It wasn’t I till listening to Connected that Stephen Hackett brought home the massive issues with the MacBook Keyboards. In their usual joking way, the team took and very real issue and portrayed it brilliantly. This wasn’t a new piece of information, the Outline had already covered this in their much cited piece, but I ignored this and I’m sure most other people did to.
The Outline, with Joshua Topolsky at the helm is one of my favourite websites to read for long form opinion posts jammed full of well researched information. Sure it takes a certain angle, but they often report on issues and topics that others don’t. With that said, when it comes to technology coverage, since Josh went full on troll of the iPad Pro I’ve avoided anything they produce.
Rightly or wrongly I dismissed this very informative and balanced article as another attempt to appeal to emotions of readers and ‘cash in’ on the clicks. They don’t plaster the page in adverts like most that attempt this sort of thing, but there are adverts (and lots of squiggly lines). Meaning that the sensationalist approach to get page views doesn’t always work, and in fact can ruin brilliant posts such as the one above. See Buzzfeed and BGR for previous examples of this.
However that doesn’t excuse the hot mess that is the MacBook keyboards. As we discussed on this weeks BYOD podcast there is a massive issue with the design Apple have chosen. The once mighty Apple have fallen in a big way, making some huge gambles in design and production that just haven’t paid off. In the attempt to make the new MacBooks as thin as possible they have been brought down by specs of dust!
It is clear that the issues are caused by foreign objects getting underneath the keyboard, be it dust or crumbs. This wouldn’t be an issue on more traditional keyboards, you could simply pop the key off, blow or spray in some air and voila a working keyboard. However this new ‘butterfly’ design makes this impossible. So impossible infact that the only option is a $700 replacement of the top case. I just can’t believe that this didn’t come up during testing. Someone must have been hard pushed to meet a deadline and had a sandwich while working!
Another case of too much of a rush to push out a product and not enough time spent on quality? This seems to be happening to lots of tech companies, and just isn’t acceptable. Luckily I haven’t had any issues with my 2016 Touch Bar model as yet, but if the worst should happen I would think long and hard about getting another Mac at all. Unfortunately for Apple I can’t be the only one.