At its event on Monday, Apple unveiled a brand new, completely redesigned MacBook.
The new laptop comes in gold, space grey, and silver colour options, just like its iPhones, and features an overhauled keyboard and trackpad. Apple is also calling the new laptop its thinnest, most efficient laptop to date.
It goes on sale April 10 and starts at $US1,300, which is a steep climb from the $US800 starting price of the MacBook Air. Here’s what critics had to say about the new MacBook based on brief hands-on sessions after the event:
- It’s crazy thin and light. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern said it felt like “lifting an iPad rather than a laptop.” The Verge’s Dieter Bohn also said he couldn’t believe how thin it was when he picked it up.
- Critics seem to be mixed on the new keyboard. Wired’s David Pierce and The Verge’s Dieter Bohn didn’t particularly like it. Pierce said he “immediately hated using the keys” since there was little to no movement. He likened to to typing on a touchscreen. Stern said it wasn’t as “satisfying” as the MacBook Air’s keyboard, but she was still able to type quickly and accurately. CNET’s Dan Ackerman didn’t particularly dislike the keyboard, but said it would take some getting used to. PCMag’s Joel Santo Domingo also note that it does feel noticeably better than the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover.
- The new Force Touch trackpad evoked a similar reaction. The new trackpad in the MacBook comes with four sensors inside, which means you can press anywhere on the surface to click. Apple has added a new gesture called Force Click to go with this new touchpad — it’s basically a “deeper” click that allows you to perform certain tasks such as highlighting a word and deep clicking it to get a Wikipedia article on the subject. Aackerman said the use cases seemed useful overall, even though it didn’t come naturally at first. Pierce said although it took him a minute to get the hang of it, the Force Click gesture was actually quite easy.
- The new Retina display is gorgeous. Pierce refers to this as the most important upgrade the device offers, saying once you use a Retina display it’s hard to go back. Stern called it “crisp and bright,” saying it’s a “huge improvement over the MacBook Air.” The new MacBook comes with a 12-inch display with a 2304 x 1440 resolution.
It’s too early to know whether or not the new MacBook will be a hit — critics have addressed the fact that Apple has essentially squeezed five different ports into one by choosing to put a USB-C port on the new MacBook. There’s also the notion that it runs on a Intel Core M processor that’s about as powerful as the chip that powers the 2012 MacBook Air. But it’s hard to tell how much either of these things will affect the overall experience until we try it out for a full review.
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