When Apple released its new MacBook Pro last week, it not only introduced it with a fast processor and a lot of RAM. It also introduces new keyboard layouts to make things more secure. But waiting for details, which were complemented by the iFixit repair site on Thursday, proved to be of great importance: to keep out the dust and other particles so that the keyboard won’t break.
Apple’s previous keyboard design (found on MacBooks since 2015 and MacBook Pros from 2016 to the latest version) is vulnerable to key failure. Debris falls under the keyboard and there’s no way out again, resulting in unresponsive keys. As Apple reduced the size of the issue, it was widespread enough to spur three class-action lawsuits and suggested that Cupertino last month simply admitted that something was wrong.
While Apple has offered to fix any affected keyboards for few years, the new MacBook Pro seems to be the first design-based development experience. More precisely, the thin silicon layer now sits above the butterfly mechanics on the keyboard – a layer of protection that can type something quietly, but definitely keeps more particles out.
“By breaking it up completely and watching it, I think calm things are just red herring,” said Jeff Suovanen of iFixit.
There is plenty of evidence to support it, starting with the fact that the new keyboards sound a whole lot like its predecessor. “The reduction of noise if you put it aside from the 2017 keyboard is not enough,” Suovanen said. “It sounds different, but it does not necessarily a whole lot quieter. ”
More credible, the new design resembles Apple’s two patents that are not designed to handle Decibel but to prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress. The type said would probably consider the key to a MacBook function otherwise. In addition, news site MacRumors today reported that the 2018 MacBook Pro internal service guide clearly stated the purpose of launching a new keystroke “to block the entry of waste into the butterfly mechanism.” Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
Why did Apple not just admit to trying to solve this important issue? These actions may have something to do with it. So far, the design of the keyboard is limited to the MacBook Pro, and recent reports
suggest that Apple will not use the keyboard to repair the old model. Everyone has to work with what they have.
The good news for those who get it is that this new feature seems to be working. For several days of testing, iFixit sprinkled the blue powder on the keys, then removed the keys to see where it went. Although it is not elegant, the amount of dust and heavy typing will still hit some of the particles behind the membrane and the MacBook 2018 comes out better than the model last year.
“It does not work 100% to prevent debris, but it’s good,” Suovanen said. “I really think this will help to relieve headaches and particularly consumer headaches.”
Apple also seems to be doing repairs. The old keyboard is hard to fix. Suovanen says Apple’s strategy is to hold a laptop at a 45-degree angle and hit it with compressed air. Otherwise, a brand new unit may be needed as removing each key on the keyboard may damage the main underlying mechanism. But iFixit found it could open and close it on the new MacBook Pro without a hitch.
“The measurements are very small, I just think they’ve changed the size slightly and/or maybe the material they are using for the clips, we usually break it, we even look at them,” Suovanen says.
This is still not perfect. The membrane cannot be protected. Drag the sand on the keyboard – Do not do this at home – cause some keys to seizing away quickly in the iFixit test. But the overall solution may require for redesigning of the entire keyboard and the MacBook Pro generally.
Regardless of how Apple puts its new keyboards, it really helps protect itself from dust and solve vexing problems. We hope that the company has extended this solution for the future MacBooks – and finally recognized why it was there for the first time.