Interesting news item today -
Apple’s MacBook Pro keyboard case study demonstrates why the subtle qualities of keyboards matter so much to users.
With the new MBP 16 inch, Apple is officially dumping their short-travel butterfly keys, and switching back to legacy scissors sourced from suppliers. Other models are expected to follow next year.
Most of the MBP line doesn’t yet have this update, so it will have taken Apple about 4 years to address the long-voiced user complaints.
The 0.55mm key-travel experiment was the pursuit of style at the expense of performance, and now they finally are conceding it wasn’t the right choice.
In its place, not a new technology, but instead a conservative retreat to the old scissor-style mechanism.
For comparison, TextBlade is full 2.0mm travel.
That 2.0mm is identical to the desktop wired aluminum 101 keyboard, created under Steve Jobs. It was a much-loved design, and stayed in production for 9 consecutive years.
In our view, it is still the best keyboard Apple ever made.
Remarkably, even the newest MBP is still a substantial compromise in travel. At 1.0mm, it’s only 62% of the 1.6mm travel of their well-liked 2015 and earlier MBP’s.
TextBlade has 4X the travel of the recent MBP, and 2X the travel of even this new 16 inch MBP.
Double the travel, in 1.5oz, that slips in your pocket, 1/3 the size of your phone.
The chronicle of the travails of the worlds’s largest maker, give some insight into why we take performance so seriously, and lavish so much engineering care on building the best keyboard.
When we post our tech update soon, you’ll learn about some surprises from the extensive engineering work we’ve done to ready TextBlade’s platform for general release.
Link to WSj article (paywall)