A month later, it introduced a subtle revision to its troubled keyboard in a new MacBook Pro , adding a thin layer of silicone above the butterfly mechanism in a bid to keep debris out in the first place. It helped! But clearly not enough. Last November, Apple debuted what it called the Magic Keyboard in its inch MacBook Pro , moving away from the butterfly and embracing scissor switches once again.
A new MacBook Air followed suit this spring. And now, after several months as the lone holdout, the inch MacBook Pro has jumped ship as well. The new MBP gets a processor improvement to 10th-generation Intel Core and a graphics boost to match.
It doubles the standard storage from the previous model to a gigabyte solid state drive—topping out up to 4 terabytes—with a maximum 32 GB of RAM for the first time. If there's disappointment here, it's the webcam, which is still a middling p resolution. In the Zoom Times, that's just not good enough. If you're a butterfly keyboard diehard—surely they exist—you should still be able to pick up an older model in Apple's refurb store for a while.
All in all, pretty straightforward improvements. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. Learn more. Executive Editor, News Twitter. Only Apple truly knows how widespread the problems with this keyboard really are, and only Apple truly knows whether those problems made a significant impact on MacBook sales.
If you are a MacBook user, the biggest effect on you is whether your keyboard lets you type. More than anything else, though, the whole butterfly keyboard saga has been a huge reputation hit for Apple. For those who thought Apple was sacrificing functionality for thinness across its entire product lineup, the butterfly keyboard looked like confirmation. For those who felt Apple was intentionally making its devices harder to repair as a way to further lock them down and also cut out third-party repair shops, it was another data point.
For those who felt Apple had stopped paying attention to the Mac, here was a prime example of a problem allowed to languish to years. How could the company fail to see — or refuse to admit — that it was shipping a bad product? The Mac has serious challenges in front of it. As the iPad Pro gains more traditional computer functionality , more people are considering it a laptop replacement.
Through it all, macOS has seen slower development compared to iOS, plus less clear direction over the past few years. Are Catalyst apps the future? Is it SwiftUI? How will the impending ARM switchover affect the future Mac apps?
Film TV Games. Fortnite Game of Thrones Books. Comics Music. Filed under: Apple Editorial Tech.
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But the announcement's ultimate significance lies less in what the new laptop adds than what it subtracts: Apple has finally abandoned its uncomfortable, vexing, eminently breakable butterfly keyboard. In that system, two criss-crossing pieces of plastic sit under every key and above a membrane; when you press down, they collapse like a beach chair and register your stroke. But five years ago, in the space-saving ethos that seemed to inform every product of the late-Ive era, Apple asked, What if the keys were even lower?
The butterfly keyboard was its answer. It was 40 percent thinner, in fact, a haircut achieved by swapping in a mechanism that depressed straight down the middle, the plastic supports flapping like wings with every keystroke. It received harsh reviews from the start.
It's not that different from tapping on a touchscreen. It soon became apparent, though, that carpal discomfort was the least of its problems. As highlighted by journalists like Casey Johnston and Joanna Stern, the keyboard was prone to breaking. This was crazy-making.
By , the failures had inspired three separate class action lawsuits. It also prompted a rare, if tacit, admission from Apple that it had goofed. In June , Cupertino introduced a free keyboard repair program for nine models of MacBooks and MacBook Pros, good for four years after the date of purchase. A month later, it introduced a subtle revision to its troubled keyboard in a new MacBook Pro , adding a thin layer of silicone above the butterfly mechanism in a bid to keep debris out in the first place.
It helped! Since Apple launched the flatter keyboard in , many customers and reviewers have complained about the keyboard malfunctioning. Some users have said the keys won't respond when tapped, while others have said keys will respond twice when only tapped once.
Apple launched a repair program to address such issues for affected customers free of charge. But at a time when the majority of Apple's stores around the world remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, purchasing a laptop with a risk-prone keyboard feels like a hazard. Replacing the smaller-sized MacBook Pro's butterfly keyboard with the new Magic one addresses that concern, and it may have come at the best possible time.
Still, it feels like Apple saved much of its more exciting new additions for the inch MacBook Pro. That laptop comes with a larger display with thinner bezels framing the screen, slightly longer battery life, Apple's excellent new six-speaker audio system, and studio quality microphones. The inch Macbook Pro feels like an incremental update ahead of something bigger. That switch to mini-LED should bring richer contrast to Apple's laptop screens compared with the current display panels the company uses.
The approach that Apple has taken with the inch MacBook Pro is a solid one that I hope it continues with the smaller version in the future. Rather than adding new features that are nice to have but not necessary like the Touch Bar, which is still a mainstay on Apple's Pro laptops , Apple focused on making meaningful improvements to existing features like the speakers, microphones, and the screen.
Regardless, the new inch MacBook Pro is at least a sign that the butterfly keyboard is finally gone for good, which is probably the best MacBook update to come in years. Keep reading. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Lisa Eadicicco. Apple's new inch MacBook Pro comes with the company's new Magic Keyboard, which represents a big improvement over the older controversial butterfly keyboard.
Following years of customer complaints about the now defunct butterfly keyboard, the Magic Keyboard feels much more comfortable to type on. It offers deeper key travel, which makes each tap feel more satisfying compared with the flatter and stiffer butterfly keyboard.
Apple today updated the inch MacBook Pro, improving the typing experience with the new Magic Keyboard and doubling the storage. The MacBook Pro keyboard showing the Touch Bar, Touch ID (power button),. Use Touch ID (the power button). Press to turn on your MacBook Pro (or just lift the. After the new inch MacBook Pro, Apple has finally stopped trying to fix the butterfly keyboard on its laptops.