accidentally keep hitting the Siri button, which I have no use for. Also, the spotlight search keeps popping up, not sure specifically why, but I am pretty sure that it is related to me hitting the wrong keys. Sorry apple, these keyboards are not good. I had to bring my matchbook for repair, the enter button completely became unusable. I can see why Apple made these keyboards for the MacBook, in order to save space. But this is pointless on the pro. The previous pro had a normal keyboard and was the same size. Look at the survey results too. 25% of people have issues with the new keyboard. That is a TON.
Whether it's dust, crumbs, design or manufacturing, something is clearly wrong.
Keyboards must be able to handle dust, skin flakes, crumbs and still function. This is a given. NB: I spilt coffee over my HP Chromebook, many keys don't function, and as the whole keyboard is sealed, the whole keyboard assembly needs to be replaced. Of course it not worth it. Repairability is zero for many things these days.