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12-inch MacBook (2015): What's new?

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12-inch MacBook (2015): What's new?

12-inch MacBook Features: Here's what you need to know about Apple's new MacBook

The new MacBook is the laptop that Apple says is the reinvention of the portable computer. It's available to buy now on the same day that Apple Watch pre-orders go online.

If you're weighing up whether to get one, we've picked out the key new features that might persuade you to invest in more Apple tech.

Thinner than Air

The new MacBook with its 12-inch Retina display is only 13.1mm thick and weighs just 907g, 4mm thinner and around 10g lighter than the previous MacBook Air.

But the biggest improvements have been made to the the keyboard and trackpad. Apple has ditched the traditional button function, known as a scissor mechanism and invented a new butterfly mechanism. The new keys are four times more stable and have a 17% larger surface area, which should make for much more accurate and faster typing. They’re also 40% thinner than the buttons on the old MacBook Air.

In a bid to reduce the size of the components further, each key has been illuminated individually, this should provide better illumination all round according to Apple.

SEE ALSO: 12-inch MacBook vs Surface Pro 3

Feel the Force

The all new Force Touch trackpad is now pressure sensitive and can provide adjustable haptic feedback. Impressively, four sensors around the pad can detect the amount of pressure you’re applying and provide content-specific options when pressed firmly.

For example, while watching a video on QuickTime, you can speed up the video by pressing harder. Alternatively, a hard press or Force click as Apple is calling it, can add appointments to your calendar from an email or open a Wikipedia entry from a word on webpage.

The logic board has been made 67% smaller than the board in the 11-inch MacBook Air and runs silently thanks to the removal of the fan. The additional space made by the reduction in Logic board size has been used to house an all new battery array, layer out in a terraced formation, contoured to fit the MacBook’s housing efficiently.

This new approach should provide 35% more battery cell capacity, giving a stated 9 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.

SEE ALSO: Best Laptops, Ultrabooks and Hybrids

One port Mac

USB-C is set to be the new standard for ports in portable devices going forward, so naturally the all-new MacBook features one. In fact, it’s the only port on this device aside from the headphone jack, but it will provide USB, DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA connectivity, as well as power of course.

SEE ALSO: USB Type-C: Everything you need to know

Apple is keen for MacBook users to utilise all of its wireless solutions such as Airplay and Airdrop instead of being tethered to a Mac with wires. To facilitate with this, the new MacBook has 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Power-wise the new MacBook starts at £1049/$1299, with a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, which consumes only 5 watts of energy, it also has 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD flash storage.

A second configuration will also be available for £1299/$1599, using a 1.2GHz Intel Core M, Intel HD Graphics 5300, 8GB RAM and 512GB of flash storage.

SEE ALSO: Intel Core M: Everything you need to know

Apple said that this will be its most energy efficient and environmentally friendly MacBook and will be the first ever to not feature Beryllium, a carcinogenic metal.

Will you be buying the 12-inch MacBook? Let us know in the comments section below

Hamish Campbell

March 9, 2015, 10:04 pm

Isn't anyone else amazed they moved away from thunderbolt to the new usb-c standard??

Everlast

March 10, 2015, 3:04 am

Absolutely. Especially after all the pushing and advertising they've made for it.

What about all customers that bought thunderbolt devices like external Storage drives, Ethernet adaptors, Monitors, etc.

So if I'm using it with external monitor at home and the laptop needs charging, do I unplug the monitor just to charge?
I doubt it can be back-fed through the monitor.

I often plug in an ethernet adapter to do online banking securely or online gaming, so I can't use with a wired mouse at the same time, or plug in a flash drive if I need some files. What if I need to plug in an SD card from my camera at the same time.

Why drop the genious MagSafe power port, when it was slimmed down just a couple of years ago and works perfectly.

This is just extremely limiting and plain stupid.
And the laptop is not even symmetrical, come on Ive!
It should have been 1-2 ports each side, or even better keep 2 thunderbolts and the MagSafe.

mode11

April 10, 2015, 11:12 am

The Macbook is definitely lacking in ports, and the next one will doubtless have 2 USB-C ports. Presumably there will be an Apple monitor with USB-C that can charge the Macbook, as well as offer Ethernet, audio-out, and multiple USB3 ports. Though the new MB can't properly drive 4K, so it would need to stay at 1440p.

USB sticks with dual A and C connectors will probably be out before too long.

Not that many people have bought Thunderbolt accessories, and this type of machine probably wouldn't get hooked up to RAID arrays etc. anyway.

The loss of MagSafe is a shame. Perhaps it could be incorporated into the power adapter or cable instead?

John

April 11, 2015, 8:28 pm

The typing action on those 'butterfly' keyboards is awful.

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