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MacBook Pro Owners Demand Recall Over Failing Keyboards

Apple once used the marketing slogan, "It just works," and now that slogan is coming back to haunt them, thanks to a group of very frustrated MacBook Pro owners.

An online petition that's drawn more than 3,500 signatures demands that the company "recall every MacBook Pro released since Late 2016, and replace the keyboards on all of them with new, redesigned keyboards that just work."

Why is that? "Because," the petition continues, "these keyboards don't work." Yes, a Change.org petition is the latest sign that the keys in Apple's current MacBook Pro are failing at alarming rates that make the notebook a dodgy purchase, especially when they start at $1,299 and can cost as much as $2,799.

Specifically, certain keys in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros tend to stop working, with many blaming the butterfly-switch design in each key. Musician Jonathan Mann turned this dilemma into a song "I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening," wherein just that happens.

The key failures occur, at times, when dust particles get lodged under keys, making them unable to work. Apple provides instructions for trying to fix this, which include holding the laptop at 75 degrees and spraying keys with compressed air, but that shouldn't be a regular part of your life. What if you're on the road and this happens? Are you supposed to go hunting for a can of compressed air?

MORE: Which MacBook Should You Buy? MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro

Apple blogger John Gruber is also quoted in the petition, and he says that "This keyboard has to be one of the biggest design screwups in Apple history."

Yesterday, during a company-wide meeting, I saw one of my colleagues holding a MacBook Pro in the air and trying to blow into the space bar. As he speedily tapped on the space bar for about 5 or 10 minutes, I worried about my personal MacBook Pro.

My 2012 MacBook features keys that have more-traditional switches, and this laptop has been my favorite piece of tech I've ever owned, partially because it just works. Hopefully, Apple figures out this keyboard conundrum soon, but until then, I'll remind you that Apple still sells that model (it's the last-listed model under 15-inch MacBook Pros), which I comfortably — without any issue — wrote this article on.

Credit: Mike Andronico/Laptop Mag

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After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.