When it comes to quiet keyboards, MacBook Pro lags only behind Pixelbook Go

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When it comes to quiet keyboards, MacBook Pro lags only behind Pixelbook Go
Apple's new MacBook Pro keyboard won't disturb your colleagues.
Photo: Apple

One of the downsides of Apple’s previous MacBook butterfly keyboard design was how loud it was. That’s something Apple has tried to rectify with its new quiet scissor switch keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

But how does its volume stack up against both the previous MacBook keyboard, and other laptops on the market? A new report from the Wall Street Journal set out to find an answer.

Using a special anechoic chamber, allowing WSJ writer Joanna Stern to isolate only the keyboard noise, the report measured the decibel level of multiple keyboards. They are as follows:

Typewriter – 60.2 decibels
MacBook Air (Butterfly Keyboard) – 41.9 decibels
Surface Laptop 3 – 33.8 decibels
Dell XPS 13 – 32.3 decibels
2015 MacBook Pro – 31.2 decibels
16-inch MacBook Pro (Magic Keyboard) – 30.3 decibels
Pixelbook Go – 30.1 decibels

The new MacBook is impressively quiet, second only to the Pixelbook Go, which used its “hush keys” as a selling point. There may still be room for improvement, but it’s a big step up (or maybe down) on the noise front, compared to the contentious butterfly keyboard.

As Stern notes, the test isn’t totally scientific. While it’s a step up from just using subjective assessments in a regular noisy environment, it still involves having a person do the typing. To truly make this definitive, it would need to call in the services of a typing robot. (Then again, this is more than adequate for your average customer.)

For now, Apple hasn’t confirmed that the Magic Keyboard is coming to non-pro laptops. However, given how well-received it’s been so far that would seem likely.

Source: Wall Street Journal