Apple Springs Forward with New and Updated Lineup
Like welcome warmth after a bitterly cold winter, Apple’s “spring forward” event brought good news for Apple fans. Today the company announced two new additions to its laptop lineup—The new MacBook and the updated MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The new MacBook is lighter and thinner than its predecessor, and includes a new Force Touch trackpad, whereas the MacBook Air now features updated fifth-gen processors.
The new MacBook features a 12" Retina display with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2304 x 1440 native resolution, which results in 226 pixels per inch (ppi). The display also has a 178° wide viewing angle. A specially developed automated manufacturing process forms the thin edge-to-edge glass that's only 0.5mm thick. Apple also reduced the space between display components for a tighter, more integrated design that results in a total thickness of 0.88 mm. To deliver the Retina experience on the new MacBook, Apple had to innovate on every level, right down to the pixel. So the company’s engineers redesigned the pixels to create a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through. This enabled Apple to use LED backlighting that’s 30 percent more energy efficient than the Retina display on any other Mac notebook, yet still achieves the same vivid level of brightness.
Inside the new MacBook you’ll find the fifth-generation Intel® Core™ M “Broadwell” processor—the first chip designed with 14-nanometer process technology. This means that the chip is packed with more transistors than the previous generation, for higher density and more efficient performance. The Core M processor combines energy efficiency with the performance needed to handle everyday tasks. Since the Intel Core M only draws 5 watts of power and generates less heat than its predecessors, Apple is able to omit the fan. Instead, the logic board, which is 67% smaller than the one in the 11" MacBook Air, is seated on top of an anisotropic graphite sheet, which helps disperse any heat that is generated out, to the sides. No fan also means the new MacBook will be virtually silent. Even with its miniaturized internal components, the new MacBook has an impressive capacity, featuring 8GB of fast, power-efficient 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory and 256GB or 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage.
Since the logic board is much smaller and there is no fan, Apple decided to use the remaining space in the new MacBook to install a custom battery. Traditional rectangular batteries leave unused space when placed in a curved enclosure, so Apple created a new type of battery technology that allows for an innovative terraced battery cell, custom shaped to fit the specific contours of the enclosure. The result is 35 percent more battery-cell capacity than would have been possible before. So all the available space in the enclosure is used, and you have all the battery life you need to get you through the day, with up to 9 hours of web browsing and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback (battery life may vary depending on usage).
In order to maintain its thin and light design, The new MacBook features a new universal connectivity standard that combines the essential functions you need every day in one dynamic port. The USB-C port offers charging, quick USB 3.0 data transfer for connecting to external devices and peripherals, and video output that supports HDMI, VGA, and Mini DisplayPort connections—all in a small, reversible design that’s one-third the size of the current USB port. It's also reversible so you can plug it in either way.
The keyboard on the new MacBook has 17% larger keys and 40% thinner key assembly. The redesigned keys on the new MacBook feature larger surface area, thinner construction, and a deeper curvature, creating a more defined space for your fingertip to naturally find and press the keys. Combined with the Apple-designed butterfly mechanism, this new design allows for much greater control when typing. Apple also placed an individual LED under each key and calibrated them for uniform brightness so every key and character looks clear and sharp with minimal light around the keycap.
The new Force Touch trackpad may look like other trackpads on the surface, but underneath has force sensors that detect the amount of pressure you’re applying. The Taptic Engine provides a click sensation when you press anywhere on the surface. Now the click that once was a single, mechanical function is just the start of what you can do with Force Touch. The sensory capabilities of the Force Touch trackpad allow you to tell your MacBook what you want it to do, based on subtle differences in the amount of pressure you apply. This makes it possible to perform a variety of different actions in different apps, all on the same surface. And it can respond with haptic feedback you can truly feel, making your MacBook more usable and personal.
The new MacBook will be available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. The base model will have a dual-core 5th-gen Broadwell 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage, while the higher-end model features a dual-core 5th-gen Broadwell 1.2 GHz Intel Core M processor and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage. Both models will have 8GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
While the new MacBook was in the spotlight, Apple also updated several of its other existing models. The 11" and 13" MacBook Air will now feature dual-core 5th-gen Broadwell Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.
The 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display will also be updated with dual-core 5th-gen Broadwell Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. However, the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display will receive the Force Touch trackpad, as well.
Apple also announced that HBO NOW, the widely speculated streaming service of HBO that doesn't require a cable or satellite subscription, will premiere exclusively on Apple TV and the App Store. You'll be able to stream HBO on your Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone after you sign up for HBO NOW. Apple also dropped the price of the Apple TV to help you further transition to HBO NOW.
The Apple Watch will be available in three different editions, such as Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. B&H is not currently stocking Apple Watches.