10 Features That Make Apple's Ultraslim MacBook a Standout

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-03-12
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Features That Make Apple's Ultraslim MacBook a Standout
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    10 Features That Make Apple's Ultraslim MacBook a Standout

    By Don Reisinger
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    New MacBook's Is Comparable to MacBook Air in Thinness
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    New MacBook's Is Comparable to MacBook Air in Thinness

    To say that the MacBook is thin could be an understatement. The device is just 13.1mm thick and weighs 2 pounds. When Tim Cook held up the computer at his company's March 9 event, he showed that it's even thinner than the current model of the company's ultrathin MacBook Air at its thinnest point.
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    Apple Goes With the Edge-to-Edge Keyboard
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    Apple Goes With the Edge-to-Edge Keyboard

    One of the key features in the MacBook is Apple's decision to go with a full edge-to-edge keyboard. What that means is that there's precious little bezel surrounding the keyboard of this clamshell device, making it even narrower than some might expect. Still, the keyboard is full-size.
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    A 12-Inch Screen Is Available
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    A 12-Inch Screen Is Available

    Apple's MacBook's screen comes in one size: 12 inches. Apple said that the 12-inch display was the largest it could get on the device while retaining the same basic design. The 12-inch screen places the MacBook's display snugly between the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models.
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    A New Keyboard Technology Seeks to Reduce Typos
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    A New Keyboard Technology Seeks to Reduce Typos

    During its unveiling of the MacBook, Apple showed off a new keyboard technology that attempts to make typing more accurate and reduce typos. In short, current keyboard technology has a mechanism under each key that sometimes causes mistyping or a failure to register a keystroke if a person doesn't hit it just so. The MacBook has an updated design that ensures better keystroke responsiveness and accuracy.
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    The Force Touch Track-Pad Provides More Feedback
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    The Force Touch Track-Pad Provides More Feedback

    In addition to improving the MacBook's keyboard, Apple has also upgraded the computer's track-pad with a technology it's calling Force Touch. The technology delivers a uniform click no matter where it's touched and even responds to varying levels of pressure. So software will react differently, depending on a touch's force. Apple has also bundled haptic feedback into the track-pad, generating a small vibration whenever it's touched, so users gain a sense of touch that relates to what they see on the screen.
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    It Comes With Only a Single USB-C Port
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    It Comes With Only a Single USB-C Port

    If there is one big omission from the MacBook, it's ports. Unlike its predecessors, the MacBook doesn't come with a range of USB, High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) or even Thunderbolt ports. Instead, Apple built a single port in its new notebook, called a USB-C. The port is small and reversible and does everything from charging the computer to providing data transfer. It also includes support for video output.
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    The Battery Life Is Typical for Mac Notebooks
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    The Battery Life Is Typical for Mac Notebooks

    Apple has tried to tout the MacBook's battery life by saying that it'll last "all day." But one would be forgiven for scoffing at such a claim. Yes, the battery lasts for nine hours on a single charge, but for a workforce that is working harder and longer, that likely won't be enough. Expect that to be a problem for some enterprise customers if they can't keep close to a power source.
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    There Is Even a Gold Edition
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    There Is Even a Gold Edition

    The 12-inch MacBook is the first from Apple to come with the company's signature gold design. Like the iPhone, the MacBook features a unibody case that comes in the customer's choice of silver, space gray and gold. The gold version is arguably the most striking and one that will catch some looks at Starbucks.
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    Hardware Specifications Cause Some Dissatisfaction
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    Hardware Specifications Cause Some Dissatisfaction

    Instead of including the Intel i3 or i5 in the MacBook, Apple has instead gone with an Intel Celeron M processor in the computer. The move has been met with some criticism from benchmarkers who have witnessed somewhat poor performance with Intel's Celeron, compared to the company's Core I line. Apple said the average MacBook user won't need to worry about power or resources, but that remains to be seen.
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    The MacBook Carries Typical Premium Apple Prices
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    The MacBook Carries Typical Premium Apple Prices

    When compared with the rest of the notebook market, Apple's MacBook is not so cheap. The computer starts at $1,299 before customization, making it one of the most expensive lightweight notebooks on the market. Of course, this is Apple, so a higher price than competing Windows notebook PCs is no surprise. But the fact that customers can buy notebooks with more robust hardware for hundreds of dollars less could prove troublesome for Apple.
 

Apple continues to push the boundaries of its Mac notebook line by introducing its thinnest model yet of the iconic MacBook. The device, which was unveiled at Apple's "Spring Forward" media briefing on March 9, is arguably one of the most attractive computers the company has ever offered and demonstrates that it has yet to reach the outer limits of slim and lightweight PC design. The MacBook is ultra-thin, comes in a gold version for those who like that upscale color, and has an edge-to-edge keyboard. And with a 12-inch display, it's provides plenty of screen real estate for productive work. While much of the initial market discussion has focused on the design, the notebook has a number of important features that shouldn't be overlooked. The MacBook could be a trendsetter in the notebook space in more ways than one. It's definitely worth consideration for anyone who is getting ready to buy a new notebook computer, whether it's for work or personal use. This eWEEK slide show covers some features that make this latest MacBook stand out.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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