Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro teardown shows off Magic Keyboard

The new laptop keyboard is "dramatically better," iFixit says.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro has a Magic Keyboard.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's newly announced 16-inch MacBook Pro has already faced the teardown treatment, with iFixit on Friday livestreaming a review of the laptop. An improvement over the much-complained-about butterfly keyboard, iFixit called the new Magic Keyboard "fantastic."

"It feels like a keyboard should and it's really interesting to think about why is a keyboard an innovation?" they said. "Apple just forgot how to make good keyboards."

Following months of rumors, Apple finally unveiled the new 16-inch MacBook Pro Wednesday. In addition to the new keyboard, it comes with a physical escape key and is priced at $2,400.

Read More: Best Laptop Backpacks for Travel in 2019 | Best 15 inch laptops for 2019 Best gaming keyboards under $200 for 2019

Before the new 16-inch model, the 2012 MacBook Pro was the last "truly repairable" model of the laptop, according to iFixit. The video shows the key caps coming off easily, more space between the keys and a "dramatically better keyboard."

Watch this: Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro: Is it for you?

There's even a dot pattern on the backlighting behind the keys instead of a single LED, with Apple creating what iFixit called "light pipes" so individual pinpoints of light shine through the keys.

The Magic keyboard is less impressive on the inside, however, iFixit said in its full teardown of the new Apple laptop published Monday. As a result, it gave the MacBook a repairability score of just 1/10.

"Though the switches are likely less vulnerable to crumbly assailants, the keyboard itself isn't any more repairable than the Butterfly boards," iFixit said. "The keyboard assembly is riveted down ... we've got a new keyboard married to a non-serviceable design."

The MacBook Pro's display hinge has also changed; it now has a matte look to the Touch ID and power button; and the Touch Bar is shorter than the previous model by around 19mm, according to iFixit. It also has bigger exhaust holes and larger blades on the fans, meaning it pushes 28% more air through, the teardown said.

Originally published Nov. 15.
Update, Nov. 18: Adds more detail from full teardown.

Up close and personal with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro

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