New MacBook Pro 13-inch could land early 2020 with new keyboard – but the same old screen

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
(Image credit: Future)

A new MacBook Pro 13-inch will arrive in the first half of 2020, and it will come bearing keyboard gifts – namely the same scissor switches used in the just-released MacBook Pro 16-inch, according to a fresh rumor.

This originates from a DigiTimes subscriber-only report, which was highlighted by Mac Rumors, and states that the next MacBook Pro 13-inch refresh will get the new redesigned keyboard, which makes sense – and has been indicated by previous rumors. But the new machine will also apparently stick with a 13.3-inch display.

The news on the screen might be a disappointment to some, as speculation has been floating around that the smaller version of Apple’s MacBook Pro could maintain more or less the same chassis size, but fit in a bigger 14-inch screen.

Mainly because that’s the trick Apple pulled with the new MacBook Pro 16-inch; the chassis isn’t much bigger than the old MacBook Pro 15-inch it replaces (thanks to thinner bezels around the new laptop’s display).

So DigiTimes contends this isn’t happening, but at this point, we obviously can’t take any speculation as confirmed (DigiTimes has proved right in the past, of course, but also wrong on other occasions – so this whole report needs to be treated with some caution).

Keyboard bliss?

It’s obviously good news that the improved keyboard should be on-board, which replaces the often complained about current effort that uses Butterfly switches. The new one employs scissor switches instead, and is modeled on the iMac’s Magic Keyboard – and will hopefully prove more reliable and less prone to being plagued by dust issues.

As we found in our hands-on with the MacBook Pro 16-inch, the overhauled keyboard is also much more comfortable to type on. Furthermore, it makes other changes like reintroducing an escape key top-left, and a Touch ID button, as well as having inverted-T arrow keys. The report doesn’t say if the incoming MacBook Pro 13-inch refresh will also get these changes.

The MacBook Pro 13-inch models were refreshed earlier this year, you may recall, and in July the entry-level version benefited from the introduction of a much more powerful 8th-gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor, not to mention being graced with the Touch Bar (which was previously left off the base model) as well as Touch ID.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).