Apple introduces 12-inch MacBook, offers improvements to currently available MacBook Pro, MacBook Air models

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Date: Monday, March 9th, 2015, 14:57
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News


This may be the MacBook you’ve been waiting for.

On Monday at its “Spring Forward” media event, on Monday, Apple revealed a new 12-inch MacBook, a radical revamp that shakes up the winning MBA design by dumping virtually every conventional port—Thunderbolt, the SD card slot, a power connector, everything—in favor of a pair a single USB Type-C connection and an audio jack.

The overhaul slims the notebook down to a mere 2 lbs. and 13.1mm—the slimmest MacBook by a full 24 percent, according to Apple’s Phil Schiller. This is in addition to a new, full fanless design, which Apple has never done before.

The display on the 12-inch MacBook—which packs a Retina-class 2304×1440 resolution—now reaches edge-to-edge. It measures just 0.88mm thin and uses 30 percent less energy than other Retina displays, while still offering the same level of brightness.

The keyboard now sits edge-to-edge, sporting closer-together keys than the new MacBook’s counterparts. Apple actually created a new keyboard switch for the 12-inch MacBook, to replace the scissor switches that power most laptop keyboards. The “Butterfly mechanism” uses a single assembly with a stainless steel dome, which Schiller claims is four times as stable as scissor switches despite being 40 percent thinner.

The MacBook also introduces a new “Force Touch trackpad.” It’s covered in glass like Apple’s previous models, but also sports four force sensors under the hood to create a uniform tapping feel. Together with the introduction of a “Taptic engine,” similar to watch you’d find in the Apple Watch, the 12-inch MacBook introduces the idea of light and “force”clicks—the laptop registers a new class of deep clicks that it uses to automatically open certain programs depending on where you click. Force clicking on a word in Safari, for instance, opens a Wikipedia entry for it, while force clicking a date opens a calendar entry.

The MacBook is powered by one of Intel’s new energy-efficient Core M “Broadwell” processors powers, sitting in a logic board 67 percent smaller than Apple’s previous record. The processor sips a mere 5 watts of power, running at 1.1GHz that can Turbo Boost to 2.9GHz when needed.

Apple has also outfitted the 12-inch MacBook with batteries, using a new layered, terraced battery design that lets the company use all the available space inside the unibody chassis. The 12-inch MacBook will get 9 hours battery life while web surfing, or 10 hours while watching video.

The spartan redesign also wouldn’t have been possible without the cutting-edge USB 3.1 standard and new Type-C connection. This backward-compatible is capable of delivering 100 watts of power, 10Gbps data transfer speeds and even audio and video signals using the DisplayPort protocol. Goodbye, power cords, HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt. The Type-C connector is reversible, too, just like Apple’s MagSafe connector.

During the presentation, Apple VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller touted that features like Continuity, AirDrop, and AirPlay allow you to wirelessly share data between your Apple devices without ever touching a cable.

The 12-inch MacBook will be available in silver, space grey, and gold and go on sale on April 10. The US$1,300 base model includes a 1.1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. A US$1,600 model will pack a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and a 512GB SSD.

While the focus was squarely on the new Mac, Apple didn’t leave the old Macs untouched. The entire MacBook Air line is being upgraded to Intel’s new fifth-generation “Broadwell” processors, which should offer increased battery life and a modest performance boost over the last-gen Haswell processors. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina will also receive Broadwell.

The 13-inch MacBook Air models will also be outfitted with flash storage two-times faster than before, while both the 11-inch and 13-inch Airs will be upgraded to Thunderbolt 2. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina model will also have the faster flash, as well as the new Force Touch trackpad introduced in the 12-inch MacBook. The revamped old-school MacBook Air and Pro models are available today.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Macworld

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2 Responses to “Apple introduces 12-inch MacBook, offers improvements to currently available MacBook Pro, MacBook Air models”

  1. 1440×900 on a macbook air really?

  2. 1440×90 sux