MacBook Overview Updated May 4, 2020

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December 2010 - May 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 May 4

Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Magic Keyboard, alongside performance and tech spec improvements. The new 13-inch Pro features scissor switch keys, marking the end of the butterfly keyboard MacBook era.

The new MacBook Pro is available to order today, starting at $1299. Apple has doubled the base SSD storage across all configurations.

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MacBook Stories April 23

We’ve been wondering for years when we might see the first ARM-powered Mac, and a Bloomberg report today suggests that it will be next year.

Apple is set to release its first Mac based on a custom ARM chip next year, according to Bloomberg. This lines up with previous timeline reported from Bloomberg, which cited late 2020/2021 timeframe, and other reports from publications like analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The different architectures make it difficult to predict the relative power of an ARM-based Mac against an Intel one, but there’s no reason in principle why an ARM-powered Mac couldn’t be more powerful than some of today’s machines …

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MacBook Stories April 3

Satechi launched its latest multi-device USB-C charger at CES back in January and it comes with the most ports and power you’ll find in pretty much any option on the market. Read on for our full review of Satechi’s 108W USB-C PD Desktop Charger.

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MacBook Stories March 17

If you’re just starting to work from home due to coronavirus, you might find that using just your laptop isn’t going to be a great fit for the coming weeks (or longer).

In 2020, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 display options are growing. It’s great to see Apple’s Pro Display XDR on the market but it’s likely not the best fit for the majority of users with a starting price of $5,000 without a stand. Let’s take a look at some of the best USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 displays available in the $400-$1,300 range.

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MacBook Stories March 9

How to clean and sanitize your Mac, keyboard, mouse, other devices with Apple’s updated guidance

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, Apple has updated its recommendation on how to disinfect its products. Follow along for how to clean and sanitize your Mac, keyboard, mouse, and other Apple devices.

MacBook Stories February 19

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

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 to your MacBook. We’ll also look at how to set up seamless one-click or keyboard shortcut pairing with a Mac.

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