Last week, iFixit tore apart the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and discovered that each key on the keyboard is covered with a silicone membrane. A leaked internal document from Apple has confirmed that this was added to prevent dust from causing failures with the keyboard.
Today, iFixit has posted a deeper dive into the new third-generation butterfly keyboard to see how well it can keep dust and debris out.
Lo and behold, the dust is safely sequestered at the edges of the membrane, leaving the mechanism fairly sheltered. The holes in the membrane allow the keycap clips to pass through, but are covered by the cap itself, blocking dust ingress. The previous-gen butterfly keys are far less protected, and are almost immediately flooded with our glowing granules.
With a combination of a lot of dust and a lot of typing, the dust did penetrate the keys, suggesting that there is actually a small risk of failure. iFixit was actually able to cause the keyboard to fail by adding particles of sand.
There is still no way to tell how well this membrane will do over time, however, it seems like this silicone cover will offer more protection than the previous generation butterfly keyboards in older MacBook Pros.