There’s a noticeable difference between the new M1 Pro MacBook Pro Magic Keyboard and the M1 MacBook Air Magic Keyboard. The M1 Pro keyboard sounds different, has stronger feedback and actuation accuracy, and has smaller function-keys.
I’ve noticed a little extra time to get adjusted to this new MacBook Pro keyboard.
Sound — Without a doubt, this M1 Pro MacBook Pro’s Magic Keyboard sounds deeper, lower, and more thunkish. Chalk this up to whatever — a larger chassis providing more room for a deeper audible thud, different materials, or perhaps a different keyboard base. Whatever the reason, this keyboard sounds noticeably deeper than the M1 MacBook Air keyboard.
Accuracy — This could be the fact this MacBook Pro is a brand new keyboard with the M1 MacBook Air having a few months of mileage behind it. To my fingers, the M1 MacBook Air’s keys are slightly spongier, with a little less accuracy when pressing the corner of a key. On numerous occasions, I’ve hit the edge of keys on the MacBook Pro that I didn’t expect to actuate, only to be met with various typos and errors in my text.
Layout — The most obvious difference of the three, the full-size function-key row is laid out quite differently than the M1 MacBook Air before it. The 1.5-key Escape key pushes all f-keys over a few millimetres to the right. Further, the double-sized Touch ID sensor in the top-right corner pushes all the keys to the left. The result is skinnier function keys — M1 Pro MacBook Pro keys are about 11 millimetres wide, while M1 MacBook Air function keys are 13 millimetres wide.
If you use f-keys often, you’ll notice the difference and be met with various typos. I use F2, F4, F5, F6, F9, and F12 endlessly throughout my day, and I’ve noticed a slight muscle memory change requirement.
It’s been a fun few first days with the M1 Pro MacBook Pro. This configuration includes a 10-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 32GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. I don’t think I understood the “binning” process when I ordered, or else I would have surely ordered the 16-core GPU. As it is, I don’t think I’ll notice any difference. I don’t regret the 32GB RAM upgrade.
This first few days hasn’t been without its own set of hiccups. I need Windows for my daily job and Windows 11 for ARM Build 22483 has been quite buggy — I haven’t been able to right-click on any items on the desktop or in the Start Menu. I’ve been met with bugs with the Canadian Multilingual keyboard. I can’t launch Settings. Since I can’t launch Settings, I can’t remove the Canadian Multilingual Keyboard, and I can’t avoid endlessly typing “é” when wanting to ask a question.
I was lucky enough to have a Build 22454 kicking around from my M1 MacBook Pro and Parallels testing, which is much more stable. I may run with this for a few weeks until something more stable hits the Dev channel.
Thank goodness for Parallels’ “Snapshot” feature.