Apple MacBook with Retina display hands-on (Wired UK)


Katie Collins


Apple has just
unveiled a 12-inch MacBook with Retina
display that comes with no fan and an all-metal body. For Apple
fans, this is the holy grail of MacBooks, offering a list of
features they have been waiting on for a long time.

“We challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook,” said Tim
Cook announcing the new MacBook on stage. While in form and
function the new MacBook is the same as it always was, examine its
proportions and the arrangement of the metal and the technology
ensconced within it and you will see what Cook means.

Every piece of technology that has been incorporated into this
new machine has been completely redesigned. The fitting together of
the pieces has become a whole new jigsaw puzzle. We went hands-on
with the all-new MacBook at an Apple launch event in Berlin.

Weighing in at 0.9kg and measuring just 13.1mm at its thickest
point when closed, this is without a doubt the most diminutive
MacBook we’ve ever seen. It looks more like a netbook than a
notebook, and yet it offers a 12-inch screen. And not just any
screen.

The photos that Apple picks out for demos obviously show the
display at its best, but there is no denying that the
2,304×1,440-pixel Retina display is dazzlingly sharp.

This MacBook is the first to boast an all-metal enclosure, and
the engineering that has gone into making all that tech slide
inside this chassis is worth taking a moment to linger over. The
key thing that Apple has achieved is to make the MacBook totally
fanless, which removes a significant amount of bulk from the
processor.


Katie Collins


To squeeze in enough battery, Apple has created a layered system
of battery panels that look something like rices terraces when
arranged one on top of the other. This is to maximise the use of
space inside the machine, while simultaneously respecting the
contours created by the engineering.

One thing you will notice about the new MacBook immediately on
lifting the lid is the edge-to-edge keyboard, which despite
appearances, is full size. Apple has reengineered the key
mechanism, so that each letter covers a larger surface area and
works not on the traditional scissor mechanism, but a “butterfly
mechanism”, which makes it apparently more stable and more precise.
We gave the keyboard a quick test, and while there was
disconcertingly little travel on each of the keys, they
were also undoubtedly more stable.


Katie Collins


Another item that has been completely redesigned from its spring
mechanism up is the trackpad, which is both proportionally bigger
and equipped with more sensors. The lack of hinge has made the
trackpad more stable, as well as shallower, and the extra sensors
have enabled a new gesture.


Katie Collins



Katie Collins


Force click is a new four-fingered control, which involved a
hard press on the trackpad. It yields a range of results depending
on the application. It can be used to access Wikipedia or
dictionary entries if used on top of a word in Safari, or can add a
calendar entry or bring up a map in email. Vary the pressure while
the cursor is hovering fast forward and you can vary the speed at
which you whizz through a video. We tried all of these, and like
all new gestures, the force click proved both strange and
satisfying when we found it to work successfully.

In terms of connectivity, the MacBook is the first device to
support a new industry standard of connectivity called USB-C. The
port is smaller than the standard USB slot, and supports a
connector no matter which way up it is. It’s also bi-directional.
USB-C is a technology you’ll need to know about whether you’re
planning to buy the new MacBook or not, but Apple will want you to
remember that you saw it here first.


Katie Collins


The all-new MacBook will be available starting 10 April in grey,
silver and gold. UK prices have yet to be announced, but in the US
the basic model will arrive on the market at $1,299 (£860).

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9 March 2015 | 11:57 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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