For people wondering about the differences between the keyboards of the MacBook (12) and MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kevinkyoo, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. kevinkyoo macrumors 6502a

    kevinkyoo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    #1
    There is basically none. This is from me going to MicroCenter, and having these two computers side-by-side. Anyone saying that the latter feels "much better" is only kidding themselves. The only difference is that it feels "cleaner" to press down on the button. The travel size is still the same, but unlike the slight wobble with the former, the latter's feels nicer. That's basically it. Nothing changed about the travel distance.

    In addition, as I stated in the last post, a relative of mine got his new MacBook Pro 13". I just wanted to write this post to make the comparison between the MBP and MB, since no one owns a MB.
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    From and owner of both, you are wrong.

    12" MacBook - lowest travel
    13" pro - in the middle
    Magic keyboard - most of the 3

    The old pro would fall after all of those. I owned all of the above at the same time.
     
  3. kevinkyoo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevinkyoo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    #3
    Sorry, but after writing two separate papers on my relative's MacBook and my own Air, the "increase in travel distance" is minimal. It's more of "being much similar to the MacBook but only slightly deeper in travel distance.

    From me pressing down on the keys at the same time at MC for a couple of minutes and really seeing the difference, there are virtually none.

    I didn't even mention the Magic Keyboard.
     
  4. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    #4
    Just wondering, did the keyboard change with the 2015 refresh of the MacBook?

    Key travel aside, the consistent "click" feel of the new MBP keyboard makes it possible to type quickly and accurately.

    Comfortably? I don't know, maybe it's more tiring for very long periods of typing.
     
  5. onVacation macrumors member

    onVacation

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    #5
    When iFixit did their teardown of the new MBP they actually took some nice shots from the same angle of both the new MBP keyboard and the 1st gen rMB keyboard.

    What you can clearly see is that the travel is pretty much identical (during the presentation Apple also never claimed the new ones had more travel, just that they feel better). The difference is the more concave key shape on the new one and the dome switch underneath the key has been updated, most likely to provide a more tactile feedback.
     
  6. Rob_2811 Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    Did exactly the same thing in my local store today, side by side comparison with the 12 inch MacBook. The only difference is the the MacBook Pro looks like the keys aren't as flat to the chassis. In terms of how they feel there is no difference.

    If you hate the MacBook you will hate the keyboard on the new pros.
     
  7. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    This is correct, same travel, just a nicer feel from the materials Apple used under the key. I love the new keyboard btw.
     
  8. kevinkyoo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevinkyoo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    #8
    Just boggles my mind why someone would say that the travel distance is different, and who supposedly owns both o_O
     
  9. polee, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    polee macrumors 6502a

    polee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #9
    The person in the store was trying hard to convince me that there was a difference. To me there was no difference between both keyboards. I own a 12 inch MacBook.
     
  10. thadoggfather macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #10
    Since I feel there are different build retina macbook 12" keyboards or variations, maybe ill bring mine in to compare to the new 13" out of morbid curiosity
     
  11. Rob_2811 Suspended

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    Mar 18, 2016
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    United Kingdom
    #11
    Yep. No difference at all I just wanted to check for myself before pulling the trigger on a 2015 model. 0.3 mm of thickness isn't worth putting up with that keyboard
     
  12. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    "The Pros use a “second-generation” version of the MacBook’s butterfly switch mechanism, which has, according to Phil Schiller, “an even greater sense of keyboard travel.” Note the carefully chosen words: it gives a greater sense of keyboard travel than the MacBook, but the actual keyboard travel is the same. Going forward, it looks like Apple is going to continue refining its new switch mechanism to address user complaints, but it’s only willing to do that if it doesn’t have to make the keyboard thicker."

    A quote from the Arstechnica review. Explains it nicely, note the bold part.
     
  13. thadoggfather macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #13
    thats so absurd in my opinion. a little more height couldn't hurt
     
  14. papa8706 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #14
    I tried the MB and the new MBP side by side earlier today and I felt the new one seemed a little better. It's not night and day, but it did seem to "feel" a little better in terms of travel and feedback.

    After reading so much hate about the keyboard, I really didn't mind it as much as I thought I would. That being said, I agree it's def not for everyone, but it's something I think most will adjust to in time
     
  15. onVacation macrumors member

    onVacation

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    #15
    Let's hope they got this one right.

    The main problem that has been identified to cause problems with the old keyboard (-> stuck keys) was not the mechanism, but the low travel that caused dust/crumps/etc. to get stuck under the keys with no way to get it out.

    So with no change to key travel at all, the new butterfly keyboard might have the exact same problem, because you can improve tactile feedback, key shape and the mechanism all you want, this will not create more space for dirt to get out again and from what was revealed by iFixit when they took the keys apart, the little butterfly hinges themselves show little to no difference.
     
  16. ConnorMcJeebus macrumors regular

    ConnorMcJeebus

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    #16
    The fact that they modified the keyboard from the rMB and described the one in the new MBP as "better than the rMB" is an acknowledgment that they screwed up. Why can't they just go back to the keyboard that everyone liked? I never once heard anyone say a single bad thing about the 2015 MBP/MBA keyboard. But I guess being thinner is more important than losing sales? o_O
     
  17. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #17
    I suspect that many people who are not intimately familiar with the rMB keyboard could not immediately tell a difference between the two because if your typing style is heavy, you will blow right through the clicking feedback mechanisms on both keyboards and they will feel the same to you. Reviewers whose opinion I trust and who are familiar with the rMB say there is a difference. I believe them.

    IMO this is representative of how people get comfortable with things regardless of how good or bad they are. The old keyboards were average, at best. They were very mushy, they had no tactile feedback unless you bottomed them out, and had a fair bit of wobble. Plus there was a lot of backlight bleed around the keys when you were off-angle. The new setup is much more precise.
     
  18. terminator-jq macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #18
    I went to my local Apple Store yesterday to try out the new 13" MacBook Pro (and ask when they would have the 13" with Touchbar in stock).

    I'm not a fan of the 12" MacBook Keyboard. So I was definitely relieved to see that the new MacBook Pro keyboard is an improvement. The main differences were:

    1. The 13" MacBook Pro's keys seemed to take slightly more effort to push down.

    2. The sound of pressing a key is slightly louder ("click" instead of "tap")

    3. The keys are slightly more stable (though this wasn't that big a deal on the 12" MacBook)

    All of that together made for a much better typing experience. My main issue with the 12" MacBook keyboard was that the keys were so "light" that you could hardly tell if you've pressed them. Basically, there was no real feedback. The new 13" MacBook Pro solves this issue. Yes, the keys are shallow, but the slight extra effort that it takes to push each key and the louder "click" sound creates enough feedback to make typing feel more natural.
     
  19. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2014
    #19
    There is no absolute good or bad with keyboards, it's a lot of personal taste. Some people like mushy and long travel and no distinct click.

    But the precision is a really good point. These key caps are both larger and much more stable in terms of where you press them. So they will pick up a clean key press even way off center, which on older keyboards may or may not register. You can be much more fast and sloppy now.
     
  20. Rob_2811 Suspended

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    Mar 18, 2016
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    United Kingdom
    #20

    "You're typing on it wrong.. " :rolleyes:
     
  21. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #21
    Just adding another opinion: I tried them side by side as well and agree with the OP. There is a very small difference in how the keys feel, but the travel is unfortunately the same. A while ago I tried getting used to the Macbook keyboard for a week; while I was typing reasonably fast after a short while, it was never comfortable to me. I felt relieved going back to the 2015 MBP. I don't see how the new MBP keyboard would be any different.

    I feel they went from a keyboard that was universally praised to one that is at best tolerated by many people. :(
     
  22. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 17, 2011
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    Ridgewood, NJ
    #22
    Would that be the old or newest magic keyboard in your comparison?
     
  23. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #23
    In case it helps, I make just as many and the same typing mistakes on the 12" rMB as I do on my wired Apple keyboard connected to my Mini. Same for the Apple wireless keyboard that died.

    I think people just look for excuses.
     
  24. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    #24
    I appreciate hearing other people's experiences. But if a significantly larger usable key surface doesn't help your typing, it doesn't turn a simple fact into an excuse.
     
  25. BondFancy macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2016
    #25
    I don't mind the rMB keyboard, I just care about its longevity. All I want is to spend ~3k and have a broken keyboard after a couple months.
     

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