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TitanTiger

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
422
84
So I'm trying to get a clear understanding of which Apple laptops have the scissor-switch keyboard mechanisms vs the butterfly ones. I haven't found a definitive list anywhere and want to avoid buying or recommending the butterfly-style ones to anyone.

Can someone either list or point me to a list (I haven't had luck on Google) that tells me exactly which models/generations have which mechanism?
 

Needleroozer

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2013
139
201
So I'm trying to get a clear understanding of which Apple laptops have the scissor-switch keyboard mechanisms vs the butterfly ones. I haven't found a definitive list anywhere and want to avoid buying or recommending the butterfly-style ones to anyone.

Can someone either list or point me to a list (I haven't had luck on Google) that tells me exactly which models/generations have which mechanism?

16” MacBook Pro (2019)
13” MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (2020)
And then any MacBook with an M1

The way that I tell is by looking for a physical escape key next to the Touch Bar (on the Pros) and the return of the “inverted T” arrow keys (butterfly keyboards have full-height left and right arrow keys), both of which were introduced on the 16” MacBook Pro and then were retained after its release.
 

TitanTiger

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
422
84
16” MacBook Pro (2019)
13” MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (2020)
And then any MacBook with an M1

The way that I tell is by looking for a physical escape key next to the Touch Bar (on the Pros) and the return of the “inverted T” arrow keys (butterfly keyboards have full-height left and right arrow keys), both of which were introduced on the 16” MacBook Pro and then were retained after its release.
And so then, did the scissor switch stop with the 2015 models of all the laptops and come back with the list above? In other words, everything between 2016-2020 except that 2019 MBP you list is a butterfly switch model?
 

Needleroozer

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2013
139
201
And so then, did the scissor switch stop with the 2015 models of all the laptops and come back with the list above? In other words, everything between 2016-2020 except that 2019 MBP you list is a butterfly switch model?

Yes, that’s correct.
All the USB-C MacBooks except the ones I listed have the butterfly keyboard.
That’s the 2015-2017 MacBook, the 2016-2019 MacBook Pros, and the 2018-2019 MacBook Airs.
 
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Novius89

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2020
248
142
I have a macbook pro m1 2020 with the "normal" keyboard.
Works just fine and comfortable.

Today i typed for the first time ever on a butterfly keyboard on a pro 2019 and damn that is one comfortable to ype on keyboard.

Shame apple dropped it instead of fixing/improving this.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,215
12,025
Today i typed for the first time ever on a butterfly keyboard on a pro 2019 and damn that is one comfortable to ype on keyboard.
You sure you didn't "ype" this on a butterfly keyboard? :)

Seriously, though, even setting aside the rampant malfunctions, the butterfly keyboard was like banging your fingers on a solid piece of plastic. When Apple finally threw in the towel on this abomination and brought back scissor switch keyboards, they made "key travel" a bullet point feature.

Current marketing makes it pretty clear they're still prioritizing tactile feedback, thank god. (This is from the current MacBook Pro product description.)

Screen Shot 2022-10-11 at 1.53.08 PM.png


All that said, I'm sure there's a low-travel keyboard out there that has a similar feel to the butterfly switch -- though hopefully with more reliability!
 
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