2017 MacBook Pro, a bluetooth keyboard......I feel free!

Okay, no question or problem to solve. Last week I simply got tired of the crappy keyboard on my 2017 15" MacBook Pro and decided it was time to put up with the hassle of hauling around a bluetooth keyboard just so I can type with sanity. A week in and hauling the keyboard to and from work has been painless, and work on the laptop Nirvana. Why have I waited so long??? Yes, the keyboard sticks out of the top of my backpack as I go to and from work (treated myself to a keyboard with a number pad), but compared to the periodic frozen spacebar on the laptop’s native keyboard I am totally okay with it. I had actually forgotten what a real keyboard feels like. Okay, enough of my babble. Thanks for listening!




Why not get a second keyboard and leave it at work? Saves the hassle of hauling it back and forth.

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I have a keyboard that I left at work. A year ago. Still there.

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Im now using a logi MX Keys at home for my late 2018 MBP and my 2 work windows machines. They all plug into the same monitor which I switch from one machine to the other, or can split screen between 2 sources.

Can’t really type on those old crappy MacBook Pro keyboards. Apple didn’t want to admit how horrible these keyboards were. Bought multi device Logitech BT keyboard and mouse - what a difference!

My MBP monitor also crapped out a while back so essentially now a backup device tied up to external monitor. Horrible experience with 2016 MBP.

I bought a Keychron K2 last week, after using only Macbook Pro and Macbook Air keyboards for the past decade. My 2017 Macbook Pro keyboard was already replaced once as part of Apple’s repair program.

The Keychron definitely falls into the hardware category of “why didn’t I buy this sooner?”

There’s just something luxurious-feeling about having so much travel in every keypress. (Not an ad for Keychron btw. I think the experience is similar across most brands of mechanical keyboards)

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Once you get used to a Bluetooth keyboard, there’s no going back. And yeah that surely helps a lot.

One downside to the using an external keyboard: having to use a trackpad to the right of the keyboard - instead of directly underneath it - doesn’t feel right to me.

I don’t think this is a muscle memory thing. There’s simply much less distance for my hand to move when the trackpad is directly underneath the keyboard, compared to when the trackpad is at the side

Hi I had the same problem and bought this keyboard tray. They are addressing the issue with MacBook Pro muscle memory on Bluetooth magic Keyboards and Trackpads.

I am using it since 4 years, it feels great and feels like I am working on a MacBook Pro. I don’t know why Apple never invented this…
I mean on the iPad Pro keyboard the trackpad is also integrated in the trackpad and under the keyboard…

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That’s an interesting idea but the external Magic Trackpad is so big, that seems like it would be an issue (for me, at least, not for everyone, obviously).

After so many years of using a mouse to the right of the keyboard, having a trackpad or mouse there just feels natural. Depending on our travel, I use my MBA in clamshell mode much more than by itself. A lot of times when using just the laptop I still use a mouse. It works better for some activities.

Not being able to use Touch ID is what prevents me from clamshell mode. I wish the watch was more useful with this. Does it bother you?

Same–I always set up the laptop to the side, for this reason, and arrange the external as the primary display. This also makes the touch pad available for occasional gesture use, while I use a mouse as my primary pointer to the right of the keyboard.

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No touchbar on my MacBook Air. The watch does a good job of unlocking it most of the time. Also handles some other authorizations. I would find a touchbar/ID external keyboard useful but see all kinds of security issues.

I see. I dont have any problems since several years. It all just fits and I dont feel any difference to using my macbook pro.

I don’t use a mouse anymore. I try to do all via Better touch tool and my magic trackpad. I love the “trackpad under the keyboard” mode.

I totally get that. Not a big deal for me because I am not much of a trackpad guy and have always had mouse with my laptops. If I used the trackpad it would certainly be a pain for me as well.

Can you tell us more about that? Intrigued!

Sure, check in with Better touch tool. Using it since 4 years with my metioned Bullettrain (Trackpad under the Keyboard tray-holder) and it has been a game changer. Dont know how I survived before without this setup. Middle clicks (coming from windows mouse, changing browser tabs etc.) all possible via trackpad.

The loss of TouchID has bothered me a lot less than I expected, because the MBP seems to be so much more performant in clamshell mode. Fans are quieter, CPU runs cooler, and everything is more responsive. I’ve been happy with the tradeoff.

I assume this is because the CPU is being throttled less in clamshell mode, due to better air circulation. (2017 15" i7 MBP)

Fwiw, the difference was so noticeable that I went searching, and found similar reports on other forums regarding clamshell mode and improved MBP performance.