It would be nice if there was a way to avoid simulating real typing for a search box. There is no option to enable/disable it, but it is clearly using this behavior. I've tried a workaround of entering text directly in the input element, but it doesn't seem to register it when this technique is used. I don't see how a textbox can be made to work without this behavior but a search box cannot.
Simulating real typing tends to be the most fragile part of our tests, and all we really need is to enter text and then search. It also slows down the tests quite a bit vs. just setting the text directly.