MacBook Pro teardown reveals subtle changes to keyboard mechanism

The shift to a new butterfly keyboard mechanism is Apple’s least popular design decision in recent memory. After a flood of negative feedback over stuck and malfunctioning keys, the company has continued to upgrade the technology with subtle fixes.

Just two days ago Apple issued yet another update — one it believes will address many of the system’s ongoing woes. Today, iFixit broke open the new model, identifying some of the changes underneath. The tweaks appear to be small, and the iFixit folks are still on the fence about precisely what’s new here, but things do appear to line up with what we were told by the company.

Here’s Matthew:

The MacBook Pro keyboard mechanism has had a materials change in the mechanism. Apple says that this new keyboard mechanism composition will substantially reduce the double-type/no-type issue.

There have been some material changes to various elements, including the membrane the company added last year to both cut down on keyboard volume and (hopefully) help keep debris from lodging beneath the keys. The material has shifted from an opaque (likely) silicone to clear (probably) nylon.

The dome, which provides the bounce back while typing, appears to have been updated, as well as to help protect it from the wear and tear that might have been contributing to failure.

“There are myriad possible reasons for this switch to crack or wear out,” iFixit writes. “Manufacturing defects, plain old fatigue, prolonged heat, moisture, outgassing from other components, and corrosion are all common culprits.”

As with past updates, Apple’s choosing to remain silent over what precisely has changed. This time out, however, the company’s including the new models under the umbrella of its Keyboard Service Program, just in case.