Why I’m Returning a 2018 MacBook Pro 15″

All Apple stores sell MacBook models as soon as they are released. And this year I was lucky enough to buy one right when it came out. My excitement didn’t last very long 🙁

Here are some reasons why to return such a new MacBook Pro 15″ (2018). You may remember I just recently broke my screen on my older MacBook Pro 13.3” not too long ago, well this new laptop I purchased came with a huge excitement factor mainly because of the 6-core agent CPU, new TrueTone screen, and the updated keyboard. But let’s talk about why I’m returning it.

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Number one, coming straight out of the box the keyboard backlighting wasn’t functional. One max settings there was no kind of backlight. Talk about frustration when that’s the first thing I noticed coming out of the box. Clearly, it’s factory defective.

Number two, on this particular device there are two speaker grills on either side of the keyboard and they should have a nice polished smooth texture for their finish. The one on the left-hand side of this laptop wasn’t properly finished and it felt more like sandpaper than a nice polished metal finish. The right-hand side, however, is nicely finished, so there’s no mistaking what it should be like.

Number three was a common issue dating back to the 2016 MBP. So, you may find this to be repetitive or excessive, but the lack of an SD card reader is really a bummer. I always have to carry around my adapter, and sometimes I forget it and it can become a headache. I was hoping that for 2018 Apple would put it back on their devices since they took such a beating in reviews for their 2016 and 2017 models, but this is Apple, and they have chosen otherwise for whatever reason(s).

Number four is the crackling speaker. I’m not sure if this is an intermittent problem, or if this laptop has just another factory defect, but even with the latest software update, the problem seems to be consistent. Some people say it’s a faulty T2 hardware chip and the problem won’t go away.

2018 MacBook Pro 15"

Number five is a questionable long-term issue on a third-generation butterfly keyboard. Yes, they have updated it and added a membrane to protect the keys from dust, however, without a sufficient test time there’s no way to know if it’s effective yet or not.

So far I haven’t had any kernel panics. So, that’s good. This is a beautiful laptop that is thin and powerful; however, the quality control has definitely gone downhill. If Apple would step up their quality control, this laptop would be a good solid purchase. The screen is bright and accurate and the trackpad is a boss. It’s the gold-standard among laptops.

So, I’m debating on buying another Mac laptop and taking another gamble on the early quality control issues, or should I just wait it out a couple of months. For almost $3,000 USD, I think this should come to me the first time correctly.

I had an issue on my 2011 MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon GPUs. Maybe some of you guys remember Radeon-gate that the AMD GPUs got so hot in those models that they friend themselves to death. I just hope that the 2018 models don’t have these issues down the road, especially with these 6-core GPUs inside these super-thin chassis.

If you do decide to purchase this model make sure to do so with a credit card that offers an extra year of warranty or buy Applecare. If you are a student you can Apple’s education promotion right now which comes with a Beats headset for free. You can sell those to help offset the initial Mac purchase.