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Teardown of iPad Pro Smart Keyboard shows conductive fabric, MacBook-based key design

A teardown of Apple's Smart Keyboard accessory, published on Tuesday, shows some of the advanced technology underneath including conductive fabric, and a key design borrowed from the 12-inch Retina MacBook.




The device uses multiple layers of fabric and plastic to keep it water- and stain-resistant, repair firm iFixit noted. This includes microfiber, plastic, and what iFixit calls a nylon layer —in marketing, Apple refers to it simply as polyurethane.

The keys themselves use the same switches found in the 12-inch MacBook. Some other touches include a stiffening weight in the spacebar —ensuring an even press —and small vents that allow the air pressure generated by typing to escape.




The most important layer in the product is Apple's conductive fabric strips, which link the keys to the Smart Connector on the outside of the case, and provide two-way power and data. iFixit suggested that these should be more durable than regular wires or flex cables, something also advertised by Apple.

The firm lastly remarked that while the product is tough, it is impossible to repair, since opening it up and replacing anything effectively destroys it.

Apple shipped the Smart Keyboard roughly two weeks ago alongside the Pro, selling it for $169.