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De-Suckafying Apple’s Butterfly Keyboard (sdbr.net)
63 points by x0054 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 98 comments

I wish this was actually a fix for how shitty their keyboards are instead of what is essentially a fart app. I've taken my 2017 MBP in for three keyboard repairs at this point. Reluctantly spent $5k upgrading to this after the 2014 i7 air wasn't enough for development. It's easily the worst Macbook I've ever owned.

The kicker is that repair is no longer what I would consider "trivial", as to install a new keyboard yourself you have to gut the touchbar out of the old one because there's no way for users to pair a new one.

I also recently learned they killed Target Display Mode when they introduced the DCI P3 screens on both iMac and MBP. Perhaps the hardware to do so at that color depth wasn't available then and they couldn't justify doing it themselves, but it certainly is now. I doubt we'll see the feature return.

I miss when "Pro" meant actual professional level features

Edit: I should add I really don't mind typing on them, and can go just as fast as I can on my custom 60% with clears, the reliabilty is just ass for how much time I spend using it

> I wish this was actually a fix for how shitty their keyboards are instead of what is essentially a fart app

Someone else has actually made a debouncing extension to avoid double-entry of keys with kind-of-sticky-but-not-yet-useless keys https://github.com/aahung/Unshaky

A year ago I excised MacBooks from my main computing life. An old System76 Galago Pro with a stand and a bluetooth keyboard became my couch computer, a Windows 10 with a Ubuntu VM for webdev Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga became my coffee shop / bar computer, and I turned my work MacBook Pro into a glorified desktop by adding an external display, keyboard, and mouse. Eventually I want to replace it with a Mac Mini but can't justify the expenditure this year. There's also an Arch Linux desktop that I'm typing this on now.

The only thing I use one for is at home in bed at 3am where f.lux Darkroom Mode on OSX is still unbeatable at what it does, and there's zero chance of liquid spills.

Apple's legendary quality just isn't there anymore, and the machines are so fragile to liquid damage and the repair experience went from awesome to utter shit over the last 5 or so years. I just can't justify it anymore. My next phone is a Librem 5, my next laptop a Librem 13. I love the OSX ecosystem but not enough to turn all my machines into hackintoshes.

I really didn't think it would only be a few years after Jobs died before Apple started whiffing. Now it's easy to see just how well he was able to keep the jackals away. Now the whole company is solely interested in making stupid amounts of money.

Such a shame.

I've owned MBPs for over ten years. But my mid-2015 15" MBP ("peak MBP") is giving out, and I need a replacement. It won't be another MBP, because of the keyboard regressions -- the butterfly keyboard, and the touchbar. Thinking about a System 76 Galago.

I felt the same, but I went with a Surface Book 2 instead, I love this thing. Pretty sweet keyboard and I can get as Unix friendly as I need to with MobaXterm (use it for X forwarding) and WSL. I have an ASUS Laptop with Linux on it for my pure Linux itch and I still got a Macbook Air. I was ticket off that the Macbook came back and the Air looks more like a Macbook than the Macbook, they should swap names (I've said this too many times) between the products.

Anyway, I love my SB2, and my only regret is not being able to somehow know they were going to release it in Black a few months later. I await the SB3 and will buy it in Black if they offer it.

Another option for you might be Dell. The Dell XPS is a sweet looking laptop, I haven't had the pleasure yet though.

So... I've also been looking for the exits from the Mac, and have been trying the WSL route (I've got a 13" XPS that I'm experimenting with) and while the mac hasn't been a super smooth experience building from source for a while, WSL just seems all kinds of wonky. For example, previous to a recent update, Postgresql wouldn't build from source at all, and then after the update it would build successfully but quickly crash out on IO errors that I don't recognize.

I don't understand how people are having experiences with WSL that'd lead them to believe it's comparable with Macs. What's the secret sauce? Is one of the "distributions" better than another?

I've been looking at one of these and the only thing that worries me is the hinge - it looks like the laptop is "fat" at the hinge part instead of closing together snugly.

Is that a problem when carrying it around in comparison to a mac? Is it an annoyance?

I've been carrying around my SB2 15" in my backpack's laptop pocket for about half a year. Here's the summary.

- Zero problem with the fatness on my end. Looks kinda sexy tbh.

- The keyboard is really good about from the fn key which acts as a toggle (if you don't combo it with another key). Can never get quite used to that.

- The body paint can get scratched and worn down if you're reckless.

- The hinge itself works fine ~~~97% of the time. Occasionally gets stuck (can't detach) for unknown reason requiring a reboot or two, or some dirt gets in the way of the connectors and it thinks it got detached when you move it around.

- Battery life feels somewhat disappointing, but I haven't done rigorous tests. If you're planning to use the gpu, you better bring that charger.

- The gpu gets thermally throttled pretty easily.

- Performance at the 4k-ish resolution can be disappointing depending on the app (even the browser). This gets worse if you add an external monitor or if you don't run it above the "recommended" performance level. Unfortunately most devs (including MS) seem to optimize for 1920x1080.

- My SB seems to have problems with WMR even with the official adapter (display goes black occasionally).

- There's a driver (?) bug with the screen brightness sometimes being too low. I've filed a report on the feedback thing, but I'm not seeing or expecting any response. Love the screen (and the width\height ratio) otherwise.

Overall, it's a decent and interesting machine, but the edges can be rough.

I have had the Surface Book 1 since launch and the hinge still work like the day I bought it. Come to think of it I haven't heard any complaints about the hinge at all.

I’ve heard bad things about dell quality.

I was in the exact same situation late last year, and I went with a X1 Carbon 6th Generation. It has been fantastic. Everything just works, and it has probably the best keyboard I have ever used on a laptop

Just 2 days ago, I spent 2 hours researching alternatives for my mid-2012 MBPr 15 and had settled on an X1 Carbon as well.

How's the trackpad?

How's sleep mode if you use it with Linux?

I'm still on the fence, but I ordered an iFixit battery replacement kit for the MBP. After almost 7 years (!), it still has everything I need except for the fact that it randomly shuts down when the battery is at 60%...

My trackpad works well, as does the trackpad of everyone else at my company that I have ordered them for, however I have been told they had different suppliers for some of the X1's and a few people have complained that the trackpad and nubbin won't work at the same time.

Sleep mode works great, there is a bios setting for Linux which by default is set to Windows 10, once you set it to linux deep sleep works just by closing the lid, and it resumes as expected.

I do use it with Linux, I have Ubuntu 18.04 running on it and it works great. usb-c charging it amazing, and it works great with my usb-c monitor ( lets me have a single cable to connect everything to the laptop and to charge the laptop ) Battery life is fantastic, the only thing I have to get used to is the CPU in it can burn a lot of battery if you are running it at full load for an extended period of time. When I am running lots of containers on kubernetes it can burn down the battery in a few hours.

I've had an X1 Carbon for a few months, coming from a 2015 MBP. Track pad is pretty bad compared to a MacBook. Everything else is very good. I got the high res screen too and it is comparable to a retina display IMHO.

I've installed Ubuntu 18 with 0 problems. Sleep works fine, haven't had any issues with wake up. You do need to install some custom software and change a BIOS setting for it to use 'Linux' sleep mode (or something like that). Battery life is 'pretty good', not exceptional like MBPs, but definitely in the 6hr range.

Overall I'd recommend a X1 Carbon, especially since you will spend nearly $1k less on the comparable specs.

If you update the firmware on your X1 you won't need the custom software any more. That was on an old version of the BIOS, the new one has a single setting for linux that makes everything work on a stock distro.

Can vouch for ThinkPad X1 carbon. I was in the same situation, MBP 2017 nTB and downgraded to a 2015 ThinkPad X1 with qwhd display.

Cost me 330 euros from eBay. Pretty good computer for development, but it only has 8gb of RAM.

Nevertheless the 2015 Carbon X1 runs Manjaro Linux with KDE very well, everything works out of the box.

More developers really should consider moving away from MacOS and "fashion" technology, and start recycling older systems. A web developer does not need the fastest most expensive device on the market. Especially not a $5000 MacBook with a bullshit touchbar.

> It won't be another MBP, because of the keyboard regressions

Have you tried the third generation butterfly on the 2018 MBP and MBA?

I hate with a passion the first two attempts at the butterfly keyboard, but the third gen I actually enjoy using.

I had my first MBP butterfly keyboard failing with a spec of dust or something. At my new job, new MBP, no such problem -- but I'm mixed on replacing my (personal) 2011 MBA with a 2018 MBA because of the keyboard and USB port and SD card reader regression.

Tried a 2018 MBA at the apple store -- I didn't realized they changed the keyboard, but it's definitely better.

I don't hate the keyboard on my 2018 MBP but its.. not great. I just rarely use it; I typically have my computer plugged into external keyboard/monitor.

Although it is nicer, even the 3rd gen keyboards have reports of keys sticking and breaking. I've never had to worry about my laptop keyboard breaking before I got a butterfly keyboard macbook from work.

That’s true - my first gen MacBook a couple of years ago was replaced three times.

My MBA is only a few weeks old, and I’ve noticed the space bar feels different already on the right hand side. Not sure if it’s real or imagined yet, but based on past experience, I’m concerned it may very well be dodgy.

I really do want to think they’ve ironed these issues out, but I admit I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself at the Genius Bar a few times with this new one getting it replaced as well.

I have had each model year revision since 2015 Retina Macbook, and it's not so much the keys themselves but the fact that the keys are basically flush with the case which bothers me the most.

I can't stand the keyboard, but do like the Touch Bar. Out of FUD, I have keyboard cover on my 2017 MacBook Pro.

Similarly thinking, I have been trolling the Thinkpad Subreddit and constantly check the Lenovo Corporate Perks prices with a fully loaded P52 sitting in my cart. Can't pull the trigger. I'm too entrenched and spoiled by the Apple conveniences and ecosystem.

I’m curious as to what you mean by trolling the thinkpad subreddit. Trolling usually means causing grief, perhaps you meant lurking or browsing?

To troll originally meant to "carefully and systematically search an area for something." Perhaps a bit of an archaic definition nowadays, but older or more literary people would probably understand it's intent in this context.

The word you are thinking of is trawl.


And the “search thoroughly” meaning for that is current, not archaic.

I wasn't thinking of trawl, in my mind trawling is a method of fishing, such as "Trawling for shrimp". Interestingly, the second definition on that page references "Troll". Following that link, it says down the page "SEARCH, LOOK; trolling for sponsors" and "to search in or at; trolls flea markets for bargains". Perhaps both would work in the above context, however I would prefer trolling over trawling.

Lurk would be what I actually mean. I cause no harm and never post, only envy in entertaining myself of maybe someday buying one.

I'm in the same boat and will need to switch once my 2015 dies, but I really don't want to have to switch from MacOS. 90% of my work depends on the keyboard and I can't stand the response of the butterfly switches, it's like typing on a piece of glass.

Do I have to hackintosh may way back in?

Yes. Join us on the dark side.


I still have my 2012 MBPr, but I’m really liking the keyboard on the XPS 15.

Is it futz intensive? How far away from "it just works" are you?

Initially there was a lot of futzing, because the hardware just came out (UHD 630 Intel graphics). Some things like Nvidia graphics and SD card reader won’t work because of missing drivers, and are unlikely to work in the future.

That said, I use this setup every day and mostly forget it’s not a Mac. I was quite frustrated by the new Touch Bar Macs issued by my work (unpleasant keyboard, no real F keys, USB C only, flimsy back case that has dents in it from regular commuting use somehow), so I didn’t see that as a viable upgrade path for me since I like to keep my computers for 5+ years.

That’s probably not very convincing, but for me it was the right choice. For what’s its worth, I intend to support the XPS 9570 as a Hackintosh platform until at least 2023.

I felt the same way and ended up with a Surface Laptop 2. I am soo happy the overall feel especially the nice 3:2 screen and keyboard. The only thing I'd have changed was to also add a USBC port (it has a USB-A, MiniDP, headphone that works with Apple mics/headsets and a magnetic charging/dock connector). I never thought I'd go back to Windows but the new Macbooks drove me to try it and now Windows 10, especially with the WSL Ubuntu layer, sucks much less. They even put OpenSSH into windows proper now so no more putty even outside of the Linux layer.

I wouldn’t recommend system 76 all they are doing is putting Linux on a Clevo. You would be much better off with a dell laptop.

What’s wrong with clevo? I’ve heard bad things about dell quality. And wasn’t impressed with the dells I’ve owned, although that was years ago.

> I’ve heard bad things about dell quality.

The thing I'd say about Dell is that they're like Ikea in that they produce a wide variety of products at a wide variety of price points. High end Dells (XPS, Precision) IME have good to excellent quality. Lower end dells (inspiron) have mediocre quality as pretty good prices. If you're paying very little for a dell, don't expect it to last. If you're paying a lot for your Dell, it _will_ last. I'm still using a 10yo precision tower and everything about it is great.

13" dell xps w/ Ubuntu would be on the list of Dells that I would trust to be of high quality.

Sorry , should have said you might as well buy direct I bet you can get it cheaper. I dealt with a friends clevo that stopped working after two years .

I was just looking at some of the 2015 refurbs on amazon. Not bad. I have a 2018 at work, and I hate the keyboard. I'm either gonna grab the highest spec 2015 when mine dies, or just use my work laptop until the next generation.

I'm not interested in shelling out for a new personal laptop with these keyboards. :(

I just bought two 2015 refurbs on Amazon. They actually came in very good shape and are working well. In addition to the better keyboard and ports, the 2015 MacBook Pro also has a straightforward way to update the storage. I just increased my wife's from 256 GB to 480GB for $160.

I went with an x1 carbon. Dual boot linux (ubuntu with plasma desktop) and couldn't be happier.

I see a lot of complaining about this keyboard online but I have yet to meet someone in person that thought it was as terrible as claimed. I love the new MacBook keyboards and Touch Bar but it's possible that I'm a complete outlier.

I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard. It's... ok, I don't hate it, but even after years of using it, I still sometimes get this odd feeling that something is slightly off. I've never had this feeling before, with any keyboard except possibly with some of the more aggressive ergonomic keyboards like the Kinesis (and that was more of a layout issue).

There are the maintenance issues, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I did have a sticky key (after about a year), and did get it fixed with Apple's free maintenance (edit: so I'm now on the 2018 keyboard), but this feeling I've had from the beginning and still do occasionally.

This contrasts in my mind very starkly with my experience with my very first MacBook keyboard circa 2009. I'd never had a Mac before or any kind of laptop, but when I first used the keyboard I never had to think twice about it. This stuck in my memory because of how much people raved about that keyboard at the time; but I guess it's a property of a good thing that you only notice it when it's gone.

I thought you were saying you wrote a PhD thesis about the Macbook Pro keyboard.

Yeah I can't quite put my finger on it but it bugs me too. I still have the old one at home, new one at work. It feels wrong, and it's so loud you can't type in a meeting without everybody knowing you're typing. I've put off buying a new one for myself because of this, hoping Jony Ive read everyone involved with this project the riot act.

We've seen butterfly v1 and v1.5. I'm waiting to see what butterfly v2 looks like before I buy another one.

... I also hope that whichever people in the universe he accepts advice from have intimated to him in the strongest of possible terms that he should be paying attention to Apple's industrial design, and leave building design to architects (ex: walls you can't see really?)

When Apple replaces keyboards, they replace them with the 2018 keyboard (the one with the extra rubber barriers)?

No, they do not. Unfortunately, they are replacing them with the keyboard that your machine came with. Not the 2018 ones that have sort-of fixed the biggest issues.

My question is, after 3 keyboard replacements will the Apple Store simply hand you a new/refurb MBP of similar specs?

Apparently not:

Apple Says Third-Generation Keyboards Exclusive to 2018 MacBook Pro https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/15/third-gen-keyboard-excl...

I understand that they replace them with whatever is newest at the time, so since I did my replacement in fall 2018, yes.

no, this is not correct.

2016-2017s get the 2016-2017 keyboard- without the silicone sheet.

That's even more interesting because I recently had to use a 2010 MacBook Pro keyboard for a week and felt like those keys were a lot "spongier" than the keys on the new MacBook Pro that I have. I much prefer the newer one.

I owned or worked with many MacBooks from 2003-2015, and the keyboards were always fine. The new keyboards are utter crap. On multiple machines, brand new out of box, the keys stuck, didn't register, or repeated. My personal late-2016 MacBook Pro was the worst, to the point that the V/B/N keys (it's always the ones above the spacebar that are worst) stopped working at all, and I had to have Apple replace it (which they did for free despite it being about 16 months post-purchase). The new keyboard functions, but I expect it to have the same problems.

Aside from simply being defective at a high rate, it's also physically unpleasant, but that's more a matter of opinion.

Ive the 2018 i9 MacBook Pro. "upgraded" to this from a 2014 model. Not only is the keyboard not as terrible as claimed its many times worse. I have few words to describe how terrible it is. I use an external keyboard whenever I can. Anyone who uses f9/f10/f11 regularly soon realizes how bad the Touch Bar is for development. When I debug I rest my finger on the f10 key to step through the code. NO CAN DO on a Touch Bar. In fact this is the first Mac I am considering selling, even for a loss. I really hope that someone at apple reads this.

I'm just shocked that my experience is so different. I use a mechanical keyboard too when I'm at a desk but I would do that with any laptop, regardless of its keyboard. I'm specifically talking about using the MacBooks keyboard compared to the keyboard on other laptops and I much prefer the MacBook keyboard.

I'm also a dev but I'm on the other side. I think it's ridiculous that devs continue to rely on function keys to do that kind of thing. Not only do you have to remember what the F9/F10/F11 keys do for each IDE but it's not consistent in any way between IDEs so you're kinda stuck. I much prefer the Touch Bar, especially where it's actually supported by the IDE, and, where it's not, I'm using Better Touch Tool to set it up exactly how I want it. Now I have dedicated buttons for each of those things that show up in context or that stay at all times, if I choose.

I'm of mixed opinion on it.

It took a while to get used to using it every day. Now I'm OK with it, except for the arrow keys.

My biggest problems are that there are no landmarks for your fingers. I swivel between two or three or four computers when I work, and coming back to the MBP, it's hard to re-center my hands without looking. On earlier MacBooks, I think my brain used the inverted T arrows, because my fingers seem to go there first.

I like the touch bar, but it needs more support, and more consistent support. Even from Apple, itself. Sometimes I can authenticate with a fingerprint. Sometimes not. Sometimes confirmations are on the touchbar. Sometimes not. It's an inconsistent experience.

All of these problems will become moot in a few weeks anyway, since I ordered a proper full-sized Apple Bluetooth keyboard, trackpad, and riser. I miss my F13-F19 keys more than I like the touchbar.

Curious what you mean by no landmarks. I'm typing on a 2017 keyboard and it has the raised marks on the 'F' and 'J' keys to orient for touch typing like every other keyboard I can remember.

I have yet to meet someone in person that thought it was as terrible as claimed

I haven't met you in person, but I will tell you that it's even worse. I have a supply of cans of compressed air at home to clean out my MacBook Pro's keyboard on a regular basis lest the keys get stuck. I have never had to do this with any of my previous Mac laptops over the past 17 years.

For such purposes i recommend something like this (an air blower for cameras): https://www.amazon.com/Giottos-AA1900-Rocket-Blaster-Large/d...

No need to produce a lot of waste by buying canned air. Unless you pressurise them yourself of course.

That's a good idea. However, I've tried my rocket blower. It generates insufficient air pressure to remove detritus trapped under the keys.

I have never had to do this with the current MacBook keyboards so I'm at a loss as to what you all are doing to get so much crap under the keys...

Currently the right side of my space bar is non-functional. The left side is working fine.

I've got my MBP on November 2016. Keyboard was ok until one day key "R" didn't click on pressing (it still registered). I've tried blowing air from different angles, shaking, fiddling under it with thin piece of paper to no avail.

One day I've pressed it, and it did click, and then it popped out. By then Apple had free servicing action in effect, so I've went to local store and they replaced my top body with new one (also replacing battery, touchpad and speakers).

Touchbar is completely useless for me. If anything, it freaks me out because there's absolutely zero feedback to finger when I accidentally touch it.

I'm okay with the travel changes (and even sometimes prefer it to the old generation).

I am unhappy about the increased sound, but can live with it.

But the regular problems with repeating keys is an insane regression in functionality. I have this problem with a different key almost every day (today it's my 'i' key), but most days one of the keys repeats itself every time I activate iti, such that—see, that "iti" was a perfect example (I corrected the others)—and the repeat happens usually after the following letter. Drives. me. crazy.

This is a defect. There's a service program for keyboards with problems. I took mine to be serviced and it was returned without repeating keys or stuck keys.


Yes, have tried this. Comes back working and then develops the same problem shortly thereafter. Further, Apple Stores are about a 2.5hr drive for me, so I can't just easily keep popping in for every issue -- especially if I think the fix won't last anyway.

if you eat near the computer or live in a place with lots of dust/debris in the air- and have a 2016-2017 keyboard- it will probably just keep happening.

I almost bought my first apple computer last year, but I couldn't get over the keyboard. I ended up with a surface book instead but I'm not convinced I made the correct decision since I spend most of my time in linux.

It seems so very uncharacteristic for Apple to ship a product that you need to use in a clean room for it to work properly. I don't like to baby my products, they will develop dings and scratches over time.

It's my '7' key today...

I don't think you're an outlier. Most of the people I know who own them don't have a problem with the keyboards.

But then they are outnumbered in my circles by people who've either deferred new MB Pro purchases, desperately hoping Apple will relent on the Touch Bar, or (like myself) have moved to other platforms & given up on Apple.

I love the 2016+ Macbook keyboards and find them far more pleasant to type on than the '15 15" keyboard I'm typing on right now. Unfortunately, the reliability issues on them were traumatizing, and I'm viscerally afraid to try the new models (which supposedly rectify the 2016 problems with a gasket).

I have yet to seen anyone mind going back to the old MBP 2015 Keyboard, even if they love / like / Ok with the new butterfly keyboard.

I have heard countless people wishing to have the old keyboard back and absolutely loathe the new butterfly keyboard. And they refuse to even buy a new one.

I just recently sold a new MBP and got a 2nd hand MBP 2015 instead. As a matter of fact the 2nd hand price of MBP has been holding up better than expected all thanks to TouchBar MBP.

I love the keyboard, and I've had to repeatedly blow mine out with air to unstick keys. So, I get why people are mad (low reliability), but I'm definitely happy with the actual feel of it.

Re: touch bar, I suppose it really depends on what apps people use. Finder, Calendar.app, Mail.app, iTunes all work really nicely with the touchbar. It provides negative value to someone who isn't using an app that supports it unfortunately.

Agreed on the TouchBar but I use BetterTouchTool to alleviate the problem with any non-supported apps. BTT really makes the TB super useful in a lot of ways.

I have one. B,N,O keys are all having issues. Randomly generated longass password happens to hit all 3. Authing to the system is a nightmare. I travel with a bluetooth keyboard as a result.

If I want Apple to replace the keyboard, I have to risk that they will destroy the SSD. Their best solution for me to is to buy another Macbook, clone the system, have them do the repair, then return the spare Macbook. Really frustrating.

We obviously haven't talked! I absolutely hate the new butterfly keyboards, it's bothering me as I type this! It makes me feel like I'm one of the attention seeking mechanical keyboard users... Apple has been going downhill for quite a while now. Loud keyboards and giant phones...

I'm in the same boat. I prefer mechanical keyboards and have a small hobby collection of them. But I like my 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard and have never had a problem with it. Maybe people who don't have problems with the keyboards don't talk about them as much?

This has to be the case. I just polled 2 separate offices informally and there's not a single person that said they have complaints about it, even about the volume of the keys, in a sample size of 30+ people.

FWIW, I also prefer a mechanical keyboard but that's not specific to my MacBooks. I prefer to them to any laptop keyboard or normal keyboard out there.

Same experience. I was weary to get one due to all the hate online but now that I own one I love it.

I know people who hate the keyboard on their 2016 or 2017 MacBooks. The 2018 models seem better.

Add me to this list. Just spent a week with a 2018 MBP and grew to love the keyboard. The keys are bigger and something about the feel makes it easier to type. I got use to it in an hour. Looking forward to getting one myself.

I actually prefer it even. I don't like the mushy keys on the prior MacBooks.

EDIT: That said I find the touchbar to be a gimmick and not something I really like using. It's not much of a downgrade as compared to function keys, however.

I don’t like the Touch Bar, but the keyboard itself I have no real quarrel with.

Weirdly I have two 2016 MacBooks: a 13” base and a spec’ed up 15”. The keyboard on the 13” feels substantially more tactile.

Even if the keys were perfect, the lack of ESC key is disqualifying. I use Caps Lock all the times, so no remapping possible...

I have a MacBook Pro 2017. I have had sticky keys - but thankfully only the right arrow and bottom arrow key.

I'm actually with Apple on this one - I think it needs revision, but I actually have gotten used to the flat typing. It makes the other keyboards I've tried feel really, really mushy. I can actually type over 90WPM on this thing at typeracer.com.

Overall, I wish it was quieter and didn't have sticky keys, but otherwise, the shallowness is no problem for me.

You're an outlier, everybody I know in real life who has one (myself included) think it's stupid and awful.

There are many complaints about the MBP keyboard. I don't know whether "not noisy enough" is one of them.

The next version of this app will prevent microscopic dust particles from blocking/repeating keystrokes

Last year I drank the cool aid and bought a mechanical keyboard.

I don't get it. Compared to butterfly they are pretty bad.

Extremely long key travel is supposed to be save me from carpal tunnel. I find it quite exhausting. More worrying is the tactile feedback. When a butterfly (or any other chiclet keyboard) clicks, it registers.

Not so much on a mechanical, not even the tactile. It is worst on the linear gaming keyboards, where resting your fingers on the keys can cause them to register. Normal linear keyboards do need to sink deeper before registering, but again, there is absolutely no feedback.

The tactile keyboards have a "click" somewhere, but it is not connected to the actual keypress registraion.

On top of that they are ridiculously tall.

Like most people I prefer thinkpad or old mac keyboards over the butterfly keys, but they are pretty fine, and I would call them very tactile, but I guess that is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. So maybe I just go with calling them very responsive, with a high correlation between the audible and felt click and key registration.

Unfortunately, you fell for the myth.

Mechanical keyboards might just be worse for RSI etc, because it's hard to rid yourself of the habit of pounding on the keys to bottom them out, which one has to do on a membrane keyboard. Most mechanical (certainly most Cherry) switches actuate before bottoming out, and through some mindfulness, it is possible to train yourself to type sedately, without bottoming out. But it's hard, and not possible to do all the time. The long keytravel is also a literal pain.

The only reason to have a mechanical keyboard is enjoying the key feel, and noise. Typing at the speed of light is way more enjoyable on a keyboard that clacks along happily as you type your tome. If a membrane keyboard does it for you, all the better. Save yourself $$$ on the expensive keyboards and (worse still) expensive keycaps.

Because keyboards are a personal preference thing and the nature of mechanical allows for more implementation styles, there are an insane number of types of mechanical keyboards.

Here are the variables:

Actuation Point (Where does the press register)

Linear vs Tactile vs (Tactile + Clicky)

Force (IE how much pressure to push down)

total travel distance.

(There are also some optical switches with adjustable actuation)

>The tactile keyboards have a "click" somewhere, but it is not connected to the actual keypress registraion.

MX Blue actuates at 2mm but clicks somewhere around 1.75mm, Razer's tactile switch on the other hand actuates right on the top of its click/bump. You can also find some that actuate before the click.

>On top of that they are ridiculously tall.


Basically just google low profile mechanical keyboard switches. mechanical keyboard travel distance goes from around 4mm down to 1.5~mm. And there are all kinds of thin ones.

>It is worst on the linear gaming keyboards, where resting your fingers on the keys can cause them to register.

Cherry MX Red: ~45cN force

Cherry MX Black: ~60cN force

Cherry MX Grey: ~80cN force

There are tons of problems with mechanical keyboards but your problems are not them.

Trying this out. I like it more than I thought I would. But a couple comments:

1) The sounds appear to all be the same, regardless of key. Seems there should be some subtle variation in the sound, even if it just a very slight modulation in pitch? This would better map with real mechanical keyboards.

2) The sounds appear too far delayed to me. Like it's slightly out of sync w/ my typing. I turned off the keyup sound—which helps—but not enough. It may be this is a limitation you can't overcome.

3) The sound quality seems low. Maybe obtain higher quality samples and/or don't compress it so much?

I'm using it right now—it seems like keys towards the right get put more on the right channel of audio and the ones on the left more on the left, which is a nice feature.

I think some subtle variation (like, adding an effect randomly or having ~10 recordings) could make this even better.

This is cool (and I don't even use mechanical keyboards). It reminds me of the movie "The Dilemma" where the characters were making an audio system to emit fake "muscle car" engine sounds for electric vehicles.

Not a great quality clip, but here is the scene: https://youtu.be/Etu44hXY3zg?t=55

Some luxury cars play engine noise through the speakers:


Reading through that it looks like sometimes the sound is directed inward at the cabin and other times the speaker is in the engine itself... that latter setup is just so considerate to us pedestrians who love to hear people tear their engines out on short downtown blocks - thanks VW! /s

I worked with a company that conducted some of the research that led to this - a major problem with electric cars at the moment is that pedestrians use the sound of cars to a) register them in the first place and b) judge when the car will arrive (speed).

If a conventional vehicle is coming around a corner you can hear it, anticipate its imminent arrival and act accordingly (especially important on country roads without a pedestrian sidewalk) whereas with an electric car the pedestrian receives no such audible warning. So yes, the engine noise is a consideration specifically for pedestrians.

Another better(battery life maybe) one in rust, https://github.com/yingDev/Tickeys

Tried it out, and while fun, there was just too much latency for me to enjoy the clickiness. It felt like I was mildly drunk while using it.

I solved this by just setting up a magic keyboard/trackpad at work and home. I'm happy with the MBP keyboard but I have issues with debris sticking in keys. This way I can still be a slob, but keep the actual laptop keyboard clean.

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