When it comes to keyboard design, Apple has had a rough few years. Its Butterfly mechanism (introduced in 2015) was plagued with performance issues, and this year saw it finally replaced by a new Magic Keyboard in both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. But one Reddit user has imagined what it might look like if Apple went one step further and designed a mechanical keyboard.
For the uninitiated, mechanical keyboards tend to last longer and allow for faster and more accurate typing, by replacing rubber domes with proper, functional switches (our best keyboard for designers guide has some marvellous mechanical options). Here's Reddit user autimn's take on a mechanical Apple Magic Keyboard Pro:
The design looks delightfully solid, and the metallic, space grey design certainly gives it a 'pro' aesthetic. r/MechanicalKeyboards (opens in new tab) has gone wild for the design. "I'd buy that shit in a keystroke," one user comments, while another adds, "this unironically looks crazy nice". For creatives who spend a lot of time typing, a mechanical Apple keyboard could be a no-brainer.
Like many commenters, one of the first things we spotted was the inclusion of a Touch Bar, currently only found on our best laptops for graphic design – the MacBook Pro. While its usefulness is up for debate, it's certainly intriguing to see the Touch Bar appear on an external keyboard, and it could make this an enticing option for iMac users.
It's a shame not to see the keys included in the concept – autinm felt "too lazy to position all 67 keys" (and jokes that Apple would sell the keys themselves "for an additional cost"). Speaking of cost, we'll always have time for a joke about Apple's ludicrously expensive Mac Pro Wheels. And we've no doubt that if this ever did see the light of day, it would cost a pretty penny. Not just because we're talking about Apple, but mechanical keyboards are also known for their price. As one Redditor comments, "this is a community of people who regularly pay $150+ for keycaps".
With Apple's WWDC 2020 conference kicking off at 10am (PDT), there's a chance we'll see some new hardware today. While we doubt a new mechanical keyboard is top priority for Apple, rumour has it we could see a redesigned iMac – so there's a chance that updated accessories might also be on the agenda.