Just when you thought Apple couldn’t possibly make a smaller and thinner MacBook, along comes The new MacBook ($1,299 / $1,599). Described by Apple during the company’s March event as the company’s attempt to “reinvent the notebook,” the latest entry shrinks the dimensions in all directions, providing a 12” Retina display in an all-metal enclosure that manages to reduce the size below the 11” MacBook Air — previously Apple’s smallest MacBook offering. The thickest point on the new MacBook is 13.1mm, and the unit weighs in at a mere 2lbs, making it the thinnest and lightest Mac that the company has ever produced. In fact, this one is so small that it’s only the need to include a full-sized keyboard and 12” display that keeps it from being any smaller; both the screen and keyboard flow to the edges of the device.
To produce this MacBook, Apple describes how it basically had to redefine every piece of technology previously used in its Macs. The new MacBook features a completely redesigned keyboard that replaces the old “scissor” mechanism with a “butterfly” system that provides keys which are more precise, accurate, and stable while being 40 percent thinner with larger surface areas. The new keyboard backlight system now uses individual LEDs to provide for a thinner design and cleaner illumination. On the display side, Apple managed to get the thickness down to a mere 0.88mm while using a larger pixel aperture that provides the same brightness with 30 percent lower energy consumption. The new MacBook also features a new “Force Touch trackpad” design that provides four force sensors and a taptic engine for feedback. The click feel can be adjusted through software and the new trackpad is capable of sensing click pressure to perform different and graduated levels of action, such as fast-forwarding a movie faster as you press harder on the fast-forward button. The new MacBook is also completely fanless, making it whisper quiet, and sports an Intel Core M fifth-generation CPU and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300 GPU, with redesigned battery cells that fill all available space inside and provide up to 9 hours of wireless web surfing or 10 hours of iTunes movie playback. The MacBook features dual-stream 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 built-in and now features a single USB-C port that can be used for USB, DisplayPort, Power, HDMI, and VGA connections, at one-third the size of a standard USB connector.
For the first time since the white plastic MacBooks were discontinued, the new MacBook will also be available in a selection of metallic colors, akin to the iPhone and iPad: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. Apple expects to have it available April 10 at $1,299 for a 1.1GHz dual-core 256GB SSD model, or at $1,599 for the 1.2GHz model with a 512GB SSD. Both models will feature 8GB of RAM.