Apple’s 2018 MacBook Models To Ship With E-Ink Keyboards [REPORT]

Soon after rumors started swirling that Apple is planning on hosting a MacBook launch event some time at the end of this month, an even more interesting report regarding the MacBook was published. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is reportedly planning to get rid of their standard QWERTY keyboard in favor of a brand-new customizable E-Ink keyboard in the upcoming 2018 MacBook models.



Image courtesy of Sonder

The article states that the keyboards are being targeted for a 2018 release. According to the report, “The new keyboards will be a standard feature on MacBook laptops, and will be able to display any alphabet, along with an unlimited number of special commands and emojis, people familiar with the plans said.”

Last week we found out that Apple is reportedly in talks to purchase a small Australian company called Sonder that specializes in developing special E-Ink keyboards. The Wall Street Journal says that Apple plans on using the keyboards in its upcoming 2018 MacBook models, and would allow the company to sell the computers in any market without having to swap out the keys on the keyboard to meet local needs.

Sonder’s E-Ink technology, paired with support in macOS, would allow Apple to create the freedom to let the keys do anything an end-user programs them to do. According to WSJ, these new keyboards would ship standard with the new models. After the MacBook event on October 27th, a clearer picture might emerge regarding the keyboard.

Anyone else excited for a customizable keyboard?

  • Tim Stewart

    Apple taking the lead in something like this is almost as likely as them giving users the ability to control how they interface with Apple’s devices… read: not very.

    I could see Apple make a $500 external keyboard targeting creative professionals, but not building it into a notebook keyboard. It would mess with the ever important design aesthetic, and I don’t see how the lack of a need to localize the key caps would be worth using e-ink keys.

  • Dominic

    To be the devil’s advocate ; they have allowed third-party keyboard customisation to their lineup with heir iOS devices. SO it’s only a matter of time before they reciprocate with their Macs. Even Steve made fun of the concept of the physical keyboard when introducing the iPhone to the market. So this really would fall in line with that value.

  • SOB

    I could see them doing this if it helps make the Macbook even thinner. You know Apple’s obsession with thinness.

  • Dehop

    The allowance only goes so far, unfortunately. They don’t allow a link to Siri dictation, and now no link to handwriting notes for Messages; for both you have to switch back to the default keyboard.