The latest MacBooks are available today for all South Africans with enough cash to snap them up, from all Apple premium resellers.
Having seen one up close and personal last night at Apple SA’s official launch event, I can confidently say that’s something Apple fans – and even non-fans – are going to want to do.
That’s because these new 12-inch machines are thinner than any other MacBooks before them, weigh less than a kilogram and have zero fans inside their chassis because Apple designed them in such a way that fans aren’t needed to keep their insides cool. That means they’re quiet, too.
And at 13.1mm at their thickest point, they’re almost unbelievably slim. That’s even thinner than the current-generation MacBook Air, which isn’t exactly fat at 17mm.
Of course no new MacBook would be complete without an updated display, and Apple has equipped these new ones with edge-to-edge Retina displays that run at 2 304 x 1 440. With so many pixels packed into a 12-inch screen, pixels are literally invisible – I saw absolutely none at last night’s event despite scrutinising the screen up close.
Apple’s official blurb said the Retina resolution makes text looks like it has been printed, and despite my cynical brain attempting to see through the guff, I have to say that’s not wrong.
But most surprising of all is that Apple has completely redesigned the MacBook’s keyboard and trackpad; surprising because neither have attracted complaints from Apple’s throng of fans.
Nevertheless, engineers have incorporated a full 12-inch keyboard into the chassis, and even chucked out the standard scissor switch technology used in previous MacBook keyboards and replaced it with a new butterfly switch design that Apple says distributes the force of each keystroke more evenly.
The new Force Touch trackpad is no longer a big button that clicks, and the silicone covering used in previous MacBook trackpads has been replaced with stainless steel. Now, when you perform a click, you’ll receive haptic feedback, the same sort of short vibration you may already know from your smartphone’s screen.
You can also do something called a Force Click, which registers how much pressure you’re using and treats that input differently to a regular click, which OS X uses to do things like determine how fast you want a video to fast-forward, as demonstrated at the event.
There are two models in the new lineup with identical overall design, differing only in the capacities of their hard drives and the speed of their processors. The R18 999 model has a 1.1GHz Core M chip and a 256GB solid-state hard drive, and the R23 999 model a 1.2GHz Core M processor and a 512GB SSD.
Even though I do not consider myself an Apple fan, I can’t deny this new MacBook has more in common with a work of art than a personal computer. It really is beautiful to look at, and I look forward to discovering how nice it is to use, too, htxt.africa gets a chance to review it.
If you’d like to see more of the new MacBooks in Apple’s inimitable style, check out their official webpage.