Gadgets for humans

Apple launches the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, yes, it has a ‘new’ keyboard

Burn in hell, butterfly

header image heaven 16-inch macbook pro

Awwwyeahhh! Hot on the heels of yesterday’s rumor, Apple has actually launched the 16-inch MacBook Pro laptop.

I don’t normally get excited for laptop updates, but the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a bit different. Why? Because the company has finally backtracked on its awful butterfly keyboard and has installed a new one with the far more reliable scissor mechanism instead.

No, it’s not exactly the “new” keyboard Apple’s marketing would have you believe, but whatever. Thank fuck the butterfly nightmare is over… for the moment.

The company refers to the, uh, “new” typing area as the Magic Keyboard, stating that it delivers “1mm of key travel” and a “stable” feel. Interestingly, Apple has also included a physical escape key next to the Touch Bar, which is good news for anyone who has struggled with its absence. Which is anyone who has used the Touch Bar.

Apple 16 inch macbook pro magic keyboard
It’s like manna from heaven.

Apple has also fiddled with the cooling system on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The company‘s re-engineering of this should, according to them, result in a “28 percent increase in airflow.” And it has made the heat sink “35 percent larger.”

Time will tell about those statistics, but at the very least, the 16-inch MacBook Pro should be able to handle more intensive tasks than the previous generation.

This is a good thing, because Apple has beefed up the specs with this laptop. It has new 8-core processors, which can run (with Turbo boost) up to speeds of 5.0 GHz. It can also be expanded to include a ridiculous 64GB of RAM — the first Apple laptop to achieve this.

The company has also concentrated on the graphics this time around, opting for the AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series. There’s an 8GB VRAM option with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which should please an awful lot of video professionals.

16-inch macbook pro music software
Mmmmmm, I know this isn’t video software, but it still looks cool.

Another feature that I like the look of is the ability to install an 8TB SSD in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. According to the company, this is the largest ever SSD to be jammed in a notebook. Will you need to remortgage your house to get this? Probably, as it’ll set you back an extra $2,200, but just think of all the cool things you can store on it.

The base model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro will set you back $2,399, but if you want the whole hog? With a 2.4GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor? And 64GB of RAM? And an 8TB SSD? That, friends, will set you back a cool $6,099. Nice.

Anyway, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is one of the most interesting laptop updates Apple has made in the past couple of years. Hopefully, it shows the company is finally beginning to whole-ass its MacBooks at long last, but I’m going to have to wait a few months to see if that holds true.

Until then, this is a step in the right direction — even if, on a keyboard level at least, it’s a step backwards. In a good way.

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Published November 13, 2019 — 14:26 UTC