Is Anyone "On the Fence" About the rMB Keyboard?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Vesuvio Cat, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Vesuvio Cat macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    I have a full-spec gold coming in the mail and am excited to take it for a drive. But one thing I've noticed on these threads and - indeed - in the general Mac community, is that people either love or hate the keyboard on this thing. I haven't heard one person say "the keyboard is agreeable."

    What's the story there?
  2. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I got my Macbook yesterday, so I can only tell you about my experiences so far.

    Yes, the keyboard is definitely different. Is it any good though? It depends what and how you are used to typing. The keys are really shallow and you still get feedback when you press them, but they definitely feel different to other keyboards. At first you will probably think that the keyboard sucks. I would say, give it some time to get used to it. Now, I am on the second day with the MacBook and while I cannot say I love the keyboard (yet), I definitely feel like I can get used to it. Some aspects of it I like actually more, compared to the rMBP keyboard. For example, the keys really feel stable, and they feel the same, in the middle and on the sides. There is no difference. This has always been a problem for me with traditional keyboards, where you had real stability only in the centre of the keys. The edges had a loose feeling, that I personally do not like.

    Give the Macbook some time and you will get used to the keyboard too.
  3. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    It's something you need to try for yourself. I can see why people refer to it as love/hate.

    I don't hate it, my only issue is that when I type, I think it has not registered the strokes, though it does. I'll give it more time
  4. Vesuvio Cat thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    Sounds very.. different. New things always take time to adapt to. And one thing we all know is that design and performance of the keyboard probably went through months and months of intensive testing.
  5. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Sure, there have been a few people saying they even prefer it now to the other keyboards they've been used to. Look around the forum, those comments pop up from time to time. By saying "agreeable", do you mean you're cautious of people who say they "love" the new keyboard because perhaps they're just fully in the glow of justifying their new purchase and are excited about it?

    The more I get used to working between my regular iMac and the rMB, the more I notice that I've developed enough muscle memory to barely be bothered by the transition between the two. Actually though, the whole thing makes me think about what people actually mean when they talk about how easy a keyboard is to use. I get the feeling that what you're most used to becomes the standard by which you judge everything else. So when you describe typing on a certain keyboard as being a good experience, you're more describing yourself and your way of typing (which you're not especially conscious of) rather than anything else. The reason I say this is that after a while of extended use on the rMB, going back to the standard chiclet USB extended keyboard on my iMac felt weird at first. I suddenly noticed how floppy and wobbly the keys were, something that had not even occurred to me in the slightest before. It dawned on me that if I was going the other way - coming from years of being used to the rMB keyboard and then suddenly the chiclet iMac keyboard was the newcomer, I might indeed be complaining that it felt strange and poorly built by comparison.

    Personally I wouldn't be surprised if the entire range of keyboards in all Apple products got a makeover in the coming generations. I doubt they would try to shave down the key travel to as razor thin as it is on the rMB for all models. But if the so called butterfly mechanism works out (with no major technical flaws after a while out in the wild), I could see them bringing it to all of their machines, if only to normalise the "feel" of typing across all of the models. If a future MBP had a keyboard using the same action, but with somewhat deeper travel because its chassis allows it, this could make it easier for people to switch between machines with no significant change in feel.
  6. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I am actually spoiled by it now. At work I use the apple bluetooth keyboard and it feels so archaic in comparison. I have really adopted to the low travel and minimal pressure needed. The individual keys being backlit is beautiful.
  7. sammich, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015

    sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Non-owner here, just thought I'd drop this here:

    Whenever I get the chance and inclination, I'll drop into the Apple Store and bang out a few random lines into on the nMB. It really feels like I'm typing on an iPad in landscape. There's so little feedback that you fall back to just hoping you pressed the right key.

    It's completely the opposite of the philosophy of mechanical keyboards, where you don't bottom out the key stroke for potentially less strain on your fingers while typing.
  8. mathpunk macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2015
    I have been using my rMB for a week now, and I am finding that I much prefer the new keyboard to all others. It definitely took some getting used to, and I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like it or not, but after a few days I was sold. It is hard to go back to "regular" Apple keyboards now, they feel so bulky and clunky.
  9. Costino1 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2012
    I love it.

    My standard keyboard at work feels like a dinosaur.

    The Mac's keyboard has very low travel. Basically you tap the keys vs pushing them now. Less stress to your hands and a gentler typing experience i feel
  10. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    My ex got RSI from her Retina Macbook...

    is this a problem with the keyboard? Probably not, but maybe because she wasn't used to it, she pressed too hard on the keys (she's a very fast typist and used to the MBA keyboard).

    But i'd say that the reduced travel may be something to be aware of and give yourself some time to get used to (gradually) before trying to write a novel on it...
  11. French River macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    Minnesota, USA
    I suspect those who are very fast typists have the most trouble adjusting to the rMB keyboard. To type that fast you have to be thoroughly comfortable with, and confident of, the keyboard. Switching to something that feels and operates differently throws a wrench into their groove, much more so than those of us who are capable but not particularly speedy typists.

    I assume a large swath of new rMB users' experience was similar to mine: It was weird at first, then I got used to it.
  12. squirrrl macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    I love the new keyboard but does anyone feel like the delete key is a little far away? I touch type and I still miss the key often. I still need some more time to get used to the position of it
  13. Hook85 macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2015
    Sheffield, UK
    I doubt this very much. RSI is something that occurs over a long period of time, typically a couple of years - not a few months. It's much more likely that her condition had been building for a while and it simply became noticeable whilst using the rMB.
  14. Niarlatop macrumors member

    May 13, 2015
    Overall I appreciate the new keyboard, I tried it for two weeks.
    I still prefer the one on the MacBook Air though, for one single reason: the arrow keys.

    On the Air's keyboard I can find left and right arrow keys without looking at them, thanks to their half size and the curves of the top and bottom keys.
    On the new keyboard, there is almost no curve between top and bottom key, and left / right arrows are plain size, which makes it hard to distinguish them from regular keys.

    That's really my main grief with this keyboard, otherwise I think I could love it.
  15. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    Have had my RMB since April. Have authored some lengthy docs, plenty of code (in vim, so heavy on the keyboard usage), etc.

    Took about a week to really adjust, but now I can swap between an Apple wireless keyboard, the RMB and an OEM Dell keyboard without any problems.

    Anyway: I really like the RMB keyboard. The larger keys and shorter travel are great, and the keyboard has a tactility reminiscent of some mechanical keyboards. I'd buy a desktop version of this keyboard in a heartbeat.
  16. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    I've found that I can't type as fast on the Retina MacBook as I can on my iMac with Apple's Bluetooth keyboard.

    Yes, I type pretty hard on the keyboard because I'm so used to the travel of regular keyboards. It's a small price to pay for portability though as most of the time I'm on my MacBook, I'm surfing the web and using the trackpad. If I have to type a lot, I'll use my iMac.
  17. paba macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2010
    I've had my new MacBook for two weeks and love its capability and versatility. It's keyboard is different and is growing on me - and that's coming from somebody who learnt his keyboard skills 50 years ago on a Royal portable typewriter as a trainee newspaper reporter!! Each day I use my MacBook I come to appreciate the subtle and very different feel of the keys and I'm sure before long I'll wonder why there were doubts about it in the first place. I recently got out my old Facit portable typewriter which served me for 20 years or so - plenty of feedback from the keys there!! I imagine hour using that today would result in a serious bout of tendon strain.
  18. Hook85 macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2015
    Sheffield, UK
    I wonder, and I'm not making any judgments here, whether it's easier to type on the keyboard if you can touch type properly. I used to work in publishing and so had 'proper' courses on touch typing. I think this definitely helps with the rMB.

    It might also be that some people have keyboards that don't function properly. The difference between this keyboard and the one on my original rMB is huge. I no longer hit keys and miss letters out, because they all work properly. It seems that as a first generation keyboard there are some fairly big QA issues with some of them.
  19. steinmb macrumors newbie


    Sep 2, 2008
    Used the machine now for a few weeks and I have to say I really love the keyboard. I have used MBP and MBA but I have to say this keyboard is just as well, might even be better. That been said I still find the up/down arrow keys a bit hard to hit. They are smaller then I'm used to. Identical in fact to the keyboard docking Logitec made to iPad.
  20. Robsan3 macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2015
    The MBPr feels nicer too me after 3.5 months with the rMB.
  21. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    The keyboard is awful. It cannot be used for sustained long periods, because there's not enough feedback to know if you've hit the keys or not, so it's very inaccurate.

    Bear in mind that the people who hated it and sent it back are not likely to be hanging around in this subforum.

    I would strongly advise trying it out in an Apple store before buying.
  22. Robsan3 macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2015
    I didn't have a problem with the keyboard i liked it, just the screen too small and its a bit slow, but i was using it as my main machine, coming from a early 2013 15" MBPr it was noticeable, my new 15" 16/512 MBPr is a speed machine.
  23. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Try typing with a lighter touch. If you pound on this keyboard, you will blow right through the feedback points and only feel the hard stop when you bottom out the keys on the hard underlay. There is no cushion on this keyboard, so it takes a much lighter touch than many people are used to. Ironically, considering the massive difference in switch size, this is the same thing that many mechanical keyboards that are so popular today require - a relatively light touch so that you can feel the activation point in the mechanical switch and not continue to depress the key all the way to the point that it bottoms out.
  24. Tasopappas1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2013
    Just got my 1.3 rMB going to day after a couple years on the 13" MBA.
    Other than a a little getting used to the key positions I actually quite like the sound and feel of this new style keyboard.
    Fells more efficient to me actually in some strange way.
  25. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    After a few days you will get used to it. I absolutely love the keyboard. I type 120wpm and come from using an ergonomic (Kinesis Advantage) keyboard with my desktop computer. Very different typing experiences but I must say I really enjoy the typing experience on the rMB.

Share This Page