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8 Best Laptops, Ultrabooks and Hybrids 2015

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12-inch MacBook (2015)

9 of 13

12-inch MacBook (2015)

Originally reviewed by David Phelan 10 March 2015

Coming Soon

Key features:
  • 12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440 display
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • New "butterfly" keys
  • 10-hour claimed stamina
The 12-inch MacBook 2015 is up there with the Dell XPS 13 2015 as one of the best-looking laptops on the market. It’s even thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air, coming in at just 13.1mm thick and 923g – that’s less than a bag of sugar. It’s clad in aluminium too, and comes in grey, silver and gold colour schemes. Curiously, Apple’s got rid of all ports apart from the headphone jack and a new USB-C connection, which means you’ll have to buy an adaptor if you want to charge the MacBook and use a USB drive at the same time.
 
The 12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440 ‘Retina’ display is sharp and vivid, and surrounded by impressively thin bezels. This means that, despite the upgrade in screen size, the new MacBook uses the same-sized frame as the 11-inch MacBook Air.
 
Instead of the traditional “scissor” motion, the MacBook’s keys use what Apple calls a “butterfly” motion. This means the buttons are more stable, but offer less travel than before, which takes some getting used to. The keyboard itself runs from edge to edge, and the keys are large and individually backlit. More striking still is the new Force Touch trackpad, which doesn’t move, but uses haptic feedback to imitate motion. It also behaves differently depending on how much pressure you push down with.  
 
Unfortunately, power and speed has been downgraded. The Intel Core M processor inside will deliver similar performance to a MacBook Air of three or four years ago. Claimed battery life stands at the 10-hour mark, which should still get you through most of the day.
 
Price: £1,049 / $1,299

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