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

Isaac Cain
July 16, 2018

But in the case of Apple's flagship MacBook Pro notebook, that time could be now.

If you were wondering what was so new and special about the new MacBook Pro Keyboards well we've got the answer for you! Surprisingly, the third compatible monitor is Apple's own Thunderbolt Display, which has been discontinued for several years now. But they made no mention of a design change to the problematic butterfly mechanism used under the keys. The new 2018 models have the same starting price as their 2017 counterparts, with the "base" 15-inch MBP starting at $2399 while the "high-end" MBP starts at $2799 which packs a faster CPU, better GPU, and twice the SSD capacity.

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As per the patent application, the gasket would comprise of a layer that would act as a membrane to block dust particles. iFixit now says that's what the new MacBook Pro keyboard contains, and that the sound of the keyboard is quieter as a side effect of the silicone membrane. It's clear that there is an audible difference between a 2018 MacBook Pro and an older model, although iFixit believes this is likely a byproduct of the addition of the aforementioned membrane rather than any specific work having been done to quieten keypresses.

Marketing-wise, I don't think they would admit to a reliability problem in the existing butterfly keyboards (especially since they're still selling second-generation keyboards in all non-TouchBar models), and legal-wise (given the fact that they're facing multiple lawsuits regarding keyboard reliability) I don't think they should admit to it. But apparently, True Tone isn't limited to the colors on the display of the MacBook Pro itself. Although this is just an opinion, iFixit has backed up its claim with an Apple patent, that shows the exact same design, even being labeled that the membrane was created to "prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress".

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