The all-new Mac­Book

Ap­ple’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary 12-inch note­book. Plus! New Pro and Air re­viewed

Mac Format - - FRONT PAGE -

Launched by Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook in March, the new Mac­Book builds upon years of learn­ing about minia­tur­i­sa­tion dur­ing iPad and iPhone devel­op­ment to de­liver the thinnest and light­est Mac­Book yet. “Can you even see it? Can you even feel it?” joked Cook. But not ev­ery­one is happy with the de­ci­sion to equip the sys­tem with just one port (USB-C) to han­dle power, pe­riph­er­als and ex­ter­nal dis­plays.

“This is the light­est Mac we have ever made”, said Philip Schiller, Ap­ple’s Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of World­wide Mar­ket­ing. It’s also among the qui­etest, it has no fan and uses solid-state stor­age, which means it won’t make a sound in use – un­less you ask it to, of course.

The in­no­va­tive sys­tem boasts a 12-inch Retina dis­play, new but­ter­fly key­board tech­nol­ogy and an all-new Force Touch track­pad – all of which feed into ex­treme porta­bil­ity. The pas­sively cooled sys­tem is nearly onethird lighter than the pre­vi­ous most por­ta­ble Mac note­book, the Mac­Book Air, but when

you add it up it weighs about the same as an iPad com­bined with a third-party key­board. This prompted Tim Ba­jarin of tech­nol­ogy anal­y­sis firm Cre­ative Strate­gies to say, “Be­cause it’s even lighter than a combo of iPad and key­board, [the Mac­Book will] be the thing that I’ll be tak­ing with me”. Just like the iPhone 6, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, the new Mac­Book is avail­able in Gold, Sil­ver and Space Grey.

The Mac­Book uses In­tel’s 14-nanome­tre du­al­core Broad­well Core M pro­ces­sors run­ning at 1.1GHz, 1.2GHz or 1.3GHz (the lat­ter be­ing a build-to-or­der ver­sion), which In­tel’s are able to Turbo Boost to much higher clock speeds. Ap­ple says it took what it learned from the iPhone to build the small­est and high­est-den­sity logic board ever seen on a Mac, claim­ing a 67% shrink over the 11-inch Mac­Book Air. The new bat­tery de­sign is also in­ter­est­ing – the

Mac­Book is so thin that most of its in­te­rior is ded­i­cated to bat­ter­ies. Ap­ple claims the Mac­Book will run for nine hours be­tween charges while brows­ing the web, or de­liver 10 hours of iTunes movie play­back. The com­pany claims typ­i­cal en­ergy con­sump­tion of 10.10kWh per year, and in stay­ing green the new MacBooks are free of many harm­ful tox­ins, in­clud­ing beryl­lium, ar­senic and mer­cury.

Im­proved Retina

Dis­play res­o­lu­tion is 2,304x1,440 pix­els (three mil­lion), which equates to a pixel den­sity of 226ppi, which is al­most iden­ti­cal to the 227ppi den­sity of a Mac­Book Pro. De­spite its high res­o­lu­tion, the screen uses 30% less en­ergy than ex­ist­ing Mac note­book Retina dis­plays, and is just 0.88mm thick. The dis­play pro­vides a 16:10 as­pect ra­tio and a 178° view­ing an­gle.

All-new key­board

Not the same as the but­ter­fly-like Track­Write fold-out key­board fea­tured on 1995’s IBM ThinkPad 701 lap­top (now part of the de­sign col­lec­tion at the Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art in New York), Ap­ple’s new key­board is based on but­ter­fly switches be­low the keys rather than the older style of scis­sor mech­a­nism used on many lap­tops. The Ap­ple-de­signed but­ter­fly mech­a­nism is 40% thin­ner than the tra­di­tional scis­sor mech­a­nism, yet Ap­ple claims it is four times more sta­ble, pre­vent­ing the key from bot­tom­ing-out on such a thin key­board be­fore the press has reg­is­tered, and pro­vid­ing greater pre­ci­sion no mat­ter where your fin­ger taps the char­ac­ter. Each key is in­di­vid­u­ally back­lit too.

*Ac­tual size

The Mac­Book’s pixel den­sity is al­most iden­ti­cal to the larger Mac­Book Pro, but its dis­play uses 30% less en­ergy.

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