Apple’s MacBook Air has experienced some extreme peaks and valleys over the past decade: the second-generation design introduced in 2010 was, for years, the standard by which all midsize laptops were judged. The Air was Apple’s most popular Mac and one of the best and most popular laptops ever made. That history, and the strength of the Air brand, meant that people just kept buying the MacBook Air, even as Apple let it fall far behind the rest of its laptops.
Eventually, the stubborn popularity of the Air and a renewed commitment to the Mac led Apple to completely redesign the MacBook Air around a Retina Display in 2018. But Apple also gave it one of its troubled butterfly keyboards, which developed a reputation for unreliability and a worse reputation for costly fixes.