Apple today announced a new MacBook, called simply that. The MacBook. We haven’t seen a new plain “MacBook” since they were discontinued in 2011 with the release of the MacBook Air, so it’s interesting to see them re-visit the name!
The new MacBook is 24% thinner, measuring at just 13.1mm thickness, and weighs just 2 pounds. That’s not even a kilogram! Mighty impressive.
Let’s get to the important bits. The new MacBook has a 12-inch edge-to-edge Retina display, with a 2304×1440 resolution. It is just 0.88mm thin and consumes 30 percent less energy than other Retina displays, while delivering the same levels of brightness. Mighty impressive!
The all-new MacBook has completely tossed the majority of the ports except for two. A USB-C connection, and an audio jack. No more dedicated Thunderbolt, SD card slot, power connector etc. “USB-C” you ask? Apple has become the first to feature USB-C in a notebook. A USB Type-C port measure just 8.4mm by 2.6mm, and is desgined to support USB 3.1 with the speed of up to 10Gbps, and a significantly increased power output of up to 20V/5A.
The USB-C port in the new MacBook supports USB, DisplayPort, Power, HDMI and VGA, from one port alone. Neat! You will however require adaptors to utilise these missing ports.
Trackpad & Keyboard
Apple have designed a new trackpad, dubbed the “Force Touch Trackpad”, which features four force sensors for a uniform tapping feel no matter where you tap it. Apple has also introduced the “Taptic engine” to the new trackpad, which introfuces the concept of light clicks and “force”clicks. Depending on how hard you click the trackpad, different actions can be performed. For example, “force” clicking on a word in Safari will open a Wikipedia entry for that word, and “force” clicking a file in Finder will open a preview of that file.
The keyboard features a new Apple-Designed “Butterfly” mechanism, which uses higher quality components, and gives the keyboard a much more solid and tactile feel, while allowing the keyboard to be thinner. It is also edge-to-edge.
Thanks to a clever battery design which fills all the internal gaps of the new MacBook, battery life is marketed as “all-day”, which according to Apples definition is equivalent to 9 hours of web browsing, or 10 hours of watching a video.
Processor, Memory, Storage and Graphics
At the heart of the new MacBook is a Intel Dual-Core M processor, which clocks in at 1.1GHz or 1.2 GhZ depending on the model for a battery-life-friendly 5W of power consumption, and which can Turbo Boost to 2.9GHz when more processing power is required.
Memory comes in at 8GB of RAM, with storage options of 256GB or 512GB.
Worth mentioning – this is also the first fan-less MacBook ever. Which we’re assuming means that this thing should run as quiet as your iPad! Mighty cool.
Pricing and Availability
Two models are available at launch:
For $1300, you get the 1.1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCI-e based onboard flash storage. For $1,600 you get a slightly bumped up processor at 1.2GHz, and a 512GB PCI-e based onboard flash storage.
The new MacBook goes on sale April 10. It is available in three different colours, Space Grey, Silver, and Gold.
Apple didn’t forget about it’s existing Macbook range. The rest of the MacBook line get the new 5th-gen i5 and i7 processors. The 13-inch MacBook Air models also get two-times faster flash storage than before. The MacBook Pro model will also feature the faster PCI-e based onboard flash storage storage, as well get the new Force Touch trackpad introduced in this new 12-inch MacBook.
A more detailed drill-down of the MacBook is available over on the official Apple Macbook page.
South African Launch Date and Pricing
We have not received word on an SA launch date or pricing yet. We would expect the new MacBook to be available 2-3 months after the US launch date of April 10. Stay tuned to our site and Twitter and Facebook feeds for information as we receive it.