MBA keyboard compared to MBP keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MultiBat, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. MultiBat, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    MultiBat macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2011
    I was at a store yesterday trying the MBA 13” keyboard out. It felt a bit awkward for me, but I though it was due to the fact that I am new to mac and the keyboard layout is a bit different.
    From time to time people are advised in forums to get the MBP instead of the MBA for different reasons (I have gotten that advice too), so I really took a good long look at the MBP. It was when I took a stool and really tried to sit down and type that I felt the difference (are the design of the tables macs are displayed on universal? In my opinion they really suck. At least for people my height).
    In my opinion the MBP keyboard felt better to type on.

    What is the difference between the MBA 13” and the MBP 13” keyboard?

    My guess is that the length of the keystroke is shorter on the MBA and that it somehow made me a bit insecure if I had actually pressed the letter or not. It is hard to explain. I just felt it was hard to “feel” what I was typing. The output on screen was as good/bad (in terms of typing errors) for both the MBA and the MBP.

    The only other guess I have is that the MBA is so thin, that your hands and wrists have another position compared to a “regular” laptop and this made it feel strange.

    There is not a big difference, but for me it was clear.

    Has anyone else thought about this?
  2. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I believe that the travel may be slightly less, but it really doesn't bother me all too much. I personally prefer the keyboard on the Air, because I find it to be a bit clickier and firm than the MBP.
  3. monaarts macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2010
    Kennesaw, GA
    It isn't… I literall compared the two side by side on Monday, and they are exactly the same. I felt the same way though and I think it was because the sloped keyboard compared to the flat one on the MBP. ;-)

    - Joe
  4. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I think it's a bit of an "audio" illusion between the two.

    I've got a 2010 15" MBP right in front of me next to my 2010 13" MBA. The MBP "feels" like a firmer, more substantial keypress but the reality is that the larger case for the MBP makes the sound of the keys being punched sound deeper. I do think the travel distance is perhaps a little bit further the MBP and that wouldn't surprise me given the thickness of the case.

    The MBA sounds much "clickier" because there's less depth for the keys to make such a deeper sound as they do on the MBP.

    Thus, to my ears, the MBP sounds different when typing than the MBA. I really do think, however, it's mainly an audio illusion given the case depth of each machine.

    Not a big deal for me either way. I'm in love with the fact that both machines, despite size and weight differences, appear to have equivalent resolution thanks to the PPI on the 13" MBA being so close to the PPI on the 15" MBP running hi-res.
  5. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    The key travel on a 2010 MBA and a 2010 MBP are definitely different. I'd almost say the MBP has double the key depth as the MBA.

    Don't forget that the MBP also has a Backlit keyboard... while the 2010 MBA does not. (not trying to start another debate here, but the OP did ask for "differences").
  6. Mike84 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    I love the MBA keyboard and really do not notice a difference. Perhaps this is because for a very long time I have used my parents iMac which has a very thing keyboard, and I don't notice the "clicking" that occurs. Regardless, I think both keyboards are perfectly fine.
  7. MultiBat thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2011
    An audio illusion. That's even whackier than my guesses. ;)

    I think you have a point.
    I think the sound can affect how the typing feels. Typing on the MBA somehow felt too soft for my taste.

    It could have been a combination of shorter keystroke (it felt shorter when comparing the latest MBP and MBA models), thinner machine and lack of sound.

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