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Apple reinvents the MacBook with 12-inch, 13.1mm-thick Retina offering

Luke Johnson


Apple reinvents the MacBook with 12-inch, 13.1mm-thick Retina offering

Apple has reinvented the MacBook, introducing the super-svelte, 13.1mm-thick new MacBook at a launch event in California.

Pairing this streamlined redesign with the addition of a Retina display, the new 12-inch MacBook is looking to redefine the notebook market.

“The definition of portability has changed in recent years because of the iPhone and iPad,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in unveiling the new device.

“We challenged ourselves to take what we’d learned from the iPhone and iPad and use it. We challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook, and we did it.

New MacBook Features

First things first, the new MacBook will be defined by its stunning new look.

Lining up at a mere 13.1mm thick at its fattest point, the new model is 24 per cent slimmer than the company’s formerly slimmest devices, the 17.3mm-fat MacBook Air.

This is also the first fanless MacBook, silent in operation, and has kept its thickness down thanks to a new unibody architecture design.

All of the computer’s components have shrunk, too. With a logic board 67 per cent smaller than that on its predecessor, Apple has crammed more power into a smaller space.

The new MacBook is powered by the latest Intel Core M chipset. The 1.3GHz processor can be TurboCharge to 2.9GHz for all your heavy-duty work needs. Further specs on the entry-level model will see 8GB of RAM line up alongside a 256SSD.

Despite cutting down its size, the new MacBook will not skimp on battery life. Thanks to new, terraced, contoured battery cells that fit the angles and curves of the MacBook’s design, Apple has squeezed in 35 per cent more battery capacity into the same space.

The result is all-day staying power. Apple has promised the Mac will offer 9 hours of wireless web access on a single charge. For those with more entertainment-based needs, you will be able to eke 10 hours of movie viewing before needing to return to charge.

Movies will look great too. The new MacBook features a 12-inch Retina display. This 0.88mm-thin panel features a 2304 x 1440-pixel resolution. That's a stunning 3.3 million pixels in total.

In terms of connectivity options, the new MacBook is both lacking and packed at the same time. Featuring just a single USB-C port, the device does away with excessive connections.

Related: What is USB-C?

This single port is a third of size of a standard USB port and cables are reversible for more intuitive inserting.

What’s more, the single port will be able to double as a USB, DisplayPort, power, HDMI and VGA port.

Benefitting from a full metal enclosure, further new additions to the new MacBook include the addition of a reworked trackpad.

Dubbed the ‘Force Touch trackpad’ this improved input option features a four-force sensor and taptic engine to offer feedback for your clicking.

With the new trackpad you can click anywhere and get the same feel. You can also adjust the feel to suit your needs and preferences using the integrated software.

New MacBook Release Date and Price

Those keen to snap up the new MacBook will not have to wait long to get their hands on the device. An official release date has been confirmed for April 10.

Prices, as you might expect, aren’t exactly cheap. The entry-level offering will set you back £1,049. This rises to £1,299 with a few spec bumps.

Prem Desai

March 9, 2015, 7:11 pm

Not quite sure how this is 'reinvented'. However, it looks good and I'm sure it will sell well.

As I've mention before, Apple laptops are something of a bargain - nothing else comes close to this spec, size and quality at this price point.


March 9, 2015, 7:58 pm

I still don't get it, why do we need the thickness down by 4mm, from 17mm.
It's not going to save a huge amount of space on my desk or in my backpack.

And we lose the precious ports and annoyingly will need USB 2/3 to USB 3.1 C adaptors now. I can see millions of these adaptors being sold on Amazon and Ebay next few years.

No normal USB, no Thunderbolt/Display Port, no SD card slot - NO SALE


March 9, 2015, 8:26 pm

Is this much better than the much cheaper Asus Zenbook UX305? Core M, higher res screen on the Mac, admittedly and the trackpad will be good, but £1049 vs £649?

Jamie Maclean

March 9, 2015, 9:18 pm



March 9, 2015, 10:53 pm



March 9, 2015, 10:54 pm

looks sweet


March 9, 2015, 10:54 pm

it was never for you


March 10, 2015, 2:18 am

This is a bit surprising because I have a 13" MB Air as an iOS development machine and I always thought it is nearly perfect just needs a better display.

I bet MBAs were eating into Macbook Pro sales and Apple decided to make them a bit more niche.

But that's a poor decision because these Airs won them a lot of new customers in the last 2-3 years and many manufacturers tried to make similar laptops.
Now Apple will be just giving market share away because connectivity on this is too limited, and customers wouldn't want to go to the more expensive and boxy Macbook Pros.

A. Mir

March 10, 2015, 8:53 am

Wish they would've kept the screen to 13" instead of 12".

I think Apple plan to phase out the MBA.

Yan Huang

March 10, 2015, 9:46 am

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Imagine what they could achieve if they only put as much design and engineering effort into putting better hardware into the same space instead of fighting to maintain the same performance in a smaller and smaller body.


March 10, 2015, 9:59 am

they will push you to the pro which will get even thinner itself, but with the air thinner and lighter over function was always more important, its like those woman who go for size zero.


March 10, 2015, 11:38 am

I agree. 'portability' is not only being compact and light, but how many situations you can use this laptop without any adaptors or extensions.


March 10, 2015, 11:51 am

I actually like minimalism in design and decoration, but this is not even symmetrical. It should have at least had a second port on the opposite side, or even better two each side.

Then imagine having to carry a USB A to USB C adaptor with you at all times, just ot be able to plug in one of the tens of USB devices one would be normally using.


March 10, 2015, 12:52 pm

So.....power and peripherals only work through the one usb port? That's handy for Apple that you will have to buy their adapters to allow you to use that for external display, peripheral use and charging at the same time.
Also, what about GPU? Does it have an in built GPU or does that rely on the Intel M chip and on board RAM?


March 10, 2015, 1:51 pm

apple will tell you to share via the cloud


March 10, 2015, 8:14 pm

if you need a machine thats needs to be plugged into a second monitor you get the pro

Yan Huang

March 11, 2015, 1:28 pm

So he can run Windows 10 on it, duh.

Yan Huang

March 11, 2015, 1:32 pm

I guess those who've recently spent £700+ on a Thunderbolt display+dock for their existing Macbook Air are going to need a new display to use with their new Macbook again then.

Also no, it doesn't have a GPU. AFAIK none of the Macbook Airs have ever had a dedicated GPU, only the 15" Macbook Pro.

Yan Huang

March 11, 2015, 1:41 pm

Or, just about every other Apple, Dell, HP, or Lenovo laptop under the sun.

This reminds me of all the hoo-hah behind the original Macbook Air as well, which only had one USB port. At least that didn't have to also charge via the same port! And even then Apple caved and doubled the USB ports on the second gen. And funny enough the pre-release prototypes from last year showed a full set of ports.

Nonetheless nobody seems to have pointed out the biggest impact of this... They've abandoned the Magsafe connector. Yay for more redundant power bricks and adapters?

Yan Huang

March 11, 2015, 1:42 pm

Heh. At work I have to look after three models of Mac laptops and have a box of about ten different adapters. I also have to look after four different *manufacturers* of Windows laptops and need only one adapter. Go figure.


March 11, 2015, 8:08 pm

why duh are you a numpty

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