MacBook Overview Updated December 3, 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 December 3

Scarcely a month goes by without a new class action lawsuit against Apple. The vast majority of them are frivolous, often absurd, but there is one that deserves to succeed: the keyboard class action lawsuit over the failed butterfly design.

We learned yesterday that a federal judge has rejected Apple’s attempt to have the case dismissed, and ruled that it will proceed to trial

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MacBook Stories November 15

Getting the 16-inch MacBook Pro? Here’s how to wipe your MacBook before selling or giving it away

If you’ve just picked up the 16-inch MacBook Pro or you’re going to soon, and you’re going to sell/give away your existing Mac notebook, follow along for how to wipe your MacBook and reinstall a fresh copy of macOS.

MacBook Stories November 13

Hooray! Apple has a new MacBook Pro with what we all surely hope will turn out to be an actually reliable keyboard! If you’ve been using a MacBook computer introduced in the last four or five years, this is really great news.

We’ll have to test the new keyboard out for ourselves before we reach a final verdict, but the key change here is higher travel and the return to scissor switch keys versus problematic butterfly key switches.

So does that mean it’s safe finally safe to buy an Apple laptop again without concern about durability? It’s complicated, but in short, I wouldn’t recommend my family spend $1000 and up on a new MacBook just yet.

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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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