Apple announced an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro last year with a larger display, improved graphics, bigger battery and better speakers and microphones. However, the biggest change it brought was a totally refreshed keyboard.
We're now expecting Apple to launch a 14-inch version of this notebook in the coming weeks to replace the current MacBook 13-inch. That follows the pattern we saw with the 15-inch being replaced by the 16-inch.
New 14-inch keyboard
- Redesigned scissor-switch mechanism
- Wider, shallower, clickier keys
- 1mm of travel
- Escape key at the top
- Discrete Touch ID button
In 2015, Apple began ditching the "scissor" mechanism below each key on the MacBook and releasing its laptops with flatter butterfly switches, as part of an effort to make them even thinner and lighter.
But there was a lot of criticism, claiming the keyboards could be easily damaged by something as simple as dust. Class action lawsuits were even filed against Apple.
Apple redesigned the original butterfly switches at least three times to address ongoing issues, and it even launched a free replacement programme.
So Apple introduced the 16-inch MacBook Pro with wider, shallower, clickier keys and a redesigned scissor-switch mechanism dubbed the Magic Keyboard.
It is an improvement, but it's not new tech - it's based on the Magic Keyboards that have come with iMacs for years.
Like the MacBook Air, the physical Escape key has returned while the key caps can be removed and replaced. There's still a Touch Bar, but it is smaller now.
Other features and specs
- 9th or 10th generation Intel Core processors
- 16GB DDR4 RAM (up to 64GB)
- AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M
- 4GB GDDR6 memory (up to 8GB)
- 512GB SSD (up to 8TB)
On the 16-inch, 9th generation Intel Core processors are used up to Core i9, but we'd expect to see 10th generation chips now. The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with 512GB of storage (but it goes up to 8TB) and 16GB of RAM (goes up to 64GB) and while the 14-inch might not reach these heights, it surely won't be far off.
We'd expect the 14-inch Pro to be about the same size and thickness as the current 13-inch with smaller bezels to accommodate the larger display. There should be a larger battery promising a full working day of battery life during everyday use plus four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and a headphone jack.
The 16-inch boasts AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M chips which may be available on the more expensive version of the 14-incher.
MacBook Pro 14-inch: What's happened so far?
11 March 2020: Launch set for the second quarter of 2020
Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities says that a new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with the new/old scissor-design keyboard will debut in late March with a launch set for the second quarter of 2020.
11 March 2020: Six new devices with Apple Mini-LED displays in 2020 and 2021
According to the latest rumours Apple will debut six new products featuring Mini-LED display technology over the coming months. Among these will be the 14.1-inch MacBook Pro and an upgrade to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
13 January 2020: New MacBook Pro spotted in regulatory filings
Shortly before Christmas, Apple submitted some filings to the EC, and one of them is for an unreleased product with the model number A2289.
The company described it as a “portable personal computer” running macOS 10.15. Add it all up, and it's likely a new MacBook.