Apple Unveils the new MacBook at “Spring Forward” Event

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At Apple’s “Spring Forward’ event yesterday it was expected that Apple’s big news would be about the Apple Watch. But if you’ve followed Apple, they will almost always surprise you at its Keynotes and Monday was no different. As I saw it the most important reveal today was the new Macbook Air or as it’s now referred the “Macbook“.

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It is a thing of beauty. No BS. We’ve all heard the rumors, seen the renderings, and artist interpretations of what the new Macbook Air would look like but never did I think it would look this good. This is the thinnest and lightest laptop on the market right now. Weighing in at just 2.0 pounds and having a 12″ screen, the Macbook is an engineering and design marvel. Apple was able to design the new Macbook to maximize battery life and processing power all without a fan and all without any compromise. Apple changed the game once again.

Aside from just the design itself, the new Macbook is all about pushing the future forward in terms of how we use our cables, ports, keyboard and trackpad.

Starting with the ports. The new Macbook uses one universal USB port for all your needs. The USB-Type C cable is that cable. It’s reversible and basically what this means is, no more driving yourself nuts trying to remember which side you have to insert your USB into the slot on your Macbook or iMac. Just plug it in and you’re good. This is a godsend as far as features are concerned if you ask me. While this is convenient, Apple has done this at the expense of the SD card slot, additional ports and the MagSafe connection. But of course to have a Macbook this light and thin, there are going to be trade offs. That’s just how technology goes.

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Apple also introduced some new keyboard and trackpad innovations. First off, the keyboard. On the new Macbook, because of how thin it is and how it was built, it takes the old keyboard scissor mechanism which sits under the keys to give a traditional keyboard that tactile feeling a less pronounced feeling because it has been replaced by what Apple calls the “butterfly mechanism”, which allows for very little keyboard travel when you press the key. Essentially the keyboard is almost sensitive to the touch when you attempt to type. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen but either way it’s an innovation.

The science of the new trackpad is elaborate but it’s functionality is potentially game changing in how it works. To keep it simple it’s a trackpad that functions based on pressure sensitivity. The amount of pressure that’s applied to the trackpad will allow you to utilize different functions based on the application or based on how it’s setup in your system preferences.

space-gray-and-gold-12-inch-macbookForce Push is what Apple is referring to this functionality as it will handle the functions of the right-click, fast forward, rewind and then there is the speed of which it performs fast forward and rewind. These functions can all be controlled by force push. Force Push will also be able to handle many more of the system functions but the ones mentioned are the probably the most important to the person that’s going to buy this Macbook.

Final Impression

Apple took a great deal of time to focus on the details that would make its new Macbook a machine like no other and this is one of them. Make no mistake, for all it’s technology and design prowess it isn’t perfect. The lack of ports IS a problem, sure you could get an adapter but I thought we were beginning to move away from cable carrying and this laptop kind of brings us backwards in a sense. The Intel Core-M processor makes this Macbook an unpowered laptop that you can really only use for general purpose. It’s an iPad with OS X Yosemite and a built-in keyboard. This is not a full review and I’m making my judgments on the specs Apple provided. When I actually get my hands on the machine it will be more in-depth so I’ll reserve further opinion until such time.

As with all things it’s up to the individual. Apple knows that this Macbook isn’t for everyone. They aren’t trying to sell it to everyone. Just the people who really want it and there WILL be people who really want it. There is a lot more to this Macbook than what I touched on. If you want to know what’s really under the hood the specs below are from Apple’s website so check it out and see if it’s for you.

Display

Retina display
12-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology
2304-by-1440 resolution at 226 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
16:10 aspect ratio
Supported scaled resolutions:
1440 by 900
1280 by 800
1024 by 640

Processor

1.1GHz
1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache
Configurable to 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache.
1.2GHz
1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache
Configurable to 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache.

Memory

8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
Storage
256GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage1
512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage1

Size & Weight

Height: 0.14–0.52 inch (0.35–1.31 cm)
Width: 11.04 inches (28.05 cm)
Depth: 7.74 inches (19.65 cm)
Weight: 2.03 pounds (0.92 kg)2
11.04 inches
(28.05 cm)
7.74 inches
(19.65 cm)0.14–0.52 inch
(0.35–1.31 cm)

Graphics & Video Support

Intel HD Graphics 5300
Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

Wireless

Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

Charging & Expansion

USB-C port with support for:
Charging
USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output
VGA output using USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (sold separately)
HDMI video output using USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (sold separately)

Camera

480p FaceTime camera

Audio

Stereo speakers
Dual microphones
Headphone port
Headphone/optical digital audio output (minijack)
Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone

Keyboard and Trackpad

Full-size keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) individual LED backlit keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys with ambient light sensor
Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and pressure-sensing capabilities; enables Force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing, and Multi-Touch gestures

Battery and Power

Up to 9 hours wireless web3
Up to 10 hours iTunes movie playback3
Built-in 39.7-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
29W USB-C Power Adapter; USB-C power port

The Macbook will be selling at $1299 for 256GB and $1599 for 512GB respectively.

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.