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Silicone Membrane on New MacBooks Pro Alleviates (But Doesn't Heal) Keyboard Problem

After a few days of silence, Apple finally “confirmed” today that the silicone membrane present on the keyboard of the new MacBooks Pro It is a protection measure to prevent failures such as those that hit multiple units from previous generations and are not a way to make the keyboards quieter (more?), as the company announced at the launch of the new models.

But does this addition effectively protect keyboards and shields from future headaches to their users? That was the question that the iFixit He tried to respond with a detailed analysis of the new membrane and the keyboard itself.

iFixit tests keyboard and silicone membrane of new MacBook Pro

The brave disassemblers began the test with a brilliant powder paint additive, applying small amounts of “dust” to the inside of the keyboards. Quickly, the tiny fragments settled on the edges of the cavities, staying away from the butterfly mechanism and thus protecting the keys. Although the membrane has holes in it, they are “covered” by the plastic key itself, preventing fragments from invading the center of the mechanism in almost every situation.

Yes, almost all: iFixit has determined that if the amount of dust or debris is too large and if the user makes heavy use of the keyboard (both in terms of rhythm and force applied to typing), it is possible that the particles can still penetrate the butterfly mechanism, potentially causing the problems seen over the past year. In other words, the protection helps a lot, but does not completely shield the users.

The second part of the test involved sand, and the larger, harder particles were fatal even to the new keyboard: even with a not too large amount, the affected keys simply stopped working. So, don't take your new computer (at least!) $ 12,000 to the beach, huh?

Taking advantage of the momentum, iFixit also took apart the keyboard layer by layer to find out what the silicone membrane looks like. The tough process, involving removing all internal MacBook Pro components underneath, peeling off a huge protective sticker, several screws and over 12 rivets, which explains the company's need to basically replace the entire underside of the computer to make It is a simple repair of the keyboard (so that is clear: explains, but it is still horrible).

iFixit tests keyboard and silicone membrane of new MacBook Pro

The silicone membrane is, after all, a single molded and cut piece, that is, at least that component can be changed easily after you disassemble the rest of the computer and remove its keys, that is.

Speaking of keys, by the way, iFixit has also detected that the plastic parts are a bit thinner than those of the previous generation (1.25mm versus 1.5mm), certainly to compensate for the presence of the silicone shield and ensure a click distance. similar to previous generations. The good thing is that you can remove the keys a little more easily now; On the other hand, they are slightly more fragile. So no typing on your new computer for (minimum!) $ 12,000 like an ogre, huh?