MacBook Overview Updated October 6, 2020

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December 2010 - October 2020


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Originally released April 10, 2015 and last refreshed April 19, 2016, the all-new MacBook ($1,299 and up from the Apple Store) is the thinnest and lightest Mac laptop ever made. It’s also the first MacBook to be offered in four color options: classic silver, space gray, gold and rose gold.

Currently offered only with a 12″ screen, it represents the future of Apple laptops. Following a refresh in April 2016, it now includes a 2304×1440 (226ppi) Retina display, 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage, coupled with ultra-low-power Intel Core M processors. The base model includes a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M chip with an Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU; and upgraded models offer to 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 or 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core m7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz.

With a redesigned chassis that’s only slightly wider than the keyboard, the new MacBook’s 0.14″–0.52″ thickness was achieved in part by dropping all external connectivity ports save for a 3.5mm headphone port and a new reversible USB-C port, which can be used for power, data connectivity, and video output. Most of the MacBook’s connectivity is handled wirelessly with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4 support. It promises 9-10 hours of battery life depending on how the computer is being used.

A redesigned Force Touch trackpad now can sense multiple levels of pressure rather than just one, using four pressure sensors and a haptic feedback pad to replicate the clickiness of a traditional trackpad. Additionally, the keyboard has been completely redesigned to retain the expected clicks, precision, and travel of conventional keys, while cutting their depth and width to fit the chassis. An ultra-thin top lid has only enough depth for a 640×480 FaceTime camera, a compromise for the smaller size.

Just like the first-generation MacBook Air, the new MacBook is aimed at users whose computing needs don’t demand incredible horsepower, yet benefit from a slim, light chassis with a really nice screen. Though you’ll do better in raw dollar terms and power by buying a comparably priced 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, you’ll have nearly twice the weight to carry around (2.03 pounds versus 3.48 pounds) and a larger footprint to manage. The choice of which is best for your needs will be highly personal.

Current Lineup:

  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016)

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MacBook Stories October 6

Home-built ‘MacBook Mini’ is a fun project using a Raspberry Pi

Michael Pick, whose nickname is The Casual Engineer, has created a home-built “MacBook Mini” that he calls the world’s smallest MacBook…

MacBook Stories September 21

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple’s miniLED plans are being accelerated, the company using the screens in more 2021 iPads and MacBooks than expected.

His previous estimates had suggested that the new backlighting technology for LCD screens would be used only on the top models next year, but it now appears that it will make it into some mid-range models too …

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MacBook Stories September 8

Macworld explains how to turn a Chromebook into a pseudo MacBook

If you have MacBook tastes but a Chromebook budget, Macworld says you needn’t despair: with a bit of configuring, you can create a pseudo MacBook …

MacBook Stories September 2

It was suggested earlier this week that we might see an Apple Silicon 12-inch MacBook before the end of the year, as one of Apple’s first ARM-powered Macs.

If the report is true, I’ve already talked myself into buying one, despite one rather awkward fact…

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MacBook Stories July 28

An unreleased MacBook battery appears to have made its way through a pair of regulatory databases this month. Details are unclear, but new filings with the China Compulsory Certificate database and the UL Demko certification reveal what seems to be a Mac with the model number A2389 and a 4,380mAh battery.

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MacBook Stories July 23

How to connect AirPods to Mac manually and with one-click pairing

Whether you just got a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro or have had them for a while but just haven’t used them with your Mac, follow along for how to connect AirPods and AirPods to your Mac. We’ll also look at how to set up seamless one-click or keyboard shortcut pairing with a Mac.

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