Apple updates MacBook Pro processors and keyboard, extends Keyboard Service Program

Apple updates MacBook Pro processors and keyboard, extends Keyboard Service Program

Continuing its renewed commitment to update pro Mac laptops on a regular basis, Apple on Tuesday announced an update to its 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar models ten months after the previous announcement. These updates don’t bring any changes to the exterior of the MacBook Pro—it’s the same base design introduced in late 2016—but they do bring 9th-generation Intel processors with up to eight cores to the MacBook Pro for the first time. There’s also been yet another tweak to the controversial butterfly keyboard Apple first introduced in 2015.

Processor updates

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is the model most affected by these updates. It gains 14nm “Coffee Lake Refresh” 9th-generation Intel processors with six and eight cores. This is the first time Apple’s had an eight-core MacBook Pro. Here are the specs:

  • $2399: 2.6 GHz 6-core i7 (4.5 GHz Turbo Boost)
  • $2799: 2.3 GHz 8-core i9 (4.8 GHz Turbo Boost)
  • Configure-to-order option: 2.4 GHz 8-core i9 (5 GHz Turbo Boost)

Apple says that the fastest model is up to 40 percent faster than the previous-generation six-core laptop, and that users looking to upgrade from the previous generation of quad-core-equipped MacBook Pros could see up to double the performance of those models.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is getting less of an update. It’s still using 8th-generation Intel quad core processors, but slightly faster ones with improved Turbo Boost speeds to help in tasks that primarily use a single processor core.

Apple says these new models also feature a fourth version of the butterfly keyboard design, in response to customer complaints that the keyboard would end up in a sad state where key presses were ignored or doubled 

 While Apple is quick to say that the vast majority of MacBook Pro customers haven’t experienced any keyboard issues, the company still keeps tweaking this design. It claims that the change made in these new MacBook Pro models will substantially reduce the incidence of ignored or doubled characters. Read more

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