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Originally released April 10, 2015 and last refreshed April 19, 2016, the all-new MacBook ($1,299 and up from the Apple Store) is the thinnest and lightest Mac laptop ever made. It’s also the first MacBook to be offered in four color options: classic silver, space gray, gold and rose gold.

Currently offered only with a 12″ screen, it represents the future of Apple laptops. Following a refresh in April 2016, it now includes a 2304×1440 (226ppi) Retina display, 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage, coupled with ultra-low-power Intel Core M processors. The base model includes a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M chip with an Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU; and upgraded models offer to 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 or 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core m7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz.

With a redesigned chassis that’s only slightly wider than the keyboard, the new MacBook’s 0.14″–0.52″ thickness was achieved in part by dropping all external connectivity ports save for a 3.5mm headphone port and a new reversible USB-C port, which can be used for power, data connectivity, and video output. Most of the MacBook’s connectivity is handled wirelessly with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4 support. It promises 9-10 hours of battery life depending on how the computer is being used.

A redesigned Force Touch trackpad now can sense multiple levels of pressure rather than just one, using four pressure sensors and a haptic feedback pad to replicate the clickiness of a traditional trackpad. Additionally, the keyboard has been completely redesigned to retain the expected clicks, precision, and travel of conventional keys, while cutting their depth and width to fit the chassis. An ultra-thin top lid has only enough depth for a 640×480 FaceTime camera, a compromise for the smaller size.

Just like the first-generation MacBook Air, the new MacBook is aimed at users whose computing needs don’t demand incredible horsepower, yet benefit from a slim, light chassis with a really nice screen. Though you’ll do better in raw dollar terms and power by buying a comparably priced 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, you’ll have nearly twice the weight to carry around (2.03 pounds versus 3.48 pounds) and a larger footprint to manage. The choice of which is best for your needs will be highly personal.

Current Lineup:

  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016)

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[Update: New for April] Best USB-C and Thunderbolt displays for Mac

USB-C/Thunderbolt display options have really grown over the last couple of years. While Apple is making its own monitor again with the Pro Display XDR, it’s not the best fit for the majority of Mac users with a starting price of $5,000 (without a stand). Let’s take a look at some of the best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays available in the $400-$1,300 range.

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Apple patent shows how retractable keyboard could make MacBooks thinner

MacBook retractable keyboard patent

Apple has long been on a mission to make MacBooks ever thinner, and a new patent granted today describes how a retractable keyboard could help.

Earlier patents suggest that Apple’s long-term goal is a completely solid-state keyboard, which uses electrostatic charges to allow users to “feel” keys so that touch-typing remains possible, and haptic motors to simulate key presses for the feel of a physical keyboard …

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Apple patent application describes a simple way to boost battery life

Apple patent application describes a simple way to boost battery life

For years now, we’ve been promised exciting new battery technologies that claim to dramatically boost battery life, and none of them ever seem to materialize. But a new Apple patent application describes a simple way to achieve a worthwhile increase in battery life with nothing more high-tech than a metal housing.

The invention is a little ironic, as it solves a problem Apple originally created back in 2015 with the batteries in the 12-inch MacBook, before subsequently adopting the same tech in the rest of the MacBook lineup …

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After Apple Watch, patent describes titanium MacBook, iPhone, and iPad

Apple patent describes titanium MacBook

Apple already makes a titanium Apple Watch, but a patent granted today could pave the way for titanium MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones too.

The patent describes how Apple could overcome the challenge of giving titanium an aesthetically pleasing finish, and follows a patent granted last month regarding a method of making a true matte black MacBook

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Face ID for Mac

Face ID for Mac ‘developed’ by Apple but not coming soon; 5G same

We’ve long expected Apple to offer Face ID for Mac models, just as it does for the iPhone and iPad Pro. Bloomberg’s report on an upcoming higher-end MacBook Air has a mix of good and bad news on this front.

Another feature some have long wanted for MacBooks is the ability to connect to mobile data directly when Wi-Fi isn’t available. The report says the position is the same for both features: They are coming, but not soon …

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Comment: Can the 2021 MacBook Pro reports be right?

2021 MacBook Pro render

We’ve had a couple of reports today, each from solid sources, suggesting that we’ll see significant changes when the 2021 MacBook Pro models appear.

The two reports agree on most things, though there are some differences between them. Notably, Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that removal of the Touch Bar is a done deal, while Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman thinks it is merely being considered at this stage …

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Apple patents show MacBook wirelessly charging iPhone, iPad, Watch

MacBook wirelessly charging other Apple devices – iPad too

A pair of newly granted Apple patents shows a MacBook wirelessly charging an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. They describe two-way charging coils that can be used to charge the MacBook itself, but also used to allow the MacBook to charge other devices.

The patents also show an iPad charging an iPhone and Watch (right), and follow a separate patent application for a MagSafe battery case, which can charge both an iPhone and a set of AirPods …

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Opinion: Is the base MacBook Air M1/8GB powerful enough for you?

Last year I picked up a very expensive computer — a top of the line 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro upgraded to an i9, 1TB of storage, and 16GB of RAM. But I just couldn’t wait to see how these M1 chips actually perform, so I decided to pick up the base $999 MacBook Air to see how it would hold up side-by-side with my 16-inch behemoth. The results are incredible.

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Here are all the best MacBook trade in values following Apple Silicon launch

The new MacBooks are here, and that means it’s time to trade in your old, clunky, slow computer! While we’re always keeping you in the loop on the best MacBook trade in deals in our roundups every month, here’s what we’re finding for trade in values for Macs all the way from older MacBook Air models to the new-ish 16-inch MacBook Pro…

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MacBook maker Compal hit by $17M ransom attack at worst time for Apple

MacBook maker Compal hit by ransom attack

MacBook maker Compal has reportedly been hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend, the hackers claiming to have encrypted files and stolen unencrypted data.

It comes just ahead of today’s event to announce the first Apple Silicon MacBooks, and at a time when Apple has reportedly placed very large orders for the next-generation MacBooks …

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Three versions of A14 chip, says Chinese report: two for Apple Silicon Macs

A14 chip versions

A Chinese-language newspaper has posted what it claims is the chip roadmap for the first Apple Silicon Macs, citing supply-chain sources to suggest three versions of the A14 chip.

The report says that there will be three variants of the A14 processor so far seen in the iPad Air and iPhone 12, two of which will power Apple Silicon Macs …

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Apple’s miniLED plans: 30-40% of iPads and 20-30% of MacBooks next year – Kuo

Apple's miniLED plans for 2021

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple’s miniLED plans are being accelerated, the company using the screens in more 2021 iPads and MacBooks than expected.

His previous estimates had suggested that the new backlighting technology for LCD screens would be used only on the top models next year, but it now appears that it will make it into some mid-range models too …

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Apple updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard, doubles SSD storage

Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Magic Keyboard, alongside performance and tech spec improvements. The new 13-inch Pro features scissor switch keys, marking the end of the butterfly keyboard MacBook era.

The new MacBook Pro is available to order today, starting at $1299. Apple has doubled the base SSD storage across all configurations.



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Opinion: The first ARM-powered Mac will be a MacBook Air … or an iBook

We’ve been wondering for years when we might see the first ARM-powered Mac, and a Bloomberg report today suggests that it will be next year.

Apple is set to release its first Mac based on a custom ARM chip next year, according to Bloomberg. This lines up with previous timeline reported from Bloomberg, which cited late 2020/2021 timeframe, and other reports from publications like analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The different architectures make it difficult to predict the relative power of an ARM-based Mac against an Intel one, but there’s no reason in principle why an ARM-powered Mac couldn’t be more powerful than some of today’s machines …



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