Butterfly Switches Are Better
I just upgraded from my 2018 13″ MacBook Pro because the keyboard started randomly repeating letters “I”, “O”, and “T” which made it really hard to work fast when I had to backspace every 5 words or so.
When I heard that the 16″ MBP was in the refurb store, I couldn’t wait to try out the new Magic Keyboard. Unfortunately, all the Apple Stores are closed now, so I couldn’t go into the store to try it first. Plus, I wanted to know how the Magic Keyboard would work for me I the long term.
My first impression when I got my “new” refurb 16″ was that the keyboard FELT AMAZING. I absolutely loved it. And I loved thinking that I would never run into any keyboard reliability issues again.
But after using the Magic Keyboard for work for a week (about 10-12 hours per day), I have to say, my RSIs are getting worse. So I wanted to write up something really quick in case anyone else with the same issues as me have concerns about switching to the Magic Keyboard if they also prefer the feel of the butterfly switches.
Ok so let me rephrase the title, the butterfly switches FEEL better for me. Here are the reasons.
Reason #1: Good for my RSI
As a musician AND a programmer, I am using my hands all the time. So naturally, pushing towards 40 years of being alive, naturally I have some wrist and hand issues.
The butterfly switches have less key travel and require less effort to press. Because of this, I feel like I exert less effort when typing on the butterfly switches, and in the end, that makes my hands really happy.
Which leads me to my next point…
Reason #2: Typing is faster
Since I exert less effort when typing, I can translate that saved energy to move faster between different keys. I type anywhere between 100-120 wpm with >95% accuracy, but I feel more confident doing so on the butterfly switch keyboard.
Some people complain the switches are loud, but if you adjust your typing in such a way where you touch they keys just enough for them to register instead of jamming them like you would a standard mechanical keyboard, you’ll find that you’ll type faster too.
Reason #3: The superficial
- Butterfly switches don’t bleed keyboard backlight around and under the keys
- Allows for thinner laptops (supposedly)
Ok, so the Magic Keyboard does have some pros.
I did mention that I had a problem with repeated keys with the butterfly switches. But the Magic Keyboard… They are tried and true to not have these kind of issues (or at least fewer issues). I never heard of anyone having basic wear and tear keyboard issues on their 2015 and earlier MBPs.
I also acknowledge that the Magic Keyboard will be appreciated by a majority of the people who do prefer the more key travel and people who like smashing their keys really hard.
Bottom line (for me)
I’ve been using this 16″ MBP for a week now, and my RSIs are now radiating from my wrists into my shoulders and neck now. I’m guessing the nerves are all connected like that somehow.
As much as I absolutely love everything else the 16″ MBP has to offer (8 cores, dedicated GPU which is great for gaming), I feel like I have to go back to a MBP with butterfly switches, even if that does mean I may occasionally have to deal with sending in the laptop for repairs once in a while.