Why bigger keyboard keys?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by 8megabits, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. 8megabits, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015

    8megabits macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    #1
    Why would Apple increase the surface area of the keys for their new keyboard? They say it will make it easier to type. It won't.

    1. It will be easier to accidentally hit an adjacent key.

    2. It will be harder to navigate without looking (i.e. know where your fingers are).
    Because: i) the space between keys is smaller and harder to feel.
    ii) moving away from what is standard (Macbook keys surface area and placement are quite close to standard desktop keyboards except some keys around the corners).

    WHY? So stupid. And just look at those ugly, fat left/right keys. Yuk.
     
  2. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #2
    I will wait to reserve judgement until I've used it for several days.
     
  3. pasadena macrumors 6502a

    pasadena

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Socal
    #3
    Me too. And also because you get used to a new keyboard.
     
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #4

    Because Jon Ive is getting old with the increased weight and hands size. :D

    Honestly I came from a smallish Sony laptop and already had trouble adjusting to the Air's more spread out kbd, NOW they are making it even bigger? Oh well, not that any of us have any choice right.
     
  5. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    You are making many assumptions on no proof or experience. It's a bad way to go about things. Also, if you know how to type you never have to look down - ever. Even on a small keyboard your mind automatically adjusts to the size. I've been typing since the 1980s and I have no problems typing on any style keyboard including netbooks.

    Yes, the keyboard on the rMB is different but where the keys are located are the same. Therefore, it should not be an issue. And, over a short period of time users will adapt. It's part of using new devices.
     
  6. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #6
    I hate posts like this where someone assumes a negative ahead of actually experiencing the product. I am guessing that Apple has spent more time thinking about keyboards than has the OP.
     
  7. crucius macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Location:
    Portugal
    #7
    Agreed, but on this one I think there is a point. I mean, I work on a windows PC, have a MBP, and will buy this Macbook. I'm sure it won't be that hard to adjust, but i do think there may be a problem with the fact that it's harder to distinguish between keys. I notice that although I type fine on any keyboard, I'm way faster on some.

    But I mean if you can learn how to type in one of those weird circular keyboards, I'm sure it won't be that hard with the one on the Macbook.
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    I'm guessing you've never used one of these, where there is no space between the keys like on the new Macbook. BTW, I have zero issues typing on the below the computer and I'd venture to guess a lot folks don't either as(relatively speaking) it retained resale values for a lot longer than most other PPC laptops.

    BTW, at 11.04" wide, the new 12" Macbook is wider than the 10.9" of the old 12" Powerbook.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #9
    The 12" PowerBook keyboard was the most luxurious feeling that Apple had ever made. Such a dream to type on.

    I kind of wish the new MacBook had slightly sculpted keys.
     
  10. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #10
    Based on what I've read from people attending the Apple event, the new keyboard takes a little getting used to. I'm fine with that since I believe the new keyboard was required to reduce the thickness of the new rMB. I love the form factor of the new rMB!

    I trust the Apple engineer's judgement.
     
  11. pasadena macrumors 6502a

    pasadena

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Socal
    #11
    Me too. But it usually has to do with how hard I need to push the keys to get them to register. In that respect, Apple keyboards are in my top 2, along with the top-end Logitechs. The size of the keys barely matter, unless they're really too small.

    The keyboard I type the fastest on (Logitech K800) has little key travel, and the keys almost touch each other, so I'm not too worried about the new MB. When it comes to keyboards and trackpad, I really do trust Apple.

    But I hate when people make assumptions AND use trolling-level language, value judgements and use words like "stupid". As in, they're smarter and know better than the engineers who spent years working on the thing.
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #12
    I'd have to give that honor to the old Apple Extended II. I like mine so much that I've actually dug out a Griffin iMate to use it to type my dissertation(admittedly I've had to take a few breaks to rebuild key switches, but after I did the first one it wasn't a big deal).

    For a laptop keyboard, though, I'd have to agree on not just the 12" PB, but the whole range of Aluminum PBs. They have superb keyboards.
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #13
    They keyboard on the 12" PowerBook G4 is excellent. Now that Apple's focus is on thinness I doubt we'll ever see a comparable keyboard again.

    ----------

    Ah yes, I managed to score one of those some months ago and wish I could use it with my iMac. It really is a pleasure to type on.
     
  14. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #14
    That's more-or-less a typical IBM keyboard from back in the day. Too noisy. ;)
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    It is loud, but get the right one(with the cream Alps switches, which are no longer made) and it's fairly quiet as mechanical keyboards go. It's nothing at all-both in feel and noise-like a buckling-spring IBM Model M.

    Plus, I think there's a lot to be said about the fact that if I start having trouble with one key, I can unsolder it from the board, take the switch apart, clean and adjust it, and have it be good as new.
     
  16. 8megabits thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    #16
    I have a large amount of experience with different types of keyboards though.
    Exactly, I'm never looking down, thus navigating by "feeling" the keyboard which is harder without space between keys.

    I haven't used that specific keyboard, but many that look similar or the same and I really struggle when there is no space between keys.

    Thank you for understanding my concern.

    But it's also a good way to spark some discussion, right? :)
    Instead of the thread rotting away in the dark dungeons of forgotten old Macrumors threads.

    Also, don't underestimate my thinking about keyboards haha. And Apple also thinks about other things, like making the laptop thinner than necessary just to make it more "good looking" in the eyes of some people. (One theory I have is that the new butterfly switch, that was necessary for the thinness, had to be a bit bigger => larger surface area.)

    Would I have preferred the laptop to be 14.1mm thick, for smaller keys and 1mm extra key travel? Yes. Would still be a god damn slick laptop.

    Because I still don't understand the purpose of bigger keys, if smaller keys were possible with the new switch.
    I have yet to hear anyone say they think bigger keys provide a better typing experience for them, but I have both heard and experienced lots in favor of the opposite.

    I am really tempted to buy the Macbook since it fits all my other needs perfectly. I am just worried about the typing experience, since that is the main and most important means of input.
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #17
    The "chicklet" type keyboard found on all current Macs(and external Apple keyboards) is actually a fairly recent innovation. For a while, pretty much all keyboards had the keys virtually touching each other.

    Admittedly, however, the keyboards of old were "sculpted" in such a way that they tended to guide your finger to the center of the key while the Chiclet keyboards(such as on the Macbook Pro I'm typing this from) have flat keycap tops. I'd guess that most I'd probably have difficulty too if the keys were both right next to each other and flat on top.

    At the end of the day, though, I think that most anyone can adjust to pretty much any keyboard and type efficiently on it. I use several different keyboards on a daily basis-ranging from an Extended II(Apple mechanical from the early '90s) to the Chicklet on my MBP. I even throw in a mechanical typewriter from time to time, which forces me to alter my cadence as well(to avoid a typebar clash), although I've noticed that the cadence I've developed on the typewriter-even though I rarely use it-has tended to carry over to all my typing.

    The only keyboards I regularly have trouble with now are those on some Windows laptops-probably because some keys usually aren't where I expect them to be-and my 17" Powerbook for some odd reason. I suspect that both are a result of something strange I do when I'm topping. The Powerbook is especially odd to me, since the keyboard is identical to the one on my 15" Powerbook(I think they are actually interchangeable), but I think the big space around it throws me off. Both examples-I'm mentioned-could probably be overcome with even an hour of practice.

    And, I guess in all my rambling I'm saying that even if the keyboard doesn't immediately suit you, you would likely adjust to it within a day or two of using it.
     
  18. 8megabits thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    #18
    Yes, the chiclet in itself is new, but the surface area is still close to the surface area of older/standard keyboards (except the concave). Such as this one, which is what I'd consider to be a standard desktop keyboard: http://www.bakkerelkhuizen.com/uploads/wysiwyg/HP standard kb_1.jpg

    You see the shade between the keys? It's about as wide as the metal between keys on MBA/MBP. These standard keys rise above the keyboard, so they touch only several millimeters down. This kind of adjacency does not make you accidentally hit another key.

    It's helped further by the travel, which is also greatly reduced on the new Macbook.
     

Share This Page