That’s cool — faster performance is always appreciated especially if you do things like video editing — but the most important change is to the controversial “butterfly” keyboards. Apple says it’s improved the keyboards so that a single-press doesn’t produce double keystrokes.
Though Apple maintains that most MacBook Pro owners haven’t experienced any keyboard issues, it nevertheless made changes.
Apple was likely prompted by The Outline’s Casey Johnston, who was one of the first to bring widespread attention to the poorly-designed keyboards and The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern, who highlighted in a neat interactive piece how Apple’s latest laptops still have busted keys.
On the new 2019 MacBook Pros, Apple told me it changed the material within the “keyboard mechanism.” The company wouldn’t share further specifics on which exact parts were improved, so it’s likely we’ll have to wait until somebody like iFixit does a teardown.
Following its release, iFixit tore down the previous MacBook Pros, revealing Apple had added a thin rubber layer underneath each key to make the keyboard quieter and potentially block dust and dirt from getting trapped inside.
Until people get their hands on the new MacBook Pros to test out, we’ll have to take Apple’s word that it’s really addressed the keyboard problems this time.
In addition to improving the keyboard reliability on the new MacBook Pros, Apple says it’ll replace any 2018 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air experiencing keyboard problems with the improved keyboard for free, even if they’re no longer covered under warranty. Furthermore, all MacBooks with butterfly keyboards are now included in Apple’s keyboard repair program and can be fixed for free as well, though, the keyboards will only be replaced with the same version and not the latest ones.
This is the right thing to do and could be enough of a gesture to restore trust from MacBook faithfuls who may have lost faith in the company’s commitment to quality products.
As for the MacBook Pro spec updates — they’re about what you’d expect and start at the same prices as their predecessors.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar starts at $1,799 and comes with faster 8th-generation Intel Core processors; the base model has a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5 CPU with Turbo Boost speed up to 4.1GHz and the configurable model, which starts at $2,099, has a beefier 2.8GHz quad-core Core i7 CPU with Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz.
Apple tells me the base 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is now 2.3x faster than its fastest dual-core non-Touch Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro. Graphics performance from the Intel Iris Plus graphics should be comparable to the previous-gen 13-inch MacBook Pros, though.
For the 15-inch MacBook Pros, Apple’s updated them with 9th-generation Intel Core processors. The base laptop starts at $2,399 and comes with a 2.6GHz six-core Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speed up to 4.5GHz. Meanwhile, the $2,799 version has a 2.3GHz eight-core Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz. An even more loaded 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with a faster 2.4GHz eight-core Core i9 CPU with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz, but it’ll cost you, starting at $2,999. The 15-inch laptops come with Radeon Pro 555x and 560x discrete graphics, respectively.
All new MacBook Pro configurations are available immediately from Apple. The 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, last updated in 2017, remains in the MacBook Pro lineup sans update.