Apple has released a new MacBook Pro with an improved butterfly keyboard following customer complaints and faster Intel processors, the company said.
- Apple has released new versions of its 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops with improved keyboards that it says will fix some issues customers have experienced.
- The company is also expanding its Keyboard Service Program to cover all devices with the butterfly mechanism keyboard at no additional cost.
- The new laptops will also have faster Intel processors.
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Apple is updating its 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro lines with a new keyboard that the company says will substantially reduce issues some customers have encountered with its butterfly keyboard mechanism.
The updates apply to the 13-inch model with Touch Bar and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and both new laptops are available to order starting Tuesday before hitting Apple's retail stores later this week.
The company made a change to the materials being used in the keyboard mechanism that it says will noticeably cut down on the problems some Apple laptop owners have experienced when it comes to key responsiveness.
Over the past several years, some customers have said newer devices that use Apple's butterfly keyboard mechanism would sometimes register two key taps when pressed instead of one. Other complaints have involved keys that won't work at all when pushed. According to Apple, the new keyboard on the MacBook Pro laptops launching on Tuesday should reduce those problems.
Complaints about Apple's keyboard have existed on forums since as far back as 2015, but the issues have received more widespread attention in recent years. Apple faced a class-action lawsuit over its butterfly keyboard last year, and the issues also prompted a petition on Change.org and inspired a parody song on YouTube.
For those who currently own laptops with butterfly keyboards, Apple is expanding its Keyboard Service Program to cover all butterfly keyboards across the 12-inch MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air line at no cost. The company also says that it has made improvements to the repair process that should speed up the amount of time it takes to fix affected keyboards. Previously, Apple's new MacBook Air that it launched in October was not listed on its Keyboard Service Program page.
Apple's newest laptops are also receiving a significant speed boost in addition to an improved keyboard. The 15-inch model is getting updated with Intel's 9th generation processors and will be available in an eight-core configuration for the first time. Apple says the new eight-core model will deliver 40% faster performance than the six-core version and two times the performance of the quad-core model.
When it comes to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Apple is refreshing it with Intel's 8th-generation processors and faster quad-core configurations that offer higher turbo speeds.
Time will tell if the keyboard on Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops lives up to the company's claims. The butterfly switches in the third-generation keyboard found in the MacBook Pro Apple released last July are coated in a silicone membrane to keep out debris, as iFixit found. But that didn't stop customers from encountering issues with the keyboard, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out in March, which prompted an apology from Apple.