Apple releases new 12in MacBook with larger retina display
Apple has launched a new smaller MacBook with a larger 12in retina screen that’s just 13.1mm thick.
The new 12in MacBook is thinner and lighter than the previous 11in MacBook Air, but has a new larger and retina-quality screen, marking the first change to the laptop line-up since 2010.
Cook said: “Every year for the last decade, the Mac has outgrown the industry. And if you look at notebooks the numbers are even more telling. But the definition of portability has changed in the last several years, and so we challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook.”
Phil Schiller, vice-president of worldwide marketing, added that the device was “the most extreme and efficient notebook we have ever created”. The device weighs just 2lbs, and is 24% thinner than the old Macbook Air, at 13.1mm – even though the company is retaining the “Air” moniker for the older, larger model, which gains a faster processor alongside the MacBook Pro.
The new machines will also be the first Apple laptops to use the new reversibleUSB type-C ports, which are much slimmer than the standard USB ports, but the cable can be plugged in either way up.
The single port can support USB, but also VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort and power. Apple has also replaced its “MagSafe” magnetic charging port and removed the Thunderbolt port, leaving the device with just a single port, used for both charging and input/output. Instead, the company envisages owners use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to get data in and out.
The new laptop’s retina display uses less energy at the same brightness than previous displays, according to Schiller. But despite the screen, the computer is the first from Apple to feature no fan for active cooling, instead using a motherboard 67% smaller than the previous model’s to both save space and reduce heat.
Apple design chief Jony I’ve said the company took “an extreme approach to miniaturisation. A fundamental goal was the need to remove vents, fans and any moving parts, allowing it to operate in complete silence.”
The space saved by the motherboard is used for batteries, leading to the devices quoted battery life of “all day”; figures of nine hours for wireless web surfing and 10 hours of movie playback were also given.
Schiller also displayed the new keyboard and trackpad on the model, both of which feature significant upgrades from previous laptops. The keyboards use dome switches rather than older butterfly switches for a better typing feel, while the trackpad gains the ability to sense the pressure of a given touch. That feature, named “force click”, enables users to click harder for different results, such as accelerating a video, or looking up a word on Wikipedia.
Like iPhones and iPads, the device comes in three colours: silver, gold and “space grey”. The tech specs start at a 1.1ghz processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It will ship on 10 April, with prices beginning at $1,299 and rising to $1,599 for a faster processor and more storage.
The MacBook Air was first launched in 2008 pulled out of a manilla envelope by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs while on stage. It was the first of a line of super-slim and light laptops, which later became known as ultrabooks.
The unibody 13in and 11in MacBook Airs were launched in 2010, updating the design and later becoming the cheapest models of Apple’s laptop line.
The new MacBook joins the slimmer, redesigned 13in and 15in MacBook Pro with retina display, launched in 2012, and the recently updated iMac with 5k display.