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Apple Introduces A Super-Thin 12-inch MacBook With Retina Display

It comes in gold!

“We challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said onstage today. Then he walked out with a new machine. It’s simply called the MacBook—no Air branding. And it slides into the existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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At 12 inches, the new MacBook weighs just two pounds and is said to be the lightest Mac Apple has ever made. It’s a few notable millimeters thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air, which, at least until today, was Apple’s trimmest MacBook. It has an all-metal enclosure with the antennae built into the frame. It is very aerodynamic looking. You can likely throw it like a Frisbee. (Try this at your own peril.)


The new MacBook also has a full-sized keyboard that creeps all the way to the edge of the aluminum, with a new key design—Apple calls this the “butterfly mechanism”—that is said to make each individual key more stable. Springier. Notably, this allowed Apple to shave a few more millimeters from the keys.

The new trackpad, dubbed the Force Touch, also produces haptic feedback. Basically you can “feel” around as you navigate on your screen. As my colleague Harry McCracken describes it after a hands-on: “It feels good. Nothing like haptic feedback on a phone.”

Arguably the most exciting part, though, is that the new MacBook has a Retina screen crammed with 3 million pixels. Ordinarily, power consumption would be a concern. But with a new battery system, it also gets all-day battery life with up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback. If true, that’s certainly impressive, considering the power-guzzling high-definition screen. (Apple also removed the fan, which means it can run silently.)

One of the more drastic changes, as opposed to previous Macs, is it has a single connector called USB-C. It’s a five-in one connector that supports USB, DisplayPort, Power, VGA, and more. It can transfer data at speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. It’ll be interesting to see if consumers take to the change—especially without the magnetic power charger, which was designed to limit damage. Will USB-C be more susceptible to accidents?

With the new standard change, a customer with all-Apple gear might want to consider ponying up for a new adapter as well.

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The above adapter sells for $80 on Apple.com.

Inside, MacBook has a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M and 8 GB of working memory. It starts at $1,299 and will begin shipping April 10. It comes in gold, space grey, and silver.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this new MacBook,” said Apple senior vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller. Arguably it was the most exciting new Apple product unveiled today—even if it isn’t designed to go on your wrist.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.

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