Apple Just Launched Its Fastest MacBook Pro Ever (with a Better Keyboard)

Apple Macbookpro 8 Core Display 05212019 Credit: Apple
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Apple has unveiled new 2019 MacBook Pro models with faster processors and updated keyboards in a surprise announcement on Tuesday. To be clear, these are not overhauled and redesigned machines — their updates are incremental in nature. But they still pack some significant upgrades over the previous 2018 MacBook Pro models.

What’s Changed for 2019

The new MacBook Pros now feature Intel’s 8th and 9th-generation Core processors. Notably, that means that Apple’s flagship notebooks can now come with eight cores for the first time.

Apple says that its new eight-core MacBook Pro devices will feature two times faster performance than a quad-core and 40 percent better performance than a 6-core MacBook Pro.

The higher-end 15-inch models are now equipped with a new generation of Intel chips announced just a few weeks ago.

Here are the exact specs, according to the company’s press release.

  • The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes in faster 6- and 8-core, 9th-generation Intel Core processor options, featuring Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro now comes in faster quad-core, 8th-generation Intel Core processor options with Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz.

As examples of the performance boost, Apple says that 3D designers can render scenes up to two times faster in Maya Arnold, and developers can compile code up to 65 percent faster in Xcode.

In addition to the more powerful internals, Apple also quietly updated the butterfly keyboards in the 2019 MacBook Pro models. While it didn’t mention anything about the keyboards in its press release, Apple did confirm to The Loop that they’ve been redesigned.

More specifically, Apple said they have “changed the material” inside of the butterfly keyboard mechanism. The company told The Loop that this should “substantially reduce issues that some users have seen.”

It isn’t clear what impact the material change could have on dust mitigation, but it may address rumored problems with long-term heat damage affecting the switches in the butterfly keyboards.

In any case, we’ll just have to wait until the first teardown articles come out to find out exactly what Apple’s changed.

What Hasn’t Changed

Although the internals are speedier and the keyboards are (hopefully) more durable, the overall design of the MacBook Pro models has remain unchanged.

It’s worth noting that the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar hasn’t been updated. That means it retains 2017’s internals and a second-generation butterfly keyboard.

The machines feature the same display, speakers, T2 security chip, Touch Bar, Force Touch trackpad and Thunderbolt 3 ports as their predecessors. As with the 2018 models, the new MacBook Pros will ship running macOS Mojave.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing on the new MacBook Pro models hasn’t changed. The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,799, while the new 15-inch MacBook Pro models start at $2,399.

The computers are available starting today from Apple’s online store. They’ll also start appearing at brick-and-mortar locations later this week.

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