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« Apple udpates MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, includes new force touch trackpad in some models | Main | Award winning ASUS Transformer Book Chi convertibles now available in Canada »

Apple reveals new 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display starting at $1,549

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Apple today took the wraps off the long rumoured premium 12-inch MacBook featuring a Retina Display. The smallest Macbook in Apple's growing line of portables, the MacBook weighs two pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. The slight size, low weight and stunning display (with a resolution of 2304 x 1440), it is also the first Mac to ship with only only one port. MacBook now features the new USB-C port for data transfer, video out and charging in a single connector. Battery life is rated at 9-hours. This MacBook has no other I/O aside from fast Wi-Fi and is also available in the same gold, silver and space grey colours as iPhones and iPads. 

The new MacBook introduces a lot of innovation to the notebook space. it isn't just the thinnest and lightest notebook Apple has ever made, it is also completely fanless and whisper quiet thanks to innovative engineering that dissipates heat in this ridiculously thin frame. The full-sized QWERTY keyboard, a luxury in ultraportables, has a new butterfly mechanism with less travel and the large trackpad features the same Force Touch feedback feature introduced in the Apple Watch.

The MacBook also features a full-sized keyboard and will be start shipping on April 10. Configurations include a base model with 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.4 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at $1,549 (CAD); and with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at $1,899 (CAD). 

Where does the new MacBook fit in the whole scheme of Apple portables? I actually think that the MacBook and MacBook Air segments have reversed somehow with the MacBook Air line being the more affordable consumer-focused notebooks and the 12-inch MacBook as a premium device with the thinnest profile, Retina Display and newest technologies. The MacBook Pro line will remain the professional user's choice in terms of power, functionality and port options.

The USB-Type C port can be expanded by way of a US $79 dongle that splits the single dongle into three with access to power, HDMI-out or VGA-out as well as a singular USB 3.0 jack. If the Surface Type Cover was the 'must have' accessory needed to make the Surface Pro useful, these dongles are what every new MacBook buyer needs to factor into their budget. That, and possibly AppleCare as you never know what problems you will run into with first-gen hardware.

The new MacBook is Apple's answer to the growing competition in 12 and 11-inch notebooks and hybrids in the PC market. The MacBook Air has been the point of comparison by everyone from Microsoft's Surface to the new ASUS Transformer Book Chi and now with this insanely thin and portable notebook, Apple's reclaimed the 'thinnest and lightest'  title that they so covet, and competition will be hard pressed to out-thin and out-light this retina MacBook.

An amalgam of various technologie and processes employed in creating other Apple products, the MacBook pays homage to the Apple Watch, the Retina MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air and the iPad Air, while innovating the space for ultraportable notebooks.

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