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The keys of the new 2018 MacBook Pro, which uses a third-generation butterfly keyboard, appear to be cocooned in a “thin, silicone barrier” according to a teardown that’s underway over at iFixit.

According to iFixit, the quieter typing Apple has been advertising in the 2018 MacBook Pro models is a side-effect of the new membrane, which the site believes is actually an “ingress-proofing measure” to prevent the butterfly keys from seizing up when exposed to dust and other small particulates.


To back up its claim, iFixit points towards a patent for the technology Apple is using in the third-generation butterfly keyboard, which describes a “guard structure” that keeps direct contaminants away from the movement mechanism.

iFixit does say, however, that while the barrier is clearly in place, there’s no way to definitively prove that it’s a reliability fix rather than just a sound dampening measure.

iFixit plans to continue on with its teardown next week, but didn’t want to wait to share the news on the keyboard design changes.

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