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just brew it!
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2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:34 pm

My work-issued 2015 MacBook Pro is starting to show signs of battery problems. The bottom cover has started to bulge slightly (it no longer sits flat on my desk), and the battery life has noticeably dropped. I reported this to our IT department and they ordered a replacement (2018 model) for me. When I showed the old one to our on-site IT guy, he said "Oh, that's not too bad, I've seen a lot of much worse ones!" Am I silly to think that with what Apple hardware costs, the batteries should be a little better behaved?

Anyhow, I just received the replacement a couple of hours ago. I still need to reinstall some stuff and migrate my Linux development VM over, but I can already confidently say that I really, really hate the new keyboard and touchbar, and I'm not a big fan of the giant-a** touchpad either. The keyboard feels like I am typing on mouse buttons (the switch travel is that minimal), and I've already had a couple of instances where I've accidentally moved the pointer by brushing against the trackpad, just getting things set up. Oh well... unless I am working on the train I use an external keyboard and mouse anyway, so it won't affect me when I'm at my desk.

IT also gave me the pile of special cables and adapters I need to have working DP, USB, and Ethernet ports, so I guess I'm all set...
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:50 pm

At least you get the 'enhanced' keys, on my 2017 model they get super spongy the instant something gets under them. It took my like 20 minutes to figure out wtf was wrong with me when my delete key got a crumb under it. Luckily, holding it upside-down and rapidly tapping on the key dislodged it. Supposedly the 2018 model fixes this with O-ring seals.

Under preferences > keyboard > shortcuts > function keys, you can add apps to a list that revert the touch bar to function keys when they have focus.
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:58 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Am I silly to think that with what Apple hardware costs, the batteries should be a little better behaved?


No, it's ridiculous. But there's some weird sunk cost investment people have attached to Apple as a luxury brand, and they're certainly making bushels of money, so it's assumed by many that these issues are unavoidable, or even desirable. After all, making the battery replaceable would allegedly ruin the laptop's forever vaunted thinness. But I'd argue that obsession with form's become a kind of broader design anorexia. A bevy of dongles only enriches Apple at the literal expense of its users, who are subject to a cluttered experience and less reliable device connectivity than they'd otherwise enjoy. The finger-drumming keyboards and giant trackpads suggest dashed-off engineering efforts to justify price premiums on what otherwise looks like pretty standard PC hardware, even when a single speck of dust can ruin an expensive laptop. Even the function key-replacing touchbar feels like a backported Apple Watch. The work and budget are all going into iOS, an entire platform that is itself standing on a thin rim of looming commoditization. Microsoft and PC builders adapted to this a long time ago; Apple's trying to fight gravity, and it's already beginning to fail.
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:11 pm

It's IME a relatively small miniority of machines hit this issue, maybe low single digits percentage, though which ones seems to be a crapshoot -- we see MacBook Pros last 10+ years and no battery issues at all, but some others get 5 years in then fail.

I have no idea how the environment affects it, as ours are deployed to similar types (urban dwellers in a fairly mild climate (though most travel internationally a few times a year)).

It all comes back to that owning a Mac is expensive if it only lasts 3 or 4 years, but if you can keep it for 10 and tolerate it being relatively slow then its a bargain; or, if you can sell it after 3, you can make a decent chunk back towards a newer one ... either way, the TCO p.a. is quite tolerable.
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:31 pm

There's not much you can do about the battery failure really. There's no magic bullet of money that prevents the inevitable failure.

The puff is from the electrolyte breaking down and when you consider that draining it too low or fast, charging it too high or fast, keeping it with too little or too high of a charge for a long time, heat, cold, and using it all cause extra wear on the battery, then 4 years is a pretty good lifetime.

On a related note, this is one reason electric vehicles are still not totally ready for prime time. Tesla batteries need to be replaced 3-4 times in their warrantied lifetimes from the owners I've seen on YouTube.
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:54 pm

The real unfortunate part of the Mac design decisions is that they didn't simply make this a part that could be swapped easily by the end user. But that kind of goes against their profit plan....yet people keep buying. I don't care for Apple products in general but am in awe of the marketing ability to sell an inferior product for a superior price.


Heiwashin wrote:
On a related note, this is one reason electric vehicles are still not totally ready for prime time. Tesla batteries need to be replaced 3-4 times in their warrantied lifetimes from the owners I've seen on YouTube.


Please don't spread fear about a subject that you've only researched through YouTubers. Electric vehicles may not be perfect but they aren't bad like this claim. They are likely to be the predominate vehicle type sold in 10-15 years in my opinion. Drive one....you'll want it.
Facts about battery life here:
https://survey.pluginamerica.org/model-s/charts.php
https://survey.pluginamerica.org/

Note that even the 7 year old Tesla S models have had less than 16% battery pack replacements. Not the the 300-400% number you claimed.
 
Heiwashin
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:13 pm

Actually I definitely won't be driving an electric vehicle since I don't have a car.

The batteries will definitely fail, that is unavoidable. The frequency is debatable, as that was a voluntary survey and didn't allow for repeat failures in the category. Secondly, did you notice the median miles. Only 30k in 7 years. No wonder most of them aren't having too much trouble, theyre barely driving it. Nonetheless, it's a problem that is one of the primary focuses of battery research.

Also I said it was one of the reasons. The motor failure rate from your own link is another one. For some reason you discredit direct experience from owners on YouTube though, any reason for that?
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Re: 2015 MBP battery issue

Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:15 pm

Macbook's use Lithium Polymer batteries and they had a habit of puffing.....

Image

Now, that was an early Macbook that had been left uncharged for a long time. Letting a LiPo discharge and sit is very bad.

My 2014 MacBook Pro puffed as well. It didn't have a drastic drop off in battery life, not more than being almost four years old would generate. But it would wobble on a flat desk.

Image

Image

Other laptops (and the Tesla cars) use Lithium Ion batteries, which don't have the power density of LiPo, but doesn't puff and is a bit more tolerant of bad treatment, especially handling. The electric airplanes I have are all LiPo powered and a battery pack that lasts three years would be a small miracle.

--SS

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