16-inch TeardownSource: iFixit

What you need to know

  • iFixit has published its initial teardown of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.
  • They wanted to take a good look inside Apple's brand new laptop keyboard mechanism.
  • iFixit seems confident that MacBook's woeful keyboard days are behind it.

iFixit has published its initial teardown of Apple's brand new 16-inch MacBook Pro, giving viewers a look inside the new scissor mechanism keyboard, and the internals of the device.

In its teardown, iFixit reports that Apple's new keyboard is very much an improvement on the Butterfly mechanism of old:

The new Magic Keyboard in the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses a scissor switch that looks almost identical to the switches in the desktop Magic Keyboard, and MacBooks sold before the butterfly blunder. The switch is two plastic pieces, crossed, with a pivot in the middle to control key movement. It's more robust than butterfly switches, and there's more space to tolerate debris within its movements. This is backed up by the lack of a membrane around the keys, and the lack of an extended warranty (so far) on this keyboard. Apple seems confident about durability (or noise levels, perhaps).

Compared to the butterfly keyboards, the new keyboards have about 0.5 mm more travel when you press them. The keycaps are about 0.2 mm thicker. The tiny clips that attach the keycaps to the scissor switches seem reinforced, so that there's a lower chance of breaking them and ruining the keycap when you pull it off for cleaning or repair. Now you have a way better chance of getting the cap off and back on intact.

Reassuringly, the new keyboard on the 16-inch Macbook Pro has a feel "almost identical" to older, more popular Apple keyboards like the Magic Keyboard. In fact, iFixit notes that the two are so similar, you can actually swap in old Magic Keyboard keycaps onto the new MacBook.

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iFixit actually live-streamed its teardown over on YouTube, and you can check out that full video below. The purpose of this initial test was to dive into the internals of the new keyboard, and also catch a quick look inside. The full iFixit teardown is coming on Monday, November 18.