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Apple updates its MacBook Pros roughly once a year, but this is the biggest refresh to the MBP line in quite a while. First off, some of the models include the latest generation of Intel chips. They also have the versatile Touch Bar and TouchID. But in my mind what really makes this year’s MBP the MVP (truly sorry for that one) is that they address a problem MacBook users have been complaining about for years: the keyboard.
In what seems to have been a relentless march toward making the thinnest hardware possible, MacBook Pros dating back to 2016 have had keyboards made with a “butterfly switch” mechanism, as opposed to a scissor mechanism found in most other keyboards. When pressed, these keys had very little travel, a feature many users didn’t like. Making matters worse, they had a high failure rate, resulting in stuck or unresponsive keys. Apple made changes to the butterfly mechanism over the ensuing years, but the problems persisted.
Thankfully, the new 2020 MacBook Pro features a rare thing indeed: a concession from Apple. This machine, along with the 16-inch MacBook Pro and new MacBook Air, all use scissor switches again. As a result the laptop is a hair thicker than its predecessor, but having a reliable keyboard that feels better to type on seems like a worthy tradeoff.
Plus, these MacBook Pros will be fully compatible with macOS Big Sur when it launches later this year. Apple says the new OS will bring with it a noticeable design shift, plus improved performance and power efficiency, among many other new features.
Chris Reed is IGN’s shopping and commerce editor. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.