The Best and Worst Aspects of the Macbook Pro 14 2021 Keyboard

Macbook Pro 14 2021 Keyboard

Hey there, you’ve been thinking about upgrading to the new Macbook Pro 14 but aren’t sure if the keyboard is all it’s cracked up to be. As an owner of the 2021 model, you’ve experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly firsthand. The keyboard has some awesome features that make typing a dream, but it also has some downsides that might make you want to pull your hair out. Before you drop a couple grand on this machine, you need to go in with realistic expectations about what the keyboard can handle and where it falls short. Read on to get the full scoop from an actual user and decide if the Macbook Pro 14 keyboard is right for you.

Overview of the Macbook Pro 14 2021 Keyboard

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When you first get your hands on the new Macbook Pro 14, the keyboard may take some getting used to. Compared to previous Macbook keyboards, the 2021 model has some notable improvements as well as a few downsides to be aware of.

On the plus side, the keys have more travel and feel more responsive under your fingers. The scissors mechanism provides a satisfying tactile experience for fast, accurate typing. The inverted-T arrow keys are also a welcome change, making them easier to locate by touch.

However, the function keys along the top row are half-height, which some users find off-putting. The keys themselves are also quite large, so those with smaller hands may need time to adjust. Some report that the spacebar feels a bit mushy and uneven.

For most users, the benefits of the 2021 keyboard outweigh the drawbacks. The improvements in key feel and responsiveness allow for a comfortable, productive typing experience overall. While no keyboard is perfect, this one gets high marks for performance and value. If you can get past the minor quirks, you’ll likely be very happy with this solid keyboard upgrade.

The bottom line? Don’t let a few small complaints deter you. The Macbook Pro 14 2021 keyboard is a pleasure to type on and a huge step up from the much-maligned butterfly keyboards of the past. Once you start using this keyboard, you won’t want to go back.

Typing Experience on the New Macbook Pro 14 Keyboard

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The keyboard is one of the most important aspects of any laptop, and the Macbook Pro 14 2021 model aims to improve on previous versions.

Typing Feel

The new keyboard has a shallow key travel, meaning the keys don’t press down very far when you type. This results in a “clicky” feel that some users enjoy for the tactile feedback, while others prefer a softer, quieter press. The keys are also quite large, spaced out, and responsive, making for an overall pleasant typing experience for most.

However, the minimal key travel can lead to missed keypresses for those used to deeper keys. The clicks may also bother coworkers in quiet environments. And the large keys can be a reach for those with smaller hands.


On the upside, the new keyboard seems much more durable than the problematic butterfly switch keyboards of previous models that were prone to stuck or unresponsive keys. The new scissor-switch keys are less likely to get debris caught under them or fail prematurely.

While only time will tell for sure, early reviews suggest the new keyboard design is a major improvement for reliability and longevity. That’s certainly good news for anyone tired of costly keyboard repairs!

In the end, the typing experience comes down to personal preference. If you like shallow, clicky keys and value a durable design, the Macbook Pro 14 2021 keyboard delivers. If you prefer softer, quieter keys with more travel, you may want to consider other options. But for most casual and professional users, the new keyboard is a solid choice.

Pros of the Redesigned Macbook Pro 14 Keyboard

The redesigned keyboard on the Macbook Pro 14 is a welcome improvement over previous models. Here are some of the pros that make typing on this laptop highly enjoyable.

Quieter Keys

The new keyboard features keys that are quieter when pressed, producing a more muffled clicking sound. The reduced noise makes for a more pleasant typing experience, especially if you frequently work in quiet areas like libraries or shared workspaces. The quieter keys are less distracting for others and allow you to focus better.

More Travel

The keys on the Macbook Pro 14 have slightly more travel, meaning they physically depress further when pressed. The increased travel gives more tactile feedback and a more comfortable feel. Your fingers won’t feel as fatigued after long typing sessions. The longer travel is reminiscent of keyboards from older Macbooks, before the transition to butterfly keyboards.

Padded Palm Rest

The keyboard is recessed into the body of the laptop and features a padded palm rest area. The padded wrist rest provides cushioning and support for your palms and wrists. This helps reduce strain from extended typing and makes the keyboard feel more ergonomic. The recessed design also guides your fingers into the proper home row position.

Backlit Keys

The keyboard is backlit, with an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness based on the lighting in your environment. The backlight makes the keys clearly visible in all conditions from bright workspaces to dimly lit rooms. You can also manually adjust the backlight level to your preferred brightness.

Overall, the redesigned keyboard on the Macbook Pro 14 is a substantial improvement that provides a comfortable and satisfying typing experience through a blend of useful features. For writers, students, and professionals, this keyboard will allow you to work efficiently and with less fatigue.

Cons and Complaints About the Macbook Pro 14 Keyboard

The keyboard on the new Macbook Pro 14 is a bit of a mixed bag. While an improvement over the much-maligned butterfly keyboard of previous models, it still has some downsides compared to the competition.

Key travel could be better

The keys on the Macbook Pro 14 have 1mm of key travel, which is on the shallow end of the spectrum. Many Windows laptops and Apple’s own Magic Keyboard offer 1.3mm or more of travel, which some people prefer for faster, more comfortable typing. The keys can feel a bit stiff and cramped for those with larger hands.

Lack of keyboard backlight customization

The keyboard backlight only has two brightness levels to choose from. Many other laptops offer more granular control over the backlight or different lighting zones that can be customized. For those who like to work in dim conditions, the limited backlight options may be frustrating.

No function row

In place of a function row, the Macbook Pro 14 has a Touch Bar. While the Touch Bar does provide useful controls for some apps, many users miss having a dedicated function row for volume, brightness and media controls. The lack of physical function keys means you have to look away from the screen to make adjustments, rather than doing it by feel.

Limited key travel can lead to mistakes

The shallow key travel, combined with the large trackpad, means it’s easy to accidentally graze the trackpad with your palms while typing and trigger unintentional cursor movements or clicks. This can interrupt your flow and lead to typing errors and mistakes. Using an external keyboard avoids this issue but reduces the portability of the Macbook Pro.

While the keyboard on the new Macbook Pro 14 is a solid improvement and suitable for most users, its limited travel and customization may frustrate those looking for a more desktop-like typing experience. For some, an external keyboard is the solution to transforming the Macbook Pro 14 into a productivity powerhouse.

Macbook Pro 14 2021 Keyboard VS Macbook Pro 13 2020 Keyboard

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The keyboard is one of the most important aspects of any laptop, and the Macbook Pro 14 2021 model aims to improve on previous versions. Compared to the Macbook Pro 13 2020 keyboard, the latest model provides a much better typing experience for most users.

Improved Key Travel and Feel

The scissor-switch keyboard on the new Macbook Pro 14 has 1mm of key travel, which provides more tactile feedback when typing compared to the 0.5mm of travel on the butterfly keyboard of the 2020 model. The keys feel more responsive and less mushy. For many users, 1mm of travel hits the “Goldilocks zone” of not too shallow yet not too deep.

Quieter Keys

The redesigned keyboard is also noticeably quieter, with keys that produce a softer “click” when pressed. If you frequently type in quiet areas like libraries or shared workspaces, the quieter keyboard can make a difference in productivity and courtesy.

More Reliable

The new scissor-switch keyboard is less prone to issues like stuck or unresponsive keys that plagued some older butterfly keyboard models. Early reviews suggest the new keyboard design leads to a more consistently reliable experience.

Of course, keyboard preference comes down to personal taste. Some users may still prefer the ultra-low profile of the older butterfly keys. But overall, the Macbook Pro 14 2021 keyboard addresses the major complaints of previous models and provides an improved experience for most typists. If you do a lot of typing and value a responsive, quiet and dependable keyboard, the latest Macbook Pro 14 is worth considering as an upgrade.


So there you have it, the good and bad of the latest Macbook Pro keyboard. Overall, while not perfect, this version is a huge improvement over the previous butterfly mechanism. The keys have a satisfying tactile feel, the larger size is comfortable for extended typing sessions, and the quieter operation won’t drive you or anyone around you crazy. The lack of a physical escape key may take some getting used to, but the customization options help ease the transition. The Macbook Pro 14 remains the premium laptop for power users and creative pros, and the upgraded keyboard only enhances its status. If you’re in the market for a new Mac, the 2021 model should be at the top of your list. Happy typing!

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