MacBook Overview Updated December 7, 2016

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December 2010 - July 2016


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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 July 15, 2016

AAPL: 98.78

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As a MacBook owner, USB-C peripherals are still a little hard to come by, but the accessory situation has improved significantly over the past year. One of the latest USB-C-centric peripherals to hit the scenes is an external bus-powered hard drive from the folks over at G-Technology. If you’re looking for a way to quickly offload files to and from your MacBook, the G-Drive is a good option. expand full story

MacBook Stories June 28, 2016

AAPL: 93.59

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If you own a MacBook, then chances are you’ll need some way to connect traditional USB devices and SD Cards. And what about connecting to external displays via HDMI, or to routers and hubs via Ethernet?

The MacBook, with its single USB-C port, is quite limited when it comes to connectivity, but an external adapter can help. Enter Minix’s NEO C USB-C Multiport Adapter. It features two USB 3 ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI port, SD Card slot, and a microSD slot. It also features a USB-C input for pass-through charging.

Is it a good choice for MacBook owners? Watch our hands-on video coverage for the details. expand full story

MacBook Stories June 15, 2016

AAPL: 97.14

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MacBook Stories June 10, 2016

AAPL: 98.83

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I wouldn’t normally describe a portable battery as being beautiful, but Kanex’s just-released $99 GoPower USB-C Portable Battery fits that description. Its aluminum body is like a mix of Apple’s space gray and silver colors, but it’ll look good when paired with any 12″ MacBook.

Good looks are nice, but the real world performance of a battery pack is crucial. How does Kanex’s offering stack up? Check out our hands-on impressions. expand full story

MacBook Stories June 9, 2016

AAPL: 99.65

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KGI analyst report from two weeks ago broke the news that a new Apple MacBook, due later in the year, would debut a new OLED touch screen technology above the keyboard that will replace the function row keys. A leaked shell of a MacBook days later seemed to at least confirm the report along with showing 2 USB-C ports on the sides and a huge touchpad. The MacBook OLED bar rumor has been a controversial one for us and many of you generating lots of opinions.

MAcBook-Oled-MArtin

However, one of our readers Cameron did a mockup that changed all of that for me and many others. Taking a look at the possibilities with Siri, many of our readers came up with excellent ideas for apps that would use the bar. 3D designer Martin Hajek has done a few better with some amazing renders that take the OLED display from gimmick to “TAKE MY MONEY.”

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