Laptops

Apple claims keyboard woes are over on its new MacBook Pros

Apple claims keyboard woes are...
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro runs at a native resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels, a new high for the MacBook Pro
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro runs at a native resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels, a new high for the MacBook Pro
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The new 16-inch MacBook Pro runs at a native resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels, a new high for the MacBook Pro
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The new 16-inch MacBook Pro runs at a native resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels, a new high for the MacBook Pro
The controversial butterfly keyboard has been ditched, and the Esc key is back as a physical button
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The controversial butterfly keyboard has been ditched, and the Esc key is back as a physical button
With more powerful configuration options and better heat management, the new MacBook Pro really is for the professionals
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With more powerful configuration options and better heat management, the new MacBook Pro really is for the professionals

Apple has upgraded its premium MacBook Pro laptop line, upping the screen size from 15.4 inches to 16 inches, adding more powerful configurations, and – just maybe – fixing the keyboard woes that have been plaguing current versions of the portable computer.

If the name didn't tell you, this is very much a laptop for the professionals: that bigger screen, a new 64 GB of RAM option, the latest 6-core and 8-core processors from Intel, and upgraded graphics choices too. Apple says the new MacBook Pro will last longer between battery charges than ever before as well, with up to 11 hours of battery life.

Expect every review of the new computer to focus on the keyboard, which has apparently undergone something of an overhaul. Apple currently has a free repair program in place for current MacBook Pro keyboards, if they begin acting strangely – keys not responding, or typing more than one letter at once, for example.

Apple says only a "small percentage" of laptops have been affected by these typing woes, but anecdotal reports have been widespread enough for the keyboard to get a bad reputation. In this new model, Apple has gone back to a scissor mechanism with 1 mm (0.04 in) of travel, replacing the controversial butterfly mechanism used in the past.

The controversial butterfly keyboard has been ditched, and the Esc key is back as a physical button
The controversial butterfly keyboard has been ditched, and the Esc key is back as a physical button

There's now a physical Esc key alongside the Touch Bar, something else that had been a bone of contention with users, and the Touch ID button has been separated from the Touch Bar too, to make it easier to hit.

For the first time in a MacBook, you can put up to 8 TB of storage inside this new MacBook Pro. Add in the improved performance (up to twice as fast as previous models for some tasks, Apple says), the six-speaker system (up from two), and the redesigned thermal handling under the hood, and it looks as though Apple has pulled out all the stops on this one.

Apple is calling it "the world’s best pro notebook" – of course, you would expect Apple to be enthusiastic about its own laptops, but in this case in seems as though the hype might be justified. On paper at least, this is one of the most powerful laptops you can get your hands on.

All that power comes at a price, of course. The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is available now direct from Apple, with a starting price of US$2,399 (the same as the previous 15-inch models). Once you start ramping up the specs, that price gets very high very quickly. For now, the 13-inch MacBook Pro models remain unchanged.

Product page: Apple Macbook Pro

3 comments
christopher
Yep - they replaced my keyboard, and it took about a month to start misbehaving again. As soon as you add useful ram and storage, the price becomes ridiculous. My old one cost $7k, and it turned out to be *slower* than the top-of-the-line model I already had from 2016. That mac does not even come close to "best" in any way - that honor belongs to the Proart Studiobook one: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/asus-proart-studiobook-one-specs-price - where at least you know up-front that it really is the best, and what it's going to cost.
Daishi
I loved the keyboard on the older Mac Pro that still had an HDMI port. I haven't had technical problems on my 2018 Mac Pro keyboard but I can't type anywhere as close to as fast on it as the old one and this generally seems true of my coworkers as well. My old Mac Pro was my first Mac and I was immediately comfortable with the keyboard. I think some of the anger about the new keyboard isn't just the technical problems it's that there are many other people like me that preferred the old one more. I don't need my Mac to be 1 mm thinner I just want my old keyboard back.
alexD
this is far from acceptable... for that price, it should come with a full keyboard... home/end/pgup/pgdown/insert/delete, the whole 101 keys. Think ... ThinkPads : those are the best keyboards ever and if you are a developer you can't be happy with anything less.