2018 MacBook Pro Butterfly Keyboard Features a ‘Thin, Silicone Barrier’ Under Each Key


2018 MacBook Pro keyboard teardown sneak peek

Apple officially has new MacBook Pro models out there, having unveiled them earlier this week. Part of the new design includes a third-generation butterfly keyboard.

That new keyboard, according to Apple, is designed to be quieter than previous generations of the keyboard. However, according to the company, it is specifically not designed to address any of the hardware and failure rate complaints that have crept up over the years since Apple introduced the butterfly design back in 2015, with the first 12-inch MacBook.

For what it’s worth, the new third-generation MacBook Pro keyboard does indeed sound a bit quieter than the previous iterations of the keyboard design. And, if the quick write-up from iFixit is any indicator, it also might include a new design decision that does indeed aim to reduce sticky keys, keys that fail to register, or the other issues that MacBook and MacBook Pro owners have been complaining about.

The publication has a quick teardown of the new mid-2018 MacBook Pro keyboard, which indicates that each key now features a “thin, silicone barrier” underneath the cap. They note that this design appears to be specifically implemented to stop “contaminant ingress” (dust particles and the like) and has nothing to do with making the keyboard quieter while someone types on it:

“This flexible enclosure is quite obviously an ingress-proofing measure to prevent the mechanism from seizing up under the brutal onslaught of microscopic dust. Not—to our eyes—a silencing measure. In fact, Apple has a patent for this exact tech designed to ‘prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress.'”

Up to this point, Apple won’t say that the new keyboard is designed to fix the issues that have popped up, but it appears that maybe, just maybe, they have indeed aimed to do just that. iFixit is planning on having a full teardown soon, and perhaps we’ll have a better answer when that happens.

If Apple did indeed aim to alleviate some of the design stress, and fix the situation, will you be considering upgrading to a third-gen butterfly keyboard later this year — or even with the newest MacBook Pro options?

[via iFixit]