AppleDesign Keyboard

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AppleDesign Keyboard
AppleDesign Keyboard (NMB,B) -- top.jpg
Part number M2980
Branding Apple
Manufacturer NMB
Alps Electric
Keyswitches NMB dome with slider
Alps membrane dome
Keycaps Laser-charred cylindrical
Interface ADB
Introduced 1994
Precedes Apple USB Keyboard
Supersedes Apple Extended Keyboard II

The AppleDesign Keyboard, part number M2980, was Apple's first low-cost full-size Macintosh keyboard, i.e. one with a function key row and navigation cluster. The AppleDesign Keyboard used rubber domes, where the high end Apple Extended Keyboard used Alps SKCL/SKCM series mechanical switches.

Most AppleDesign keyboards have a fixed cable; this is the official specification according to Apple.[1] However, some production runs are reported to have had detachable cables and Alps-compatible sliders.[2][3]


There are at least four variants of the AppleDesign Keyboard. From the outside they appear very similar, but the keycap mount differs (the keycaps are not interchangeable) and the screw holes on the rear differ in number.

Most keyboards are "platinum" beige. A black version was also made, shipped with black variants of the Macintosh.

NMB dome with slider

The upper shell supports white NMB sliders, over bright yellow domes. The keyboard controller bears an ID of "NMB16R2677", which is partially why the keyboard is assumed to be an NMB product. Fixed cable that exits within a cable channel.

There are at least two versions that are different:

"Version A"

The option keys are sized 1×1. The barrel plate is black. Four case screws. Long, wide rubber feet.[4]

"Version B"

The keys are shorter than "Version A" and each one has a post. The option keys are 1.25 wide and the Caps Lock is stepped (1.5:0.25). The barrel plate under the keys is beige. Keys with nubs (D, K and numpad-5) have stems rotated 90°. Eight case screws. Long, narrow rubber feet.[4]

Alps dome with slider

This uses "Type 2" Alps dome with slider switches.[5] These were made by Alps in both Mexico and the Czech Republic. There are some differences between units from either location, the Czech-made units have dye sublimated PBT keycaps while the Mexican ones have pad printed ABS. The thin metal plate is held to the membrane assembly using the "melted plastic rivet" technique.

Aside from the country of manufacture, the other way to readily distinguish this variant from the others is the presence of three (rather than four) screw holes on the bottom of the case.

Keycaps are OEM profile, with a 1.5, 1.25, 1.5, 6.5, 1.5, 1.25, 1.5 unit bottom row. Caps lock has an offset slider lining up with the Tab key above it. Stabilizing wire is hinged on the keys and slides in recesses on the membrane assembly.

Alps membrane dome

This version, with Alps membrane dome switches, has a self-contained membrane module that screws to the base of the keyboard. Unlike other versions the black key mounting plate is curved and takes integrated mount keycaps. The domes are clear. This version was made by Alps Electric, with identical dome housings to the Alps KFRF-1.[6] The controller chip reads "©APPLE, Inc." Fixed cable that exits within a cable channel.


NMB domes with sliders variant

Alps slider over dome variant

Alps slider over dome variant With PBT Alps Avid Keycaps

Alps membrane variant