Comparing the chiclet with the old pre-unibody keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thundersteele, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. thundersteele, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011

    thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Ok, now I've been working on the new MBP for about a month. The one thing I'm still not quite sure if I like it better, compared to the pre-unibody models, is the keyboard. I mean, it's a good keyboard, I'm just not sure if it's actually better... which is what one would expect from new technology.

    Design: The black keys look good in the unibody frame. Has a nice effect together with the black bezel... however, on the AG with the silver bezel... not so much. Still looking good, and more "modern" probably.

    Readability: White letters on black... much easier to read. Comparing them side by side, this is a clear win for the new keyboard.

    The backlight: I have the feeling that most of the backlight leaks out from around the keys. When the backlight goes on, the brightest spots are the cracks between the keys and the unibody, not the letters on the keys, in particular when looking at the keyboard from an angle. The old keyboard did a better job here.

    Dirt: I read somewhere that the chiclet is more hygienic, since less dirt can fall between the keys. I think it doesn't really make a difference, since stuff can still get under the keys. It's also not easier to clean. Then there's the grease problem, but that's just because black is more sensitive than silver/grey.

    Noise: It's a bit louder, as confirmed by my wife who suddenly could hear me typing from the bedroom.

    The typing: Feels different, but not in a negative way. Just different. I think it has a bit more resistance, and the edges are more noticeable when the fingers glide over the keyboard.

    The looks: Looks a bit cheaper, more plasticy. When looking at it too closely, some of the keys appear uneven, contributing to the "cheap laptop keyboard" look. From far away, it's very elegant, unless you actually use it... then the greasy/shiny key issue makes it look dirty :D

    I know this is kinda late, and was probably discussed 3 years ago. If someone else made the switch recently, or still remembers the old keyboard, I would be glad to hear what you think about the keyboards.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I still have the old-style keyboard on my Early 2008 MBP. I also use the Apple Wireless Keyboard with the chiclet-style keys. I must say I greatly prefer the chiclet keys. The AWK is the best keyboard I've ever used. Having said that, it's purely a matter of personal preference.
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I've used both. I prefer the old style Al-MBP to the UB-MBP's keyboard. Having said that, I'm currently using a chiclet keyboard on a Dell laptop, and the keys are 10x better than either MBP. There's just something about the new MBP's keyboard that I really cannot stand... I think it's the lack of travel? Not sure...

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