By Vivek Vaidya
Yes, the rumours are true. At its 'Spring Forward' event held yesterday (March 9) in San Francisco, CA, Apple announced more than just a new Watch. A whole new emphasis on the Apple TV brand - dropping prices to $69 & adding tonnes of content, some information on ResearchKit - a community-powered, open-source diagnostic information collection tool that seeks to revolutionize the way Medical Research is conducted - and, the best of all - a new MacBook.
And it's called the MacBook. One many argue that by naming it just 'MacBook', Apple is ressurecting the iconic MacBook line that was killed off 7 years ago, in 2008 - but that's more than justfied. This Mac IS the future of the portable computer. Ultra-thin, extremely lightweight and still very, very powerful. A lot of dedication and engineering expertise has gone into the making of this beauty. In fact, Apple has reworked the Touchpad and Keyboard from the groundup, in order to put it together into a chassis this thin - 24% thinner than the MacBook Air!
From the image above, you might notice a quirky looking port on the side. No, it's not a Kensington Security Lock! It's USB Type-C, a brand new reversible USB standard that's been around for a while but not used too much for the lack of compatible accessories. What this also means is the end of the road for MagSafe - the magnetic charging mechanism we all love!
The biggest bummer, however, is that there is only ONE port on the entire device. One port to handle external displays, charging AND data transfer. Maybe, just maybe, this is what the future would look like - but until the entire world is connected with Google Fiber and infinite storage in the cloud, having one port on a laptop wouldn't work.
Apple has also messed around with the Trackpad and Keyboard, as I mentioned above. Featuring the same Taptic engine seen in the Apple Watch, the new glass Trackpad is both revolutionary - and weird. There are no real moving components in there. To simplify, there is basically no feedback from the system when you tap - nothing moves! It's just a shockingly real representation of the physical thing. You could compare it to how BMW puts in the engine roar through the audio system. Hence, you could tap anywhere on the entire surface and it would feel the same. To double tap, you use Force Touch - apply pressure on the Trackpad - and based on the amount of pressure applied, you can perform a plethora of customizable tasks - like pull up some information about a place, or place a phone call using your iPhone.
The Keyboard, on the other hand, is surprisingly shallow yet very very easy to get used to, thanks to what Apple's calling a "Butterfly" mechanism. Each key is perfectly built so that it bends inwards from the middle and not from the sides. Each key is also backlit using a single LED, and the result looks stunning:
The rest: typical Apple. Extremely high-res 12" edge-to-edge Retina Display, nice sounding speakers, high speed SSDs (256/512GB) and 8GB RAM. The processors have also been improved to feature Intel's brand-new Core M technology, based on the Broadwell Architecture. This results in extremely good battery life and still keeps adequate power to run the system smoothly. Here's the official data:
And as far as prices are concerned, these new Macs aren't cheap. Sure, you can get it in 3 colors: Silver, Gold and Space Gray, but even then. Starting at $1299 for the entry level model and going up to $1599 for double the storage and faster processors, the new Mac sure isn't for everyone. Add to that local taxes & $80 for an adapter that can give you a full set of ports, and you are looking at close to $1700 for a laptop that weighs 2 pounds, has 1 port and 0 glowing Apple logos.
This is it, folks. Apple's showing us how they choose Form over Function, every single time!