I can't remember how many 13 inch MacBook Pro laptops I've owned. Five, maybe? I've used this marvelous computer for so long, they all blur together in a blend of great design, excellent software, and pleasing ergonomics.
Well, my late 2016 13-incher, shown on the right, is a notable exception in one regard: the keyboard. Along with countless (more or less) other MacBook Pro users, I encountered the dreaded repeating keystroke problem about six months ago.
This common problem was caused by Apple inexplicably changing from a scissors-style keyboard that worked well to a butterfly-style keyboard that didn't -- apparently in Apple's attempt to make their laptops ever thinner and lighter.
Problem is, Apple forgot to make sure people like me could actually type on the keyboard. My problem was with the space bar, which obviously is a key key, so to speak, since it is used after every word.
It drove me crazy to find the keyboard on my 13-inch MacBook Pro inserting two or even three spaces when I clicked once on the space bar. I spent a large share of my writing time deleting the extra spaces, which obviously hurt the flow of my writing.
Some Googling revealed that Apple had issued a notice that enabled owners of malfunctioning keyboards to get it fixed at no cost. People said that often the problem recurred, though. So I decided to get a can of compressed air, turn my MacBook Pro upside down, and spray the heck out of the space bar.
That worked. Probably some specks of dirt, dust, or food had gummed up the space bar key. I then got a plastic keyboard cover via Amazon to keep more junk out of the keyboard, which is why the 13-inch keyboard in the photo above has non-black keys.
When I learned last week that Apple had released a 16-inch MacBook Pro with a different keyboard -- meaning, the same scissors-style keyboard that Apple had gone away from -- I decided to pull out my credit card and buy one.
Not just for the keyboard, though that was one reason. I also wanted to see what it would be like to use a laptop with a considerably larger screen. I've only been using the 16-inch MacBook Pro for a few days, but I'm liking it a lot.
Typing on the new 16-inch MacBook Pro feels better to me. Not sure why. Might be because the keys have more travel. And also because I'm no longer worried about them repeating. Sure, I've got a brand new computer with an old keyboard design, but at least Apple realized its mistake.
The speakers on the 16-inch MacBook Pro are vastly superior to my 13-inch. One of the first things I did was listen to a favorite Cream song on it, and the sound was great.
I'm enjoying the larger screen. Having read that Apple reduced the width of the bezel to fit a 16-inch screen in a 15-inch footprint, I decided to pass on the ridiculously expensive $200 leather sleeve that popped up as a purchase option when I ordered my new MacBook Pro, and ordered a $30 sleeve for a 15-inch MacBook Pro from Amazon.
It fits perfectly. And I'm pleased that the 16-inch machine fits in the backpack that I've been carting my 13-inch MacBook Pro around in.
Lastly, whenever I get a new MacBook Pro I'm much impressed with how easy Apple makes transferring documents, photos, videos, software, and such. The Migration Assistant is super easy to use. It only took a few hours to set up the 16-inch MacBook Pro over our home's wi-fi network.
So far I haven't encountered any problems with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. My sole temporary glitch was a familiar one: getting Gmail to play nice with Apple Mail. I kept putting in my Google password, and it kept being rejected, even though I knew the password was correct.
Eventually I got Gmail working on the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
I then noticed that I wasn't getting all of my emails on the new machine. It took me a while to realize that since both of my laptops were automatically checking for new emails, if one laptop got a message, it wouldn't be downloaded to the other one -- probably because they both were MacBook Pros rather than, say, an iPhone and an iPad.
Once I changed my 13-inch to manual checking for email, Gmail worked fine on the 16-inch.