Apple’s ‘butterfly’ MacBook keyboard faces threat of class-action lawsuit

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
The butterfly keyboard used in the MacBook Pro and MacBook has now drawn both a recall petition and a lawsuit.
Photo: Apple

A lawsuit filed in federal court claims that the keyboard used in all the MacBook Pros and MacBooks made in the past few years is defective. The plaintiffs request that this be made into a class-action lawsuit, and that Apple be required to replace all the affected keyboards at no cost to users.

The lawsuit also requests punitive damages because, as the plaintiffs claim, Apple continued to build and sell laptops with the “butterfly” keyboard even though the company knew it was defective.

MacBook butterfly keyboard problems spawn recall petition [Update]

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
A new petition calls for Apple to recall the MacBook butterfly keyboard, which can fail when a speck of dust gets in the wrong place.
Photo: Apple

The butterfly keyboard in recent MacBooks draws frequent complaints. And these have now escalated to the point where an online petition is requesting that Apple recall every MacBook Pro released since 2016.

These laptops are super-slim, and so are their keyboards. Reducing the thickness left room for very little key travel, resulting in accusations that even a small speck of dust underneath one of the keys can cause it to stop functioning.

Thin is in: The 2015 MacBook hands-on review

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12-inch MacBook
No USB, no problem. The new 2015 MacBook rocks. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Imagine an iPad Air sliced in half. The top half peels up to reveal a pin-sharp high-res screen. The other half has a full-size keyboard that’s almost flat.

This is the new MacBook. As usual, Apple’s latest crazy-thin laptop is dividing the tech punditsphere.

Because it comes with only one port, some think this machine is too radical, too new. It’s been called a glorified netbook — short on features, and, to really rub it in, high on price.

But I’m smitten. We have one in here at the Cult of Mac offices, and I’ve been putting it through its paces. Here’s what I found.