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Which is the best keyboard in a laptop?

  • MacBook Pro

    Votes: 68 40.5%
  • MacBook Pro Retina

    Votes: 46 27.4%
  • MacBook Air

    Votes: 12 7.1%
  • Discontinued Apple laptop

    Votes: 19 11.3%
  • HP

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Lenovo

    Votes: 10 6.0%
  • Dell

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Sony

    Votes: 2 1.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 5.4%

  • Total voters
    168

skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
4,195
1,322
Brazil
I have a white MacBook (early 2008 model) and it has the best keyboard in any laptop I've ever had (not that I had too many laptops, but still...). It just feels great for typing. Great key travel, great tactile feedback. Just feels great.

I've noticed, however, that not all Apple keyboards are the same: in fact, they seem to be all different. The keyboard in the MacBook Pro seems to be the most similar to the one I have in my white MacBook, but it's still not the same. The keyboards in the MacBook Air and in the MacBook Pro Retina are different too, and they seem to have less key travel.

It's a common feature among vendors: thinner laptops use to have keyboards with less key travel. I've noticed it on several brands of laptops, such as Sony, HP, Dell and even Lenovo (which supposedly makes the best laptop keyboards in the world).

I wonder if you have noted these differences and if you feel comfortable with the keyboard on your MacBook Pro/Air or if you'd like to have anything else on it. So, which one do you think is the best laptop keyboard and why?
 

MasterHowl

macrumors 65816
Oct 3, 2010
1,027
59
North of England
Aren't all the keyboards on MacBook Pro/Air/Retina/Wireless the same from Apple?

My Apple Wireless Keyboard is exactly the same as the keyboard on my 2009-MacBook Pro :D
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
4,195
1,322
Brazil
Aren't all the keyboards on MacBook Pro/Air/Retina/Wireless the same from Apple?

My Apple Wireless Keyboard is exactly the same as the keyboard on my 2009-MacBook Pro :D

No. The keyboards are different, and that's easy to notice. Just go to an Apple Store (or to any store, whatever) and try them. Nobody really pays attention to keyboards, but they should. Keyboards are perhaps one of the main reasons why you're still using a Mac and not an iPad...
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,182
1,240
NYC
Thinkpad has the best notebook keyboard, otherwise the best keyboard is the Unicomp Model M.
 

eron

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2008
394
0
Apple's great because it's paired with an amazing trackpad.

For external KB, HHKB is the best.
 

nitromac

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2012
282
13
US
Thinkpads

I do love my Apple wired KB w/numpad, though. Great to type on. Anyone know how to make end/home do the same thing they do in Windows? (you know... their proper function...)
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
ISo, which one do you think is the best laptop keyboard and why?
None of the above as a Model M fan. I can understand why buckling spring isn't practical in a laptop but it's what I prefer and what I use with my desktops.

The MBP's at least has decent build quality. I have a Dell E series that has a terrible, flimsy keyboard.
 

nw9

macrumors regular
May 1, 2012
115
1
I still like my old Apple PowerBook G4 keyboard. The keys feel more accurate to me while I'm typing on them because they have a cup design to the keys rather than a flat surface like the current MacBook Pros. I feel that I can type faster with my PowerBook because my fingers don't feel like they can slide off the edge of the keys when I press them. My fingers don't actually slide off when typing on my MacBook Pro, but that's the closest way I can describe it. On my PowerBook it feels more sure-footed when typing if anyone understands what I'm talking about.

I've gotten used to my MacBook Pro keyboard but every time I use my PowerBook again I still think it's a great keyboard. I do agree that the feel of the keyboard is important for anyone who types a lot in a day. My MacBook Pro isn't a bad keyboard and I do like it. It's just different, but if Apple would offer my PowerBook keyboard in a newer laptop then I'll take the option.

I can't comment on all of the current Apple keyboards, but the Apple external keyboard does feel different than my MacBook Pro. I think it has to do with the difference in pressure when pressing the keys because, aside from the color, the design and shape look similar so I'm willing to believe the OP when he/she says the Apple keyboards don't feel the same.

My MacBook Pro needs more pressure to press the keys while my external Apple keyboard needs very little pressure which makes it feel vague in comparison. My MacBook Pro gives me more tactile feedback so I like it more than the external. My PowerBook is still my favorite though.
 
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Warhawk15

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2012
208
10
After having a macbook air for almost a year, and I've had my macbook pro for a week, I'd say I like the macbook air the best.
Its quieter and a little softer, somewhat easier to type.

Its not a huge difference, but noticeable.
Its still better than any other keyboard I've tried from non apple laptops.
 

NiCk-

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2007
196
125
2006 MBP (Core Duo) keyboard > 2012 rMBP keyboard ..

I'm not very fond of the chiclet keyboard .. It's ok, but I think that my previous MBP had a much better keyboard ..
 
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skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
4,195
1,322
Brazil
It seems like the MacBook Pro (non-retina) still has the best keyboard overall. I guess its keyboard should have more key travel and more tactile feedback then the ones found in thinner models such as the MacBook Pro Retina and the MacBook Air. Is that it?
 

blkmac

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2012
18
0
I thought they were all the same :/




That being said, MBP (because I have one lol)
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 603
Aug 27, 2012
5,003
205
No preference here, I seem to able to adapt to anything. It's not like u can get a MB then order a Lenovo kbd with that.
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
4,195
1,322
Brazil
No preference here, I seem to able to adapt to anything. It's not like u can get a MB then order a Lenovo kbd with that.

You have a point here. However, a good keyboard is essential if you must get your work done on your laptop. While I've always found Mac keyboards to be great, I think their quality (key travel + tactile feedback) may be decreasing as Apple is focusing on a thinner and lighter models. And people don't seem to be really paying attention to that.
 

nw9

macrumors regular
May 1, 2012
115
1
No preference here, I seem to able to adapt to anything.
Being able to adapt to any keyboard is different than liking the feel of one keyboard over another. I've used many keyboards in my lifetime and have also been able to adapt to each one easily, but I definitely prefer typing on some over others. The nice feeling keyboards are much more enjoyable to use when typing most of the day.

The feel of the keyboard is more important for laptops since we can't get a different replacement for built in keyboards. With that being said, I'm okay with a lot of keyboards but it is very nice when I get to use a great feeling keyboard. It makes typing a lot easier and more comfortable.

It would be disappointing if Apple or other laptop makers forget about how some people still care about the feel of their keyboards. For example as much as I've adapted to the virtual keyboard on my iPhone, I still like the feel of a real keyboard. It doesn't mean I hate my iPhone's virtual keyboard. There is a difference between something that is adequate versus something that enhances the experience.
 

Bebel

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2008
76
21
I preferred the keyboard of my unibody MBP to my rMBP. I prefer the deeper travel distance of the unibody MBP keyboards compared to the shorter travel distance of the rMBP.
 
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