New MacBook: Just the basics

TimCook_Macbook
Apple’s redesigned its entry level MacBook line, with a thinner design in a variety of colours. Here’s what you need to know.
The new MacBook models come with a 12″ 2304×1440 pixel “retina” display, although it’s worth bearing in mind that “retina” is Apple’s marketing term that can mean pretty much whatever they want it to mean. Apple’s claim is that the new MacBook is the thinnest laptop they’ve ever made.
Apple_Macbook
The keyboard and trackpad feature new designs that accentuate the keyboard response (again, according to Apple) due to a butterfly keyboard spring, and a trackpad that can add an extra “force” gesture so that, for example, a heavy click in OS X could look up a Wikipedia entry or launch the Calendar application.
Under the hood will lurk a variety of Intel Core M processors, a fanless design and contoured batteries that Apple state are good for “all day” use, although Apple’s definition of “all day” apparently equates to 9 hours of Wi-Fi use. I’m not sure that Apple can redefine days like that, but I’ll need some hands-on testing time to really see what it can do.
In terms of connectivity, the new MacBook has only one connector, a USB-C type port that’ll do duty as a charging port, USB connector, HDMI and Displayport connector via connection cables. They will no doubt cost extra.
The new MacBooks will ship from April 10th with the entry level model starting at $US1299. The upper tier model with double the storage will cost $US1599.
For once, we’re not particularly hit with an “Australia tax” on these laptops. Apple Australia’s announced pricing for the new Macbook models, and they’ll run to $1799 for the entry level model and $2,199 for the upper tier model, which might seem steep, but at current exchange rates and bearing in mind that US prices never include taxes, they’re either equal or marginally cheaper down under.
Apple also announced that the Macbook Pro and Air lines get processor bumps that are available today, although there’s no sign of a price change there as yet.
Update: Apple’s put out the following details on the upgraded Macbook Pro lines:
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/au), Appleā€™s retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers with a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starting at recommended retail price AUD$1,799 inc. GST; with a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage starting at RRP AUD$2,099 inc. GST; and with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage starting at RRP AUD$2,499 inc. GST. Configure-to-order options include a faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processor up to 3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 1TB.

About the author

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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