iFixit’s teardown of new MacBook Pro finds keyboard dust covers

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We like a good teardown video from iFixit here in the office, mainly because we don’t have the budget to pull apart expensive tech, but also because we can see the inner workings that manufacturers would otherwise not let us see.

iFixit is currently doing a teardown of the 2018 MacBook Pro, which Apple recently updated with new models as the ones released three years ago were getting a little stale.

Those particular offerings introduced a new butterfly mechanism to each of the keys on the keyboard, designed to not only deliver a satisfying press each time they’re touched, but also one that is consistent throughout the MacBook Pro’s lifetime.

According to iFixit though, the second generation of butterfly mechanisms uncovered on 2018 MacBook Pro could actually be a fix that the company has designed for their flagship notebook.

To that end iFixit’s Sam Lionheart writes, “Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier.”

At its media unveiling for the new MacBook Pros, Apple noted that the redesigned keys were made to minimise noise, which appears to run contrary to Lionheart’s assessment.

“This flexible enclosure is quite obviously an ingress-proofing measure to cover up the mechanism from the daily onslaught of microscopic dust. Not -to our eyes- a silencing measure,” he adds.

As TechCrunch points out, there have been several reports from consumers over the reliability concerns of the newer butterfly mechanisms, which the addition of the silicone dust cover could be addressing.

Apple has not commented on this finding, with Lionheart surmising that it may be because Apple are currently fighting a number of lawsuits over the longevity and performance of its keyboards.

With iFixit’s teardown still ongoing, we’ll have to see what else they uncover about the 2018 MacBook Pro notebooks.

The company has added that it will be testing the dust resisting capabilities of the silicone key covers to find out if they are indeed designed to enhance reliability instead of reduce noise.

Hit play on the video below to get a closer look at iFixit’s findings.


[Image – iFixit]


Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.