Apple unveiled a new MacBook alongside the Apple Watch at Monday's Spring Forward launch event. This new product is a minimalist 12-inch laptop, with a Retina display, that is 24 per cent thinner than the company's previous slimmest computer; it is just 13.1mm at its thickest point. Another notable feature of the new 12-inch MacBook (note it's not suffixed either 'Pro' or 'Air') is that it sports a single connector/power port.
The new MacBook which Apple claims "reinvents the notebook," is the first fanless MacBook and its first to use Intel's Broadwell Core M ultra-low-power processors. To achieve its small chassis, many of the integral components have been shrunk dramatically and soldered to the motherboard so it can be tightly integrated. This might impact user upgradeability and repairability but Apple has a penchant for ignoring such concerns anyway. The 12-inch MacBook base model comes with 8GB RAM and users have the option of either a 256GB or 512GB SSD.
Just a single USB type-C port is featured
This laptop comes in a choice of different metal finish colours; gold, silver and space gray, just like the company's iPads. It features a 2304x1440px retina display, the all-new Force Touch clickless trackpad with a 'taptic feedback' system and 'force click' that provides users pressure sensitive UI interaction, and a new battery design which is touted as the most energy efficient the company has ever made (slim but 9hrs battery life). The keyboard is 34 per cent thinner than Apple's previous best and uses a so-called butterfly mechanism which is supposed to provide greater precision and four times greater stability.
Controversially, the new MacBook will also be the first Apple laptop to use the new reversible USB type-C ports – but it replaces the popular 'MagSafe' magnetic charging port and Thunderbolt port as well as all the other usual ports. The single port is much slimmer than a standard full size USB port, and can support multiple protocols including USB, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort and power. By leaving the device with just a solitary port configuration for both charging and input/output, Apple expects users to utilise Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to get data in and out most of the time.
Refreshed Apple laptop models
The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air also got spec updates on Monday. The former is now equipped with the Force Touch trackpad, flash storage that's double the speed, and an extended battery life of up to 10 hours Both new Air models have been upgraded with fifth-generation Intel Core processors, as well as Intel HD Graphics 6000 and Thunderbolt 2 ports.
The all-new MacBook will begin shipping from 10th April starting at $1,299 whilst the latest revamped laptop line will be available starting Monday through Apple's online store. Prices for the MacBook Pro start at $1,299 for the 128GB version, going up to $1,799 for the 512GB model. The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $899 for 128GB SSD and goes up to $1,099 for 256GB, whilst the 13-inch version starts at $999 and goes up to $1,199.