Apple has just unveiled a 12-inch MacBook with Retina display that comes with no fan and an all-metal body. For Apple fans, this is the holy grail of MacBooks, offering a list of features they have been waiting on for a long time.
“We challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook,” said Tim Cook announcing the new MacBook on stage. While in form and function the new MacBook is the same as it always was, examine its proportions and the arrangement of the metal and the technology ensconced within it and you will see what Cook means.
Every piece of technology that has been incorporated into this new machine has been completely redesigned. The fitting together of the pieces has become a whole new jigsaw puzzle. We went hands-on with the all-new MacBook at an Apple launch event in Berlin.
Weighing in at 0.9kg and measuring just 13.1mm at its thickest point when closed, this is without a doubt the most diminutive MacBook we’ve ever seen. It looks more like a netbook than a notebook, and yet it offers a 12-inch screen. And not just any screen.
The photos that Apple picks out for demos obviously show the display at its best, but there is no denying that the 2,304×1,440-pixel Retina display is dazzlingly sharp.
This MacBook is the first to boast an all-metal enclosure, and the engineering that has gone into making all that tech slide inside this chassis is worth taking a moment to linger over. The key thing that Apple has achieved is to make the MacBook totally fanless, which removes a significant amount of bulk from the processor.
To squeeze in enough battery, Apple has created a layered system of battery panels that look something like rices terraces when arranged one on top of the other. This is to maximise the use of space inside the machine, while simultaneously respecting the contours created by the engineering.
One thing you will notice about the new MacBook immediately on lifting the lid is the edge-to-edge keyboard, which despite appearances, is full size. Apple has reengineered the key mechanism, so that each letter covers a larger surface area and works not on the traditional scissor mechanism, but a “butterfly mechanism”, which makes it apparently more stable and more precise. We gave the keyboard a quick test, and while there was disconcertingly little travel on each of the keys, they were also more stable.
Another item that has been completely redesigned from its spring mechanism is the trackpad, which is both proportionally bigger and equipped with more sensors. The lack of hinge has made the trackpad more stable, as well as shallower, and the extra sensors have enabled a new gesture.
Force click is a new four-fingered control, which involved a hard press on the trackpad. It yields a range of results depending on the application. It can be used to access Wikipedia or dictionary entries if used on top of a word in Safari, or can add a calendar entry or bring up a map in email. Vary the pressure while the cursor is hovering fast forward and you can vary the speed at which you whizz through a video. We tried all of these, and like all new gestures, the force click proved both strange and satisfying when we found it to work successfully.
In terms of connectivity, the MacBook is the first device to support a new industry standard of connectivity called USB-C. The port is smaller than the standard USB slot, and supports a connector no matter which way up it is. It’s also bi-directional. USB-C is a technology you’ll need to know about whether you’re planning to buy the new MacBook or not, but Apple will want you to remember that you saw it here first.
The all-new MacBook will be available starting 10 April in grey, silver and gold. UK prices have yet to be announced, but in the US the basic model will arrive on the market at $1,299 (£860).
Source: Apple MacBook now comes with 12-inch Retina display and no fan, Katie Collins ( http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-03/09/apple-macbook-hand-on )