Hey, Apple: Fix Your Crappy Keyboards or I'm Switching to Windows

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Dear Apple,

You're tearing me apart.

You made my favorite laptop of all time, my 2012 MacBook Pro. But as it ages – and it's definitely showing its age, getting slower with each passing month – I'm realizing it won't last forever, and I'm going to have to buy a new laptop soon. And I'm deathly afraid it might be a Windows 10 PC.

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Don't get me wrong, PCs aren't bad. They're just not my cup of cold-brew coffee. Windows 10 is an irritating operating system, designed to interact with users in a conversational, chatty way that presupposes Cortana is a good thing. It also forces Edge upon users, like you, Apple, with that U2 album.

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

So, why am I worried I'll have to leave your MacBooks for a PC laptop? Because, as a journalist, and someone who composes emails, tweets and other notes, I want a great keyboard. And you don't make laptops with great keyboards – much less a reliable one – in any of the modern MacBooks.

By now, Apple, I hope you've heard the complaints of MacBook and MacBook Pro owners who are cursing your name for using butterfly switches, those thin mechanisms mired in controversy. Not only do the keys have less vertical travel than most, but they're allegedly more prone to failure.

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How much failure? A lot.

What began as articles and forum threads detailing how a small bit of dust could break the space bar became a change.org petition that's garnered more than 24,000 signatures and spurred a class-action lawsuit.

Jonathan Mann, who writes a song a day, encountered the issue himself, and wrote the song "I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening."

And when I borrowed a 2017 MacBook Pro for a month, my fingertips felt the pain of relying on this keyboard. As I wrote up stories from remote events, my digits repeatedly bottomed out (hit the bottom of the keyboard earlier than expected), and I lost time correcting typos, because I hadn't gotten used to its shallow, 0.8 millimeter keys after weeks of use.

One night, I even found the caps-lock key stuck, MAKING ME TYPE LIKE THIS. After jabbing at the key for several moments, I restarted the laptop, which fixed the issue.

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So, as Laptop Mag Editor-in-Chief Mark Spoonauer put it, the "2015 'MacBook Pro Classic' model is the MacBook Pro I'd recommend to most people right now."

But what if I want a faster, modern processor? I'm dipping my toes in film editing, and I need the speed of a model made in 2018, not one that's from three years ago.

As a laptop reviewer, I constantly test the latest and greatest Windows machines, such as the Kaby Lake G-Series HP Spectre x360, which offers a ton of speed for general performance, and even some gaming chops (which MacBooks can't). I've also admired Microsoft's elegant Surface Laptop, which offers a comfortable keyboard, minimalist design, bright display and very good battery life.

But both of those candidates fail me in the most crucial aspect: their operating system. Leaving macOS would create a multitude of problems with my workflow at home.

I'm eyeing Microsoft's Surface Laptop.

I've tried to find a suitable writing app to replace Bear, and can't. Not only is it the perfect mix of minimal text editing, but it's much better on my iPhone than Google Docs ever will be.

Further, the macOS/iOS exclusive TweetBot is, without a doubt, the best way to use Twitter. Its mute filters are the best around, and it's just announced that Twitter's upcoming API changes won't result in the app ending or getting nerfed.

I'm also committed to Apple Music at the moment, because of songs I've uploaded to the iCloud Music Library. And I don't want to move to the Windows version of iTunes, which is even slower than the macOS version.

1526580223928Continuity, which allows the iPhone and the Mac to work in harmony, is a major reason to stay.

Also, I don't want to give up my iPhone, since I'd be losing so much cross-platform integration by using Windows 10. Not only do iMessages not work on the PC, but you'll need to use Edge on iOS, and writing those words made me afraid for my productivity. (Microsoft can claim Edge is superior all it wants, but its overall bugginess and unresponsiveness means I'd never use it over Chrome.)

But at the end of the day, I need a machine I can type on, and I don't trust the newer MacBooks with my livelihood. So, Apple, please make a MacBook (preferably a Pro) with a keyboard that's worth the high price tags you put on your machines. Lenovo does it, why can't you?

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
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.
Henry T. Casey, on
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8 comments
  • I'mCallingThePolice Says:

    I can't stand the new keyboards on the macbooks. They are TERRIBLE. I cant even type in a meetings any more when my team and I are on a call with a client because it sounds like I am smashing teeth with a hammer. Miss the keys from the previous generation keyboard. They were also softer in their input and had less clickity-clackity annoyingness.

  • Bob K Says:

    Too much whining about Windows here instead of sticking to the Mac keyboard theme.

    Let me say though: Apart from the keys occasionally getting stuck on my 2017 Macbook Pro, I LOVE THAT KEYBOARD.
    I am a light typer and the short travel with the click response is just what I have been waiting for a long time.

    Also great: That huge, always working touch pad.
    And a word about the last generation of Macbook Pros: Everyone's (2015/16?) Macbook Pro in my office has been failing within a year! I mean complete deaths. Compared to that, the keyboard issue is a joke. Just saying.

  • Pavel Says:

    Dell 13 XPS and tutaorial for Hackintosh it...you will be sooooooo I mean really happy

  • Ahn Deur Lee Says:

    im also the victim of butterfly keyboard failure , demand apple for recall !!! ....Dell XPS, and HP Elite already waiting for your Macbook Consumer Market . and prepare Goodbye for Mac.

    Im User of Macbook Pro 2016 MLL42

  • Frank Says:

    Apple's "thin" fetish is why I'm typing this on a mid-2012 MBP, upgraded with a SSD, which makes it an excellent computer for its age.

  • Jason H Says:

    You're 'deathly afraid' of switching to Windows 10? Really?

    There's so much of this article written from the view of someone who's had his hand held in the Apple ecosystem way too long.

    You don't 'have to' use Cortana, you can tone down Windows 10 and how chatty you apparently think it is. It's called, having options, and choice. Not something Apple users are used to I know.

    Also, you're not 'forced' to use Edge at all. Also, while it has a way to go on the desktop, it's actually a much better mobile browser.

    Honestly, if this is your attitude to a switch, you shouldn't bother.

  • Alann Says:

    Even Lenovo's keyboards have gone downhill. They're more comfortable than most, but they haven't had a sane key layout since they went to the chiclet style (except the Thinkpad 25, of course, but it's absurdly underpowered for the price).

    Every manufacturer has yielded to the imperatives to be thin and cheap. The other manufacturers will probably follow in Apple's footsteps yet again and start making 0.8mm clicky keys.

    But if there are current Windows laptops with keyboards that you like, and you strongly prefer MacOS, the solution should be pretty obvious.

  • Patricia Marie Says:

    Finally, someone who's telling it like it really is. I'm in the throes of buying a new laptop and guess what I'm not getting!? How cheap can you get. They charge an arm and leg for their products; make a better keyboard for crying out loud! How cheap can you get?! Apple is too expensive and I don't see them lowering their prices any day soon! The Macbook Pro is good and there are many fine aspects about Apple that I like such as their operating system, and it's a little more secure than Windows. Nevertheless, I'm sticking with the Windows annoying as it may be at oftentimes. Oh, well! At least there are better options out there and right now Apple is not it!!

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