'Quieter' MacBook Pro keyboard is exclusive to 2018 model

Whether it protects against dust or no, don't expect to see the new keyboard after Apple repairs your laptop.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister

iFixit discovered the new MacBook Pro keyboard has a membrane that could keep dust and debris out.


There's a new MacBook Pro keyboard in town, one which Apple merely says is quieter, but also presumably protects against damage from dust.

But if your MacBook Pro gets damaged by dust and you opt for the free repair program, you won't get the new quieter third-gen "butterfly switch" keyboard -- but rather a replacement for your original second-gen model.

That's according to MacRumors and Apple Insider, both of which say that Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers won't be permitted to replace the old keyboards with the new model. CNET can also confirm that it's exclusive to the 2018 MacBook Pro.

It's not clear why, but it's quite possible the new keyboard simply doesn't fit. iFixit just tore down the 13-inch model and discovered the top case had been shaved down, presumably to make more room for the new laptop's larger battery.

When Apple launched its free keyboard repair program in June, it made literally every existing model of MacBook Pro with the "butterfly switch" keyboard eligible.

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