Apple files patent for a crumb-resistant MacBook keyboard

best cheap macbook deals 1

Time for MacBook owners to rejoice, at long last your troubles are at an end. Well, one of them, maybe. According to a patent application made public on Thursday, March 8, Apple could be developing a new MacBook keyboard designed to prevent crumbs and dust from getting those super-shallow MacBook keys stuck.

“Liquid ingress around the keys into the keyboard can damage electronics. Residues from such liquids may corrode or block electrical contacts, getting in the way of key movement and so on,” the patent application reads.

The application goes on to describe how those problems might be remedied: With the careful application of gaskets, brushes, wipers, or flaps that block gaps beneath keycaps. One solution would include a membrane beneath each key, effectively insulating the interior of the keyboard from the exterior, while another describes using each keypress as a “bellows” to force contaminants out of the keyboard.

“A keyboard assembly [could include] a substrate, a key cap, and a guard structure extending from the key cap that funnels contaminants away from the movement mechanism,” the patent application reads.

Apple’s engineering is notoriously exacting, it’s why products like the MacBook Pro and iPhone command such high prices compared to their competitors. Whether or not those prices are warranted is another matter entirely, but Apple’s brand is built upon the promise of premium and highly engineered user experiences.

When a stray piece of dust can ruin one of those experiences, it’s no wonder Apple is investing in keeping those crumbs out of its keyboards. As with all patent filing news, it remains to be seen whether or not this particular change to the MacBook design will make it out into the real world, but it’s an improvement that solves a very real problem.

It might seem like a small issue, but for owners of the latest MacBook Pro, it’s been a bit of a sticking point. On a laptop that can run you around $3,000 depending on specs, losing keyboard functionality because of a stray crumb is a big deal. There is even a song about it. With the MacBook line slated for an update in 2018, we might see crumb-resistant keyboards sooner rather than later.

Product Review

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a love letter to PC geeks

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up is targeted at business use, but it’s long appealed to hardcore PC geeks as well. The new X1 Extreme, which combines a powerful processor and high-resolution screen with Nvidia graphics, seems built for them…
Computing

Which is best: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme or the 15-inch MacBook Pro?

To try and help nail down the best 15-inch laptops in the world, we compared the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. MacBook Pro 15 in a head to head that looked at their power, design, and portability.
Product Review

Samsung’s quick and versatile Chromebook Pro is the future of Chrome OS

Before the Pixelbook hit the market, the Samsung Chromebook Pro was the first premium 2-in-1 Chromebook of its kind. It's portable, stylus and touchscreen-enabled, and came with the Google Play Store installed right out of the box.
Product Review

Google Pixelbook review

Do you want the best Chromebook money can buy? Our Google Pixelbook review examines the operating system’s new flagship, which includes 2-in-1 versatility, an active stylus, and Google Assistant.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.
Computing

Memory is still expensive, but Intel’s 9th-gen CPU lets you have 128GB of it

Intel's 9-series CPUs have a few exciting things going for them but for some, new support for double height memory modules with a maximum system capacity of 128GB could be one of them.
Product Review

Don't bother with any other 2-in-1. The Surface Pro 6 is still the best

The Surface Pro been updated to its sixth generation, now coming dressed in black and packing a quad-core processor. Outside of that, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to see where Microsoft has made some truly noteworthy improvements.
Computing

Your ‘Do Not Track’ tool might be helping websites track you, study says

New research from the "Do Not Track" features embedded in popular browsers are being ignored, opening up the possibility of consumers having their information targeted by specific ads based on their web histories and cookies. 
Computing

Microsoft co-founder, Seahawks owner Paul Allen dies at 65

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died on October 15 of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The cancer survivor was best known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his frequent contributions to charities.
Computing

How does Microsoft’s newest Surface stack up against the Apple iPad Pro?

In an era where everyone is taking a bite at Apple’s products, we’ve stacked up the 12.9-inch iPad Pro against the latest Surface Pro 6. Check out this comparison guide to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
Computing

Leaked benchmarks suggest rumored AMD GPU could be king of midrange graphics

AMD's next GPU may not be Navi-based after all. Rumors continue to build about an RX 590 which has now shown up on 3DMark's benchmark database, delivering results that easily outstrip stock clocked GTX 1060s.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Computing

Qualcomm’s ‘Snapdragon 1000’ could bring octa-cores to Windows laptops

The rumored Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 CPU may bring the octa-core design of mobiles and tablets to Windows laptops, offering four powerful cores for high performance, and four low-power cores for efficiency.
Computing

Is the new Surface Pro 6 worth the extra money or is the Surface Go good enough?

Each of Microsoft’s Surface devices are great, but with the recent addition of the Surface Pro 6, you might be wondering how it stacks up against the Surface Go. In this comparison piece, we’ve put the two devices up against each other…