I'm interested to know how the MacBook Pro 2021 keyboard (released 18th October, 2021) keys compares to previous models. I.e., how does the key travel and key press mechanism compare to 2015 scissor keys, 2019 scissor keys, etc.

The keyboard on the MacBook Pro 2015 (and earlier models) and the external Magic Keyboard used the scissor mechanism. Macbook keyboards from 2016-2018 Macbook Pros used the Butterlfy mechanism. Many users complained about Butterfly because of reliability issues and the lack of key travel making it difficult to touch type.

The 2019 Macbook Pro adopted an updated version of the scissor-switch. But from my observation the keys had less travel than the 2015 Macbook Pro. And I've read articles suggesting that many people felt that while the 2019 keyboard was a massive improvement over the Butterfly debacle, the keyboard was not as easy to touch type on when compared 2015 Macbook pros, which had slightly more key travel.

I was curious to know (when the information becomes available) what Apple has done with the 2021 MacBook Pro keyboard. Is the key mechanism the same as the 2019 Macbook Pro or have they done something different? Is there more travel than the 2019 Macbook Pro? Have any changes been made to make it more like the external Magic Keyboard / 2015 Macbook Pro?

  • 5
    Once they are on display then you could try one.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 19, 2021 at 5:41
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    I tried to make the question more objective. I.e., I'm looking for authoritative information about the technical specification of the keyboard (i.e., key travel distance, whether it is identical to the 2019 macbook pro keys or whether they've updated the keyboard). I also think this is a question that other people who touch type on the macbook pro may be asking. Oct 19, 2021 at 22:17
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    "i really like…" & "I also don’t like" & "does it feel like" are all opinion based which you should realize will get the question closed.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 20, 2021 at 3:32
  • Okay. It's all been edited extensively. I really am asking an objective question even if it previously came across as subjective. I'm trying to find out the technical specifications of the key mechanism and how it compares to other macbook pros. Naturally, the key feel will flow naturally from that. I.e., if it's identical to 2019 macbooks, it will feel like 2019 macbooks. Oct 20, 2021 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


Articles reviewing the 2021 Macbook Pros suggest that the key mechanism in the 2021 MacBook pro are identical to the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. So this probably means 1mm of key travel using their updated version of the scissor-switch.

One article states:

Apple says the [2021 Macbook Pro] keyboard itself is exactly the same as the 2019 16-incher in terms of mechanism and key travel. SOURCE

To put this in context, I found the following information on Reddit:

  • 1.0 mm - 2019 16” MBP scissor keyboard
  • 0.7 mm - butterfly keyboard 1 mm
  • 1.3 mm - old scissor keyboard [perhaps 2015 Macbook Pros]

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