History of the MacBook butterfly keyboard

Apple introduced the butterfly keyboard mechanism on the 2015 MacBook. Prior to which, Apple had briefly killed the “MacBook” line in favour of just maintaining the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. The butterfly keyboard received mixed reactions from consumers with people some hating it and some loving it.

It’s agreeable that the keys found on the butterfly keyboard feel much more sturdier than the regular scissor switch keys. The butterfly keyboard system uses less space below the keys compared to the scissor keyboard mechanism which increases the wobbliness of the keys while reducing the key travel.

Some hated the less amount of travel whereas I personally loved the fact that I did not have to press the keys a lot. However, one other problem with butterfly keyboard mechanism is that it makes a lot of sound when the keys are pressed.

Dust and debris

Of course, the main problem with the butterfly keyboard mechanism is the fact that dust gets stuck easily below the keys. The dust particles make it difficult for the keys to operate normally and also sometimes result in a single keystroke recording multiple keystrokes.

After the 2015 MacBook, Apple released the MacBook Pro in 2016 which sported a much leaner body and also got the butterfly keyboard treatment. The company also removed all the ports from the MacBook Pro in favour of the USB-C Thunderbolt enabled ports which support fast data transfer.

After the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple focused its energies on the MacBook Air which was released in 2018. The MacBook Air also received the butterfly keyboard treatment with a body which was almost as thin as the MacBook Pro but still sported the wedge shape of the MacBook Air.

It took years for Apple to agree that the butterfly keyboard mechanism is broken. The result of which is the 16” MacBook Pro which sports the regular scissor switch keyboard.

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