MacBook Overview Updated April 20, 2018

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December 2010 - April 2018


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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 April 20

Laptop Mag is out today with its ‘Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2018’ report. While Apple received the highest score of any company for “Support & Warranty” it also scored the lowest in “Innovation” and “Value and Selection,” putting it at the bottom of the pack overall.

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MacBook Stories April 6

Ugreen released its new USB-C Multiport 8 in 1 Adapter earlier this year and it quickly sold out with an affordable price tag of about $50. Now, we’ve gone hands on with the accessory that packs about every I/O you could need. We’ve also got an exclusive 25% off for 9to5Mac readers who want to grab this adapter for $40. Read on for our full review and coupon code.

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MacBook Stories March 23

Bloomberg has today published a report that adds some weight behind the rumor mill ahead of Apple’s spring education event on Tuesday. Mark Gurman writes that Apple will indeed announce a new version of Apple’s cheapest entry-level iPad.

New software for schools is also in the cards, but it seems like the rumored sub-$1000 MacBook will not be shown.

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MacBook Stories March 22

Apple set expectations for the March 27 event with the invite: ‘creative new ideas for teachers and students’. It’s going to be themed and directed at education markets, no question.

But that doesn’t mean the event will be irrelevant to an average consumer outside of a school. Whilst software announcements will almost certainly focus on things like Apple Classroom, any new hardware revisions affect normal customers just as much as schools. Here’s what I’d like to see happen.

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Satechi releases new aluminum USB-C hub with dual video output, Gigabit Ethernet, more

Satechi has today released its latest USB-C hub, the Aluminum Type-C Multimedia Adapter. Packing in almost every I/O you could need, the new adapter even includes Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, and more.

MacBook Stories March 16

Apple’s line of MacBook laptops is likely to show better year-over-year growth in unit sales than both the iPad and the iPhone, according to a new report from KGI. The analyst predicts Mac laptop unit shipments will rise between 13-16% in 2018, compared to about 7-10% for iPad and a maximum of 6% for iPhone.

Obviously, in absolute unit sales iPhone dwarfs everything else, but it is no longer the growth powerhouse. Wearables have been Apple’s best growth area in recent quarters, and KGI estimates that Mac sales will rise steadily this year compared to 2017.

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