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.”
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 are soldered to the logic board, while the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar are glued together.