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MacBook Pro, MacBook Air 2020 models launching in Q2 with better keyboards (report)

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

MacBook Pro 2020 and MacBook Air 2020 models are expected to arrive in the second quarter of this year with improved keyboards, according to a research note by reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors). 

Apple will reportedly bring back the scissor-style switch found on older MacBook models and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. The Laptop Mag staff compared the new scissor keyboard side-by-side with the butterfly switches in the current models and came to a unanimous decision: the new keyboard is much more comfortable to type on.

The maligned butterfly keyboard has been a thorn in the side of Apple since arriving on laptops in 2016. Aside from its slow travel and stiff keys, the keyboard proved so unreliable that Apple was forced to implement a free repairs program for all MacBook owners.

So when Apple reverted to the scissor keyboard in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, it started the countdown to a long-awaited butterfly extinction.

Other major changes coming to MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

A new keyboard will be reason enough for many Apple fans to buy the upcoming MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, but we could see other significant changes to these popular laptops.

Kuo had previously said the smaller MacBook Pro 2020 would feature a 14.1-inch display instead of the traditional 13.3-inch panel. That wouldn't be a huge surprise; Apple replaced the 15-inch model with a 16-inch MacBook Pro last year so it's possible similar changes will come to the more portable notebook.

If so, the new MacBook Pro will have slimmer display bezels to accommodate a larger panel without compromising on size. It's not clear if the 14.1-inch MacBook Pro is the one arriving in Q2 or if we'll need to wait another generation. 

Speaking of next-gen, Kuo said MacBook models powered by a custom, in-house ARM-based processors could arrive in the fourth quarter of 2020 or in early 2021. Rumors have circulated about Apple creating its own chip in order to reduce its reliance on Intel. The company already makes the processing units in the iPhone and iPad, and a custom laptop processor would give Apple more control over its MacBooks.