MacBook Overview Updated October 24, 2016


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.

449 MacBook stories

December 2010 - October 2016

MacBook Stories Today

AAPL: 117.71

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Apple’s ‘hello again’ tagline for its special event this Thursday suggests an evolution of the Mac line, not just an iterative update. That’s because the world was introduced to the Macintosh in 1984 with a ‘hello’, then to the iMac in 1998 with a ‘hello (again)’, both key points in the Mac’s history. Now in 2016 it appears to be the MacBook Pro’s turn.

This will hardly be the first MacBook Pro, but we expect a slimmer design with beefed up internals and a new input method: an OLED touch panel above the keyboard that dynamically changes based on context. Apple will likely want to frame the ‘Magic Toolbar‘ (or whatever it calls it) as an important evolution in input methods like the iPod’s Click Wheel, the iPhone’s Multi-Touch, and the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown.

If you ignore the historical importance of ‘hello again’ and just see it as a clever way to say ‘hey, we just had an event last month and we’re back’, one thing is still clear based on what we expect to see at Apple’s event: this is the year to pay attention to new MacBook Pros.

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In case there needed to be any more smoke to the fire, Russian trademark filings reveal that Apple is readying the release of three new Macs running macOS Sierra. The products have apparently passed the Russian registration, labelled as ‘portable personal computer models’ with model identifiers A1706, A1707 and A1708.

This all but confirms Apple plans to launch three new Mac laptops at its media event on Thursday, corroborating a KGI report from over the weekend. These product identifiers likely correspond to two new MacBook Pros and a new ultrathin 13-inch MacBook as a sibling to the 12-inch MacBook

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MacBook Stories October 13

AAPL: 116.98

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I’m always on the lookout for new USB-C-equipped MacBook accessories, especially external drives, because space is at such a premium on these diminutive machines. CalDigit’s Tuff line of 2.5-inch external USB-C portable drives fit the bill. Not only do these drives add a significant amount of space to your MacBook, but they’re bus-powered, meaning that you only need a single USB-C cable to enjoy its benefits.

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MacBook Stories October 5

AAPL: 113.05

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I came across a tweet from 2012 in my Timehop feed this week where I declared my intent to buy a 15-inch MacBook Air assuming one would exist eventually. The first MacBook Pro with Retina display was introduced earlier that year and had a 25 percent thinner design, but it was still pretty hefty.

My hope has been for a MacBook that prioritizes “thinness” over power to deliver a larger display in a lightweight casing. Bigger MacBooks are heavier MacBooks and 11-, 12-, and 13-inch screens just aren’t ideal for me full-time. With new MacBooks way overdue, I’m still holding out hope for something close to my dream MacBook (and at the current rate it might even be the powerful one).

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MacBook Stories September 24

AAPL: 112.71

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As a 12″ MacBook owner, I’m always looking for new USB-C peripherals to help make my life easier. Aukey’s $17.99 3-port USB 3.0 hub with Gigabit Ethernet is one such device. expand full story

MacBook Stories August 29

AAPL: 106.82

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We already know a lot about Apple’s upcoming iPhone and MacBook Pro refreshes, but a new report today from Bloomberg details a bit more about what the company has up its sleeve for the rest of the year. The report claims that in addition to the new iPhone and MacBook Pro lineups, Apple is planning to refresh the iMac and MacBook Air and will also introduce a new 5K display, as we’ve reported in the past, in partnership with LG. On the software side of things, Apple is reportedly working on a variety of new features for the iPad Pro.

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