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

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 24, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
  3. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    If Apple insists that there isn't anything wrong with the keyboard, why has it been redesigned so many times?

    The old keyboard managed to go between 2006 and 2015 without controversy.
  4. PastaPrimav macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2017
    ...from the company describing the material as "crinkly".

    They're not exactly a scientific outfit.
  5. RWil85, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019

    RWil85 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    I wonder if Apple is going to call iFixit and ask them to remove the teardown from the website?

  6. HailstormX macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2012
    I still don't understand why they need to "reinvent" the keyboard. I have a 2014 MacBook Pro with an excellent keyboard.
    Wish they would have stuck with the retina design
  7. realtuner macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2019
    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”.
  8. Salty Pirate macrumors 6502

    Salty Pirate

    Oct 5, 2005
    kansas city
    I wanna know how they got the 8 core 14nm cpu 10° C cooler
  9. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    Your premise and your logic are both flawed.

    Premise fail: https://www.apple.com/support/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks/

    Logic fail: Just because Apple introduces new iPhones every year you cannot conclude that anything is wrong with the earlier designs.
  10. agffth macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2014
    I think they made the perfect keyboard. Every attempt to make a "better" one has failed. Just go back to the one everyone loved.
  11. MacFather, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019

    MacFather macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2012
    Remember the days when Apple was producing laptops with reliable keyboard?

  12. Dave-Z macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2012
    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.
  13. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    How generous of Apple for letting users beta test this new keyboard!
  14. StuKatz1 macrumors member

    May 24, 2019
    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.
  15. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    It's amazing how much these tiny components really affect the way we do work.
  16. ChrisChaval macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2016

    now, when will we see that all glass haptic keyboard?
  17. MacLawyer macrumors demi-god


    Aug 1, 2009
    The 2019 MacBook Pro specs are tempting, but I'm hanging on to my current notebook until the keyboard has been shown to be reliable.
  18. 69Mustang, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019

    69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    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.
  19. LavenderCaptain macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2009
    This time for sure, right???

    In the words of the great 50 Cent: "I'll come back when you're hungry"
  20. macmyworld macrumors 6502


    May 25, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Complete tear down is on the ifixit website. Changes are pretty subtle. Apple must have a better long term idea - sometimes a design is just bad.
  21. NickName99 macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2018
  22. jeyf macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2009
    Apple killed the MB a long time ago and its not coming back any time soon.
  23. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    From iFixit: “Topping it all off is the key cap. This has a handy label to tell users which key is broken.” :p
  24. MacLawyer macrumors demi-god


    Aug 1, 2009
    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)."
  25. zubikov macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2014

    Now fix the problem where the F-keys turns into a cumbersome OLED display and all the ports seem to vanish. Once the Esc/F-keys are working again and USB/SD slots reappear we're back to a working laptop!

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