Video Overview

Introduction

Apple just released their new Magic Keyboard amidst a slew of new accessories and some shiny new iMacs. This "magical" new Apple accessory has garnered some buzz for its rechargeable battery, instant pairing, and new key mechanism, but how will it fare in terms of repairability? We're eager to find out, so it's time to join the fun with the best magic trick we know. Alohomora! It's teardown time!

Looking for the rest of the 2015 Maccessory lineup? Check out the Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 teardowns!

Do you want to be part of the magic? Find us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for more tech news.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Magic Keyboard, use our service manual.

Image 1/3: Dimensions: 0.43" × 10.89" × 4.52" Image 2/3: Bluetooth wireless connectivity Image 3/3: Internal lithium-ion battery
  • Before the plastic bits start flying, lets take a peek at the spec sheet:

    • Dimensions: 0.43" × 10.89" × 4.52"

    • Bluetooth wireless connectivity

    • Internal lithium-ion battery

    • Lightning port (for charging and pairing)

Still no lit keys... and no replaceable battery? No thanks. I will keep what I already have, and when they break I'll still buy the old model.

crus - Reply

Replaceable battery? What is this, 1999?

glundmark - Reply

Image 1/2: And a Lightning port! If you just felt a soft breeze, it may have been from millions of television remotes sighing in relief; no more stealing batteries for your keyboard! Image 2/2: The Lightning port serves two purposes—quick and easy (magic?) pairing to your Mac over a cable, and recharging the integrated battery.
  • Flipping over the new keyboard, we find a magical, new model number: A1644.

  • And a Lightning port! If you just felt a soft breeze, it may have been from millions of television remotes sighing in relief; no more stealing batteries for your keyboard!

    • The Lightning port serves two purposes—quick and easy (magic?) pairing to your Mac over a cable, and recharging the integrated battery.

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Image 1/3: The new keyboard adopts the slightly revised layout of the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Retina+Macbook+2015+Teardown/39841|2015 MacBook] keyboard—including " full-size" left and right arrow keys, and function keys. Image 2/3: Switching to an internal battery means Apple engineers got to ditch the battery tube, giving the keyboard a lower profile. This should be good practice for typing on our new iPad Pro Smart Keyboard! Image 3/3: Looking for that slick, streamlined desk?The Magic Keyboard matches the Magic Trackpad 2, too, with similar slim profiles. For more on that, head over to our [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Magic+Trackpad+2+Teardown/51032|Magic Trackpad 2 teardown|new_window=true]!
  • Comparison time! Let's take a look at how the Magic Keyboard stacks up against the 3rd generation Wireless Keyboard.

    • The new keyboard adopts the slightly revised layout of the 2015 MacBook keyboard—including " full-size" left and right arrow keys, and function keys.

    • Switching to an internal battery means Apple engineers got to ditch the battery tube, giving the keyboard a lower profile. This should be good practice for typing on our new iPad Pro Smart Keyboard!

  • Looking for that slick, streamlined desk?The Magic Keyboard matches the Magic Trackpad 2, too, with similar slim profiles. For more on that, head over to our Magic Trackpad 2 teardown!

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  • This looks like a good place to start. Manufacturers often hide screws under rubber feet to get that clean unbroken underbody look.

  • Tweezing out a rubber foot reveals a slot that holds the foot in place. Almost a screw! But not. This is just some molded plastic.

  • Thanks to a complete lack of fastener or seam, it's time to open some eyes with an iOpener.

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  • The gap between the plastic bottom and aluminum frame is too thin even for our opening picks—so instead we put our Apple Watch Opening tool to work, hoping for some prying purchase.

  • Once we get enough of a gap opened up, we sheath our knife and switch to plastic. Plastic Opening Picks, that is.

  • The entire lower panel is glued in place, so we make a heat-and-pry-and-repeat parfait. Delicious. But arduous for repair.

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Image 1/3: Underneath we find our first components—the logic board and rechargeable battery. And another layer of adhesive laden plastic. Image 2/3: The battery is a snap to disconnect—no solder here, so Apple intends for it to be at least ''somewhat'' replaceable. Image 3/3: Did someone glue an [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6s+Teardown/48170#s107877|iPhone battery|new_window=true] in here?
  • With enough of the rear panel pried up to get a handle on it, we can peel it right off the back, after some struggles.

  • Underneath we find our first components—the logic board and rechargeable battery. And another layer of adhesive laden plastic.

  • The battery is a snap to disconnect—no solder here, so Apple intends for it to be at least somewhat replaceable.

  • Did someone glue an iPhone battery in here?

    • Okay, not really. This battery has different dimensions than an iPhone battery, but it shares some similar design concepts. Unfortunately, those nifty adhesive strips are not one of them.

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Image 1/3: The 2.98 Wh battery has less than half the capacity of the 6.55 Wh battery in the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6s+Teardown/48170#s107877|iPhone 6s]. But with less to do the battery should last for months on a single charge. Image 2/3: Since rechargeable batteries eliminate disposable battery waste, Apple proudly calls this keyboard (as well as the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Magic+Trackpad+2+Teardown/51032#s111306|Trackpad|new_window=true], and [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Magic+Mouse+2+Teardown/51058|Mouse||new_window=true]) more environmentally friendly. Image 3/3: That may be true, but it's important to note that ''all'' non-replaceable batteries limit device lifespans, eliminate users' options to use removable and rechargeable batteries, and greatly hinder end of life recycling.
  • Without those peel-out adhesive strips, more vigorous prying and picking are required to free the battery.

  • The 2.98 Wh battery has less than half the capacity of the 6.55 Wh battery in the iPhone 6s. But with less to do the battery should last for months on a single charge.

  • Since rechargeable batteries eliminate disposable battery waste, Apple proudly calls this keyboard (as well as the Trackpad, and Mouse) more environmentally friendly.

    • That may be true, but it's important to note that all non-replaceable batteries limit device lifespans, eliminate users' options to use removable and rechargeable batteries, and greatly hinder end of life recycling.

What's the lifespan of a battery like this?

I haven't owned a rechargeable mouse or keyboard before, but I know my iPhone battery is crappy after only 2 years.

Tito Jankowski - Reply

Image 1/3: All that stands in our way are a couple T3 screws, and then the (tiny!) logic board is free! Image 2/3: No pentalobes? Thanks, Apple! Apparently they weren't expecting us to get past that gnarly glue. Image 3/3: No pentalobes? Thanks, Apple! Apparently they weren't expecting us to get past that gnarly glue.
  • We disconnect a promising Lightning connector cable, and although it's not a soldered tangle, the port refuses to budge.

  • All that stands in our way are a couple T3 screws, and then the (tiny!) logic board is free!

    • No pentalobes? Thanks, Apple! Apparently they weren't expecting us to get past that gnarly glue.

So how does the Bluetooth antenna work? There seems to be an antenna connector on the logic board, which does not obviously have an antenna etched in, but none of the steps shows anything attached to that connector.

Dominic Dunlop - Reply

I know this is a long time after your comment, but...

Look at the second image of step 6 on the top right of the logic board, above the unused antenna socket, there is a spring contact to the case. The connector is probably for pre-assembly testing, I'm sure they wouldn't want to use all that glue to seal in a non-working logic board to then worthless $99 / £79 / €119 device; waste of glue for starters ;-).

Bryn Jones -

Image 1/2: Broadcom [https://www.broadcom.com/products/wireless-connectivity/bluetooth/bcm20733|BCM20733|new_window=true] Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution Image 2/2: ST Microelectronics [http://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/mmc/FM141/SC1169/SS1031/LN1565/PF164493|STM32F103VB|new_window=true] 72 MHz 32-bit RISC [http://www.arm.com/products/processors/cortex-m/cortex-m3.php|ARM Cortex-M3|new_window=true]
  • A quick peek at the logic board reveals a dusting of silicon we can't wait to get a closer look at. Notable hardware includes:

    • Broadcom BCM20733 Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution

    • ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB 72 MHz 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex-M3

    • NXP 1608A1 Charging IC

    • Texas Instruments BQ24250C Single Input I2C/Standalone Switch-Mode Li-Ion Battery Charger

Bluetooth 3.0 ? I was expecting an Apple keyboard with bluetooth LE...very disappointed.

mastroalberto - Reply

Image 1/3: This honeycombed spacer layer is ''sandwiched'' in glue, giving the keyboard strength to stand up against even the most... [http://rhoit.com/img/gif/devilcoder.gif|enthusiastic typists|new_window=true]. Image 2/3: The Lightning port is finally, after a couple screws, free. Image 3/3: At least a port replacement is ''possible'', if utterly frustrating.
  • Another layer bites the dust!

  • This honeycombed spacer layer is sandwiched in glue, giving the keyboard strength to stand up against even the most... enthusiastic typists.

  • The Lightning port is finally, after a couple screws, free.

    • At least a port replacement is possible, if utterly frustrating.

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Image 1/1: Spoiler alert: no butterfly keys in this net, just Apple's fancy new scissor mechanism.
  • Hats Keycaps off to this teardown!

  • Spoiler alert: no butterfly keys in this net, just Apple's fancy new scissor mechanism.

  • At first glance this looks like the same mechanism found in the 2015 MacBook.

    • However, according to Apple, they've actually reengineered the scissor mechanism to increase stability and improve key travel. By our best measurements, the new design offers a whopping 1 mm travel distance and totally flat keypresses—or something.

    • Looks like desktop users will have to wait for the Magic Keyboard 2 for the butterfly effect key.

I can't believe that apple spend all that time making the butterfly keyboard design and promote it to be much better than the normal keyboard, but rather than continue to back it they bring out a new keyboard using the scissor mechanism...it's almost like they dont think the butterfly mechanism is any good anymore...lol

pauldixon1986 - Reply

To me it sounded like the butterfly keyboard is *thin and still good*, not *the best*. So it only makes sense in a product that must be thin.

thesmok -

Butterfly mechanism of the MacBook-2015 is only 1mm travel distance; hard to use for any typing, very hard to use for long typing.

This new Magic keyboard is only 1.5mm travel distance, not as hard as the Butterfly, but hard to use as well. Less wobbly than previous Apple scissor switch generation, but you have to understand that the previous generation was a joke and very wobbly.

This and the Butterfly are ok for short texting and short typing. I do not recommend any of these for long typing sessions.

Azteca - Reply

I tried to swap to keycaps and was impossible to attach them back. Is there a special tools needed?

zarkogermek - Reply

Same here.. Space bar off .. Won't back

On

haphog -

What older scissor mechanism would fit for this keyboard? I broke one scissor mechanism while replacing keys and I need to buy one. Will Macbook Pro Retina scissor mechanism fit? Or? Thanks.

neeedz - Reply

Image 1/2: The Lightning port and battery can be replaced independently of the logic board—if you can get the device open. Image 2/2: While fragile, the keycaps are removable and replaceable.
  • The Magic Keyboard Repairability Score: 3 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • The Lightning port and battery can be replaced independently of the logic board—if you can get the device open.

    • While fragile, the keycaps are removable and replaceable.

    • Excessive use of strong adhesive makes it very difficult to remove the rear panel, hindering access to every internal component.

    • Without a service manual, it is difficult to open the keyboard without damaging internal components.

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10 Comments

I have removed my spacebar and can't put it back properly. It just stays pushed down as if it was pressed. Can't find any help online with that. People, please help!

artur - Reply

same over here. It does work but stays down. Did you find a solution?

lvdw -

I spilled milk on my magic keyboard :S and now the f1,2,3 'til f10 and the right shift key don't work. and I made the stupidity to take off the f1 and f2 to see if I was capable to clean and make it work... not... now I have two keys that I can´t attach again and I think I broke a little part of the mechanism... big $@$*. today I went to the official apple store here in aveiro and they told that can´t help me, that don't have any mechanism parts to attach again the keys and that I have to buy a new keyboard if I want all the keys working, what?? anyone know any website that sells just the new scissor mechanism for the magic keyboard? many thanks.

miriamelefante - Reply

Hi, I also have the Portuguese Keyboard, can I ask if you did find any way to fix your keyboard there in Aveiro?

I don't know if you fix it or not, I have another problem, with my acute accent and crasis key, doesn't work any more. Now, I don't know if you even your keyboard any more, but if don't, I can buy it from you...? Or anything... I don't know...

Severiano -

I have removed caps lock and can't put it back. It just stays pushed down and no return. How can I put it up?

Wookjong Kim - Reply

@artur I just had this exact same issue, but managed to resolve it. If a key stays down after you clip it back in, it means you didn't clip it in properly, and the top of the scissor mechanism isn't clipped into the key, so it doesn't get pushed up. Remove the key again, and look at the little clips on the underside of it. You'll see the ones at top of the key need you to slide the key upwards towards the top of the keyboard to clip it in, wheras the ones at the bottom just requrie you to push down on the key to clip them in. So, position the key towards the bottom of it's "gap", then push down on the top part of the key, and then push the top part of the key up towards the top of the keyboard to get the top clips clipped in. Then just push down on the bottom of the key to clip it in.

James Cocker - Reply

@jcwacky I could not understand your suggestions here. Like many others I've been unable to reattach the Spacebar key to the Magic Keyboard. Unlike other previous keyboards, this spacebar uses a design that makes it very difficult to reattach.

The main problem is as described, you reattach and it stays stuck down. From what I can tell, there is an orientation where small clips connect to the butterfly mechanism. Those go toward the bottom I think.

However, no number of other attempts make the key attach properly. I can not see any way to fix this. There are no youtube videos showing how to reattach the spacebar on the magic keyboard. Closest thing I found was someone saying it was nearly impossible and their key works worse now.

I'm super bummed I tried to clean this.

rb - Reply

I spent a bunch more time on this and was able to restore the key. It was not as good as before, but it did get back into place and it is now usable again.

One major issue with this is that the metal pins used to hold the metal bracket ends can bend or warp fairly easily. I think that a bent pin may have been what caused the stickiness on my space key in the first place.

Here's my guide: How to reattach a Spacebar Key to the Magic Keyboard

rb - Reply

are these tools available in India?

prateek goyal - Reply

Someone has any luck in finding keys to the keyboard to solve this "stays pushed down as if it was pressed" problem (@artur; @lvdw)? It's not a clip properly @JamesCocker, if I change places with another key, the other key is working normal, in my case its really a "broken key" problem...

Thank you all!

Severiano - Reply

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