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Apple service documents confirm presence of a membrane in the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboards

 Teardown of the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard revealed a membrane underneath. (Source: iFixit)
Teardown of the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard revealed a membrane underneath. (Source: iFixit)
Apple Authorized Service Providers have been distributed documents from Apple that confirm the presence of a membrane beneath the keys of the 2018 MacBook Pro models to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. While the membrane is for real, the reason for its existence is apparently not the same in all versions of the documentation.
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The keyboards of the MacBook Pros have been a point of contention lately owing to their increased propensity to cause issues while typing. Following the recent release of the 2018 MacBook Pros, Apple Authorized Service Providers have been supplied with service documentation that details the servicing aspects of the keyboards in the new MacBook Pros. The documentation confirms the presence of a 'membrane' underneath the keys to 'prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism'. 

When the new MacBook Pros were announced, Apple did not mention any improvements to the keyboards apart from the fact that the third generation butterfly mechanism offers a quieter typing experience. It was only during iFixit's teardown of the notebook was a 'membrane' underneath the keys spotted. The service docs have now confirmed the presence of the silicone barrier. An excerpt from the document reads, 

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

Interestingly, another version of the document accessed by Apple Insider makes no claim about prevention of debris from entering the keys but is otherwise identical to the one that mentions it. We've previously heard of Apple patents referring to butterfly designs to prevent 'contamination ingress' and looks like Apple has implemented the same in this generation. The quieter nature of the keys during typing can also be attributed the presence of this silicone. 

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1352 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 07 > Apple service documents confirm presence of a membrane in the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboards
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-07-19 (Update: 2018-07-19)