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Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Apple says it fixed the MacBook Pro keyboard

It's also adding an eight-core CPU option to the line for the first time.
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Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The MacBook Pro is getting an upgrade today and yes, it's the upgrade you've been waiting for. After acknowledging problems with the "butterfly" mechanism in its MacBook keyboards and later offering next-day repairs, the company is now attempting to address the underlying design. For over a year, users have been complaining about stuck and unresponsive keys, with the outcry culminating in a March Wall Street Journal column that was published without certain letters, as if written on a stuck butterfly keyboard. It was for that story that Apple finally issued a statement acknowledging the problem. The following month it began offering next-day keyboard repairs.

Now, Apple says it's using different materials in the keyboard mechanism, which it hopes will address these complaints. Additionally, the company is extending the standard one-year warranty for keyboard issues that would normally be covered by the care plan. So, even if your one year is up, you still qualify for keyboard repairs as if you were still in-warranty.

Of note, this isn't the first time Apple has tweaked its Butterfly keyboard to address user complaints. Last year's refresh quietly added a membrane meant to keep debris from working its way in. Here's hoping the fix that Apple announced today actually does the trick.

In addition to that revised keyboard design, Apple announced some CPU upgrades today, with the 15-inch MacBook Pro receiving an eight-core processor option for the first time. The $2,799 configuration of the 15-inch model will come standard with an eight-core, Core i9 processor offering base speeds of 2.3GHz (up to 4.8 GHz with Turbo Boost).

The less expensive $2,399 SKU starts with a six-core, ninth-generation Core i7 processor with a base clock speed of 2.6GHz and Turbo Boost speed of 4.5 GHz. For those who can afford it, there will also be a higher-end CPU option: a 2.4GHz, eight-core Core i9 processor with a Turbo Boost speed of 5.0GHz.

Meanwhile, the 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro is getting slightly faster eighth-gen Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors. It'll come standard with a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5 chip that reaches Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.1GHz. It will also be configurable with a 2.8GHz quad-core Core i7 CPU that reaches 4.7GHz through Turbo Boost.

These new MacBook Pros are available now, at the same starting prices as before: $1,799 for the 13-inch Touch Bar model and $2,399 for the 15-inch machines.

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