If your eyeballs are aching from the horrid blocky pixels in your MacBook Air’s non-HD screen, rejoice. After much speculation and anticipation, a brand new, super-skinny MacBook with a Retina display has finally arrived.
This isn’t a “MacBook Air,” it’s simply called the new MacBook. But it looks more like a MacBook Air than any of the previous MacBooks.
The new MacBook starts at $1,300, weighs just two pounds and has a body made entirely of metal. But it’s only 13.1 millimeters thick—a full 24 percent thinner than the last MacBook. That’s so thin, Apple has had to redesign the entire thing. It has a new logic board, a new keyboard, a new touchpad, and the design is fanless.
The keys forego the scissor switches traditionally found in laptop keyboards for a new switch designed by Apple. The company says it provides better stability and more accurate typing when you’re banging away at your keys. Apple calls this new invention a “Butterfly switch.”
The trackpad has also been re-engineered. It not only senses touch, but also pressure and force, so it knows when you’re just gently tapping and navigating, and when you’re clicking with greater force and urgency. It provides haptic feedback (vibrations) through the trackpad as you tap (or as you grind your finger into it). This should open the door to some new gestures.
There’s a 12-inch Retina display that runs at 2,304 x 1,440 resolution. The panel itself is just 0.88 millimeters thick. Inside, the new laptop has a dual-core Intel Core M that’s configurable up to 1.3 GHz (the base model is 1.1Ghz) with an Intel HD graphics 5300 chip. Bluetooth 4.0 is on-board, as is 802.11ac networking.
The base model with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD will cost $1,299. A 512GB SSD option will cost $1,599. These new computers ship April 10. They’ll be available in silver, space gray, or gold. (The gold one actually looks really nice.)
At the product announcement in San Francisco, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller joked, “It’s filled with batteries!” The new laptop has 35 percent more battery life than previous MacBooks (Schiller didn’t say exactly which model he was comparing it to, but the message is that battery life has been improved). The company claims nine hours of wireless web browsing and ten hours of watching movies. It consumes only five watts—that’s incredibly power efficient for a laptop.
As rumored, Apple has done away with traditional USB ports. In terms of I/O, the new MacBook features only one, reversible USB Type C port. This one port handles charging, video output, and data transport. Curiously, this means Apple is taking a step back from the MagSafe-style adaptors it moved to years ago.
The new USB-C port is reversible, and it handles power, HDMI, and data transport. Apple