Apple’s new MacBook is its thinnest and lightest laptop to date. To achieve this feat, Apple (AAPL, Tech30) engineers streamlined many features traditionally associated with portable computers, and eliminated some as well. Here’s what you need to know:
1. The body is tapered like the MacBook Air. At its thickest, the new 12-inch MacBook is 13.1mm high (about half an inch) — 24% thinner than the existing 11-inch MacBook Air.
“Can you even see it? I can’t even see it,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said on stage at an Apple event Monday afternoon, holding a closed laptop.
2. It weighs two pounds. For comparison, the MacBook Air weighs almost two-and-a-half pounds. The iPad Air 2 weighs just under one pound.
3. Taking a page from the iPhone design book, the new, all-metal body MacBook comes in three different colors: silver, gray, and gold.
4. The new MacBook is fanless, which is partly why the laptop is so thin and light.
5. There are only two ports. One is a headphone port, and the other port is for a new kind of USB connector called the USB-C. The USB-C port is about a third of the size of a standard USB port, and serves as a single connection point to charge the laptop’s batteries, transfer data, and transmit video.
For consumers who want to use their existing, standard USB devices with the laptop, this new USB format will most likely be a pain point. An adapter dongle for the USB-C port costs $80 on the Apple store.
6. Apple has also redesigned the keyboard, which now extends to the edges of the laptop. The keyboard has also been updated to respond to lighter touches, meaning less pounding when typing. The surface of each key is also 17% larger and is lit by individual LED lights underneath “for more precise illumination,” Schiller said.
7. The computer’s track pad also got a nice upgrade. Like the new Apple Watch, the track pad is now powered by Apple’s new Taptic Engine, which picks up on how forceful a touch or tap is. For example, instead of clicking repeatedly on the fast forward button on Quicktime to speed up a video, you only need to press down on the new track pad a little longer and harder than a tap to achieve the same goal.
8. On stage at the event, Schiller said the new MacBook is the “world’s most energy-efficient notebook.” The laptop’s Intel Core M processor consumes five watts of power, and its newly designed and contoured battery cells have 35% more capacity.
9. The new MacBook has a battery life of up to 10 hours.
10. The cost for a new 12-inch MacBook 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with 256GB of flash storage starts $1,299. A 12-inch 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor MacBook with 512GB of flash storage starts at $1,599.
11. Shipping starts April 10.