MacBook Pro 2019: Everything we know so far about Apple’s next laptops

Apple isn't done with MacBook Pros for 2019. Here's what's coming next

In a somewhat unexpected (but very welcome) move, Apple updated the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro in early July 2019. This update brought the Touch Bar and 8th-generation Intel processors to the base version, bringing it in line with Apple’s other MacBook Pro models. Better yet, this all happened without an increase in price — the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro still starts at $1,299, making it a really enticing option.

A couple of months prior, in May 2019, Apple updated the other 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. The outer design remains largely the same as previous MacBook Pro versions, but Apple did add a couple of important improvements and upgraded many of the internal components so it could provide a more powerful computer. You can buy these models whenever you want, with the updated 13-inch starting at $1,800 and the 15-inch model starting at $2,400.

However, there are still some interesting rumors afloat about Apple adding even more models to the MacBook Pro family in the coming year or two, including a completely redesigned 16-inch model that would replace the current 15-inch offerings. Let’s take a look at what Apple has changed so far, and what new changes to the MacBook Pro could be on the horizon.

13-inch model updated: All MacBook Pro models now have Touch Bar

Macbook Air (2018) Review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

After the launch of the mid-2019 processor update, we didn’t expect to receive any additional updates to the MacBook Pro this year. But Apple wasn’t finished there.

Apple’s two most affordable 13-inch MacBook Pro models were the subject of this upgrade. After they were omitted from May’s processor bumps, we got the feeling that Apple was leaving them as they were in order to keep the price down for entry-level buyers — which makes this latest development all the more surprising.

That’s because Apple has not only updated the processors on these models to the 8th-generation Intel chips found in its other MacBook Pros, but has also equipped them with the Touch Bar. That now means whichever MacBook Pro you go for, you’ll get Apple’s OLED control strip built right in.

Not only that, but Apple did all this without increasing the price of the refreshed models — they still start at $1,299 and $1,499 respectively. That makes them a very tempting prospect for anyone looking for a powerful MacBook Pro that won’t break the bank.

Mid-2019 update: New keyboard and processors

MacOS Catalina Hands-on | Macbook Pro
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

So, what did Apple change about the MacBook Pro in May 2019? Well, the design went largely untouched, and rumors about an upgraded screen or more powerful battery didn’t pan out. However, Apple did include a major upgrade for its butterfly keyboard, which is now made with unspecified new materials. Previously MacBook Pro models had an unfortunate reputation for problematic keyboards that could be damaged a little too easily: Apple openly acknowledged these issues, and the new generation of butterfly keyboard is specifically meant to fix the problem.

On the inside, Apple has updated the processors available for both the 13- and 15-inch models, with the 15-inch versions now getting Intel’s 9th-gen chips. One of the most exciting additions is an eight-core Intel processor available exclusively on the 15-inch model. Apple says these new chips can provide twice the speed of a quad-core MacBook Pro, and in our testing, we found the upgrade notable despite some limitations due to the thermal design.

New 16-inch model on the way?

macbook pro 16 inch rumors news price release date 3
Concept by Viktor Kadar

In addition to the interesting news about a 13-inch MacBook Pro, there’s another rumor via IHS Markit that Apple is planning on releasing an even larger 16-inch model, possibly in September 2019.

In addition to the larger display, this MacBook Pro is rumored to have an even more powerful processor, although it would lack an OLED screen and instead settle for a 3072 x 1920 LCD display. Not much else is known about this 16-inch model so far, but it would make sense for Apple to offer two MacBook Pro updates at the same time, especially if these will be announced together at a special event.

A redesigned keyboard

macbook pro sticky keys song keyboard

These two new MacBook Pros that could be coming later this Fall may have found their killer feature: A new keyboard. The troubling and controversial butterfly mechanism keyboard was first introduced in 2016. Since then, it’s been iterated on year after year, though the problems don’t seem to be going away. We assumed Apple would stick to its guns, but according to a new report from reputable leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, a new keyboard is on the way.

According to Kuo, Apple will be returning to its “scissor switch” keys, which is the technology used in MacBook Pros before the 2016 redesign. Kuo says the new design, which will use glass fiber-reinforced keys, will first appear in a MacBook Air later this year but could make it to MacBook Pros as early as 2020. Whether or not they make it into one of these new 2019 MacBook Pros still yet to be known.

MacOS updates

MacOS Catalina Hands-on | Macbook Pro
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

MacOS Catalina is this year’s update to MacOS, and it includes a number of new features that all Mac users can enjoy. One of the most interesting is Sidecar. While MacBooks remain without touchscreens for the foreseeable future, the new Sidecar feature allows you to pair an iPad with your MacBook Pro and control your Mac or use your iPad as a second screen. Among other benefits, this means that people can use their Apple Pencil to draw or mark up documents on their Macs via the iPad. Other features include the introduction of three new mobile apps to replace iTunes and an updated Photos app.

Even though we’ve already seen and used MacOS Catalina, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t get some more features in a future MacBook Pro, such as one of the models mentioned above.

A patent from 2017 indicated that Apple could be considering adding hand and eye tracking to MacOS. It’s been available in Windows 10 for a while, and this would be a feature that could possibly make its way over to new MacBooks. Additionally, it would be nice to see if Apple could add in support for FaceID to MacOS. We’ve seen this on the company’s latest iPads and iPhones, and considering that most Windows laptops already support facial recognition with Windows Hello, it is a glaring omission from the Mac.

Product Review

Size matters not. Acer's Predator Orion 3000 is a pint-sized PC Vader would use

Choosing the right gaming PC can be an overwhelming decision, but thankfully that’s not the case as Acer has configured the Predator Orion 3000 with solid components, delivering competitive performance for its value.

The choice between the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros is about more than size

If you’re in the market for a new MacBook Pro, which model should you choose? Is the MacBook Pro 13 or MacBook Pro 15 the best option for you? Don’t worry, our guide will help you decide which model to go for.

Besides a rumored launch in October, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a mystery

An all-new MacBook Pro is on the horizon, with Apple said to equip its new laptop with a 16-inch display and powerful processors. We’ve got everything you need to know here, from price and performance to release date and rumors.

The fabled 16-inch MacBook Pro could launch this October

Rumors have been swirling around the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, and a new report claims it could be in your hands this October. That’s not all, as the same report predicts refreshes to the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for July 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

Walmart chops $175 off the 2017 10.5-inch, 64GB iPad Pro

Discounts on Apple products are hard to come by, even when it involves prior generation products. However, we've spotted a sale on 2017 iPad Pro tablet at Walmart, with some colors as much as $175 off retail.

Microsoft patent hints at new ways to interact with dual-screen Surface tablet

It is no secret that Microsoft has been working on a folding dual-screen Surface tablet, but now a recent patent suggests that the Surface Centarus could feature multifunction buttons.

Battle of the bezels: Can the ZenBook S13 outdo the fan-favorite XPS 13?

The Asus ZenBook S13 wants to take on the Dell XPS 13 in the tiny-bezel laptop wars. The ZenBook is fast and well-built, but does it offer enough value to take on our favorite small laptop?

Ryzen 3000 has already made huge impact, and it's only getting started

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.

AMD's Ryzen CPUs offer some of the best bang for the buck, but which is best?

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had a huge impact on the PC industry, from gaming to productivity, but which ones are the best? To find out we put some of the chips through their paces and came out with some solid recommendations.

Does Equifax owe you money? Here’s how you can find out

Equifax has agreed to a settlement for its 2017 data breach that includes restitution payments and other benefits for consumers affected by the data breach. Here's what we know so far about these payments and benefits and how to claim them.

NZXT’s H510 PC case brings style and sophistication to your custom gaming rig

Are you looking to upgrade your gaming desktop by building your own gaming PC? NZXT's H510 PC case, which comes in a compact tower form factor, will help bring modern styling to your gaming desktop PC for just $79.

The ZenBook Pro 15 laptop is now $370 off at B&H for back-to-school season

Summer may feel like it’s in full swing, but back-to-school season is almost here. Now at B&H ahead of back to school season, you can score an Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX550 GE laptop for just $1,129 through August 31.

A year ahead of Libra’s launch, scammers are already setting up shop on Facebook

With about a year to go until Facebook's cryptocurrency becomes available to the public, scammers are already setting up shop on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook itself by pushing fake discount exchanges.