APPLE HAS ACKNOWLEDGED that the butterfly keyboard mechanism on its recent MacBook models can get into a spot of bother from dust and debris.
An Apple spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that it's aware the butterfly keyboards have been problematic and that it had hoped the third-generation mechanism, which saw Cupertino's engineers stuck in a silicon membrane to keep dust and much out, would have fixed the issues.
"We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry," an Apple spokesman said in the statement.
But the spokesman very much gave the impression that the increased failure rate of MacBooks using the butterfly keyboard over those that use a more traditional mechanism isn't that big a deal.
"The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard," the spokesman added.
The crux of the keyboard problems lies with how little key travel the Butterfly mechanism allows. Rather than depress in a fashion similar to other keyboards, the keys kinda flex to deliver their feedback.
This allows for a slim keyboard deck to be added to MacBooks, which is all well and good until dust and muck gets below the mechanism and prevents the keys from depressing enough to register when they've been hit.
Given Apple's previous keyboards on the old MacBook Air and older MacBook Pro models were well-liked and praised, there's an argument that Apple overreached with the butterfly mechanism and broke something that didn't need fixing in the first place.
But Apple being Apple seems to refuse to acknowledge this and has stuck with the butterfly keyboards.
Apple admitting that there is a problem is at least a small something, and MacBook warranties do cover free keyboard replacements. But we can imagine it's still a pain to have to get your shiny MacBook repaired due to the odd clogged key, especially in a premium device that comes from a company that claims its devices 'just work'.
If you want a laptop with an excellent keyboard then we'd recommend the Surface Laptop 2. µ
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