Initial views on the new MacBook 12” Retina Display

Butterfly buttons, 3 colour options, crisp retina display and the latest USB type c port for charging and transferring data. If that is how one sums up the new MacBook 12”, they are hugely mistaken. Yes, what I wrote above are the new features of the new MacBook but that is not where it stops. It’s an ultra thin, ultra lightweight full-fledged Apple laptop capable of performing the same activities as the MacBook Air (or even the MacBook Pro for that matter).

Image courtesy: Apple
The Design

The new MacBook now features an edge-to-edge keyboard design with the speaker grill being placed above the keyboard. To achieve the thinness, Apple has pulled the guts out of the MacBook Air and reduced them by nearly 67%. This means, the logic board is now 2/3rd smaller in size than the current MacBook laptops, meaning more space for the batteries, thus helping them to maintain the legacy of the MacBook laptops.

The laptop will be available in 3 different colours, much like the current iPhones and iPads, i.e. Space Grey, Silver and Champagne gold with the 1st one being a personal favourite. Colours are not the only things that have aesthetically changed in the MacBook. It is 0.4 cm thinner and 160 grams lighter than the lightest 11” MacBook Air.

The track pad in the new MacBook that has also made its way to the MacBook Pro, is slightly larger than the track pads in the current Apple laptops. It now features a new technology called forced touch, which allows users to press the track pad at different intensities to get different responses. The response being more tactile in the sense that it now provides a ever-so-slight vibration that allows to get a much better feedback.

What comes as a surprise to many people is that the MacBook only features 1 port for charging, transferring data or connecting to other peripherals. This means, you will not be able to connect a USB device to your laptop while charging your laptop. You will also not be able to connect your current pen drives or hard disks to the laptop and will be left scourging for a wireless solution. However, Apple suggests using a USB-C to HDMI/VGA/USB adapter to use your old transferring devices.

Technical Specifications

As mentioned earlier, the new MacBook now features a logic board 1/3rd the size of the current MacBook motherboards. The Intel M processor is truly a beast of a processor when it comes to mobile (real ultra) laptops and can very well give the i3/i5/i7 series Intel processors a run for their money.

The laptop continues Apple’s legacy of providing impeccable battery life of nearly 9 hours during web browsing. What comes as standard is 256 GB of SSD disk space and 8 GB of RAM, which is pretty neat. What has taken a backward step is the FaceTime camera that is a standard 480p VGA camera unlike the current FaceTime HD cameras that are 720p.

Technically, the buttons on the keyboard have also undergone a change from a scissor design to a butterfly design, which means lesser pressing but still retaining that satisfying clicking of the buttons.

Final Thoughts

Apple believes that everything should now start becoming wireless and this fact is quite evident from the design of the latest MacBook. What Apple has done very well is to make sure that consumers are pulled further into the Apple ecosystem by tying the services offered by their products to the products themselves. For example, to transfer data between 2 laptops, Apple suggests using airdrop instead of the traditional pen drive or hard disk option. Or, sync your iPhone wirelessly with the ‘Sync over Wi-Fi’ option in iTunes.

While the USB-C is seen as a big hassle, it will soon become the industry standard, much like the lightening connector did when it was first launched with the iPhone 5. Soon dock manufactures phased out the 30 pin connector docs for the lightening ports. My guess is that the USB-C is going to be implemented in the future designs of all Mac laptops in Apple’s conquest for thinness in their products.

Image courtesy: Apple

Many would question the benefits of the USB-C connector over the current USB 2.0 and 3.0 and to justify, its faster (up to 10GB/sec transfer rate with Apple capping it to 5GB/sec), provides power to and from the devices and much like the lightening connector, its reversible. Yes, you can plug it in any way and never have to look at the port itself if you’re plugging it in the right way.

Come to think of it, using a technology that was just finalised this year itself (2015) at CES 2015 is not a bad thing. It just requires other companies like Lenovo, Acer, Intel, Microsoft, etc. who have also worked on the USB-C technology to start implementing it. There onwards, it’s only a matter of time before the general masses start welcoming the future of USB ports.

I’m sure everybody would agree with me when I say that the design is drop dead gorgeous in whatever colour you prefer. Its ultra lightweight design means no heavy lifting (as if the MacBook were any heavy in comparison to other laptops) and this is a laptop that your friends and foes would envy.

EDIT 1: Solution to the Portable Hard disk backup

Western Digital (WD) offers a 1TB solution for $247 AUD to back up your data. It is formatted for Mac and Windows and can connect up to 8 devices. Since the laptop does not have any SD card slot, this hard disk is a perfect solution for photographers wanting to buy this laptop. It is available for purchase at OfficeWorks.

Apple enthusiasts in India who would be keen on purchasing the new Macbook would be a tad disappointed at the availability of this hard disk and would probably have to ship it from overseas e-commerce websites like

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