M1 MacBook Air Keyboard

Though I’m normally good at buying and returning devices I don’t need, the M1 MacBook Air had me smitten from the start. It’s not a perfect experience, but I’m very impressed nonetheless.

There’s no new revelation, or scandal, or noteworthy story to be told today — do not take my point as a source of complaint or controversy. I’m merely surprised by how different the new scissor-mechanism keyboard on the M1 MacBook Air feels in relation to the scissor-mechanism keys on the iPad Magic Keyboard.

Now, my sources are hardly apples to apples — I have an 11-inch iPad Magic Keyboard to compare to the M1 MacBook Air. The iPad Magic Keyboard is smaller and more compact, but not to the point of causing accuracy issues when typing. If my eye is correct, the majority of the layout differences between the smaller iPad Magic Keyboard and the full-size M1 MacBook Air keyboard are in the smaller function and control buttons situated around the main QWERTY keys.

The M1 scissor keyboard feels, to my fingertips, spongier. I feel like there’s more travel with the M1 keyboard, more overall tolerance in the keys (they seem to wobble more, especially the space bar), and they return slower and with a lower thud.

The iPad Magic Keyboard, in comparison, feels bouncier. The key doesn’t feel like it’s traveling as far, and it certainly does so with less key wobble. I’m also surprised by how different they sound — where the M1 has that deep, thud-thud-thud sound, the iPad Magic Keyboard has a higher pitched key sound and is noticeably louder.

Again, no controversy to report today other than a simple observation. I’m finding I have to slightly relearn how to type on this M1 MacBook Air and I’m certainly noticing more errors when typing on the Air.

Backed into a corner, if you made me choose one over the other, I’d choose the iPad Magic Keyboard.