The 12in Retina MacBook is real, it’s called simple “MacBook”, and it’s a good deal more exciting than we were expecting.
Yes, it’s beautiful, especially in the gold finish shown on-stage during the launch (it’s also available in Space Grey and Silver, of course), and that’s largely due to all-metal chassis and quite breathtaking slimness. This is just 13.1mm thick – 24% thinner than the existing MacBook Air – and it weighs just 907g.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
It’s thinner, but full-size. In fact, each key has a 17% larger surface area – the fat-fingered will be delighted. On top of that, Apple has redesigned the actual key-press mechanism. Gone is the Scissor mechanism that sees keys depress slightly wonkily – there’s now a Butterfly mechanism that sees each button depress more uniformly. Apparently they’re 4x more stable than the keys on an existing MacBook, if you insist on putting a figure on these things.
The TouchPad’s had an upgrade, too, in the form of more hinges to it can be clicked anywhere on its surface, as well as a couple of features inherited from the Apple Watch – Taptic feedback and Force Touch, which means the TouchPad responds to different degrees of pressure.
100% FEWER FANS, A BUNCH MORE BATTERIES
The first step to getting the 11in MacBook Air’s logic board to fit in the new MacBook’s chassis was to throw away the fan. That’s right, this is the first fanless MacBook. Add in a bunch of other redevelopments and you’ve got a board that’s 67% smaller overall.
That actually leaves a fair bit of space under the keyboard, but it’s slightly awkwardly shaped because of the contours of the computer. So Apple has developed batteries in layers. These “terraced” batteries fill practically every remaining nook and cranny. That’s quite a lot of battery.
And apparently the new MacBook is the most energy efficient notebook in the world. Combine that with all of that battery power and you’ve got “all-day” battery life, 9 hours of web browsing, or 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.
GOODBYE TO LIGHTNING, HELLO TO USB-C
Best of all, it’s been developed with a load of other manufacturers, so while the new MacBook is the first to get it, it’s a new industry standard that should be widespread in mere months.
WANT WANT WANT
Well you’ll have to wait just a little while – the new MacBook isn’t shipping overseas until 10th April.
But in terms of price it doesn’t seem (massively) outrageous. The cheaper of the two models (overseas) is roughly R19,300, which gets you a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. R24,000 doubles the storage and ups the processor to a 1.2GHz Intel Core M. We’re going to have to wait a little while for Core to give us local pricing and availability but we’d expect them to stay around this region.