Tim Cook announced a new MacBook and updates to the MacBook Air range and 13in MacBook Pro at its Spring Forward event in San Francisco.
Named just the ‘MacBook’, Apple’s latest addition to the family has a 12 inch display and full edge-to-edge cover glass. And if you thought that the 11-inch MacBook Air was thin, the new MacBook is an amazing 24 percent thinner measuring just 13.1mm at its thickest point. It’s also very light at 920 grams.
Screen-wise, there are 2,304 x 1,440 pixels, so it’s technically a ‘Retina’ display, and the panel is just 8.8mm thin, which is the slimest display ever made for a Macbook.
Apple has also re-imagined the keyboard and uses a new ‘butterfly mechanism’ to centre the movement of key presses, making them more stable, allowing for a much thinner design. Also, a single LED is dedicated to each key, providing better illumination.
In addition, the new MacBook has a completely redesigned ‘Force Touch’ trackpad, with 4 ‘force’ sensors and a haptic engine to provide feedback to your clicking.
The new touchpad comes with a new gesture called a ‘force-click’ that automatically brings up a context sensitive function. It’s sort of like a ‘right-click’ but is based on pressure. For example, when fast forwarding a video, the deeper you press the track pad, the faster the video plays.
The new MacBook Air has a unibody structure, so it’s designed to be quite sturdy despite its small size. There are no fans or vents used inside, which is a first ever for Apple, so it’s designed to run quietly and very cooly.
There’s an aluminium hinge between the keyboard base and screen, rather than plastic one, making this the first all-metal MacBook.
Colour wise, there are three to choose from, including space grey, silver and rose gold.
Inside, the unit is powered by a low voltage dual-core Intel Core M, 14nm processor, running at 1.1 to 1.2GHz, depending on the model, and Intel HD Graphics 5300 graphics.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the latest Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi are supported.
The MacBook’s batteries are ‘terraced’ meaning they they are now made up of individual sheets that are stacked together and can be contoured to fit all of the available space inside the case.
Despite it’s svelte dimensions, the MacBook offers full day battery life of around 8 to 10 hours of charge.
The new and probably controversial element of the MacBook is the USB-C connector. Apart from the audio jack, this is the only connector on the device, and it serves many roles including power charging, video output and data transfer.
While there weren’t many details about it, there will undoubtedly be an adaptor that provides multiple, simultaneous connections to the different cable types.
Australian prices are $1799 to $2199, and shipping will begin on April 10th through the Apple online store.
Apple is also updating the current 11 and 13 inch MacBook Airs, which now feature fifth generation Intel Core processors up to 2.2 GHz, integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000, Thunderbolt 2 connectors that provide 20 gigabytes per second transfer speeds, and the 13 inch model also gets 2 times the flash storage (hard drive) speed of the previous model.
Also upgraded, the 13in MacBook Pro sports faster fifth generation Intel Core processors up to 3.1GHz and Intel Iris Graphics 6100, it gets the new Force Touch trackpad, 2x faster flash memory and 10 hours of ‘all day’ battery life.
The new MacBook pricing and specifications in detail:
MacBook comes with a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.4 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at recommended retail price AUD$1,799 inc. GST; and with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting from recommended retail price AUD$2,199 inc. GST.
Valens Quinn traveled to the Spring Forward event in San Francisco as a guest of Apple Australia.