back to article Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

We're in the twilight of the lifecycle of the loathed butterfly keyboard, according to famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a recent investment note, Kuo said Apple would release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with conventional scissor keyboards by Q2 2020. It's not a huge surprise. Last year, Apple released the 16- …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    I've never really got on with any kind of Apple keyboard.

    I was given one at work, some years ago: the separate kind with white plastic keys in an aluminium frame. You see them all over the place.

    I found I had to really type quite firmly to avoid missed presses.

    It was just a piece of junk really.

    This little Logitech K360 I have here is great. Had it for years, laptop sized, wireless and handy as hell.

    1. Sgt_Oddball

      The best Apple keyboard

      Was the G5 powermac keyboard (white, full stroke keys in a clear plastic frame), yes it's not mechanical and the rubber domes can be stiff but they're a damn sight nicer than a number of earlier efforts (original iMac keyboard anyone?) and certainly a step down when it's replacements appeared.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: The best Apple keyboard

        I really like that classic keyboard but boy was it a bugger to clean and very susceptible to liquids. Since the last mug of tea episod I've moved to a flat aluminium, notebook-style one, with a Cherry with nearly identical layout in reserve and if all alse fails I've got a Model M…

    2. big_D Silver badge

      The original Apple ][ and Mac Plus keyboards were great. The SE/Mac II keyboard was okay. The "modern era" keyboards have gradually gotten worse with each passing generation. Hopefully they've hit bottom and they can only improve from here on out.

    3. Allonymous Coward

      The separate one with the white plastic keys in a metal frame is the only Apple keyboard I've ever liked.

      I have an old one plugged into my butterfly-equipped MacBook Pro. It's about the only thing keeps me sane.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "once famed for its intuitive and refined industrial design"

    Yeah, back when it had a 5% share of the market.

    Back then, it had to differentiate, to 'think different".

    Nowadays it's surfing on its base, doesn't need to really think things through. Sometimes, you get bitten like that. This is one of those times.

  3. happy but not clappy

    I liked the butterfly keyboard..

    Much more positive and tactile than the loose chiclet keyboard that we have returned to. If only it had actually worked. Mine lasted about a week before being almost useless. Now I want the best of both worlds, something actually reliable but with that positive clicky-clicky thing.

    1. O RLY

      Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

      The mechanical keyboard from an IBM XT is as close to perfect as I've had. It probably still works today if the box it connected to still did (or I had anything else with an appropriate connector), provided proper feedback to touch typing, and would have made an excellent bludgeon if ever called upon.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

        > The mechanical keyboard from an IBM XT is as close to perfect as I've had.

        Yes, that was one of the great ones. Although, being a graybeard, my all-time favorite keyboard was the one made for the old VT-100 terminals.

        1. Dwarf

          Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

          The VT100 was nice, but personally I preferred the keyboard on the VT220 clone that I still have in my roof (Think its an Olivetti), its a little softer and equally nice to type on - and it did smooth scroll :-)

          Macbook keyboards - yep, noisy and not nice to use, no tactile feedback, its like trying to type on a wet fish, but at least I can cart it around, unlike the aforementioned VT100 :-).

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard.. @Dwarf

            The VT100 with the Advanced Video Option was, I believe, the first terminal to implement smooth scroll. The AVO added quite a bit to the already considerable cost of a basic VT100 terminal.

            Most VT100 compatible terminals actually implemented a VT102, which was a cost-reduced VT100 with AVO built in, but did not have the expansion slot. The VT102 was the most popular of the VT100 family, although externally almost identical to a VT100.

            In the UK, the most commonly bought VT100 compatible terminal was the PT100 made by Plessey, which also looked very similar.

            I actually found the VT220 (LK201) keyboard a much nicer layout than the VT100, but I was not that keen on the softer feel of the keys over the VT10x terminals, and shortly afterwards I came across IBM Model F and Model M keyboards, with the Model M being the best compromise of layout and feel IMHO.

        2. Marcus Fil

          Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

          " my all-time favorite keyboard was the one made for the old VT-100 terminals."

          Now you're talking. Back when keyboards were keyboards, not fashion statements.

          1. IGotOut Silver badge

            Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

            Pah! I'll take your namby pamby VT keyboards and raise you what my first true love used, the Malatron.

            And yes you can still get them, and yes they are still bloody expensive and yes her dad was loaded! Oh happy days.


        3. big_D Silver badge

          Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

          Yes. The VT100 keyboard was really good. Probably one of my all-time favourites. We also had a couple of VT100 clones, I think from CIT, its action was slightly softer and the keys had a rougher surface for better grip.

          Lovely feel, lovely sound. I miss the "good old days".

          1. KSM-AZ

            Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

            The Vt100 keyboard was a rugged piece of sh.. Layout right up there with the venerable ADM-3A. And still for some unknown reason backspace keys have to send ascii 0x77 aka DEL or RUBOUT, because the POS VT100 didn't have the key... had switches underneath though.

            Wyse 50 and later 60's and 150's had the first reasonable layouts. The pc101/102 IBM's with collapsing springs are the best to actually type on. You can still buy them. You can keep your vt100, ansi layouts. I learned to type on manuals, then Selectrics. IBM used to be able to really engineer stuff. Great action is useless if the layout ain't got the keys you need. Ctrl-h (jk and l) on an adm anyone?

      2. Lazlo Woodbine

        Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

        I've just been going through a box of leads at work, in the box was a serial to PS/2 adaptor connected to a PS/2 to USB adaptor, so I dug out an old keyboard and lo, it worked...

    2. James Anderson

      Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

      Thinkpad keyboard is still the best,

      I know their were lots of complaints about the “new” keyboards, but, honestly they are just have a different feel from the older ones. When I went back to an older thinkpad I was surprised how much I did not like the older style keyboard after 3 years of using the newer style.

      1. Dave K

        Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

        Hmm, I understand where you are coming from, however as someone who owns an X201 and an X1 Carbon with the chiclet keyboard, I still much prefer the "classic" keyboard. Don't get me wrong, the newer chiclet one is still one of the best laptop keyboards out there, but the classic one was a triumph of function over style. It's a pity these days that "stylish" but poor functionality is now the norm.

        1. 0laf Silver badge

          Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

          I ended up with a Lenovo workstation laptop to get a better keyboard. It's good but not as good as the old ones. I prefer a longer travel in keys and I'd rather have a physically bigger laptop to get this. Saying that they managed to fit a great keyboard into a Psion 5, so no excuses really.

    3. Gordon 10

      Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

      I like the butterfly keyboard on my late 2018 MBP.

      I prefer the typing experience to any of my other laptop keyboards and its also more satisfactory than the Apple wireless keyboard which I believe it scissor. I certainly dont have a problem with the travel.

      Plus I quite like the clatter unless one of my colleagues is taking notes on a call....

      1. Justin Clements

        Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

        Same MBP here, no idea what the fuss is about.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Coke moment

    "Last year, Apple released the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which came with a normal scissor switch keyboard. This addition was a critical success"

    With the usual brouhaha Apple releases a widely panned dud, then grabs the market back with the old formula.

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