MacBook Overview Updated April 16, 2019

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December 2010 - April 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 April 16

I wrote recently about my MacBook Pro keyboard issues worsening, and the difficulty in getting it resolved given the time I’d be left without my machine.

A reader helpfully pointed me to an interesting software-based solution for a hardware problem – and it has solved 95% of my issues …

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MacBook Stories April 9

TF Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo has released a report which lays out Apple’s product interest in mini-LED technology. Kuo says that Apple will launch a 31.6-inch (6K resolution) external display in the second or third quarter of 2019 and feature a mini-LED backlight.

By late 2020 or early 2021, Kuo says that Apple will also launch a new iPad and new MacBook with mini-LED displays. It seems that whilst the 2019 31.6-inch display will only use mini-LED technology for the backlight, these future iPad and MacBook would feature true end-to-end mini-LED screens. This is why the timeline for these products stretches further into the future.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

MacBook Stories April 3

Anker PowerCore Fusion now available at the Apple Store, a USB-C wall charger that doubles as a portable battery

Apple is now selling a very interesting Anker accessory, called the Anker PowerCore Fusion with Power Delivery. In a package about the same size as Apple’s laptop chargers, this unit doubles as both a USB-C wall charger and a 5000 mAh portable battery, for charging on-the-go.

MacBook Stories April 2

While most ultra wide monitors on the market with Thunderbolt 3 go for well over a thousand dollars, Samsung offers an interesting option with a 34-inch curved display, Thunderbolt 3, and a more affordable price. The CJ791 doesn’t bring a 4K resolution to the table, but it does come in at $800 with a compelling overall package. Read on for our full review of this ultra wide Thunderbolt 3 monitor that works well with the MacBook Pro and other MacBooks.

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MacBook Stories March 27

Complaints about the durability of Apple’s recent MacBook keyboards are nothing new, but Apple’s third-generation butterfly keyboard was expected to remedy lingering issues with sticky keys. Joanna Stern’s latest column in the WSJ explores the infamous keyboard problem, however, and suggests we’re not out of the woods yet. Included in the piece is an Apple spokesperson statement acknowledging ongoing issues.

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MacBook Stories January 17

Intel hasn’t yet revealed its 2019 CPU line-up, but it has disclosed the names of this year’s chips and given a few details about what we can expect from them.

We can never know for sure when Apple will adopt a new generation of Intel CPU even when it is available, but we can make some educated guesses …

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