MacBook Overview Updated October 27, 2017

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December 2010 - October 2017


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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 October 27

All of the buzz is surrounding the launch of the iPhone X, but Apple has quietly launched a new leather sleeve accessory for the 12-inch MacBook. The Leather Sleeve for 12‑inch MacBook, which looks very similar to the Leather Sleeve for iPad Pro, is available in either Saddle Brown or Midnight Blue. expand full story

MacBook Stories October 25

CalDigit is no stranger when it comes to producing peripherals for the Mac. In particular, the California-based company has concentrated on Apple’s laptops with USB-C and Thunderbolt. The CalDigit AV Pro 2 is its latest such product: an external storage solution wrapped in a high-grade aluminum enclosure.

CalDigit has merged external storage with a USB 3.0 hub to create a product capable of providing three things of interest to MacBook owners — access to more storage, additional USB ports, and charging up to 30W. Have a look at our video walkthrough as we unbox and go hands-on with the CalDigit AV Pro 2. expand full story

MacBook Stories October 18

There’s now a song about the sticky MacBook keyboard to get stuck in your head [Video]

Jonathan Mann of ‘Song a Day’ fame has a new hit on his hands. “I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening” is his latest jingle, and it’s a brilliant tune about keys on the MacBook keyboard having a tendency to get stuck when exposed to debris or crumbs or, well, in some cases, air.

Industry players, such as Microsoft, have arrived in Hong Kong this week for Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit, an annual event to strategize and discuss trends and technology developments.

One of the topics of surefire interest revolves around Microsoft’s upcoming ARM-powered Windows 10 laptop. In a glimpse into its battery life potential, Microsoft’s Principal Group Program Manager for Connectivity Partners, Pete Bernard, told Trusted Reviews that he only needs to “charge it every couple of days or so.”

Having multi-day battery life on a real, full-featured laptop would indeed, as Bernard puts it, be a game-changing innovation. Yet, when you consider how much better Apple’s custom-designed silicon is compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, the possibilities for an ARM-powered Mac become all the more desirable. expand full story

MacBook Stories October 3

It can be tricky to clean debris out from under Apple’s latest butterfly keyboards found on its MacBook and MacBook Pro models (or any keyboard for that matter). While it’s more difficult for crumbs, dust, etc. to creep your underneath Apple’s butterfly keys, the downside is when stuff gets stuck, it’s tough to clean it out.

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MacBook Stories September 29

When I first wrote about using solid state drives (SSDs) to radically improve the performance of older Macs, high-capacity SSDs were just beginning to become affordable. Replacing a Mac’s 500GB or 1TB hard drive with a same-sized SSD required at least $250 back then, but the benefits were tremendous: even an aging machine became markedly (5x) faster, silent, and — unexpectedly — more fun to use. All for much less than the price of a new Mac.

Today, high-capacity SSDs are more affordable than ever. Replacing your old 500GB hard drive with a same-sized SSD from a reputable manufacturer costs only $150, while 1TB drives are under $330, each $100 less than only a couple of years ago. Once unthinkably huge 2TB and 4TB SSDs are now commonly available, too, albeit at eye-watering prices.

With this week’s release of macOS High Sierra, Apple has officially made SSDs its preferred Mac storage solution, introducing the new APFS standard to further optimize SSD performance over Fusion and traditional hard drives. So this is a perfect time to revisit the topic of SSD upgrades; if you held out before, now’s the time to jump in!

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