Skip to main content

Despite design changes, Apple has not fixed problems with MacBook keyboards

MacBook Keyboard
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple is once again facing some criticism for the keyboard design on its lineup of laptops. Despite the recent introduction of a new and improved third-generation butterfly keyboard on new 2018 MacBooks, the company is now apologizing to a “small number” of users who are still complaining about non-responsive and sticking keys.

The apology originally comes from a report from The Wall Street Journal. They find that both the E and R keys on their new MacBook Air 2018 were occasionally faulty. In fact, the Journal wrote an entire article about the problems without using the letters E or R (but includes toggle switches to turn the letters on). Furthermore, the report finds that other users have experienced similar issues where both of these keys and W and T would double-press. In response, Apple acknowledged these issues but also claimed that most MacBook users aren’t experiencing problems.

“We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry. The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard. If you have a problem, contact Apple customer service,” Apple said in a statement.

Apple originally introduced the problematic butterfly keyboard mechanism with a new MacBook model in April 2015 and a second-generation keyboard then came later in October 2016 with the MacBook Pro. Though the new keyboard was intended to maximize key travel and improve stability, many had experienced issues with certain letters and characters not appearing on the screen when typing. Facing pressure, the company eventually launched a repair program for users with concerns.

To help address these problems, the third-generation butterfly keyboard on the 2018 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air uses silicone membranes to help prevent debris and other objects from damaging the internal mechanisms. Keyboard issues are just one problem plaguing some MacBook users. There is also an ongoing separate issue with the display on other models of the MacBook. Dubbed as “Flexgate,” the problem could result in a situation where the backlighting on the notebook would give out and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.

Editors' Recommendations

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
Apple’s big M3 MacBook event could be in danger
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks at a display of brand new redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22

We’re only about a couple weeks or so out from Apple’s September event, where the company will unveil its iPhone 15 and a slate of brand new Apple Watches. But if you’re holding out for a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, don’t get your hopes up -- these laptops, which are rumored to be outfitted with one of the most significant chip upgrades in years, aren’t expected to come until October.

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter, the show will be the first time the public casts eyes on the iPhone 15 range, as well as the Apple Watch Series 9 (and potentially a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra). It’ll follow the now-established pattern of a prerecorded video followed by an in-person hands-on session.

Read more
The Dell XPS 15 has one major advantage over the MacBook Pro
The screen of the 2021 MacBook Pro.

It's no secret that 15-inch laptops (and bigger) are the powerhouses of portable computing. They're used for gaming, content creation, video editing, and serious work.

Two of the best laptops are the Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16, each of which recently received updates to faster CPUs and GPUs, but otherwise remained mostly the same. Both are excellent laptops that offer great performance, outstanding build quality, and excellent input options -- but which one is right for you? Well, if it comes down to price, the XPS 15 the much more affordable option. That alone will make the decision easy for some people.

Read more
MacBooks could finally get Face ID to boost your security
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

Apple is working on bringing its Face ID authentication system to MacBooks, in what could be a major move to boost your Mac’s security. That’s according to a newly granted patent (number 11727718) that describes the benefits of Face ID and how it could be added to Apple’s laptops.

In the patent, Apple explains that computers are capable of a great deal of different tasks, and many of them can involve storing or handing over your sensitive information -- information that should not fall into the wrong hands. To stop that from happening, some form of authentication system (like Face ID) could be implemented into laptops to toughen up their security.

Read more