If you have a Mac you have a keyboard. Mac users seem to belong in one of two camps. Those who don’t pay attention to their Mac’s keyboards– MacBook or iMac. And those who love their keyboards whether Mac notebook, Mac desktop, or third party keyboard. This keyboard issue is much like Apple’s Magic Mouse. It’s love, hate, or indifference.
Personally, most of my work is done on a desktop Mac; an aging iMac that I want to keep using until a new iMac comes out with Face ID built in. I like the Mac’s wireless aluminum keyboard, but admit I haven’t tried the new model with the rechargeable lithium battery. That means I have batteries and a charger. I won’t get the new lithium powered rechargeable Magic Mouse because the charger port renders the mouse unusable until the device is charges. That’s stupid, Apple.
What’s wrong with Apple’s keyboards?
Other than the rechargeable batteries for the iMac, not much. I carry an extra keyboard for my iPad Pro. The desktop keyboard has a good feel and seems very durable. I’ve never had one fail or had a key break off. Maybe I’m lucky. Far too many Mac notebook users have complained about both the entry-level MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards– the one with the new butterfly-switch design.
Apple likes the butterly-switch keyboard design. Obviously, most customers like it, and tens of millions of Mac notebooks use it, but there is a noisy and growing crowd of Apple customers and critics that do not.
Include me in the group that do not. Why?
My MacBook keyboard has a bad key. It started off as a limp and now it’s in need of major surgery. The limp was obvious I would press a key and that particular key would not show up on screen. If I pressed again, more deliberately, all was fine and the key worked as expected. Over time the number of instances of key failure began to increase. Now it hardly works at all.
What’s the price tag? It depends. Apple wants as much as $700 to replace a keyboard in a MacBook Pro; a bit less for my MacBook. This is not a user or customer serviceable part. In the old days, back in the last century, I could take a keyboard apart, blow into the case, and all was well until the pizza crust built up again.
Thank the digital gods for Apple Care, so my only worry is how long I must wait for the MacBook’s keyboard to be repaired or swapped out.
Wait. Remember the blow into the case method? That works in the 21st century, too. After trudging down to the Apple Store Genius Bar to get a genius to look at my keyboard problem, I set an appointment to have it dropped off to be repair and headed back home. I had work to do.
Then I remember the cure from yesteryear. Air. I bought a can of compressed air at Office Depot, scoured the interwebs for an air-based solution (Apple says it’s 75-degrees) to get a few blasts of air into the Mac’s keyboard.
The Mac’s butterfly-switch keyboard is back and working and didn’t require a genius to do the deed for me.
You may not be as lucky, but in my case it was worth the effort. Chris Smith has some details on both the issue and a blast of air solution.