How have people managed to adapt to these butterfly keyboards?

Meus Me

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2010
31
18
I spent a few minutes trying to type on the new Macs and my fingers felt like I had stretched them to the point of ache. I then typed on my 2014 MBP and the keys just sank in nicely, allowing me to type faster and more accurately.

How have you people managed this for so long? What trick am I missing?

Forget price and dongles. How are you people typing?!
 

Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
3,987
1,569
I have gotten used to it . The 2nd gen on the 2017 is fairly good once you get used to it . I actually kind of miss it now since I got a windows laptop now ( gaming )
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
I just got a 2017 MacBook Pro with the 2nd gen butterfly keyboard and I have adapted to it already. But, I think it is because I've never had an Apple laptop before.
 
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SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,278
4,243
Highlands Ranch, CO
I spent a few minutes trying to type on the new Macs and my fingers felt like I had stretched them to the point of ache. I then typed on my 2014 MBP and the keys just sank in nicely, allowing me to type faster and more accurately.

How have you people managed this for so long? What trick am I missing?

Forget price and dongles. How are you people typing?!
I can use the butterfly keyboards, but “getting used to them” is a subjective term. After ownership of the 2016 and 2018 models, they are still the least favorite of any keyboard I have used among the machines I have owned.

You can get used to anything. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is something you will ever prefer.
 
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LunarFalcon

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2007
116
69
I was a bit worried about this when I picked up the new MBA, but I didn't find it difficult to adapt at all. I actually quite like the keyboard.

Edit: Oops, just noticed this thread is for the MacBook Pro, but at least the keyboard is very similar if not the same.
 
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sosumi99

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
360
317
It takes some time to adjust your typing posture and the way you strike the keys (it's hard to describe, but it's basically learning to use less force). It took me about a month before I really felt comfortable.

Some people never feel comfortable on these keyboards though. If you just can't stand it after a few weeks, you may have to resort to using an external keyboard.
 
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unglued

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2016
257
96
It takes some time to adjust your typing posture and the way you strike the keys (it's hard to describe, but it's basically learning to use less force).
That’s my experience it’s allowing me to strike the keys quicker and type faster, sort of more on my finger tips. I was surprised when I went back to my 2013 MBP to prepare to sell it, it took more effort and time on each key. I never expected the difference it felt old and dull but maybe it’s not a good comparison used/gummy vs new 2018.
 
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turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
6,018
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I was away traveling for a month with only a 2016 nTB

I got through it, but at no point did I enjoy the typing, and my fingers fatigued after doing it for too long despite trying to use the softest of touch. Also, my God the noise the keyboard makes is horrible.

One of my least favorite things about these superthin butterfly Keyboards is how I can’t really just relax my hands on the keys even when not typing for fear of depressing one of them.

I like to “think through my fingers” when typing/doing work without having to be concerned about accidental key presses.

When I got back to my 2015 MacBook Pro it was literally like getting into a warm bath of comfort.
 
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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,038
9,208
Detroit
How are you people typing?!
I don't know. But with the new MacBook Air this is my first experience with these butterfly keyboards and I love it. I adapted to it probably in the first day of having the laptop.

For me, I find that I can type much faster and for longer while also being very comfortable as well. I've taken to using the MacBook Air as my primary computer over the Mac mini and the wireless Apple keyboard now.

I'd love to have a butterfly style Apple wireless keyboard to go with the Mac mini.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,020
6,484
Back in December 2016, just after the new-design butterfly keyboards were introduced, I went to a local BestBuy and spent a few minutes with a 2016 and a 2015 MBP side-by-side, checking the keyboards.

From the moment I began typing on the 2016, my thoughts were -- how can it be this bad?

Even though it was the older model, I then bought a 2015 MBP 13", "for the keyboard and the ports".

Doing so was far-and-away the BEST computer-buying decision I've EVER made...
 
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Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,088
771
Austin, TX
You actually get used to it. It's kind of like other things, like beer or certain foods. They are an acquired taste that you have to use a bit to appreciate, or, for some people, you simply never like it. Same goes for these butterfly keyboards... its an acquired feel. I personally have gotten used to it and love it, I have less finger fatigue and can type faster with the shallower keys.

The key part is learning that you don't have to hit the key as hard to get it to type, once you get that down its not bad, IMO. I am speaking from personal use over the last year, but then again maybe I'm in the minority for liking these keyboards.
 
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Acronyc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
738
241
I've been using the butterfly keyboard for a while, first when I got a 2015 MacBook and then when I got a 2016 nTB MBP, which is still my main machine. It didn't take me long to get used to and I actually prefer the butterfly keyboard to the old model (except for the noise; these are annoyingly noisy keyboards).

For me perhaps it has been easier because I have always been a very light touch typist. I never understood why people bang on keyboards so hard (hitting the key louder does not do anything) and I used to work with a colleague who typed so hard and loud it was infuriating sharing an office with him. Every time he hit the enter key it was BANG! I've always preferred a softer touch, which is faster for me and what I am used to, so the butterfly keyboard wasn't hard to get used to at all.

I believe the bigger issues are the noise level of the keyboard even when typing softly and reliability,. Luckily I haven't had any issues with my keyboard over two years of heavy use. But there is always a risk that these keyboards will fail more easily than other Mac keyboards.
 
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ElectricPotato

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2018
336
927
Seattle
I like the feel of the 2018 MBP butterfly. It feels precise, fast, effortless. I initially disliked giving up a model M for a laptop style keyboard. I grew to like the quieter operation and lower effort and would not go back. The transition to butterfly was almost instantaneous. I scratch my head at claims it is unusable. I suspect, in at least some instances, people start with the idea that different = unusable. It is undeniably a different feel.
 
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donawalt

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2015
429
180
I cut my teeth on the gen 2 keyboard, I have a gen 3 now. At the beginning it was difficult, lots of typos...I wondered if I would ever like the keyboard or even just tolerate it, much less regret the purchase. I decided to stick with it, and probably in a month, 2 months (I don't remember), I did get used to it - and I type so much faster on it now than any other keyboard. I love it now, it's my favorite keyboard ever. Not to get silly, but it's like my fingers just glide across the keyboard like a pianist, barely touching the keys. It's beautiful

I did have a couple of little particles get under keys on the gen 2 (and I am very careful around my computers), which many have reported; I was able to remove them with air and blowing on them fortunately. I think once I had to try and wedge under a key to just get a little room to blow a particle away, luckily it worked and I didn't break anything but I was not pleased I had to do it. I have had a gen 3 since July I think, and not one key issue - I think their membrane solution in gen 3 fixed the problem with keys getting messed up by particles. It makes sense really, the travel on these keys is so much less (hence why you can type faster once you get used to it), it should not have been a surprise that little particles that would not be an issue on a traditional keyboard prevented a key from working here. Have you ever seen under the keys of an older fashioned full travel keyboard? YUCK is all I can say. It's disgusting
 
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Invisible Elf

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2011
69
12
Took me about two weeks with only sporadic usage. My biggest problem at first when moving from the MacBook Air to the 15 inch Pro was that the wide speakers on the Pro made me rest my hands differently than I was used to.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,441
4,947
I got used to it within a few days. Now I can't stand the older keyboard. Every time I have to work with a pre 2016 MBP, I notice how wobbly and imprecise the keys are — it makes typing difficult. Much prefer the new keyboard now.

Our entire group (about 50 people) has moved to butterfly models by now and while there were few people who complained in the beginning, everyone is ok with it by now.
 
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