Apple recently refreshed its MacBook Pros and while it may look like a simple performance boost, the company also revamped the laptop’s butterfly keyboard. But what did the company change exactly? iFixit tore it down to find out.
Credit: Laptop Mag
iFixit discovered that the transparent switch cover was different. The 2018 version looked semi-opaque and felt like silicone, but the new version is clear and smooth to the touch.
They confirmed that the materials are in fact different using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The process involves shining an infrared light at a material to measure how much light is absorbed. iFixit determined that the 2018 model is either polyacetylene with aromatic urethane side groups or a type of TPU, which they believe is more likely.
iFixit also believes that the metal dome switch changed as well. The publication compares the lid to a Snapple cap, since it springs back up every time you press down, which means if the dome cracks at all, the key will simply stop functioning. iFixit stated that “Apple may be using a revised heat treatment, or alloy, or possibly both.”
However, despite all of that tinkering, iFixit couldn’t figure out what issue Apple was trying to solve with these changes. They also gave the 2019 MacBook Pro’s keyboard a repairability score of 1 out of 10, which isn’t exactly a surprise.
Hopefully, we’ll notice some sort of difference once we actually get these systems through our lab. Stay tuned for our full review and benchmarks of the 2019 MacBook Pros.
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Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.