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Service Documents Suggest Silicone Membrane in New MacBook Pro Keyboards Is Indeed Designed to Keep Out Debris

Interesting find by French site MacGeneration. Here’s the article in English, via Google Translate. (Side note: holy shit is Google Translate getting good — this still isn’t quite natural, but there are entire sentences with complex structure and punctuation that read perfectly.)

Here’s the relevant passage from the Apple service document MacGeneration obtained, which was in English:

Keyboard and Keycaps

The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycaps parts begin shipping.

This is what I thought all along: the new third-generation keyboard was designed to be quieter and more durable, but Apple, for legal and/or marketing reasons, has decided only to tout that the new design is quieter.

For what it’s worth, I’ve heard from a little birdie or two that my take is correct. Whether this design does make the keyboards more durable and reliable, only time and real-world use will tell. But they were designed to be.

Thursday, 19 July 2018