New MacBook Air and MacBook Pro coming soon with good keyboards

MacBook Air
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple will soon release a new MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Air with a keyboard that actually works.

That's according to the reputable Chinese analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as reported by Apple blog 9to5Mac. The change will finally happen in the second quarter of this year — more than five years after Apple introduced the failure-ridden butterfly keyboard. 

Kuo had previously said that the MacBook Pro 13 with the new scissor-based key mechanism would appear in “the first half of 2020.” Now he has gotten it down to the second quarter, which puts the 13-incher at the very end of his original launch window. 

The analyst hasn’t mentioned if the MacBook Pro 13-inch was going to launch earlier and was delayed by the coronavirus. He mentioned, however, that sales of the MacBook Pros have proven to be ”more resilient” to the pandemic than other Apple devices.

The big news here, at least for fans of ultra-notebooks, is that Apple will simultaneously launch the MacBook Air with the Magic Keyboard in the same month. Previously, Kuo mentioned that the Air was going to arrive months after the launch of the 13-inch laptop.

The death of Butterfly

A release of both the MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Air with Magic Keyboards will mark the end of Apple users' butterfly keyboard nightmare.

It all started when Apple introduced the keyboard in March 2015 — which instantly led to user complaints. The company then tried to fix it in a second-generation model in October 2016, but the complaints only continued as Apple continued to ignore users. 

Two years later, the situation was the same. In May 2018, a petition asked Apple to recall all MacBook Pros with butterfly keyboards and, that same month, a class-action lawsuit was filed. In June 2018 Apple tried to finally appease users by offering an extended free replacement program which still didn’t fix the situation but offered a band-aid to an obvious faulty design problem.

A month later, in July 2018, Apple introduced a third revision of the butterfly keyboard, claiming that this was the good one. But, as we discovered on April 2019, the Basecamp chief technology officer claimed that almost half of the company MacBook Pros with third-generation keyboards were reportedly failing

It was only in November 2019 when Apple finally fixed the problem by dropping a keyboard mechanism that was faulty by design. The MacBook Pro 16-inch’s new “Magic Keyboard” — which uses the same scissor mechanism as Apple’s desktop keyboards —  works beautifully. Alas, having to spend $2,400 to type reliably on a MacBook Pro is a bit ridiculous. Especially when we can expect this new MacBook Pro 13 to have a similar price tag to the current $1,300 model.

The nightmare is almost over, my friends. The butterfly keyboard is almost dead. It won’t be missed.

So don’t buy a MacBook Pro 13 or a MacBook Air until these new laptops launch.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.