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2018 MacBook Pro keyboard undergoes dust test

2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard
Image Credit: iFixit

Apple’s 2018 MacBook Pro is at the center of 2 major controversies right now. One is with regards to its keyboard and the other with its excessive throttling.

To recall, Apple has come under heavy criticism over the butterfly keyboard that’s been gracing its MacBooks for the past few years. Even a single dust particle can cause it to fail. The company was eventually forced to launch a repair program for it. Trouble is, it’s replacing the faulty keyboard with the same faulty keyboard, so it’s only a matter of time before the issue pops up again.

2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Test

This is where the 2018 MacBook Pro comes in, since Apple has publicly stated that it has a “quieter” third-gen butterfly keyboard. iFixit quickly issued its own take on the part, showing photographic evidence of a thin silicone membrane to protect the butterfly mechanism from dust.

iFixit has now published a more in-depth teardown of the 2018 MacBook Pro’s keyboard, testing how well it deals with dust. It started out by sprinkling a powdered paint additive over the keyboard. The particles stayed at the edges of the membrane so the butterfly parts were safe.

2018 MacBook Pro Dust
Image Credit: iFixit

In comparison, the 2017 MacBook Pro’s keyboard got flooded with the granules as they were way less protected. iFixit then tried to add more dust and mixed in some aggressive typing on the 2018 MacBook Pro. This time, the dust got inside the sheltered clips and on top of the switch, so the barrier might fail over time and usage.

Lastly, they tested how well the 2018 MacBook did against a finer particulate – sand. The laptop couldn’t survive against the tiny particles, with just a few of them bringing it down. It seems Apple hasn’t quite got a hang of how to repel dust permanently. This wouldn’t even be an issue if it made cleaning the granules off easier.

Also Read: 2018 MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9 severely throttled due to heat issues

Many blame Apple’s never-ending quest to make thinner notebooks for this debacle. Its thicker laptops didn’t face this problem. Notably, MacRumors recently found out that the company was telling Apple service providers that the membrane is meant to protect the keyboard from debris.

This is in stark contrast to Apple’s public position which is simply that the third-gen butterfly keyboard is quieter and the change has nothing to do with dust. Nobody knows for sure why, but some think it may have something to do with the multiple lawsuits breathing down its neck.