What’s New about the New MacBook?

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House, Abshier House

The New MacBook is a new notebook computer from Apple Inc., that is just as it claims to be — “Light.” And “Years ahead.” In efforts to change the way Apple Inc. produces and sells its products, the company has chosen to continue selling the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models for the time being.

[Credit: Image courtesy of Apple Inc.'s website.]
Credit: Image courtesy of Apple Inc.’s website.

The New MacBook is rumored to be the replacement for both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, but don’t be surprised if a more robust, larger screen-sized, model emerges with the “Pro” logo printed on it, sometime in the near future.

Roughly five years ago, Apple Inc., discontinued the original MacBook and chose to produce and sell only the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. This was an attempt made by Apple to try and separate the professional/heavy-duty business users from the casual computer users.

The attempt was mainly used as a means for entry-level consumers to have a more affordable MacBook available to them. However, the first MacBook Air had significant issues at its product launch, and this made sales for the device plummet.

Since then, the MacBook Air has been revamped and now more closely resembles the MacBook Pro in processor, hard drive, and RAM. Why pay the $500.00 USD difference? Many consumers ask themselves the same question and then choose to purchase the cheaper of the two.

The New MacBook’s features

You may be asking yourself what makes this MacBook light, and years ahead as claimed by Apple Inc.? There are several new features the New MacBook boasts:

  • 2 lbs.

  • 13mm thick

  • 12-inch retina display (2304×1440 2K resolution)

  • Condensed motherboard

  • Solid-state internal hardware

  • Fanless design

  • Contoured battery

  • One USB-C connection for both charging and wired accessories (dongles, printers, displays, etc.)

  • New, more accurate, keyboard redesign

  • Springboard touchpad with Taptic™ engine

  • Three finishes to choose from (gold, space gray, silver)

The lightness of the device is also attributed to the fact that the motherboard is condensed to the size of a cell phone with the RAM, processor, battery, and solid-state hard drive soldered in place. There are no moving parts included in the design of this new notebook, thus the motherboard never gets hot enough to need a fan for cooling purposes so , too, has been omitted from the design making the device more energy efficient, quieter, and lighter even still.

Because all of the internal hardware is soldered to the motherboard, there is no option for hardware upgrades; only software upgrades will be available until Apple no longer supports the hardware. Also, since the hardware is one unit and encapsulated inside the contoured battery, a repair can take longer than usual and should be performed only by an authorized Apple technician.

The New MacBook is considered to be ahead of its time because of the fanless design, condensed internals, contoured battery, and energy efficiency. The new battery design completely fills the compartment around the mini motherboard with no room to spare. This design not only evenly distributes the weight of the notebook but also provides extra battery life between charges (9–24 hours depending on usage).

Because of the fanless/motionless design, compact interior, and removal of the glowing apple from the back of the display, the new notebook claims to be the world’s most energy efficient computer.

The notebook comes equipped with a new proprietary port connector — the USB-C port, which combines all port functions into one spot that is one-third the size of today’s standard USB ports. The port is capable of battery charging (I/0), USB data transfer, and video output — provided you have the correct dongle plugged into the port depending on your intended use.

Most users will use the USB-C port only for charging the MacBook since all other services are also provided wirelessly to the device such as AirPlay, AirPrint, AirDrop, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and iCloud.

Another redesign made to the MacBook is the full-sized keyboard, which spans from edge to edge on this tiny notebook and has different button hinges than previous models that allow the keys to lay level with the rest of the computer housing. The hinge redesign enables keystrokes to feel more natural, and Apple claims it also assists with more accurate typing.

The keyboard backlight has also been changed to individual key LED bulbs instead of one main larger bulb. The individual bulbs don’t need to put out as much light to illuminate the keys at night, therefore, adding yet another part to the energy efficiency equation.

Since Apple totally revised the keyboard, the touchpad was also addressed. Instead of the old “diving-board” design like with previous models, the new touchpad is “springboard” designed so that you can click from any area as opposed to just the bottom of the touchpad like with prior versions.

The new touchpad comes equipped with a force sensor that monitors how hard you are pressing, tapping, and touching. This feature, for instance, would be handy for any kind of computer work that tries to mimic a pencil or paintbrush.

The touchpad also comes loaded with the same technology as the Apple Watch — the Taptic™ engine. The Taptic™ engine provides tap/vibrate feedback when you are using the touchpad so that it too feels more natural and accurate when in use.

For the fashion conscious individual or neurotic nitpick, The New MacBook comes in three different finishes (gold, space gray, and silver.) The same finishes that are available for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch so all your mobile devices can finally match!