Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboards Include Dust Blocking Membrane To Prevent Failures

Ruben Fields
July 15, 2018

If you got your new 2017 MacBook Pro from an Apple Store within the last 30 days, you can head back to the store, and explain the situation to them.

When announcing the new MacBook Pro, Apple noted that the laptop features "an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing"; however, it tells the Verge that the keyboard was not created to address issues with dust and debris. The new machines were first announced on Thursday, with online ordering available that day. The move was surprising since many expected Apple to unveil the refreshed MacBook Pro lineup at its September iPhone event. Only the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar received an upgrade this year, including Intel's latest chips, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 4GB of SSD storage.

A quiet keyboard is a neat perk, but if dust can still hinder regular operation, it's still a sucky keyboard.

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The diligent tech teardown specialists over at iFixit have taken apart the new keyboard and found a change - a thin, silicone membrane surrounding each of the keys. So whether they've attempted to address reliability problems along with the noise or not, I think they'd say the exact same thing today: only that they've made the keyboards quieter.

Apple even has a patent for the very same technology behind its third-generation keyboard. Apple recently instituted a keyboard fix program after numerous complaints about the butterfly keyboard mechanism used by previous generation MacBooks. Except the patent mentioned, the design was to help "prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress" and not to make typing quieter.

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