Apple is believed to be working on a dramatic overhaul of its flagship MacBook Pro series.
The new notebook, which was rumoured to launch ahead of the Christmas shopping rush before purportedly being delayed into next year and now is seemingly back on track to launch in the next few weeks, looks set to introduce some interesting new features.
Most notably, it’s widely-believed to be the first MacBook model to ship with Apple’s all-new keyboard design.
That will be music to the ears of anyone who has used the butterfly-mechanism keyboard found on the current MacBook line-up, which has been plagued by reliability issues since it launched with the 12-inch MacBook series. After three minor revisions to the design to try to fix the issue, Apple now offers an extended warranty on the low-travel keys – even on the latest MacBook models which launched just a few months ago.
According to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a pretty solid track record when it comes to unreleased Apple hardware, the new keyboard will revert to the scissor-style keys with slightly more travel. Interestingly, Apple never moved away from this scissor-key design on its standalone wired and Bluetooth keyboards. These are also not included in any extended warranties.
Rumours of Face ID coming to the notebook to login and authenticate Apple Pay payments circulated online for months. However, that doesn’t seem to be what Apple is planning.
A new image of a MacBook Pro that isn’t currently available from Apple has surfaced in the latest macOS Catalina 10.15.1 update. Spotted by those clever folks at 9To5Mac, the new image offers our first glimpse of the hotly-anticipated new keyboard on the notebook. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can tell about the keyboard from the high-resolution image other than, well, it’s a keyboard.
The illustration doesn’t offer much insight into the amount of travel, or mechanism working beneath the keys.
However, it does reveal a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the top right-hand corner of the keyboard – exactly the same spot it’s found on the current MacBook Air series. It would be a baffling move for Apple to include both Face ID and Touch ID, so our money is on the next MacBook Pro not making the move to the facial unlock technology.
The illustration suggests that rumours of Apple including a physical ESC key beside the Touch Bar are also more likely to be true, given that Apple has decided not to include the Touch ID fingerprint scanner as part of the Touch Bar, like it is on the current MacBook Pro line-up.
The previous icon that was found last week in a previous version of the operating system been removed from macOS Catalina 10.15.1, uncovered by AppleInsider. Putting the two images together reveals a pretty comprehensive view of what we can expect from this new MacBook.
And unfortunately, it seems clear that the forthcoming redesign won’t be quite as significant as many had hoped.