Apple bringing scissor switches to Smart Keyboard for iPad, 13-inch MacBook Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2020
A new supply chain report suggests that Apple will extend its new scissor switch keyboard beyond the MacBook Pro, with it set to be used in the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard.




Apple introduced the scissor switch redesign with November's 16-inch MacBook Pro. The introduction follows a tepid at best response to the butterfly design, introduced with the MacBook, and implemented on the MacBook Pro in 2016.

The new keyboard is expected on the 13-inch MacBook Pro soon. A report from DigiTimes on Wednesday morning suggests that following the MacBook Pro refresh, it will be used on the iPad Smart Keyboard as well.

The timing of the supposed update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the first half of 2020 is somewhat close to a prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in late October, who suggested the mechanism would be used in an unidentified MacBook in the second or early third quarter of 2020. Kuo first suggested Apple would move away from butterfly switches in a late July 2019 report, with the 16-inch model the first to benefit before others in the MacBook Pro line, then eventually the MacBook Air.

So far, reviews for the new keyboard are favorable, with the keys generally quieter than their butterfly equivalent in the 15-inch MacBook Pro. There is also more actuation, with the new model offering a millimeter of travel versus the 0.6mm to 0.7mm on the 2016-style keyboard.

An initial teardown of the keys indicated there was a lot of extra space inside the switch mechanism. The extra space means it is less likely to be affected by debris, as well as having more strength in the clips attaching the thicker keycaps in place.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,541member
    Apple's Butter Fly keyboard did not fly so it was given that 13" MBP/MBA will receive magic keyboard but what about decreasing bezel and add extra screen like 16" MBP ? Doesn't seem rocket science.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,429member
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    A well-run organization wouldn’t have let this bad design go on so long (and would test things more and better; something CLEARLY lack in today’s Apple). A well-run organization would be honest about the bad design instead of making limp excuses and marginalizing customer problems. Statements from Apple executives on the future of this design are vague at best, suggesting they’re going to keep the design, which this supply chain rumor directly contradicts.

    Correction of mistakes is moving too slowly at Apple, while “brave new ideas” are moving too quickly.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    14-inch please.. do not capitalize on the people waiting for 10th gen CPUs with a refresh of the 13th.
    Give us the whole thing and charge as much as you are charging for the respective 16-inch.

    What I want to see:
    14inch 512GB, 16GB LPDDR4X, i5-1035g7 $2,199
    14inch 2TB, 32GB LPDDR4X, i7-1065g7 $2,999

    Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5 should be implied by now.

    RELEASE ALREADY!
    edited January 2020 d_2
  • Reply 5 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    dysamoria said:
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    A well-run organization wouldn’t have let this bad design go on so long (and would test things more and better; something CLEARLY lack in today’s Apple). A well-run organization would be honest about the bad design instead of making limp excuses and marginalizing customer problems. Statements from Apple executives on the future of this design are vague at best, suggesting they’re going to keep the design, which this supply chain rumor directly contradicts.

    Correction of mistakes is moving too slowly at Apple, while “brave new ideas” are moving too quickly.

    I get your point.
    I think Apple's weakest part has perhaps been a failure to admit to mistakes -- being locked into this elite 'we are perfect' persona.

    But, I find what I see here to be encouraging.
    canukstormavon b7watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,532member
    vannygee said:
    14-inch please.. do not capitalize on the people waiting for 10th gen CPUs with a refresh of the 13th.
    Give us the whole thing and charge as much as you are charging for the respective 16-inch.

    What I want to see:
    14inch 512GB, 16GB LPDDR4X, i5-1035g7 $2,199
    14inch 2TB, 32GB LPDDR4X, i7-1065g7 $2,999

    Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5 should be implied by now.

    RELEASE ALREADY!
    Both of those CPU's are 15W versions.  The 13" MBP uses the 28W versions which would be the i7-1068G7.  And if Apple does bump it to 14" screen size, I would imagine it would use the 28W variety as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    I got a MacBook Pro 2019 with a butterfly keyboard and it has been all right. no issues. I had a 12" macbook and I used it for like 3 years - it developed keyboard issues straight away.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    thttht Posts: 4,029member
    Is there any evidence whatsoever for a 14” MBP? Like a rumor from Ming Chi Kuo?

    It seems an extrapolation from what Apple did with the MBP15—>MBP16. Since they did it there, they will hopefully do it for the MBP13 model and turn it into a 14” model. A display size change would be something Kuo would sniff out, especially if it is coming this Spring.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    dysamoria said:
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    A well-run organization wouldn’t have let this bad design go on so long (and would test things more and better; something CLEARLY lack in today’s Apple). A well-run organization would be honest about the bad design instead of making limp excuses and marginalizing customer problems. Statements from Apple executives on the future of this design are vague at best, suggesting they’re going to keep the design, which this supply chain rumor directly contradicts.

    Correction of mistakes is moving too slowly at Apple, while “brave new ideas” are moving too quickly.
    Except that your hoorah speech is at odds with the data from AI and Apple itself, which cite failure rates within expected range. Bloggers yelling loudly on their public platforms don't change the data.

    I'm pleased to see the new thing will be better than both the prior thing and the thing before that, but I have no reason to doubt that it takes linear progression to get there. Nor do I doubt Apple's public statement on their data.
    edited January 2020 tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,532member
    dysamoria said:
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    A well-run organization wouldn’t have let this bad design go on so long (and would test things more and better; something CLEARLY lack in today’s Apple). A well-run organization would be honest about the bad design instead of making limp excuses and marginalizing customer problems. Statements from Apple executives on the future of this design are vague at best, suggesting they’re going to keep the design, which this supply chain rumor directly contradicts.

    Correction of mistakes is moving too slowly at Apple, while “brave new ideas” are moving too quickly.
    Except that your hoorah speech is at odds with the data from AI and Apple itself, which cite failure rates within expected range. Bloggers yelling loudly on their public platforms don't change the data.

    I'm pleased to see the new thing will be better than both the prior thing and the thing before that, but I have no reason to doubt that it takes linear progression to get there. Nor do I doubt Apple's public statement on their data.
    Apple hasn't released any hard data.  All they released was a boiler plate PR statement.  Meaningless.
    avon b7
  • Reply 11 of 17
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,244member
    dysamoria said:
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    A well-run organization wouldn’t have let this bad design go on so long (and would test things more and better; something CLEARLY lack in today’s Apple). A well-run organization would be honest about the bad design instead of making limp excuses and marginalizing customer problems. Statements from Apple executives on the future of this design are vague at best, suggesting they’re going to keep the design, which this supply chain rumor directly contradicts.

    Correction of mistakes is moving too slowly at Apple, while “brave new ideas” are moving too quickly.
    Except that your hoorah speech is at odds with the data from AI and Apple itself, which cite failure rates within expected range. Bloggers yelling loudly on their public platforms don't change the data.

    I'm pleased to see the new thing will be better than both the prior thing and the thing before that, but I have no reason to doubt that it takes linear progression to get there. Nor do I doubt Apple's public statement on their data.
    Apple hasn't released any hard data.  All they released was a boiler plate PR statement.  Meaningless.
    Plus, if the butterfly mechanism was so great, why did it only last 2 ½ years?
    chemengin1
  • Reply 12 of 17
    dysamoria said:
    A welcome return to prioritizing functionality over mere appearance.
    While this obviously has ramifications for reliability, more importantly it enables the single most important user interface of a laptop to feature user friendly features (feel and travel) over, again, appearance.

    Good Job Apple!  You tried the butterfly, it sucked, it had limitations that could not be overcome with refinements -- so you returned to what works best for your users.  That's the mark of a well run organization.
    A well-run organization wouldn’t have let this bad design go on so long (and would test things more and better; something CLEARLY lack in today’s Apple). A well-run organization would be honest about the bad design instead of making limp excuses and marginalizing customer problems. Statements from Apple executives on the future of this design are vague at best, suggesting they’re going to keep the design, which this supply chain rumor directly contradicts.

    Correction of mistakes is moving too slowly at Apple, while “brave new ideas” are moving too quickly.

    I get your point.
    I think Apple's weakest part has perhaps been a failure to admit to mistakes -- being locked into this elite 'we are perfect' persona.

    But, I find what I see here to be encouraging.


    Apple did admit that Apple Maps was not up to snuff and provided options.

    Apple said that they couldn't make the AirPower mat the way they envisaged it and they dumped it.


    A company does not have to constantly keep saying that they are wrong for every perceived mistake.

    For a company its size, Apple still is able to move pretty nimbly.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Uh... DigiTimes. 

    Nah.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    vannygee said:

    What I want to see:
    14inch 512GB, 16GB LPDDR4X, i5-1035g7 $2,199
    14inch 2TB, 32GB LPDDR4X, i7-1065g7 $2,999

    Both of those CPU's are 15W versions.  The 13" MBP uses the 28W versions which would be the i7-1068G7.  And if Apple does bump it to 14" screen size, I would imagine it would use the 28W variety as well.

    No real performance gain though, I'd much rather have an undervolted, low base clock CPU in my laptop that turboboosts when needed to 3.9Ghz (as opposed to 4.1GHz) and benefit from the prolonged battery life. But sure, Apple can offer the 1068g7 for an extra $200 and people will buy it so that their laptop is "specced out"
  • Reply 15 of 17
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,532member
    vannygee said:
    vannygee said:

    What I want to see:
    14inch 512GB, 16GB LPDDR4X, i5-1035g7 $2,199
    14inch 2TB, 32GB LPDDR4X, i7-1065g7 $2,999

    Both of those CPU's are 15W versions.  The 13" MBP uses the 28W versions which would be the i7-1068G7.  And if Apple does bump it to 14" screen size, I would imagine it would use the 28W variety as well.

    No real performance gain though, I'd much rather have an undervolted, low base clock CPU in my laptop that turboboosts when needed to 3.9Ghz (as opposed to 4.1GHz) and benefit from the prolonged battery life. But sure, Apple can offer the 1068g7 for an extra $200 and people will buy it so that their laptop is "specced out"
    I could be wrong but I suspect the big performance gains will come via the GPU.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    vannygee said:
    vannygee said:

    What I want to see:
    14inch 512GB, 16GB LPDDR4X, i5-1035g7 $2,199
    14inch 2TB, 32GB LPDDR4X, i7-1065g7 $2,999

    Both of those CPU's are 15W versions.  The 13" MBP uses the 28W versions which would be the i7-1068G7.  And if Apple does bump it to 14" screen size, I would imagine it would use the 28W variety as well.

    No real performance gain though, I'd much rather have an undervolted, low base clock CPU in my laptop that turboboosts when needed to 3.9Ghz (as opposed to 4.1GHz) and benefit from the prolonged battery life. But sure, Apple can offer the 1068g7 for an extra $200 and people will buy it so that their laptop is "specced out"
    I could be wrong but I suspect the big performance gains will come via the GPU.
    Actually you could be right, there’s shared memory between the cpu and gpu on these 10th gen chips. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 17
    thttht Posts: 4,029member
    vannygee said:
    vannygee said:
    vannygee said:

    What I want to see:
    14inch 512GB, 16GB LPDDR4X, i5-1035g7 $2,199
    14inch 2TB, 32GB LPDDR4X, i7-1065g7 $2,999

    Both of those CPU's are 15W versions.  The 13" MBP uses the 28W versions which would be the i7-1068G7.  And if Apple does bump it to 14" screen size, I would imagine it would use the 28W variety as well.

    No real performance gain though, I'd much rather have an undervolted, low base clock CPU in my laptop that turboboosts when needed to 3.9Ghz (as opposed to 4.1GHz) and benefit from the prolonged battery life. But sure, Apple can offer the 1068g7 for an extra $200 and people will buy it so that their laptop is "specced out"
    I could be wrong but I suspect the big performance gains will come via the GPU.
    Actually you could be right, there’s shared memory between the cpu and gpu on these 10th gen chips. 
    There will be decent CPU improvements for the 10nm Ice Lake chips. It’s a good revised core. Everyone is just jaded because Intel has been delivering warmed over Skylake chips for like 4 years or so.

    The GPU will be a good 50% better, or more, than the Skylake versions because it’s just a bigger GPU. That’s what moving to a more dense node gives you. Intel has been using shared DRAM between CPU and GPU basically since they started using “processor graphics”. To make it faster, for like the Iris Pro brand which Apple uses in most MBP13 models, they have eDRAM on-package acting as GPU memory, which is a lot faster than going through the memory bus.

    You definitely want the chip versions with eDRAM if you want anything GPU intensive on these 28 W CPU MBP models. For CPU, I’m suspicious that this rumored Pro mode will allow the chip to run at cTDP up power. That combined with the improved Ice Lake architecture might yield 20% to 30% CPU performance improvement. 
    watto_cobravannygee
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