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

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.

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Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
Remember the days when Apple was producing laptops with reliable keyboard?

Rating: 86 Votes
9 months ago
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.
Rating: 74 Votes
9 months ago

The old keyboard managed to go between 2006 and 2015 without controversy.

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.
Rating: 40 Votes
9 months ago
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
Rating: 39 Votes
9 months ago
How generous of Apple for letting users beta test this new keyboard!
Rating: 36 Votes
9 months ago
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.
Rating: 35 Votes
9 months ago
subtle doesn't sound re-assuring ;)
Rating: 34 Votes
9 months ago

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!
Rating: 28 Votes
9 months ago
What they need to do is introduce a "MacBook Pro Classic." Basically the same as the old design but with upgraded internal hardware. They can keep selling their new designs.

This is what the Coca-Cola people did after the new coke formula turned out to be a disaster. Everbody bought Coca-Cola Classic, and eventually the new coke formula was phased out.
Rating: 27 Votes
9 months ago
I think they made the perfect keyboard. Every attempt to make a "better" one has failed. Just go back to the one everyone loved.
Rating: 24 Votes

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