Category Archives: Keyboard

New MacBook Pro keyboard design may fix dust problems after all

Enlarge / The keyboard on the 2016 Touch Bar MacBook Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

While Apple’s redesigned keyboards in the new MacBook Pro models are made to be quieter, they also appear to be designed to prevent another problem. According to a document sent to Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors, the new keys have a “membrane” underneath that helps “prevent debris” from getting into the butterfly mechanism.

“The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism,” state the Canadian and European versions of the document. “The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.”

The US version of the document doesn’t mention the membrane specifically. However, it does link to another document entitled Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018), which references the membrane under the keycaps as a method of stopping debris from entering the keyboard.

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MacBook Pro document confirms ‘anti-debris’ keyboard redesign

When iFixit tore down the new MacBook Pros, it found silicone barriers protecting keyboard switches. While Apple claimed these were to make the keyboards quieter, others suspected that the membranes were a way for Apple to fix its troublesome keyboar…

iFixit finds a ‘cover-up’ inside new MacBook Pro keyboards

While we've been all over the outside of Apple's newest MacBook Pro lineup, iFixit has, as usual, decided to look underneath the hood and find out what's changed from previous models. While it has not published a full teardown report yet, the repair…

The Sensel Morph trackpad is a digital creative’s dream

Our computers have become indispensable creation tools, but let's face it: The decades-old keyboard-and-mouse combo aren't the best way to edit video, draw or play music. That's where the Sensel Morph comes in. It's a pressure-sensitive touchpad…

Apple faces class action lawsuit over faulty MacBook keyboards

Apple has faced some pointed criticism over the butterfly switch keyboards on the 12-inch MacBook and current-generation MacBook Pro. Whether or not you like the tactile feel, they're sensitive to crumbs and dust — and since you can't just remove i…

The $200 Uno synth crams a ton of features into a small package

IK Multimedia is known for its wide variety of music gear, including MIDI controllers, mixers and instrument interfaces. Now the company has just launched its first analog synth, a compact little machine named Uno. The company's own Erik Norlander (…

What to look for when buying a tablet as a laptop replacement

Tablets didn't exactly take over the computing world, as Apple and Microsoft had predicted years ago. But they have been evolving to the point where they can fill in for a laptop under the right circumstances. Still, how do you ensure that the tablet…

Relive the ’80s with the Korg Volca FM synthesizer

Synths are great. You push a key, turn a few knobs and suddenly you're making "music." So when keyboard maker Korg realized it had a hit with its low-cost, entry-level Monotron series, it was only natural to follow it up with something that had a lit…

Dangerous Golf requires PC players to use a controller

Welp, looks like I won’t be needing this for my games anymore.

We’re looking forward to spending some time with Dangerous Golf, the destruction-focused, ball-bouncing “simulation” that just launched on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 courtesy of some veteran developers from Burnout Paradise-maker Criterion Games. Still, we’re a little surprised by a prominent missing feature from the PC version. As the game’s Steam page now notes quite prominently, “Dangerous Golf requires a controller to play.”

A lack of keyboard and/or mouse support is more than just a rarity in PC games; it’s practically unheard of. Even when games are specifically designed for a handheld controller on another platform, the PC port usually offers some sort of option for the two input methods that have been standard on practically every home PC for the past two or three decades. Console games that would be functionally impossible to control or feel incredibly compromised without a controller (EA’s Skate series comes to mind) usually just don’t end up with PC ports in the first place.

Aside from some recent virtual reality games (which might as well be considered a separate platform), the only PC game we can think of that officially requires a controller is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (players report there is some basic, barely functional keyboard support anyway). That game was explicitly designed to use a console controller’s dual analog sticks to allow for simultaneous, separate control of two protagonists. It would at the very least be extremely awkward to control without those sticks. Dangerous Golf, on the other hand, could probably have implemented the same basic keyboard/mouse-based control scheme that dozens of other PC golf games has used for decades without too much trouble.

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Google hovers over delete button for backspace nav shortcut in Chrome

(credit: ElbridgeGerry)

Google looks set to abolish a feature that allows users to navigate to the previous page by hitting the backspace key, after complaints piled up against the option.

However, it would seem that a small number of users will be very unhappy with the planned change.

The subtle tweak can apparently be seen in Chrome 52, which is currently only available as an unstable “Developer” version.

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