We never had silicon coated ones. The keymat itself was always silicon.@EvilDragon how come there is a move to all plastic keys? The original silicon coated ones sound like they would have a much better feeling.
The old version had a silicon mat where the plastic caps were printed with the label from below and then put into the keymat, surrounded by silicon.
This was nice - however, to achieve a proper stability in production (you don't want many tears, etc. within the mat), the silicon surrounding the plastic keys would've need to be 1 mm thick.
1 mm on each side is a lot - the plastic key would've had a size of 3x6mm, surrounded by 1mm transparent silicon on each side.
This would've made the printable area very small (about 2,8mm x 5,8mm) and when turning on the backlight, the whole silicon surround would be lit... so the keymat backlight would've more been a torch than a backlight for the labels...