A used 2015 Retina MacBook Pro might be the best MacBook you can buy today

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Old macbook
Why not buy an old MacBook instead of Apple’s flawed lineup?
Photo: Mark Solarski/Unsplash

Since I wrote about Apple’s ongoing MacBook disaster last week, and then offered a bunch of alternatives to the current MacBook lineup, several readers got in touch to ask which — if any — older MacBooks we’d recommend. I haven’t bought a MacBook in years, so I did a little research, and asked around the Cult of Mac crew.

So, let’s find out which is the best (old) MacBook you can buy today.

The MacBook is a disaster. Can Apple fix it?

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Macbook problems
The Mac is in serious trouble. Can Apple fix things before it’s too late?
Photo: Ales Nesetril/Unsplash

Despite the endless disappointments with iPadOS 13, there’s still no way I’d switch to a MacBook right now. MacBooks (and MacBook Pros) were always the gold (or aluminum?) standard for laptops — reliable, well-designed and long-lasting. Reviewers would even recommend that PC users buy a Mac and install Windows on it via Boot Camp. But today, MacBooks problems abound.

Apple’s laptops are a sorry bunch. And it’s not just the troublesome butterfly keyboard. Every week, I read tweets and blog posts about freelancers and employees of big companies alike losing valuable time as their MacBooks go back for repair for the third or fourth time. So what is happening? What are the biggest problems with today’s MacBooks? And can these MacBook problems be fixed?

Latest MacBooks still use Apple’s flawed butterfly keyboard

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MacBook Keyboard
The keyboard in the newest MacBooks have the same problem as earlier ones.
Photo: Apple

Update Nov. 13, 2019: The 16-inch MacBook Pro released today is the first in years without the Butterfly keyboard. And the head of Apple marketing talks about redesigning this notebook keyboard in an interview.

 

Original article:

The upgraded MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models released today are faster and better looking. However, they still include the keyboard that sent so many of their predecessors to the repair shop.

A rumored redesign apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Apple may be gearing up to replace controversial MacBook keyboard

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
The butterfly keyboard design hasn't been one of Apple's most popular innovations.
Photo: Apple

Many fans hated the controversial butterfly switch keyboard that Apple introduced in 2015. While it’s since worked to improve it, the MacBook keyboards’ low-travel design has caused plenty of handwringing among the Mac faithful.

They might not be around for too much longer, however. According to a new research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is set to replace them with a whole new keyboard switch mechanism. This will debut with the 2019 MacBook Air.

All MacBooks with butterfly keyboards are now eligible for free repairs

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
Apple’s not ditching the MacBook butterfly keyboard yet.
Photo: Apple

Apple updated its Keyboard Service Program today to also include support for the 2018 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air.

The news comes on the heels of Apple’s unveiling of new MacBook Pros this morning with 8-core processors and butterfly keyboards with new materials. With the updated program, any MacBook with a butterfly keyboard is now eligible for service free of charge.

Apple sets 24-hour turnaround time for MacBook keyboard repairs

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Taking it out on your problematic MacBook butterfly keyboard will only make things worse.
Don’t get mad if your MacBook keyboard develops problems, get it fixed. It’s free and now it’s quick.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple has ordered that sticky MacBook keys be repaired fast enough that, whenever possible, the owner can get their computer back the next day.

The company says only a small number of its laptops develop keyboard problems, but clearly it’s feeling the heat from irate customers.

Living with a MacBook keyboard is like managing a chronic condition [Opinion]

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Taking it out on your problematic MacBook butterfly keyboard will only make things worse.
Taking it out on your keyboard will only make things worse.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At this point, we all know the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard can prove problematic. Apple recently admitted the problem is real — and even issued a rare apology.

Anecdotally, pretty much every MacBook owner I know has experienced keys sticking or repeating at one time or another. But occasionally I meet someone who seems blessed with a faultless MacBook keyboard. And Apple claims the problem only affects a small number of MacBook users.

So what is going on? I have a theory — and a tip that might keep your MacBook’s keyboard from crapping out if it hasn’t already.

World’s slimmest mechanical keyboard looks perfect for Mac lovers

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Keychron
The Keychron K1 is a thing of beauty.
Photo: Keychron

Mac lovers looking for relief from Apple’s new butterfly keyboards may have found a new hero in the Keychron K1, which is supposedly the world’s slimmest mechanical keyboard ever.

The Keychron K1 looks like a hybrid of Apple’s Magic Keyboard crossed with a modern mechanical keyboard. It’s so small you can carry it anywhere and it looks so good you won’t be embarrassed to be hauling around your beloved keyboard.

Take a closer look:

2018 MacBook Pro review roundup: Apple unleashes a speed demon

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2018 MacBook Pro
This isn’t good.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new MacBook Pro offers buyers significantly improved performance at the same price as last year’s models, as well as a “quieter,” improved butterfly keyboard and a True Tone display. But is it worth the upgrade?

Early reviews of the 2018 update are out now. Here’s what they say about Apple’s fastest and most impressive laptop yet.