MacBook Overview Updated August 2, 2019

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December 2010 - August 2019


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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 August 2

Apple is apparently preparing to debut its first cellular MacBook models next year, with 5G-enabled MacBooks coming in the second half of 2020 according to Digitimes.

Apple will purportedly be using a ceramic antenna component for better 5G performance.

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MacBook Stories July 25

Reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities has published a new report focused squarely on Apple keyboards. Kuo lays out an updated timeline for when he believes Apple will begin using more reliable keyboards in MacBooks.

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MacBook Stories July 10

Apple cleaned up its MacBook lineup this week with updated hardware, better prices, and one casualty: the 12-inch MacBook. While the MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro saw changes (and Mac storage prices dropped), Apple killed off its lightest notebook after four years and three generations.

The death of Apple’s coolest MacBook has sparked many hot takes, exposing just how hated the 12-inch notebook was by a group of customers who had plenty of other Mac options. Reactions have simultaneously revealed how beloved the 12-inch MacBook has been by real customers who no longer have a clear upgrade path.

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MacBook Stories July 9

Along with updating its Retina MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks today, Apple has discontinued its 12-inch MacBook and previous-generation MacBook Air. The refreshed lineup now consists of the Retina 13-inch MacBook Air and 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

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MacBook Stories June 13

MacBook lineup likely seeing more updates this fall following Pro refresh

Apple has registered seven new Mac notebooks with the Eurasian Economic Commission today, foreshadowing upcoming MacBook releases that could arrive this fall.

MacBook Stories May 21

After acknowledging issues with its 2018 butterfly keyboards earlier this year, Apple has today expanded its Keyboard Service Program to cover the 2018 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks. The company is also using a new material in a revised third-gen butterfly keyboard that it claims should resolve issues like missed key presses and double key-presses. Additionally, Apple has started another Service Program for MacBook Pros with backlight display failures.

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