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