New 16-inch MacBook Pro now expected to debut this week
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Long suffering MacBook Pro fans might finally have something to cheer about this week with a report suggesting that it could launch as soon as the middle of this week. The device has been rumored to be in production, but a launch date hadn’t been pinpointed until now. According to 9to5Mac, Apple started previewing the new 16-inch model to certain members of the press this week suggesting that its launch is imminent.
The 16-inch form factor, up in size from the traditional 15-inch form factor suggested that the new model could bring an all-new design, but early indications are that it will simply be a refinement of the existing design – at least aesthetically. Rather, Apple will effectively cram in a 16-inch display in something approaching a similar chassis size to the current 15-inch model, thereby reducing the bezel of the display.
Superficially, the Touch Bar will also change to separate the Touch ID button from the main strip while Apple will also reintroduce a dedicated ESC key, which is a noted frustration of the switch to a software-based key in the current Touch Bar design. Most importantly, however, Apple will finally ditch the disastrous butterfly keyboard mechanism it introduced several years ago for a more traditional scissor switch mechanism that is far more reliable and proven.
A ‘soft launch’ through a press-release, rather than a media event to mark the launch of the new 16-inch model also makes sense for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the design isn’t expected to be radically different from the existing lineup. Secondly, Apple isn’t going to want to draw special attention to the keyboard design in a televised forum that is likely to result in wry cheers and claps from an audience completely over the butterfly keyboard debacle.