Ben Lovejoy’s diary series are an attempt to provide a real-life review of Apple devices. Not just first impressions of them as gadgets, but the role they perform in everyday use, and an evolving view over time. 

Read the diary entries from the bottom up to read them in date order.

MacBook Pro Diary Stories Yesterday

To add to the faulty keyboard and swollen battery, it turns out my MacBook Pro has a third failure: a logic board fault.

There was some good news when I went to collect my MacBook Pro today: the top-case replacement had been done. It had a shiny new keyboard, and non-swollen battery.

The bad news, however, was that the machine still immediately shutdown when run on battery power…

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MacBook Pro Diary Stories November 29

I’ve finally been forced into arranging the keyboard replacement I’ve been deferring forever, and that has led me to think about my next Mac. But let’s start at the beginning…

My 2016 MacBook Pro has long been suffering from the infamous butterfly keyboard glitches. I get double-characters for B and P, and both spacebar and CMD keys are unreliable.

These things would have long since driven me nuts but for two factors…

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MacBook Pro Diary Stories October 8

If I didn’t write about Apple-related tech for a living, I’m honestly not sure whether I’d upgrade to macOS Catalina. For me, the loss of 32-bit app compatibility could potentially be both a major hassle and a significant expense.

A hassle in part because there are several small utility apps I use which are 32-bit only. All are old, and the developers have long since lost interest in updating them, so I’m going to need to find suitable alternatives…

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MacBook Pro Diary Stories July 29

The rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro could be the one thing that would have me change my usual upgrade cycle for Macs.

My MacBook Pro is my most important Apple device, and I normally work on the basis of keeping them for five years. I max them out with that kind of longevity in mind.

Five years suits me well for several reasons. First, they remain extremely usable for that length of time, even for demanding work. I configured this one with 4K video editing in mind even though I did very little of it at the time, as that was a good benchmark for a machine capable of keeping up for years to come …

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MacBook Pro Diary Stories April 9

I haven’t had the best of times of it lately with Apple kit. I managed to leave my iPhone out in the rain – something it thankfully survived. A couple of days ago, I knocked my Apple Watch off a bathroom cabinet onto the tiled floor, badly smashing the screen. And now the sticky keyboard problem with my MacBook Pro is getting worse.

I first experienced a sticky spacebar almost a year ago. At the time, I viewed it as an embarrassing quality control failure by Apple, but thought demands for the machine to be recalled were over the top. Reader comments did, however, convince me the problem was greater than I’d appreciated …

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MacBook Pro Diary Stories April 20, 2018

Back when I bought my 2016 MacBook Pro, I was kind of tempted to get all the expense out of the way in one hit and upgrade my monitor at the same time. The problem, as I wrote later, was finding someone to take my money.

What I really want now is to replace my existing two-screen setup – 15-inch MacBook Pro on the left, 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display on the right – with a single monitor.

That means I need something substantially wider than 27 inches and 2560 pixels. My colleague Jeff tested one candidate back in 2016, LG’s 34-inch UltraWide. But that didn’t tick all of my boxes, so I held out …

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