With so much attention recently focused on the soon-to-launch Apple Watch, it might be easy to overlook the fact that Apple's "notebook of the future" goes on sale Friday. Sporting a Retina display and a price tag starting at $1,299, the 12-inch MacBook is being billed as the company's thinnest and lightest ever.
When Apple announced the new notebook last month, it emphasized the top-to-bottom makeover it applied in designing the device. In fact, the company reinvented the notebook with a MacBook that was ultra-thin, fanless and equipped with a new "Force Touch" trackpad, said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller.
Set to ship tomorrow through Apple's online and retail outlets as well as through its authorized resellers, the MacBook is already winning accolades from a number of reviewers. However, critics are also raising a few questions, such as which kind of Mac user the new device is actually designed for, especially in light of its cost.
An 'Expensive Novelty'?
Wired's David Pierce, for example, began his review by stating, "I don't know just who Apple's newest laptop is for. Rich people who fly coach? People with one laptop who want a second, gold one?" Despite those concerns, though, he added, "This is what the future of laptops looks like, and I want one very badly."
Engadget's Dana Wollman also acknowledged the new MacBook's futuristic appeal but noted the cutting-edge design didn't come without compromises. The device, for example, comes with just one small -- though next-generation -- USB-C port (additional adapters are available). Wollman also faulted the MacBook's relatively short battery life and tendency to heat up, concluding that the device's "high price and lack of ports make it an expensive novelty, mostly meant for Mac diehards who put portability and screen quality above all else."
"With this machine . . . Apple has imagined a laptop reduced to its essentials -- a sharp, insanely thin screen, a flattened keyboard panel and a magical new glass trackpad," Joanna Stern wrote in the Wall Street Journal. She called the new MacBook a "time machine" that hints at the future of the laptop. However, she added, "Here in 2015, the majority of us still require two or three ports for connecting our hard drives, displays, phones and other devices to our computer -- not to mention a dedicated power plug."
New 'Butterfly' Keyboard Mechanism
Available in gold, silver and space gray finishes, the new MacBook is just 13.1 millimeters thin and weighs just 2 pounds. Despite its small size, it still features a full-size keyboard thanks to Apple's new butterfly mechanism design for the keys that is 40 percent thinner yet four times more stable than the scissor mechanism used on most standard keyboards, according to Apple.
Measuring just 0.88 millimeters thick, the Retina display provides a resolution of 2304 x 1440 while also using 30 percent less energy than other Mac notebook displays. And the new Force Touch trackpad offers built-in force sensors and haptic feedback that lets users click anywhere for a uniform response while also supporting different actions depending on how much pressure is applied.
The new MacBook comes with Apple's OS X Yosemite operating system, as well as with built-in software like Pages, iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers and GarageBand. The $1,299 model features a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of flash storage, while the $1,599 model comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, 8 GB of memory and 512 GB of flash storage.
Posted: 2015-04-17 @ 12:43am PT
It's really awesome in such size and shape.
Posted: 2015-04-15 @ 7:54am PT
I feel like if I got one of these, I'd be afraid that I might break it because it's so thin.