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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.

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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> 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)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.