iBook vs. PowerBook Keyboard Question

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by PowerBook User, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. PowerBook User macrumors regular

    May 29, 2003
    I was recently at a CompUSA and looked at the iBooks there. The 12" and 14" models both seemed to have keyboards that were overly flexible, especially by the "E" key. Is this normal? Is it because there was probably no AirPort card installed? How does this keyboard compare to the 15" PowerBook's keyboard? I will be buying an iBook or 15" PowerBook G4 soon (maybe used) and would like a firm keyboard since I do a lot of typing. I have used a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet and really liked that keyboard. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    you can tighten a little screw near the f7 key i believe that lessens the flexibility of the ibook keyboard. this is also due to the fact that the ibook keyboard is removable, while the powerbook's ones are not.
  3. PowerBook User thread starter macrumors regular

    May 29, 2003
    Do people with iBooks generally like the feel of the keyboard? I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money to get a laptop that I don't want to type on.
  4. jimthorn macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2003
    Huntington Beach, CA, USA
    I've had two iBooks in the last couple of years (600MHz and now 900MHz), and I love the feel of the keyboard.

    Both things that other users said are true also: There is a "latch" that you open or close with a small screwdriver between the F5 and F6 keys that can lock the keyboard down so it can't be removed. In the "locked" position, the keyboard is a bit more snug against the computer. Also, the Airport card (and memory module as well) are directly under the left half of the keyboard (including the E key you mentioned), and I suppose that not having an Airport card installed would leave a bit of a gap underneath, though the iBook keyboards I've used always seemed solid.

    One other word of advice: Demo model iBooks (especially at CompUSA) always tend to get abused, and are not a good indication of the quality of the keyboard. Visit your local Apple Store if you have one nearby, and try one that's more like new.
  5. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    can you try one in person?
    I like my iBook keyboard alot, i've added an iskin protector for it and it is quieter and feels a bit mroe natural....i think you'll like it because its yours
  6. skymaXimus macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    Until the 12" % 17" powerbooks, every apple laptop since the pismo had the same keyboard, just different colours. I've seen peeps take the white keypad off an ibook and put it on a powerbook (yuck)!
  7. Gus macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Some people, including writers of reviews, have complained about the iBook keyboard being too "mushy", but I have never disliked the feel of the keyboard myself. In fact, when I have to use a desktop keyboard now, I feel that they are too rigid for me.

  8. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    I wonder if someone lifted the keyboard up, but did not put is back together properly. It is so trivial to pull up the keyboard via the top two tags. That's why they have the locking mechanism between the F5 and F6 keys.
  9. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I have an iBook that I put on my desk and hook up to an Apple Pro Keyboard when I'm at home. The iBook keyboard is not nearly as firm as the Pro Keyboard, but I've never sat there consciously thinking, "This keyboard sucks butt!" I have noticed, however, that I seem to type slower and less accurately on the iBook keyboard, but that's probably because the keys are closer together.
  10. DeadlyBreakfast macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2002
    In a dark corner somewhere. Help me..
    I do the same thing. I have an iCurve stand for my I book. A Macally mouse and a pro keyboard hooked up at work. I love the iBook keyboard. I can actually type faster on it because the keys are close together.(All those years of typing on 8 bits)
  11. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    yeah its suppose to feel like that. jsut gotta get used to it. my favorite keyboard by far has been the ones on the 17 and 12 inch powerbook. ive also taken a liking to the new cheapo keyboards on the emacs.

  12. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    like a lot of people here, i have a pro keyboard that i hook up to my iBook when i'm at my desk; but i also use the iBook away from my desk a lot (actually, the majority of the time) and like Daveman says, i never conciously think "this keyboard is spongey."

    if you're really concerned about keyboards, let's be honest -- the pBook keyboard ain't worth that much extra, and it certainly doesn't account for the difference in cost between iBook and PB. if you want a good keyboard, you should probably buy a pro keyboard anyways, regardless of which laptop you get. if you got an iBook and a pro keyboard, you'd be saving some decent $$$.
  13. skymaXimus macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    I disagree. The PowerBooks and 12" iBook w/ combo drive aren't that far apart anymore in price difference. Pro Keyboards are what $50-60? and the iBook has larger demisions, poorer video processor, and lacks bluetooth, airport extream, dual monitoring, and a G4! the Powerbook is worth the extra 200-300 IMO :)
  14. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    I believe it's every laptop since the Lombard G3 series have had the removeable keyboard. Pismo came after the Lombard, which in addition to a 100 MHz speed bump, dropped the SCSI and added firewire. I have a Lombard, which even though is a bit flexible, has a great feel to the keyboard as long as I keep it clean on a regular basis. Apple seems to have kept the laptop keyboards removeable up to the 12" and 17", but getting the current 15" is going to be no different than the iBook, since it uses the older removeable keyboard.
  15. PowerBook User thread starter macrumors regular

    May 29, 2003
    Thanks for all the comments! They were very helpful and will help me decide if I will get an iBook or a PowerBook. Thanks again!
  16. Nawlins macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2003
    I love the feel of the keyboard on my new 12" Powerbook - it's not too soft like a lot of the iBooks, but not too stiff like a lot of desktop keyboards. The size of some of the keys annoys me slightly - this isn't a big deal, in my opinion. I wish the Delete and Return keys were slightly larger. I think Apple could simplify things a little bit if they didn't have the Open-Apple key and used Control for all the Open-Apple commands (like on Windows based computers). It feels awkward for me to type the command Open Apple-C for copying some text because they are closer than Control-C, which feels comfortable using my ring finger and index finger. There's a similar situation with Open Apple-X vs. Control-X. The space between the keys feels more natural with Control based commands. There's probably a reason Apple designed stuff that way, but I don't know what it is because I'm new to Macs. Overall, it's not a big deal, and I love the feel of my Powerbook's keyboard.

    A lot of laptops in the Windows world, including Gateway, Compaq, Toshiba, and Sony, add a column of keys on the far right side of the keyboard which includes Page Up/Down, Home, End, and a few other keys. I can't stand this. Adding those keys in that far right position makes every other key slightly smaller, and makes typing feel uncomfortable and awkward. While using a friend's Compaq recently, I repeatedly hit the End key while trying to type Return, which really made typing frustrating. Bad keyboard construction in the Windows world almost immediately narrowed my search for a new computer to Apple, IBM, or Dell. Obviously, I made the right choice. :)


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