Apple’s butterfly keyboard was a type of keyboard mechanism used in some of its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops from 2015 to 2019. It was named “butterfly” because of the shape of its internal mechanism.
The butterfly keyboard was designed to be thinner and more responsive than the traditional scissor-switch keyboard used in previous MacBook models. It featured a new key mechanism that used a butterfly-shaped hinge to reduce key travel and provide a more stable typing experience. The keys had a flatter profile and were backlit.
However, the butterfly keyboard faced criticism from users who reported issues with keys sticking, repeating, or not registering keystrokes at all. The keyboard design was also prone to damage from dust or other small debris, which could cause keys to malfunction.
In response to these issues, Apple introduced a keyboard repair program for affected MacBook and MacBook Pro models and eventually phased out the butterfly keyboard in favor of a new scissor-switch keyboard mechanism, which was first introduced in the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019.
First, how do normal keys work?
In a traditional keyboard, each key is attached to a small rubber dome or switch, which is then attached to a circuit board inside the keyboard. When a key is pressed, the rubber dome is compressed, completing a circuit between two conductive traces on the circuit board underneath it. This completes an electrical circuit, which sends a signal to the computer telling it which key has been pressed.
When the user releases the key, the rubber dome returns to its original shape, breaking the circuit and stopping the flow of electrical current. The computer then registers that the key has been released.
This type of key mechanism is called a scissor-switch keyboard, and it has been the standard for many years in most desktop and laptop keyboards. It is known for being reliable, durable, and comfortable to type on.
Okay, so what is a butterfly key then?
A butterfly key is a type of keyboard mechanism that was used in some MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops produced by Apple from 2015 to 2019.
The butterfly keyboard mechanism uses a different design compared to traditional scissor-switch keyboards. The keys are attached to a butterfly-shaped mechanism, which is anchored in the middle and flexes outward as the key is pressed. This design was intended to make the keyboard thinner and more stable and to provide a better typing experience.
However, the butterfly keyboard design received criticism from users who reported issues with keys sticking, repeating, or not registering keystrokes at all. The design was also more prone to damage from dust or other small debris, which could cause keys to malfunction. As a result, Apple eventually discontinued the butterfly keyboard in favor of a new scissor-switch keyboard mechanism.
Sum this up!
The butterfly keyboard is a type of keyboard mechanism used in some MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops from 2015 to 2019. It features a butterfly-shaped hinge that reduces key travel and provides a more stable typing experience, but it faced criticism for issues with keys sticking or not registering keystrokes. Apple eventually phased out the butterfly keyboard in favor of a new scissor-switch keyboard mechanism, which is the standard design used in most keyboards.