New MacBook Pro Keyboard Has All-Black Design, Full-Size Function Keys, and Touch ID Ring

As we predicted, Apple's new MacBook Pro models unveiled today feature a redesigned keyboard with an all-black design, a row of full-size function keys, and a Touch ID ring that provides a more tactile experience for unlocking the Mac with your finger.

2021 macbook pro keyboard
The function keys include new shortcuts for Spotlight, Siri, Dictation, and Do Not Disturb, in addition to usual shortcuts for display brightness, media playback, volume, and more. These keys replace the Touch Bar, which was removed on all new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, five years after it was introduced.

Apple didn't comment on its reason for removing the Touch Bar, but during its "Unleashed" event, the company said that the return of physical function keys brings back the "familiar, tactile feel of mechanical keys that pro users love."

The keyboard is now surrounded by a black anodized aluminum inset, whereas there used to be silver or space gray aluminum between the keys.

While some users are disappointed that Apple removed the Touch Bar, the new MacBook Pro is likely to be a crowd-pleasing design given not only physical function keys, but the return of additional ports like an HDMI port, SD card slot, and MagSafe. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models also feature Apple's next-generation M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, mini-LED displays with a ProMotion adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, and more.

The new MacBook Pro models can be ordered now and will start arriving to customers and launch in stores on Tuesday, October 26. Pricing starts at $1,999 for the 14-inch model and at $2,499 for the 16-inch model. Apple said macOS Monterey will be publicly released one day earlier on Monday, October 25, following over four months of beta testing.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 14 & 16"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

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Top Rated Comments

Prof. Avatar
36 months ago

Is the black surface around the keys plastic, glass, metal, or what?
Vibranium
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
36 months ago
Removal of Touch Bar is frustrating (for me). I was hoping it would be larger / more useful. Regular function keys are so antique in appearance, though I know a subset likes to use them.

Just wished Apple provided the option for customers to BTO one or the other. Use the bar on a few apps I love, and the function keys would be nice when using terminal.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Prof. Avatar
36 months ago

ya know?
why are there notches on all J and F keys?
for non-fingerprints on the screen?
So you can find home row without looking at the keyboard
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TiggrToo Avatar
36 months ago
Given that they only ever had the Touch bar on a MBP, it was destined to fail.

It may have stood a better chance if they'd released an external keyboard with it on as well, but I'd imagine they probably have wanted sonething like $399 or more.

It's a shame because it could have been a contender but Apple never moved on from the base idea and they were saddled with it for a while.

Time to move on.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZMacintosh Avatar
36 months ago
looks like the old PowerBook G4 Titanium's. hopefully the coating on the keys is better then current generation keys and dont degrade as much
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skoal Avatar
36 months ago
New keyboard with black background is ugly. At least the touchbar is gone.
I don’t think it’s ugly and I don’t see how anything solid black could be considered ugly but well, there ya go. I will say however it’s a bit of a shock to the system in that it doesn’t seem very Apple. Then again we’ve had the aluminum background around the keys for so long it’s burned in folks brains and seeing anything else appears odd.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)