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A MacBook Pro with a better keyboard design may finally arrive this week

Published Nov 11th, 2019 6:29PM EST
MacBook Pro 2019
Image: Apple Inc.

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For a company that prides itself on world-class design and products that “just work,” the MacBook Pro Apple introduced in late 2016 has proven to be nothing short of an embarrassment. As you’ve likely heard by now, Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro featured a butterfly keyboard design that was supposed to deliver an improved typing experience. Instead, MacBook Pro owners over the past few years have had to deal with a range of frustrating usability issues. Though the new keyboard design was slimmer, it was consistently unreliable and all too prone to breaking down completely if even the slightest piece of debris happened to wedge itself underneath a key.

The good news is that Apple, at long last, has seemingly realized the error of its ways.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a number of reports pointing to a new 16-inch MacBook Pro that is said to feature a more reliable scissor-switch keyboard design. While initial rumblings hinted at Apple introducing the new machine sometime in October, that obviously didn’t come to pass. That said, an announcement and accompanying release date appears to be imminent and could happen as early as this week.

Aside from the fact that we’ve already seen icons depicting a new MacBook Pro design in a beta release of macOS Catalina, IDC analyst JItesh Ubrani recently revealed that supply chain checks indicate that production may have already begun. What’s more, a recent report from 9to5Mac claims that Apple is planning to hold private press briefings regarding its new notebook sometime this week, if not today.

Long story short, there’s mounting evidence that we’ll see a new MacBook Pro announcement sooner rather than later.

Aside from a new keyboard design, Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro is said to feature a snazzy 3072×1920 display and a 96W USB-C charger. Additionally, the rumored notebook is said to boast smaller bezels, which is to say Apple will cram a 16-inch display into a form factor not too different from the current 15-inch MacBook Pro design.

No company is ever perfect, but it’s somewhat surprising that Apple stuck with the butterfly keyboard design for as long as it did. And while this is purely speculation, it’s entirely possible that Apple reverting back to a more robust keyboard design can be traced back to Jony Ive — who was notoriously obsessed with thin designs — leaving the company earlier this year.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.