Apple debuts a thin, fanless MacBook that comes in gold

Although most of the attention at Apple’s special event on Monday will be on the Apple Watch, the company still had a little treat for Mac fans. As expected, Apple launched a 12-inch MacBook on Monday, and it will cost $1,299 or more when it starts shipping on April 10.

“We challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook with what we’ve learned from iPhone and iPad,” CEO Tim Cook said.

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Starting, apparently, with colors. The new MacBook comes in the same colors as the iPhone and iPad: Gray, gold and silver.

This new laptop is a clear break from previous Apple laptops. Instead of Apple’s proprietary MagSafe charger, it has a single USB Type-C port, which delivers video, data and power in one, and a headphone jack. The single port shouldn’t cause too many problems when users want to plug in a device while charging: Apple says the new MacBook should be able to manage nine hours of web browsing on a single charge.

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Apple said its MacBook is 24 percent slimmer than the current MacBook Air line. Its length and width dimensions are close to those of the 11-inch MacBook Air. It sports a 12-inch display by slimming the extra space on both sides of the keyboard found on previous MacBooks. That 12-inch screen is a Retina display, sporting a resolution of 2304 x 1440. It’s powered by a 5-watt Intel Core M processor clocked at up to 1.3GHz, which means that the laptop doesn’t need a fan.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks during the Apple event in San Francisco on March 9, 2015.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks during the Apple event in San Francisco on March 9, 2015.

The new MacBook, simply called MacBook, sports a large trackpad using the taptic engine technology Apple is also using for its watches, and an edge-to-edge keyboard with a new mechanism that allows the laptop to be thinner. The taptic engine should enable new forms of touch interfaces, such as the ability to press harder to, say, bring up a Wikipedia entry or fast forward more quickly.

The new MacBook is apparently a new line of notebooks. It “joins” the existing MacBook Air, and MacBook Pros are getting the new upgraded taptic force trackpad as well.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new MacBook during an Apple special event on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new MacBook during an Apple special event on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.