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New MacBook is the lightest one yet—and is thinner than the Air

New MacBook is the lightest one yet—and is thinner than the Air

The main event at Apple's San Francisco event today was the introduction of the Apple Watch, but company CEO Tim Cook also showed off a new, 12-inch MacBook that weighs just 2 pounds. That's half a pound lighter than the current 11.6-inch MacBook Air.

The new laptop is very thin at 13.1 mm, and unlike the Air, it has a Retina display with a resolution of 2304x1440. Prices start at $1,299 for a machine with a 1.1-Ghz Core M processor, 256GB of SSD storage, and 8GB of RAM. It launches April 10.

Apple's new laptop extends the company's tradition of jettisoning ports and drives that most people still use and like. The computer will have a single USB Type C port for both charging and handling wired connections. Many people will appreciate USB C because there's no wrong way to plug in the cable—the connector is symmetrical. More significant, perhaps, is that the connection allows for much faster data transfer.

The new MacBook will have a wider keyboard, and the company has a new spring mechanism under the keys that it says users will enjoy. And the touchpad has been reworked to allow for pressure sensitivity that will enable a new set of gesture controls.

Those are the kinds of features that sound intriguing in a presentation, but we'll have to evaluate them ourselves in our test lab. Apple is calling the new MacBook the industry's most energy-efficient notebook, and is promising nine to 10 hours of battery life. Oh, and you can get the laptop in gold—presumably to match your new gold Apple Watch.

—Jerry Beilinson

Shopping for a new laptop? First check out our laptop Ratings and buying guide.



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