Apple Declares War on Wires With Its Newest MacBook

USB-C is simplicity taken to the n-th degree.

Credit: Apple
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At its "Spring Forward" event this Monday, Apple unveiled a brand-new 12-inch MacBook with a Core M processor, a Retina display, and an incredibly thin design. The craziest feature? Apple has combined almost every port, including power, into a single USB-C connector.

As a result, the new machine is significantly lighter and smaller than Apple's other laptop offerings, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. It tips the scales at just two pounds and measures a mere 13.1mm at its thickest.

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Credit: Apple
The new Macbook squeezes as much as possible into its tiny frame, with a keyboard that goes edge to edge.

Despite being smaller than the existing 11-inch MacBook Air, the new MacBook manages to squeeze in a 12-inch "Retina" display, with a resolution of 2304 x 1440. It does so by shrinking the bezels surrounding the screen, with a redesigned keyboard that covers the entire width of the chassis.

The new MacBook will feature an Intel Core M processor that's entirely fanless—a first for the MacBook line—and sports an Intel HD 5300 graphics processor that should be sufficient for daily tasks, light gaming, and moderate photo editing. Apple also included a new "Force Touch" trackpad, which can interpret how hard you're pressing and translate that information into common actions like selecting, right-clicking, dragging, copying, and pasting.

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Credit: Apple
Both the 11-inch and 13-inch Macbook Airs receive updated processors, as well as new Thunderbolt 2 ports.

The single USB-C port is likely to produce as much consternation as awe. It will take the place of USB 3.0, HDMI, Thunderbolt, and Magsafe ports on older Macs. That means that you'll need an adapter if you want to charge the MacBook while using any sort of peripheral, including existing Thunderbolt accessories such as external hard drives.

The MacBook will be available in two configurations—one coming with 256GB of storage and a 1.1GHz dual-core processor for $1,299, and the other offering double the storage and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor for $1,599. Both versions will come with 8GB of DDR3 memory and will be available in silver, gold, or space gray.

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Credit: Apple
The 13-inch Macbook Air also receives faster flash memory, configurable up to 8GB.

Apple also announced updated specs for its two existing laptop lines, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The refreshed models should begin shipping immediately.

Both the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs will keep their non-Retina displays, but will receive upgraded 5th-generation Intel Core processors and Thunderbolt 2 ports. They'll also get improved graphics thanks to a built-in Intel HD 6000 GPU.

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Credit: Apple
The 13-inch Macbook Pro not only receives a processor update, it'll feature the new Force Touch touchpad as well.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display will enjoy a similar update, with three new configurations including 5th-gen 2.7GHz Core i5 or 3.2GHz Core i7 processors and the Intel Iris 6100 GPU. It will also take advantage of the new Force Touch trackpad.

The new 11-inch MacBook Air will start at $899, while the 13-inch will once again start at $999. The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at $1,299. We'll have reviews of all the new laptops as soon as possible. To see all the new laptops side-by-side, check out Apple's handy comparison page.

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