Apple improved the 2019 MacBook Pro keyboards after all, iFixit uncovers

2019 MacBook Pro keyboards
Image Credit: TechRadar

Apple didn’t just improve the processors within its existing MacBook Pro models, but apparently the company has also improved the keyboards that these refreshed laptops offer, teardown site iFixit has learned.

The new MacBook Pro has a high price, as have all MacBook Pro models before it. And, with a high price comes an expectation of high quality. But, for the last several years, Apple's MacBooks have had keyboard issues with missed and repeated key presses. They've been a result of the Butterfly keyboards used in MacBooks from the 12-inch version to the MacBook Pro.

Apple has worked to address the issue in the past, making iterative changes to the butterfly keyboards, but the problems persisted. Apple even issue an apology over the keyboard failures many have experienced, and it went so far as extending its keyboard repair program to cover all MacBooks with Butterfly keyboards recently.

That coverage includes the newest MacBook Pro models, but apparent changes made to the Butterfly keyboards within may help avoid a need to.

What's different?

Based on iFixit's findings, there's at least one change to the Butterfly keyboard. The previous version, which did have issues, used a different material in its switch covers. These are meant to keep debris away from the actual key switch that registers inputs.

A Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy analysis revealed that the new switch cover is made out of nylon, while the old cover seemed to be mostly polyacetylene with aromatic urethane side groups. In addition, Apple may have made a change to the metal dome switch itself, but that hasn't been confirmed.

The changes are presumably to address the issues that have affected earlier Butterfly keyboards. But, since Apple has already tried to sort out the problems in the past, we'll just have to wait and see if the latest Butterfly keyboard revision works out.

We've contacted Apple for comment, and will update this story should we receive a response.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.