MacBook's "Old" Butterfly Keyboard vs "New" Butterfly Keyboard "2.0"

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by sonicthemouse, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Yo OCAU!

    So, the 2015 and 2016 MacBook models (and some MacBook Pros I believe) use the first iteration of the butterfly keyboard, and the 2017 MacBook uses the "second generation" butterfly keyboard.

    The gist of it is that while neither of them are as good as the older MacBook Pro keyboard with scissor switches but after that, the reviews seem to be split:

    The arguments are either:
    1) the second generation is a significant improvement, and has much better tactile feedback, despite the extremely short key travel
    or
    2) they're both so shit, don't even bother trying to compare them

    My problem is, that none of the Apple stores have one of the older ones to try out, so I can't test both side-by-side.

    Has anyone upgraded from an original MacBook 12" to the 2017 MacBook 12", and can give a direct comparison?

    I'm not that stressed about the rest of the differences between the various MacBook 12" models, but I don't want to pay the extra for a 2017 model if the keyboard is not actually that much better.

    Thanks :thumbup:
     
  2. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Depends what you want, if you're an actual user and need a proper keyboard for anything serious, those new keyboards are absolutely fucking junk.

    Probably fine if you sit there and watch YouTube and maybe type a Facebook post now and then.

    Unrelated to MacBook Rant-tangent below.

    I'm not saying my 2012 MBP has a great keyboard, but my old 2015 model had no tactile feel whatsoever, I kept missing keystrokes at an annoying rate because I couldn't feel if I was hitting the thing or not. Ever tried to type really fast on an iPad screen? Kind of like that.

    Apples entire "Pro" line is junk, and has been since 2014 or so. Professionals are not where the money is anymore, in the late 90's/early 00's, the Professionals were the only thing keeping the company afloat, but now it's all about dickheads with iOS bullshit. Be damned if you're as heavily invested in the Apple professional software stack, I'd have jumped ship if Adobe did Premiere for Linux, although fuck Adobe for their stupid subscription bullshit.

    In short, fuck the new MBP's almost as much as the trash Mac Pro's. Who gives a fuck about the battery life or how light it is, that's what the MacBook or MBA is for. Pro used to mean something.

    If I had any balls i'd have walked into the iMac Pro launch and thrown a PowerMac G5 at the damn thing.

    Better off running an HP Hackintosh if you ask me.

    In short, for a normal MacBook they're probably fine if you're not looking to write a novel. I personally hate them.

    The MacBook Air still has a normal keyboard and doesn't come with that gaudy-ass touchpad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  3. OP
    OP
    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Lol. Thanks, I think. I share your sentiments on Apple (& subscriptions for that matter) in general, but here's some background.

    I currently use a 13" MacBook Pro from ~2013. This is the computer I spend most of my time using, hence why I dissembled and sold my ITX gaming rig. Used it once a month tops. Have a big-ass X79 rig out in the shed I can log onto remotely from this MacBook Pro if I actually need computing power.

    So why am I considering the 12" MacBook?

    The reason I went with this MacBook Pro is it's the only 13" laptop I can find with a > 1440p screen. And it's a 16:10 which I prefer over 16:9. 16:9 or wider is nice for movies/games but to actually get shit done I like 4:3 actually. 1600x1200 was great for me for productivity.

    I run Windows 10 on here and aside from a few keys being swapped (alt/windows, lack of "proper" delete key is also a major pain in the ass), it's great. The keyboard is great to type on, the touchpad is nice and clicky.

    But this one is getting on a bit, battery life is getting a bit shit and it's a bit heavier and larger than the new ones.

    But like you said the new MacBook Pro 13" is not really what I'd call "Pro" either, it has a pro price tag but not enough ports nor added functionality. It's basically a 13" version of the 12" MacBook.

    The 12" MacBook, on the other hand, still has an awesome display, weighs fuck all, and has the same (shitty) trackpad and (shitty) keyboard as the MacBook Pro.

    I don't really care about it being 1" smaller cos I'll just plug it in to my actual monitor / keyboard / mouse when I'm working at my desk anyway. So if it's a choice between the Pro and the MacBook in the current lineup, I'm going the MacBook.

    That's why it comes down to, is the newer iteration of the butterfly keyboard, while still being extremely shit and worse than my current MacBook Pro, enough to justify buying the 2017 model for ~$1200 off OCAU FS, when I can get the 2015 model for ~$800 off OCAU FS.
     
  4. 605jimmy

    605jimmy Member

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    You can watch the refurbished section online and pickup a 13inch 2015 model. They are up sometimes but go extremely quickly. Looking at around $1,350 for i5, 128GB, 8Gb ram. Obviously have the 14 days return policy which I have used literally over 12 times in the last year :) I have tired to use the new style keyboard but keep going back to the older style 2015. I currently have a 2015 15inch and love it.

    Other option is you wait a few months and see what the new MacBook Air will be or the new MacBook Pro. Fingers crossed the new MacBook Pro has a totally new keyboard or something similar to that of the 2015 old style.
     
  5. mr camouflage

    mr camouflage Member

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    Apparently the new MacBook Pros have a butterfly 3.0 keyboard, thats supposed to be quieter.
     
  6. 605jimmy

    605jimmy Member

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    From the videos I have seen not by much. While the hardware is a big improvement nothing much has changed. I was hoping for a lot better keyboard design and the option of a non touch bar version for the 15inch. I will buy the 15inch and keep my old but like new 2015 15inch. Have the 14 day return policy anyway. If I don't like it it's going back for a refund :) One thing I love about Apple. Can't think of any others that do the same. Takes away the buyers remorse.
     
  7. giles666

    giles666 Member

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    I've had a 2016 model for a year or so without any issues. From what I can tell I have just been lucky, because they seem to be pretty unreliable.

    I actually like the short travel keyboards on the new MBPs. Now I'm used to them I can type faster on it that I can on the Magic Keyboard and the big, super stable keys just feel better than the old squishy, wobbly ones.

    I have a 2018 MBP on order. Will update with how that keyboard is once I receive it.
     
  8. 605jimmy

    605jimmy Member

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    2018 Keyboard isn't much different form the V2. I got the dearest one instore $4,099 (15inch) but thinking about downgrading to the 256Gb one or the 13inch Touch Bar configured with 16Gb of ram and keep my 2015 15inch too. Too many options :)
     
  9. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Does the normal macbook have the same keyboard? I absolutely hate the short key travel, barely feels like I'm using the keyboard.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    So, update.

    My MacBook 12" arrived today.

    It's a 2016 model with the original butterfly mechanism. I spent a bit of time trying out the current MacBook 12" at the Apple store and to me, the 2nd-generation Butterfly keyboard is definitely an improvement, it's not much, but there is a subtle "click" as you press each key, which makes them feel a bit more responsive. Whereas on this keyboard, the only feedback is from bottoming out on the keystroke.

    I guess it's a bit like Cherry MX browns (Butterfly 2.0) vs Cherry MX reds (original Butterfly mechanism).

    The mouse is along the same lines - the "click" travel is a lot shorter but the haptic feedback does a reasonable job of emulating a click effect.

    For all that, I use my 2013 MacBook Pro 13" quite a lot, and it hasn't taken me very long to get used to this. It's not ideal, but the rest of the unit is excellent. Literally the only improvements they could make IMO would be to revise the keyboard mechanism again and include at least 1 full size USB3 port. But I digress...

    Also, in terms of the faults / lawsuits / consumer affairs stuff you may've been hearing about in the news re: the keyboards on these, the issue is real.
    My "x" key doesn't register during normal typing. I need to deliberately press it in the centre and harder for it to register. And it feels wrong.
    I think this thing has AppleCare for another year or so, and if not, I think it might be covered under consumer law, but it's interesting.
    It's certainly not just general bitching of unhappy consumers, this is a noticeable, real issue especially if you're doing a lot of typing (like this post).

    If anyone wants any more information while I have both this and the 2013" MBP side by side, I'm happy to answer any queries, but I'll be selling the MBP shortly so it won't be around forever.


    Yeah I thought about the refurbished option, but the weight and size of this 12" are ideal for my purposes, the 2015 MBP 13" is slightly larger and heavier than I want.

    I'm going to go with this in the meantime (it was relatively cheap) but I'm keeping a close eye on what gets released later this year and into 2019.

    Quieter doesn't bother me, I use either a Ducky with MX Browns or an IBM Model M usually, both of which are loud. But the design and longevity of the mechanism are important, so hopefully they improve that. I'm worried that with the one I've got, they'll fix it this time under consumer law or AppleCare, but I'll probably still be wanting to use it in 5 years, then what if a key goes bad?

    I've had my Model M for... I dunno maybe 20+ years and keys don't go bad on that, I'm confident that it'll still be thundering along in another 20+ years :lol:

    Yep I generally don't like Apple's sales models and iCloud and iTunes and everything being linked and privacy etc. But their retail stores / retail policies are really quite good. Free returns, usually heaps of staff available to help (at my local one anyway) and they even used brand new replacement parts to help me troubleshoot and fault-find a faulty MBP I bought off eBay at no charge. What other computer shop would help you fix something for free that you didn't even buy there... :shock:

    Yeah let us know, I would be interested to see how it compares to the 2016 mechanism.

    Surprised to hear the 2018 keyboard is not much different?! :confused:

    What do you mean "normal" MacBook lol, which one are you referring to?
     
  11. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Not a MacBook Pro?
     
  12. giles666

    giles666 Member

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    Got my new MacBook Pro a few days ago (13" i7). For the size and weight the speed of this thing is ridiculous.

    As for the keyboard, it's noticeably quieter than the 2016 it replaced and this keyboard feels nicer. Travel is the same, but the keys don't have the 'sharp' click that the 2016 one had while still being super stable and precise.

    Loving it so far.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  13. frnak

    frnak Member

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    I've got the Macbook Pro with the second generation butterfly keyboard. I'm very happy with how it types. It does take a little getting used to but once you do it's just as fast as a conventional low-profile keyboard. A family member has the first generation butterfly and I honestly can't tell the difference.

    In terms of lifespan, Apple has extended the warranty on the 1st and 2nd generation butterfly keyboards to 4 years. :thumbup::thumbup:
    https://www.apple.com/au/support/keyboard-service-program-for-macbook-and-macbook-pro/
    This is great news because the keyboard, trackpad AND aluminium case are a single unit and have to be replaced together.

    I can agree with your sentiments on Apple ignoring the "Professional" industry. Despite being fantastic machines, their whole 'Pro' lineup is a joke in terms of connectivity and feature-set. I love USB Type-C but Apple does leave a lot of people in 'dongle-hell'.
     

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