PowerBook vs. MBP keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Yr Blues, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Am I delusional or was the sculpted PowerBook keyboard the best keyboard Apple ever made? I had a 12 inch. I bought the 2016 MBP when it came out and I'm still adjusting to it. I have to really trust my touch typing skills without feeling the keys.

  2. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2014
    I recently got to try the new tbMBP keyboard and loved it a lot. Way more than the spongy one on my MBP.

    But I've got a PBG4 12" sitting in a drawer right here and nope, you're not delusional.

    Huge travel. Incredibly springy. Wonderful sound. Soft surface on the keys. It's delightful.

    Except for the fact that you can wear through the paint on the backlit ones rather easily. That was less than great.
  3. CharlesXT macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2016
    Yeah this is 100% correct. That powerbook g4/first gen intel MacBook keyboard is the best. Those were incredible computers, probably always be THE iconic Apple notebook to me as I had a 12" PB as well and still using my 07 15" MBP.

    The new 2016 MBP butterfly one I actually don't mind though, it's very different but I've gotten used to it. The old chiclet-style on on the prior MBPs is the one I can't stand though, it's always seemed cheap as the keys are so floppy and the huge gaps between keys seemed bizarre to me. I think the new one is a huge improvement tbh.
  4. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016


    Jul 4, 2015
    PB keyboard was awful. Memories aren't always reliable. We remember just about any gadget better than it actually was. We remember game graphics better than they were.

    The test is to put this old stuff in front of you today and then compare. The PowerBook G4 Alu keyboard wasn't very stable compared to chiclet designs, the keys fell off for many, the paint wore out, some would turn yellow, backlight was weak and uneven, and the heat of the PowerPC CPU was quite hard to tolerate in some models, especially the first 12" PowerBook which you could cook bacon on.

    The PowerBook G4 Ti didn't have the paint issue but was mushy because it rested on a flexible backplate that was used to access the memory.

    PowerBook G3 Lombard and Pismo was also mushy as hell. If you had a faulty one with no warranty it was $450-500 to replace.
  5. Yr Blues thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    What do you think of the new MBP keyboard?
  6. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Jul 4, 2015
    Pretty good. As soon as you adjust (don't strike, just press) then you appreciate that you can type faster.
  7. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    PowerBook keyboards were some of the best, certainly better than anything made in 5-8 years
  8. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Not delusional. That WAS the best keyboard ever on an Apple laptop. Period, full stop.

    And because I still have a 15" 1.67 GHz Powerbook, it's easy to compare . . .
  9. Yr Blues thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    It feels like I'm typing on an iPad. It's just too flat, but it looks cool. I think most people dislike the amount of travel the most.
  10. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Jul 4, 2015
    It's nothing like typing on an iPad. Most people around here like it once adjusted.
  11. myscrnnm macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I just feel for the protrusions on the F and J keys. I find that I can type much more quickly on the late 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard than any other keyboard I've used in the past. The keys are large, and clicks are nice and crisp. The 2008-2015 MacBook Pros definitely had some of the worst keyboards I've ever used though, mushy and they made that horrible cheap and tinny sound.
  12. Salaryman Ryan macrumors member

    Salaryman Ryan

    Dec 28, 2015
    My favorite keyboards were the Wallstreet G3 powerbooks. Very solid keys, nice feel. Before that I always loved the keyboard of my Powerbook 180. Apple made some really excellent keyboards back then.

    Strangely enough When I got used to the current keyboard, I began to like it a lot. Love its clickiness.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I was thinking the same thing seeing the MBP commercial where they highlight the older Apple laptops. I think over time, apple has consistently altered the keyboard to fit their design. The changes have been small, but if you now compare a PowerBook keyboard to a current one, the differences will be immense.

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