MacBook Air 11 vs MacBook Air 13: Keyboard key travel

SSD-GUY

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Hi all

I own an 11" MacBook air from 2013 and wanted to find out if people had noticed a difference when it comes to it's keyboard.

When comparing my 11 Air keyboard to my family's 13 Air, I notice the 11 Air has slightly less key travel to it, and feels slightly "harder" when compared. This is also the case when comparing it to the normal Apple Bluetooth keyboard and the keyboard of the 13 rMBP.

Therefore, as the 11 Air is smaller, and the rest of the devices/laptops i've mentioned above are bigger/about the same size as one another, does the 11 Air have a slightly different keyboard (I know the function keys at the top are thinner) when it comes to key travel/hardness etc?

Thanks
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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I've owned both 13" and 11" MBAs and never noticed that. I have noticed in keyboard threads that there does seem to be some variation from one keyboard to another, so that's one possible explanation. Another possible explanation is that keyboard specs change from time to time and/or are inconsistent from one supplier to another (I'm assuming Apple sources keyboards from more than one contractor). That's not saying you're wrong about the possibility that the 11" keyboard is simply designed differently, but I don't recall that being a subject of conversation in the past.
 
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jdechko

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I think you're right. I have the 11" and I can definitely tell a difference in key travel compared to my wife's 13" MBP. A while back I had a 13" Air (though only for a few days because I had major issues with it). I think that was pretty comparable to the 13" Pro.
 
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SSD-GUY

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I think you're right. I have the 11" and I can definitely tell a difference in key travel compared to my wife's 13" MBP. A while back I had a 13" Air (though only for a few days because I had major issues with it). I think that was pretty comparable to the 13" Pro.
Yeah, I think the 13' Air, 13' Pro and the Apple bluetooth keyboard have comparable keyboards, however the 11 Air just seems a tiny bit shallower, or so I've noticed.

I just want to confirm if any others feel this way before I go to the Apple store and ask them to take a look at it.
 
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Boyd01

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There might be some subtle difference between the 11" and 13" keyboard, but I never noticed it. Had a 2011 13" MBA for two years and now a 2013 11" MBA. The keyboards seemed the same to me, and I am a fast touch typist.
 

SSD-GUY

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There might be some subtle difference between the 11" and 13" keyboard, but I never noticed it. Had a 2011 13" MBA for two years and now a 2013 11" MBA. The keyboards seemed the same to me, and I am a fast touch typist.
Thanks, have you got the 13 Air still by any chance? I just want to see if theres a difference in travel as I can now confirm there is definitely a difference in travel between the MacBook Air 11 keyboard and the Apple bluetooth keyboard that I'm typing on now.
 

Boyd01

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No, the 13 is long gone, but a family member was just visiting with hers and I did not notice a difference. I have a wired USB Apple Extended Keyboard that is probably 7 or 8 years old. I notice no difference in travel between it and my 11" MBA.

Are you a touch typist? Even if there is a slight difference, why do you care? Just curious. :)
 

SSD-GUY

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No, the 13 is long gone, but a family member was just visiting with hers and I did not notice a difference. I have a wired USB Apple Extended Keyboard that is probably 7 or 8 years old. I notice no difference in travel between it and my 11" MBA.

Are you a touch typist? Even if there is a slight difference, why do you care? Just curious. :)
I'm not a professional touch typist however I can type quite fast. Last I checked it was around 90 WPM. I can tell the difference quite easily and it's quite annoying for me, as Apple replaced the top case due to another fault and the new keyboard just doesn't feel "right".
 

motrek

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I'm not a professional touch typist however I can type quite fast. Last I checked it was around 90 WPM. I can tell the difference quite easily and it's quite annoying for me, as Apple replaced the top case due to another fault and the new keyboard just doesn't feel "right".
I find that I can get used to these sorts of things in a few days.
 
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jdechko

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Sorry for the delay in response. I was in the local Mac store last night and they had the machines right next to each other. The 11" felt a miniscule amount shallower than the 13" Air but small enough that it could be variations in manufacturing, a break-in period, or simply confirmation bias.
 

SSD-GUY

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Sorry for the delay in response. I was in the local Mac store last night and they had the machines right next to each other. The 11" felt a miniscule amount shallower than the 13" Air but small enough that it could be variations in manufacturing, a break-in period, or simply confirmation bias.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is break-in period?