MacBook Overview Updated May 25, 2017

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December 2010 - May 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 May 25

AAPL: 153.87

0.53

Apple has patents for virtual keyboards on MacBooks dating back as far as 2009, but a continuation patent application published today shows that the company is still exploring the idea.

A virtual keyboard was of course a headline feature of the iPhone when it was launched in 2007, and Apple also introduced the feature to the latest MacBook Pro models in the form of the Touch BarPatently Apple illustrated the patent using a Lenovo Yoga Book, showing what is in effect a giant Touch Bar replacing a physical keyboard.

If the idea fills you with horror, as it does me, we may not need to worry too much …

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MacBook Stories May 23

AAPL: 153.80

-0.19

9to5Mac founder Seth Weintraub tweeted this morning a suggestion that Microsoft was hitting all the laptop checkboxes of late – and that Apple will not.

Others noted that Microsoft has held its third event this year, and second this month, while we still await the first Apple event of the year. Does this mean that Microsoft is leading the way in innovation at present, and Apple is being left behind – or is the Seattle-based company engaging in meaningless gimmickry … ?

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Huawei is in the middle of launching its latest Windows 10 notebook, the new Matebook range – and is making some interesting comparisons with the 12-inch MacBook.

On one slide, the company claims that the Matebook X is ‘thinner but even more powerful’ than Apple’s MacBook – a comparison which may or may not be accurate …

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MacBook Stories May 12

AAPL: 156.10

2.15

MacBook Stories May 1

AAPL: 146.58

2.93

MacBook Stories April 13

AAPL: 141.05

-0.75
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