Apple’s New 13-inch MacBook Pro Is the End of the Butterfly Keyboard
Ding dong, the butterfly switch is dead! After five years of unpleasant typing, Apple computer users will be able to purchase any MacBook they want without fear of being stuck with the reviled and easily broken butterfly mechanism. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has filled the final gap in Apple’s Magic Keyboard portfolio, and it can be yours today, starting at $1,300.
Apple insisted for years that there was nothing wrong with the Butterfly keyboard switch, which the company designed to be thinner than traditional scissor-switch mechanisms. The keys on Apple’s butterfly keyboards had extremely low travel as a result, and even tiny specs of dust under the key could prevent them from registering presses. What’s worse, repairing the keyboard often involved completely disassembling the laptop.
Apple eventually extended the warranty for laptops with butterfly keyboards, but it didn’t start replacing the mechanism in new models until late last year with the 16-inch MacBook Pro and its Magic Keyboard. Just a few months later, it launched a revamped MacBook Air with the same keyboard tech. Now, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has pushed the last Butterfly mechanism out of Apple’s product lineup in a mere six months. The new MacBook Pro does have a Touch Bar with Touch ID sensor above the board in place of the F-row, but there’s a physical escape key on the far left.
In addition to a better keyboard, the top-end version of the 13-inch Pro also has the latest 10th Gen Intel chip, and the model line starts at 256GB of storage. That’s double the storage from the old base model 13. You also get 8GB of RAM, with the option to increase that to 32GB on the more expensive models. Apple promises 500 nits of display brightness with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. The screen also supports Apple’s True Tone technology to be easier on the eyes.
The laptop still has USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connectors as the only data ports, but you only get two ports on the low and mid-specced models. The most expensive versions of the laptop with 16GB of RAM and 512GB-1TB of SSD storage increase that to four ports. All the models do at least have a headphone jack. The best version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at a cool $2,000, but adding a faster CPU, double the RAM, and 4TB of storage pumps the price up to $3,600.