IF YOU LOOK BACK at old MacBookss and reminisce about at how good their chiclet keyboards you were might have cause to celebrate, as Apple could finally be ditching the Butterfly mechanism for future Air and Pro machines.
At least that's according to the latest report from Apple Mystic Meg-type and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, via 9to5Mac. Kuo reckons Cupertino will squash the Butterfly keyboard in favour of a new 'scissor-switch' design.
For those of you not au fait with keyboard mechanisms - we don't blame you is you're not - scissor switches use a rubber dome that depresses into the keyboard to trigger an input, but also have a plastic mechanism that resembles a pair of scissors to link the keycap and a plunger that depresses the dome when pressed.
This design allows for low profile keyboard with small gaps between the keys to prevent debris from getting in between them. It also makes keys pretty responsive to light touches but still allows for some key travel, though a heck of a lot less compared to dome-switch and mechanical keyboards.
Scissor-switch mechanisms might not sound that different to the Butterfly mechanism found in all new MacBooks, but the latter offers very little in the way of distinct key travel; some people love that, others don't.
And despite Apple's efforts to improve the keyboards, there have been plenty of reports of keys on MacBooks are still failing thanks to dust and debris getting into the mechanism and effectively clogging up the keys, which didn't have much space to play with in the first place.
With that in mind, there's a good chance that if Kuo's ruminations turn out to be correct, the next MacBook Air, which Kuo reckons will pop up this year, could come with a keyboard that's not only more resistant to dust and muck, but also offers a more tactile typing experience.
And it'll be the same story for the MacBook Pro models, though Kuo reckons they won't get the new keyboard until 2020.
What the next Mac machines will look like is anyone's guess given Apple design head-honcho Jony Ivy is set to leave Cupertino, and boss man Tim Cook is apparently a tad indifferent to design. µ
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