Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Notebooks’

MacBook Keyboards

MacBook Air Repair Status

I’ve been using a 2018 MacBook Air as my work laptop since shortly after its initial release. But in a few months I’ll be due for an upgrade. Luckily I work for the best company in the world, Automattic, and I’ll get to pick nearly any Mac I want as a replacement.

I travel a few times each year to various company-related get-togethers so I’ll definitely order a laptop. But at the moment, the only Mac portable worth purchasing is the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. The butterfly keyboard is just too much of a deal breaker for me to consider anything else that Apple offers right now — the 16-inch is the only model with the newer scissor switch keyboard.

Just a month or two after I started using my Air, I started having issues with missed and duplicate key presses. I’ve sort-of lived with the annoyance until now because I didn’t have another suitable Mac available to use while my primary machine is out for repair. But now that I’m reaching the tail end of my parental leave, I finally sent in my MacBook Air for a keyboard replacement.

I’m hoping the repaired keyboard will buy me some time until I’m ready to upgrade. And with any luck, Apple will release a new 13-inch option with the updated scissor switch keyboard. With the frequent travel and my desire to move around the house while I work, a 16-inch is a bit too big and heavy for my liking. The 13-inch MacBook Air feels like the perfect size, but I’ve started to want a bit more horse power out of my work machine.

The MacBook Air can handle my work load the vast majority of the time. But occasionally I’ll be doing some more processor intensive tasks while I’m on a Zoom call. In those instances it would be nice to have a little more head room. A 13-inch MacBook Pro is probably my best option.

I’m due for my upgrade around April, but the exact time frame of when I get a new machine is dependent on Apple. If they don’t release a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the scissor switch keyboard before then, I’ll just have to make do with my MacBook Air for a while longer. I don’t want to go another day with the butterfly keyboard, but I certainly can’t order another notebook with one, which would extend my use for an additional year or two.

I hope Apple holds a media event sometime this Spring to announce an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, among other product releases. But honestly, my confidence in Apple for Mac hardware is at an all time low. I mean, we had to wait four years for a new Mac Mini, five years for a new Mac Pro, and have been dealing with these butterfly keyboards since 2015.

Six or Seven years ago, I would have bet money on Apple releasing updates to each Mac every year. But with their recent track record, I’m not even positive that the next 13-inch Pro will move away from butterfly keyboards at all.

I hope they prove me wrong. They need to prove me wrong. Not just because I’d like a new laptop that actually works for typing, but because they’ve done massive damage to their reputation and it’s long past time for a course correction. It’ll take years for them to build their reputation back to what it was and the sooner they refresh the MacBook lineup’s keyboards the better.

‘The Best Laptop Ever Made’ ➝

Marco Arment makes a great case for the 2015 MacBook Pro being the best laptop ever made. It’s hard to argue with his logic, the 2015 MacBook Pro has a great balance of features, weight, power, and versatility. It’s beloved by many and derided by few. And I hope Apple takes these criticisms into account when they release their next revision of MacBooks.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display ➝

The amazing new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. What an amazing piece of technology. And, for everyone complaining about the price, just remember that the MacBook Air debuted at $1799 and now starts at $999. We’re just a few short years away from Apple knocking nearly $1000 off that $2199 price point.

Also, I suggest watching the MacBook Pro video, I absolutely love how they designed the fan system to help keep the perceived noise level to a minimum.

Apple May Add Anti-Glare Option to More MacBook Pros ➝

Anti-Glare MacBook Pro

AppleInsider is citing sources “who have proven familiar with the company’s plans,” saying that Apple is considering adding more anti-glare options to the MacBook Pro line.

There has been quite a bit of complaining in the Apple community ever since Apple decided to give the iMac and the MacBook line glossy displays. Currently the only model with an anti-glare option is the oh so expensive 17-inch. It is likely that the 15-inch MacBook Pro will get this option but I’m still unsure about the 13-inch, since it has had a glossy display since the MacBook was first introduced in 2006.

I own both a MacBook and a glossy display iMac and haven’t had any problems with them. Then again, I don’t often find myself in a situation where I would be bothered by the light in the room, it isn’t too difficult to tilt the screen a hair. But, I would still like the option, if only to keep from hearing the complaints about it.

Image credit to Kevin Lim

Update 8/11/09: The anti-glare option has been added to the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The upgrade will cost $50 and is available immediately from Apple’s online store.

Regarding MacBook Pro Naming

MacBook Pro WWDC 2009

At the WWDC keynote Apple announced that their 13-inch aluminum MacBook’s were getting a name change, they are now joining their 15 and 17-inch siblings and are now MacBook Pros.

Everyone. including Apple, explains this by saying that these aluminum MacBooks were similar enough to the MacBook Pro to join that line of notebooks. They have higher end CPUs, tons of RAM, large hard drives, backlit keyboards, and 9400M graphics. But, I believe one of the main reasons for the name change is to keep the perception that Apple is a high end brand. Not because the word “pro” makes you think of high end but because the word “plastic” makes you think “cheap.”

Before the name change the majority of journalists and users would differentiate between the aluminum and plastic 13-inch MacBooks by referring to them as “the aluminum one” and “the plastic one.” It was very clear that Apple was unhappy about that because they refused to refer to the plastic one with any word other than “poly-carbonate.” In fact, Apple would even correct some members of the press if they referred to it as plastic in front of an Apple representative.

Apple would rather have users differentiate between different MacBook Pro models by naming the screen size than they would have users differentiate between MacBooks by naming the material they are made out of.

Of course this isn’t the only reason Apple is now naming them MacBook Pros, they are in fact of a high enough quality and speed to be referred to as pro level notebooks. But, now they can also talk about how well the MacBook Pro line of notebooks is selling. Which also helps them appear to be a higher end brand, if the majority of notebooks you sell are part of your high end line it’s clear that the perception is going to be that you’re a high end brand.

Is Apple Working on a MacBook mini? ➝

MacBookMini Adium StatsPreviously the computer name “MacBookAir” was found as a computer name on Adium’s publicly available user statistics. Shortly thereafter the MacBook Air was announced.

This time around we have the name “MacBookMini” popping up in Adium’s stats. Granted, it is possible to change your computer’s name to whatever you want and itt wouldn’t surprise me if some clever owner of a hackintoshed netbook would have changed their computer name.

Even with the possibility of someone changing their computer name it is also very posible that someone at Apple has been using Adium on a yet to be released Apple notebook.