You can add a mechanical keyboard to your MacBook Pro, but we wouldn’t recommend it

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Future)

A MacBook Pro modder has shown it’s possible to completely replace the laptop’s keyboard with a more tactile mechanical one. The issue? Apple clearly hasn’t built the MacBook Pro with the modding community in mind, as making sweeping changes to the base design leads to some questionable results.

As reported by Wccftech, the final build, dubbed the “Mechbook,” shows a modded MacBook with a pretty bizarre form factor, created by YouTuber Squashy Boy. The added mechanical keyboard is certainly the most striking feature on the modded MacBook, but there’s a very obvious problem.

MacBooks aren’t intended to have their keyboards entirely replaced, least of all with a sizable mechanical keyboard. As such, the modded keyboard protrudes outwards to the point where the MacBook can’t even be closed, pretty much eliminating any aspect of portability the MacBook would otherwise have had.

It's magic!

It’s worth noting that the modder’s mechanical keyboard addition isn’t an official accessory supported by Apple. As such, we highly advise against trying this for yourself unless you’re well versed in modding laptops like the MacBook Pro, as the process involved completely replacing the keyboard switches and other high-risk DIY tasks. Should any mishaps occur, you could void your MacBook’s warranty and be left with just a shell of a laptop as a result.

Perhaps the next best thing for the casual consumer is Apple’s Magic Keyboard, introduced in its latest iterations of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro M1. The Magic Keyboard is a huge improvement over previous models’ Butterfly switch keyboard design, which was often criticized for their occasional lack of responsiveness.

While the Magic Keyboard is a delightful step up, then, featuring a more tactile scissor-switch mechanism, we do wonder if Apple will ever implement a bespoke mechanical keyboard for its MacBook laptops. 

As we’ve seen from modder Squashy Boy’s efforts, there’s certainly an audience for a MacBook Pro model with a mechanical keyboard. Laptops with mechanical keyboards do exist, such as the Razer Blade Pro 17, so it’s a feature Apple could certainly implement if the demand is there.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.