At just 13.1mm at its thickest point, the laptop is Apple’s thinnest ever, and it features a redesigned keyboard, too. To top things off, it has a single port for practically everything — the USB-C connector can supply power, connect to USB devices as well as extend to a separate display (the laptop still has a headphone jack, too).
We got our first look at the new MacBook, which comes in gold and space gray as well as the traditional MacBook silver, and it’s stunning.
The MacBook Air line was no slouch in the looks department — one likely reason Apple didn’t refresh the design for years — but the 2015 MacBook trumps it by going even thinner and lighter. To wit, the new 12-inch MacBook weighs just 2 lbs., which is significantly lighter than even the 11-inch Air.
Apple managed that by trimming the fat wherever possible. It jettisoned the older, larger USB port for a single USB-C port that acts a power, video out, and transfer all-in-one. There’s also a new full-sized keyboard that’s 40% thinner, with 17% wider keys that don’t flex or give when tapped on the sides or corners.
This sort of give-and-take approach yielded a typing experience that took some getting used to at first. Yes, tapping away on the MacBook feels flatter and less tactile, but the wider keys mean your fingers are just as likely to find the right key. Your typing speed won’t suffer — mine didn’t banging out an email for 5 minutes — but again, there’s a brief adjustment period.
If you own an iPhone, MacBook Pro Retina or iMac with Retina 5K Display, you know what you’re in for with the new MacBook, which finally sports a 12-inch Retina Display of its own. It’s a late arrival, considering Apple’s first Retina-toting notebook, the 15-inch MacBook Pro, debuted in 2012. But the MacBook’s 2304 x 1440 resolution remains a big step up from even the 13-inch Air’s 1440 x 900 — a standard Apple stuck with for years. Text and media are much easier on the eyes, now, and colors pop.
Apple will offer two standard configurations when the MacBook starts shipping April 10: the $1,299 model arrives with a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, 8 GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 5300 and a 256 GB of flash storage. Meanwhile, a $1,599 version bumps the processor up slightly to 1.2 GHz and doubles the storage. For now, customization options appear limited to one: a faster 1.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor. Apple also claims the MacBook will get at least 9 hours in-between charges.
That Apple finally brought the Retina Display to the MacBook isn’t a surprise — pundits predicted it would happen for years. But on first impressions, the MacBook makes a pretty strong argument it was worth the wait.