Apple's butterfly switch - take three

Hello chaps, greetings from Berlin,
As a long-term MacBook Air user, I like many, have been waiting for this day. The MacBook Air 2018, I got one this evening.
The KB is obviously shit... I've tried other butterfly switches in the MB12 range and felt they were terrible. BUT these machines were not mine, so testing is difficult. I've spent the evening setting up the new unit and while my dodgy wrist aches a little, the KB is OK. Time will tell of course. I certainly like the sound it makes, almost thock like, though nothing like the HHKBPro2Type S this post is being written with. I hope that most of the time, I'll use an external KB with the MBA... esp. in the office.
Would be interested to hear from MBP users, how is the KB holding up after months of use? Should I be keeping the KB tray extra clean, to try and minimize dust?
Thanks and good night.
ShivaYash

Unread post07 Nov 2018, 23:14

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This obviously failed but I was assumed to see that the new mac icon matched the outer colour. In my case, gold.


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ShivaYash

Unread post07 Nov 2018, 23:15

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For what it's worth, here's my take on these keyboards.

My wife uses a 12" MacBook with the 1st gen butterfly keyboard, and I use a 13" MBP with the 2nd gen keyboard. Comparing the two side by side, the 2nd gen keyboard definitely feels a bit more springy and clicky. We haven't had any problems with her 12" MacBook whatsoever (it's a wonderfully solid little machine) whereas my 13" MacBook Pro was plagued by all kinds of problems: dodgy battery, dodgy SSD controller and yes, dodgy keyboard which in my case failed twice. There are active Apple service advisories for all of these problems.

I personally like the butterfly switch keyboards. I love their clickiness and I can type very fast on them, but reliability is definitely a concern. It seems the 3rd generation is just as (un)reliable as the first two, depending on who you ask, but Apple is tweaking the design all the time, so maybe the keyboard in the new MBA will last. If I'm getting one (and this is a big IF), I would definitely buy AppleCare+ — just in case.
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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 07:53

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Thanks for your input... I must say, as a Model M SSK user, on my iMac, I quite like the noise the MBA KB makes. Its solid in sound... and feel.

I hook up my HHKBPro2BT quite often, which is a delight to type on.

I shall ensure I keep my unit CLEAN!

Thanks again and best wishes,
SY
ShivaYash

Unread post09 Nov 2018, 15:10

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I have an 11-inch MBA from ages ago that is still going strong. However, it's had a rather protected life. I do almost all my computing on desktop linux and Windows workstations. The MBA gets used only during my occasional travel or for taking notes during meetings at work. When I travel with the MBA, I keep it inside a zippered case.

Regarding the keyboards on recent Macbook and Macbook Pro models, our IT department issued a warning recently about the keyboards becoming unusable owing to their extreme sensitivity to dirt. They referred us to Apple's compressed air remedy and advised those who were considering Macbook purchases to wait until Apple had produced new versions with better keyboards.

I wonder if Apple's solution will be to dispense with moving parts altogether and use a virtual touchscreen-type keyboard like those on phones and tablets? If so, there would be no Apple laptop in my future; I am too accustomed to mechanical keyboards that have substantial key travel.
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Unread post10 Nov 2018, 17:57

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Hypersphere wrote:I wonder if Apple's solution will be to dispense with moving parts altogether and use a virtual touchscreen-type keyboard like those on phones and tablets? If so, there would be no Apple laptop in my future; I am too accustomed to mechanical keyboards that have substantial key travel.

The current state of Apple is such that people breathe a collective sigh of relief every time they don't ruin one of their products by updating it. I think their ideal laptop is just a thin slab of beautifully finished aluminium without any useful features that might ruin the minimalist aesthetic. That said, I think it's unlikely they will remove the physical keyboard in the near future; I suspect the headphone jack would be the next victim (yes, I'm still bitter about the headphone jack on iPhone 7 and later, and now on iPads, too! It really is just a blatant attempt to sell their own wireless headphones to owners of iDevices).

At this point I'm not really interested in Apple's current laptop lineup. Life is too short to wait for them to get their shit together and produce something usable. That's why I bought the latest Mac mini which looks like a reasonable computer (althought the price is really outrageous compared to what you get). I'm a bit scared to use a desktop as my primary machine, but in the last 2 years I have rarely used my laptop as a laptop. It's mostly sitting on my desk connected to an external monitor, and if I'm sitting behind my desk anyway, I'd rather use something a bit more robust and powerful.
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Unread post10 Nov 2018, 22:24

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stratokaster wrote:That's why I bought the latest Mac mini which looks like a reasonable computer (althought the price is really outrageous compared to what you get). I'm a bit scared to use a desktop as my primary machine, but in the last 2 years I have rarely used my laptop as a laptop. It's mostly sitting on my desk connected to an external monitor, and if I'm sitting behind my desk anyway, I'd rather use something a bit more robust and powerful.

It's funny because they made the RAM upgradable (YAY!) and then they soldered the SSD, so you basically have to hand $500 for 1TB (or at the very least 512gb).
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 08:05

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matt3o wrote:
stratokaster wrote:That's why I bought the latest Mac mini which looks like a reasonable computer (althought the price is really outrageous compared to what you get). I'm a bit scared to use a desktop as my primary machine, but in the last 2 years I have rarely used my laptop as a laptop. It's mostly sitting on my desk connected to an external monitor, and if I'm sitting behind my desk anyway, I'd rather use something a bit more robust and powerful.

It's funny because they made the RAM upgradable (YAY!) and then they soldered the SSD, so you basically have to hand $500 for 1TB (or at the very least 512gb).

To add insult to injury, their support person told me that installing your own RAM voids the warranty: apparently, you have to take it to an Apple Store and buy Apple official RAM modules (which cost about €400 for 16GB). That’s why I ordered 16GB and will upgrade it later when the warranty expires.

I also ordered 512GB SSD, although admittedly I would be fine with 256GB: after all, Mac mini is sitting on my desk and not going anywhere, so storage expansion via Thunderbolt3 is viable.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 09:54

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stratokaster wrote:I also ordered 512GB SSD, although admittedly I would be fine with 256GB: after all, Mac mini is sitting on my desk and not going anywhere, so storage expansion via Thunderbolt3 is viable.

you did the right choice there. 256gb nowadays is really the bare minimum especially if you consider you won't ever be able to upgrade. I bet the system alone with few barebone apps is like 30gb alone.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 10:00

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I have 256GB in my MBP. I just checked and I have 155GB free after 2 years of use. I have quite a lot of tools installed, including Adobe CC suite and XCode.

However, I use an external SSD for video editing.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 10:23

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Same here. My 2013 MacBook Pro 15” has loads of free space on its 256 SSD because I don’t store principal libraries on laptops. That’s what the Drobo is for. Logic is my biggest install, and none too bad.

The unupgradeable storage sounds like a negative on first sight—Apple conning us AGAIN!—but in reality I so much prefer the high speed compared to shuffling over Sata all the time, and the thinness win vs. a chunky SSD shell jammed right in the laptop’s heart. Those are lifetime advantages I’m pleased with.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 10:32

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Muirium wrote:Sbut in reality I so much prefer the high speed compared to shuffling over Sata all the time, and the thinness win vs. a chunky SSD shell

sata?! really? Are you from 2005? never heard of M.2 NVMe SSDs?
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 11:09

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Muirium wrote:Same here. My 2013 MacBook Pro 15” has loads of free space on its 256 SSD because I don’t store principal libraries on laptops. That’s what the Drobo is for. Logic is my biggest install, and none too bad.

The unupgradeable storage sounds like a negative on first sight—Apple conning us AGAIN!—but in reality I so much prefer the high speed compared to shuffling over Sata all the time, and the thinness win vs. a chunky SSD shell jammed right in the laptop’s heart. Those are lifetime advantages I’m pleased with.

Actually, storage in your MBP is upgradable — you can use any PCIe NVMe SSD with an adapter. MacOS High Sierra and Mojave update Boot ROMs of all compatible Mac models to support booting from NVMe drives.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 11:15

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Matteo’s right: all alphabet soup to me. Besides, I’m as unlikely to open up my MacBook Pro as I am my own torso for upgrades! Way more risk than it’s worth, what with the old hardware both.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 14:02

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Some years ago, I switched from Windows to Mac. I liked thumbing my nose at Microsoft (although I still had MS Office on the Mac), and I enjoyed the elegant simplicity of Apple hardware. I eagerly waited and waited some more for Apple to upgrade their Mac Pro line of desktops. Finally came the innovative trashcan. Fool that I am, I bought one, thinking that the dual D700 GPUs would give me the power I needed for some serious CPU-GPU computing. Wrong! It turned out that the GPUs were so underpowered that my molecular modeling software refused to use them for GPU acceleration (this software uses OpenCL instead of CUDA, so the lack of CUDA cores in the ATI cards was not the culprit).

Because I needed a number of software applications that were Windows-only, I deleted the Mac OS on the trashcan and the older cheese graters and installed Windows. On the cheese graters, I was able to install auxiliary power supplies in order to run Nvidia GTX 1080Ti cards for GPU computing. Now the cheese graters run my modeling software about 50% faster than the trashcan, but my linux PC runs the software 3 times faster than any of my Macs. Moreover, the price of the linux machine was half that of the trashcan Mac.

I've decided that Apple is not serious about producing useful high-end desktop workstations, and their latest fiascos with laptop keyboards has helped me decide not to buy any more Apple products when it's time for the next hardware upgrades.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 16:05

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you are not hipster enough to own an Apple :D

I like the new privacy policies that apple is putting in place and I would be open at paying the apple tax for it... but I hate the closed ecosystem (and no sign of it getting any better).
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 16:13

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@matt3o: True, although I still own two Mac Pro cheese graters, a Mac Pro trashcan, and an MBA laptop (all running Win 10). My PCs are running linux.

So far, I don't use a smart watch, smart phone, or tablet. If I were to start using wearable and highly portable tech, I might still consider Apple products.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 16:22

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matt3o wrote:I like the new privacy policies that apple is putting in place and I would be open at paying the apple tax for it... but I hate the closed ecosystem (and no sign of it getting any better).

Yes, Apple right now is the worst kind of monopoly, this is probably what Microsoft would have become in late 1990s if they also had the hardware market firmly in their grip as well as the software market. And I find it incredibly ironic that the company with the worst dictatorial policies in the world is also the champion of user privacy. That's why I don't run Windows 10 or Android — I don't like spyware/adware, especially if I have to pay money for it in addition to sacrificing my privacy :roll:
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 17:20

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