back to article Apple gives MacBook Pro keyboard rubber pants

Apple has applied a prophylactic to its butterfly MacBook Pro keyboard, teardown specialist iFixit discovered after taking apart a model from the refreshed line. Apple said that the new range, announced last week, would get "an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing". The teardown of the new Macbook Pro models …

  1. djstardust

    Maybe so

    But at those prices Apple can go suck.

    Apart from that, the SSD being soldered to the motherboard is a definite no-go for me.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Maybe so

      And RAM. And everything.

      Just heat-press the thing and you have Surface-like reparability.

      1. ThomH

        Re: Maybe so

        Yeah, it seems odd to me to focus on the SSD. The trend in soldered batteries is more a concern to me; that's the only part of a laptop I've ever replaced.

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Maybe so

          Well, the only part of my last 3 laptops I've replaced/upgraded was the disk, so it seems normal to focus on that to me.

          I've never seen a laptop where the battery doesn't just unclip. That's insane if it's soldered on.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: Maybe so

            To me it's fairly standard to upgrade the hard drive and RAM on a laptop after a number of years to prolong the life of the laptop.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Maybe so

      The SSD is a module. But they're so expensive you'd not bother replacing it.

    3. deltamind

      Re: Maybe so

      They always purposely mess some stuff up for us don't they?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The company itself describes the Pro range as the most popular developer machine in the world.

    In the same way that Malaria is the worlds most popular disease presumably.

    1. Oh Homer

      Re: "the most popular developer machine in the world"

      With a laptop market share in single digits, I find that highly unlikely.

      Unless they mean it's the most popular Mac, used by a minority of developers ... mostly for developing mobile apps (which is now 52% of the market), while everyone else uses Dells et al.

      1. Thomas 6

        Re: "the most popular developer machine in the world"

        It may well be true, albeit misleading.

        I assume that everyone who wants a pro-level Mac is going to buy one of these. Everyone who wants a pro-level Windows or Linux machine, however, has a lot more to choose from, therefore, their individual share will be a lot lower.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      to be fair...

      Sometimes it's the only way a dev can get a (half) decent machine put of the beancounters.

      It certainly is round our way. MacBook pro; 1 month to procure... Lenovo high spec p50... 3 months and counting.

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    I'm sure

    I have seen rubber (or similar) sheets underneath keyboards (and definitely under calculator keys as I remember taking them apart when they died in case repair possible - back when they were (relatively) expensive) in the past to prevent crud getting in, surely lots of prior art for that "oh so worthwhile" patent

    .. or is there some suitable weasel wording and its just a tiny bit different from the decades of prior art

    1. Spacedinvader

      Re: I'm sure

      Certainly under buttons in controllers but that's for the contact...

    2. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure

      It's the first patented "by Apple"... those last two are the magic words that make it oh so different.

  4. AMBxx Silver badge


    Am I the only one who had an image of those plastic overlays you see (used to see?) in fast food places?

  5. Gordon 10

    I for one

    Welcome our new rubber keyed overlords.

    Can I "upgrade" the pre-2018 model Macbook Pro using an old ZX Spectrum keyboard membrane?

  6. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, the missus and I both have 2012 MacBook Pros and they still work as/better than the day we bought them. No trouble with the keyboards, SSDs or batteries. Fingers crossed for another 6 years?

  7. nematoad Silver badge



    He means "sealed"

    "it's English Jim, but not as we know it."

  8. Tigra 07
    Thumb Up

    "As we noted, Apple's professional laptops can often be found in unforgiving environments, such as field work" coffee shops.

    There, fixed that for you!

    1. mrtom84

      Those brownie crumbs can be hazardous!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And this is why I don't eat anywhere near the thing....

      2. Jay Lenovo

        Macbook "Bubble Boy" Pro

        The keyboard was getting foiled by specks of dust, not even huge crumbs.

        The original keyboard design was brilliant, provided it was sealed away from direct contact with the outside world.

        1. Tigra 07

          Re: Jay

          "The original keyboard design was brilliant, provided it was sealed away from direct contact with the outside world"

          ...In the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard?

          Sorry, i hate that joke but couldn't resist...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting that Apple isn't touting this

    They only talk about it being quieter. They already basically admitted the previous butterly keyboards were crap, by giving those extra extended warranties, so they are pretty well protected from class action suits (if Apple is repairing it for free, you don't have much to sue about)

    I wonder if this is because they aren't sure this will really address the problems, so they don't want to claim it does only to have people start reporting the same issues? They'd have considerable egg on their face if they did. While it isn't a good look to appear to not be doing anything about a publicly acknowledged issue that gave them a lot of bad press, if it turns out it is fixed they don't have to keep quiet about it forever...

    1. rmason

      Re: Interesting that Apple isn't touting this


      It's because You, I and reg readers know about this problem.

      Joe public hasn't a clue. If my mum, uncle,sister etc etc (all bright but you'll never find them on a tech blog or similar) wanted a new laptop they wouldn't get a sniff of broken keyboards and recalls.


      New, more quiet, keyboard.


      new more reliable keyboard.

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