Yes please, all of my agreements! Just purchased a new 2015-era MBP specifically because of everything mentioned here. It’s my work/business laptop, so I need to have Applecare (my 2014-era MBP’s just expired), Joint Venture, etc, for minimum downtime should Something Bad(tm) happen. I would’ve loved something with USB-C ports (and USB-C charging), but the mandatory Touchbar/butterfly keys are such a PITA I’ll never own a laptop that has them. I am very much looking forward to the new Force Touch trackpad on the 2015-era MBP - my 2014’s old-school touchpad had to be replaced no less than four times during its service.
Waiting for Apple to make some improvements and Marco to be hailed as a hero. The visionary messiah we need. “Hire this man and put him in charge of hardware!”
Anyway, to make a bold prediction, I don’t see Apple giving up the touchbar. Bring back the function keys, probably, but put the touch bar above. (Now if you’re keeping score, and that happens, does that count as a point for Marco, who said drop the bar?) The USB C thing I see Apple staying the course, riding it out, and in two years everybody forgets they demanded more adapters and praises Apple’s bold vision to go all in on the plug of the future.
Bringing the functions keys back and putting the touchbar above them would, IMO, be an absolutely killer feature. I’ve often wanted a way to display unintrusive notifications off the main screen (Webpack rebuild status, current coverage percentage, number of unread hipchat messages - whatever). I just don’t want to give up my physical volume and brightness controls to get that.
I almost hate the older scissor switches now. It’s funny because of how great I thought they felt compared to other keyboards, but I got used to the butterfly switch within a few days, and within a week or two, the scissor switches came to feel vague and mushy and unnecessarily long in stroke. I love how little force or room it takes to actuate the butterfly switch keys, how decisively and crisply they click, and how little they tilt no matter where you press. Scissor switches feel half like rubber dome switches in comparison, just cheap and low-quality. And what’s up with the spacing on the scissor-switch 15” MBP? It feels ludicrous, like an entire moat around each key.
The absolutely only thing I hate about this keyboard is the loss in reliability – which I’m affected by too, by what appears to be a common problem, namely that hitting mainly the spacebar very occasionally produces two blanks instead of just one. My left/right arrow keys also seem to have this double trigger issue, but much more rarely still.
However, I can’t agree with other commentators about how reliable the scissor switch keyboards were. I had a mid-2012 MacBook Air 11” before the MBP, and it got a logic board swap, meaning I had two of these keyboards over time, and both developed a few dead or have-to-press-it-just-so modifier keys. It did take a lot longer for these problems to crop up compared to occasional finicky keys on the MBP, though.
Basically I have no grounds on which to long for the glory days of scissor switches. I would rather Apple pump more R&D into figuring out how to make the butterfly switches less susceptible and better serviceable. That is the keyboard I want. Between the Air’s keyboard and this one, I’m going with this one, no question… especially when comparing them in their flawed states. All I wish is it didn’t get flawed.
I do however also agree with Marco that the full-size left/right arrow keys are stupid. It’s been less of an issue than I expected it would be – it was extremely disorienting initially but I got mostly used to it soon after that –, but, I never got over it. Even if rarely an issue, it has remained one. I still find myself confused every so often by what action I triggered, only to find I was one key off along the [ ⌘ ] [⌥] [←] group and have to consciously reorient my hand. This design does rob you of haptic feedback, period. And unlike the butterfly switches, I don’t feel I’ve gained anything in exchange. It has been pure downside, even if a more minor one than anticipated. It should go.
A very long time ago I had a Lifebook with very shallow keys (trans meta model). I don’t know if they were butterfly or scissor or what, but they were certainly different, and yet I learned to type very quickly on that computer. Easier and faster than any other keyboard. It was quite susceptible to dirt getting under keys, and then I’d have to turn it upside down and bang on the key until I heard a satisfying crunch noise. So sounds a lot like the new MacBooks, but I loved it.
Well, some people (ie. me) have actually gotten used to the butterfly mechanism and prefer it over the scissor mechanism, including the scissor mechanism used in the Magic Keyboard (it feels close, but not good enough). I now highly prefer Apple’s butterfly keyboards over their scissor keyboards. I bet it will be the same for the Touch Bar for some people (I have the MBP2016 without Touch Bar).
And with that, Apple has put itself in a difficult situation. Retract and people who like the new changes will be upset, don’t retract and there will be a vocal group who will swear by the old MacBooks. However, retracting has another downside to Apple - they have to admit that they were wrong. So, I think that they will just stick to the plan.
Apropos the adapter: Apple’s USB-C adapters are really a scam, not only because of the lack of port (that Marco indicated), but there are multiple versions of the VGA/HDMI adapters and on some of them the USB-A port only does USB 2.0 (!).
The only thing that I absolutely miss in the new MBPs is MagSafe (which Marco calls ‘non-essential’), MagSafe has already saved many of my MacBooks. And I think that anyone with a kid can empathize ;).