The 2018 MacBook Pro is in a bit of controversy regarding its third-generation butterfly keyboard. Apple isn’t clearly communicating whether it’s solved the sticky issue which plagued the first and second-gen keyboards. Thankfully, iFixit is here to offer some answers.
To recap, the butterfly keyboard in recent MacBooks has been accused of being extremely sensitive to dust or any other microscopic particle. The situation got so out of hand that Apple was forced to launch a repair program for it. The brand’s currently facing multiple lawsuits over the matter, but it still hasn’t admitted that there was a problem with the keyboard’s design in the first place.
How Apple Fixed Its Butterfly Keyboard
Enter the 2018 MacBook Pro. Apple says it has a quieter keyboard, but is not breathing a word on sticky keys. It told The Verge that the third-generation butterfly keyboard wasn’t designed to solve the issue. iFixit has an alternate theory – the quieter keyboard is just a side effect of fixing the keyboard’s dust sensitivity.
It came to this conclusion after tearing down the 2018 MacBook Pro. It found a thin rubberized layer underneath the keycaps protecting the butterfly mechanism. The firm thinks the silicone membrane is an ingress-proofing measure to protect the system from microscopic dust and not a silencing measure.
To further prove their point, iFixit points out that Apple has a patent for this exact tech specifically to “prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress.” The company might be touting how much quieter the keyboard is, but that may just be marketing speak so that it doesn’t have to say it fixed the flaw. As we mentioned above, it hasn’t even admitted there is a problem.
Nobody will know for sure whether the new protective layer works until the MacBook Pro reaches consumers. iFixit plans to test its theory out and publish a full teardown next week, so we should get a clearer idea of what’s going on with the laptop’s keyboard by then.