MacBook Overview Updated January 26, 2021

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December 2010 - January 2021


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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 January 26

Apple already makes a titanium Apple Watch, but a patent granted today could pave the way for titanium MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones too.

The patent describes how Apple could overcome the challenge of giving titanium an aesthetically pleasing finish, and follows a patent granted last month regarding a method of making a true matte black MacBook

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MacBook Stories January 22

Face ID for Mac ‘developed’ by Apple but not coming soon; 5G same

We’ve long expected Apple to offer Face ID for Mac models, just as it does for the iPhone and iPad Pro. Bloomberg’s report on an upcoming higher-end MacBook Air has a mix of good and bad news on this front.

Another feature some have long wanted for MacBooks is the ability to connect to mobile data directly when Wi-Fi isn’t available. The report says the position is the same for both features: They are coming, but not soon …

MacBook Stories January 18

USB-C/Thunderbolt display options have really grown over the last couple of years. It’s great to see options like 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/Thunderbolt displays available in the $400-$1,300 range.

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MacBook Stories January 15

We’ve had a couple of reports today, each from solid sources, suggesting that we’ll see significant changes when the 2021 MacBook Pro models appear.

The two reports agree on most things, though there are some differences between them. Notably, Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that removal of the Touch Bar is a done deal, while Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman thinks it is merely being considered at this stage …

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MacBook Stories January 5

A pair of newly granted Apple patents shows a MacBook wirelessly charging an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. They describe two-way charging coils that can be used to charge the MacBook itself, but also used to allow the MacBook to charge other devices.

The patents also show an iPad charging an iPhone and Watch (right), and follow a separate patent application for a MagSafe battery case, which can charge both an iPhone and a set of AirPods …

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MacBook Stories December 4, 2020

If you’ve ever wished Apple made matte black MacBooks, a new patent shows that the company is at least considering the idea.

Apple begins by explaining the likely reason it hasn’t yet done it: it’s really hard to get a true black, rather than a dark grey …

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