A closer look at the improved keyboard on the new MacBook Pro reveals it’s nearly identical to Apple’s popular Magic Keyboard (AAPL)
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- The revamped keyboard in Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly identical to the company’s Magic Keyboard, a teardown from iFixit found.
- The new keyboard uses a scissor switch mechanism that’s very similar to the one found in the Magic Keyboard.
- Apple overhauled the MacBook Pro’s keyboard after customers had complained about the butterfly mechanism keyboard found on its other recent laptops for years.
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Apple said the much-improved keyboard on its new 16-inch MacBook Pro was inspired by its Magic Keyboard, and now a teardown from iFixit provides evidence that the new keyboard lives up to those claims.
When tearing apart the keyboard on Apple’s new laptop, iFixit found that the keyboard is nearly identical to the Magic Keyboard Apple sells alongside the iMac Pro. It’s so similar, in fact, that iFixit was able to replace a key on the new MacBook Pro with a key cap from the Magic Keyboard.
That’s largely because the scissor switch that powers the keys in Apple’s new laptop, which consists of two crossed plastic pieces with a pivot in the middle for commanding key movement, is pretty much the same one found in Apple’s Magic Keyboard. Compared to the butterfly switch, the scissor switch leaves more room around the keys to tolerate debris, writes iFixit, which is important considering Apple’s previous butterfly keyboards were prone to issues.
The new keyboard also seems like it will be easier to clean and repair based on iFixit ‘s teardown, as the report also notes that the clips that are used to keep the key caps seem more durable. This means you should be able to remove the key caps more easily without breaking them.
The new keyboard also has 0.5 millimeters of additional key travel compared to the butterfly keyboard, and the individual keys are 0.2 millimeters thicker, the teardown also found.
Apple’s decision not to bring its butterfly keyboard to the new MacBook Pro comes after it received widespread criticism in the years following its release. Customers complained that laptops with the butterfly keyboard would sometimes register two taps instead of one, or simply wouldn’t respond when tapped at all. A class action lawsuit was even filed against Apple in 2018 over the problems surrounding its butterfly keyboard.
Apple has since launched a service program that repairs faulty out-of-warranty keyboards free of charge. Earlier this year, it also launched a new version of the MacBook Pro with an improved version of the butterfly keyboard that it said would reduce these issues. But the launch of the 16-inch MacBook Pro represents the company’s first major departure from the butterfly keyboard since it launched on the 15-inch MacBook in 2015.
Other than an improved keyboard, the new MacBook Pro also comes with a larger 16-inch display, making it the biggest screen Apple has put on a laptop since 2011. It also has higher quality speakers and microphones, and higher capacity storage and memory options.