iFixit Finds 2019 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Subtle' Changes to Membrane Cover and Switches

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Apple surprised us with a MacBook Pro refresh earlier this week. 2019 models feature faster Intel processors with up to eight cores for the first time, as well as "new materials" added to the keyboard to hopefully reduce issues such as sticky and repeating keys that prompted Apple's worldwide repair program.


Apple didn't elaborate on the new materials, but the repair experts at iFixit have completed a teardown of the 2019 MacBook Pro and discovered a "subtle change" made to the silicone membrane covering the keyboard switches.

Whereas the membrane in the 2018 MacBook Pro is "semi-opaque" and "feels like silicone," iFixit says the cover in the 2019 model is "clearer and smooth to the touch." Based on infrared analysis, it appears the 2018 membrane was made with polyacetylene, while the 2019 covers uses polyamide, aka nylon.

iFixit also found that the metal dome over each key switch is "subtly different" as well. "It could be a new surface treatment, and/or a tweaked alloy, possibly to alleviate problems with durability, bounce-back, or other issues," they said.

2018 MacBook Pro parts on left, 2019 MacBook Pro parts on right in each image

Beyond the keyboard, the 2019 MacBook Pro has few changes, as this was merely a spec bump. The notebook still earns iFixit's lowest repairability score, as the processor, RAM, and flash storage remain soldered to the logic board, while the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar are glued together.

Article Link: iFixit Finds 2019 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Subtle' Changes to Membrane Cover and Switches
 
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realtuner

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That’s why you don’t trust a repair technician to analyze these things.

An actual engineer could take the components from both keyboards and determine exactly what the differences are, why they were made and what benefits resulted from the changes.

These guys are just guessing because “it looks different”.
 

chabig

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Dave-Z

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Jun 26, 2012
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The old keyboard managed to go between 2006 and 2015 without controversy.
This. A thousand times over.

I know not everyone was a fan of their previous keyboard but it did not have all this controversy. Clearly this new design is flawed. It's pretty obvious when a computer comes out with an extended warranty program already in place for it. And all this for what? One millimeter less depth for the whole device? It's simply not worth it.

But... Apple being Apple won't admit their coveted designs could possibly be a mistake.
 

StuKatz1

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May 24, 2019
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Having received a full refund thanks to EU consumer law, an incredibly long process that Apple actively tries to make progressively more difficult for you to complete, there is no way in hell I am purchasing this. I’m laughing out loud at the idiots that have also had keyboard problems and are now going to buy the 2019 machine. Insanity. Wake up.
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
...from the company describing the material as "crinkly".

They're not exactly a scientific outfit.
To be fair, they are describing the feel and look, and how it differs from the previous membrane material. They aren't describing composition. Also they seem to know the audience they're addressing. Effectively conveying the message may have taken priority textbook scientific definitions.

Hopefully, the changes mitigate the issues.
 
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MacLawyer

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...from the company describing the material as "crinkly".

They're not exactly a scientific outfit.
You obviously didn't read the report.

"When comparing these FTIR spectra to that of known polymers, the closest match for the 2018 model is polyacetylene with aromatic urethane side groups, while the 2019 model uses polyamide (commonly known as nylon)."
 
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