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Apple launches refreshed MacBook Pro models with 9th gen Intel silicon and a keyboard 'tweak'

The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes with the option of an 8-core Intel Core i9 processor. (Source: Apple)
The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes with the option of an 8-core Intel Core i9 processor. (Source: Apple)
Apple has given its MacBook Pro models an unexpected spec bump that bring eight-core chips to the line as an option for the first time. Apple has also used the opportunity to ‘tweak’ its notoriously unreliable butterfly keyboard mechanism with aim of eliminating its problems. At the same time, the company has also added its entire line of 2018 MacBook releases, which includes the redesigned MacBook Air, to its keyboard repair program.

Apple has given its MacBook Pro line a surprise bump in specifications bringing enhanced performance across most of the line that range in incremental to substantial depending on model. More importantly, perhaps, the refresh also brings with it a design ‘tweak’ to address its long-standing keyboard reliability woes. In related news, the company has also added all MacBook models released in 2018 (including the all-new MacBook Air) to its official Keyboard Service program.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro models, except for the non-Touch Bar model, all get modest clock speed bumps but retain 8th gen silicon. The 15-inch MacBook Pro models get more substantial upgrades making the switch to Intel’s latest 9th gen silicon in with 6-core chips now standard. For the first time, Apple has also given customers the option to upgrade to Intel’s new Core i9 8-core parts for high-performance notebooks. Radeon Pro GPU options remain the same with the Vega 20 continuing as the top-of-the-line option.

The tweak to Apple’s MacBook keyboards offers just as much, if not greater, interest. According to Apple insider John Gruber, the new version of the “third-gen” design includes “a new material for at least one of the components in these switches.” The fix is supposed to stop keys getting stuck and single key presses generating either no result or double letters in some instances. Keyboards replaced as part of the Keyboard Service program will these revised third-gen keyboard designs, which with any luck, will mean and end to Apple’s self-inflicted keyboard nightmare. 

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models start from US$1,499 while the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with 9th gen Intel Core i7 6-core processor starts from US$2,399 with the Core i9 8-core model starts from US$2,799

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 05 > Apple launches refreshed MacBook Pro models with 9th gen Intel silicon and a keyboard 'tweak'
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-05-22 (Update: 2019-05-22)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.