Apple MacBook overview
With a Retina display and a thin, lightweight design, the space gray mid 2017 Apple 12″ MacBook provides both portability and performance. Measuring just 0.5″ (13.1mm) thin and weighing only 2 pounds, the MacBook is compact yet still has a premium feel, thanks to its unibody design.
The MacBook features a 12″ Retina display with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2304 x 1440 native resolution, which results in 226 pixels per inch (ppi). The display also has 178°-wide viewing angles. To deliver the total Retina experience on the MacBook, Apple redesigned the pixels to create a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through. This enabled Apple to use LED backlighting that’s 30 percent more energy efficient than the displays on other Mac notebooks with no loss in brightness.
Inside the MacBook you’ll find the 7th Gen Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor, which is designed with 14-nanometer process technology. This means that the chip is packed with more transistors than the previous generation, for higher density and more efficient performance. Since the Intel Core i7 generates less heat, Apple is able to omit the fan. Instead, the logic board, which is 67% smaller than the one in the 11″ MacBook Air, is seated on top of an anisotropic graphite sheet, which helps disperse any heat that is generated out, to the sides. No fan also means the MacBook will be virtually silent. Even with its miniaturized internal components, the MacBook has an impressive capacity, featuring 16GB of fast, power-efficient 1866 MHz LPDDR3 onboard RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage.
Since the logic board is much smaller and there is no fan, Apple decided to use the remaining space in the MacBook to install a custom battery. The result is 35 percent more battery capacity than before, which adds up to 10 hours of web browsing and up to 12 hours of iTunes movie playback (battery life may vary depending on usage).
In order to maintain its thin and light design, the MacBook features a universal connectivity standard that combines the essential functions you need every day in one dynamic port. The USB Type-C port offers charging, quick USB 3.0 data transfer for connecting to external devices and peripherals, and video output that supports HDMI, VGA, and Mini DisplayPort connections. It is all in a reversible design that’s one-third the size of the current USB port.
The Force Touch trackpad features Taptic Engine, which provides a click sensation when you press anywhere on the surface. The sensory capabilities of the Force Touch trackpad allow you to tell your MacBook what you want it to do, based on subtle differences in the amount of pressure you apply as well as providing haptic feedback.
The MacBook also embraces 802.11ac Wi-Fi for fast wireless Internet access. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 technology, which allows you to connect wirelessly to supported peripherals and accessories.
Please note that this Mac may come with an earlier version of macOS. You can upgrade to the latest version through the Mac App Store app.
- 12″ LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
- The 12″ Retina display on the MacBook doesn’t just have a high resolution, but it’s also paper thin. In fact, it is just 0.03″ (0.88mm). A specially developed automated manufacturing process forms the edge-to-edge glass that’s only 0.02″ (0.5mm) thick. And Apple reduced the space between display components for a tighter, more integrated design. The Retina display has a 2304 x 1440 native resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. It also has 178° viewing angles, thanks to its IPS panel.
To deliver the Macbook’s Retina experience, Apple redesigned the pixels to create a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through. This enabled them to use LED backlighting that’s 30 percent more energy efficient than the Retina display on previous models while still achieving the same level of brightness.
- Force Touch Trackpad
- The Force Touch trackpad may look like other trackpads on the surface, but it’s what is underneath that makes it distinct. Force sensors detect how much pressure you’re applying, and the Taptic Engine provides a click sensation when you press anywhere on the surface. Now, the click that once was a single, mechanical function is just the start of what you can do with Force Touch. The sensory capabilities of the Force Touch trackpad allow you to tell your MacBook what you want it to do based on subtle differences in the amount of pressure you apply. This makes it possible to perform a variety of different actions in different apps, all on the same surface. And it can respond with haptic feedback you can actually feel, making your MacBook more usable and personal.
Traditional trackpads use a “diving board” mechanism, which requires room underneath for the downward motion of a click and makes it harder to click the part of the surface closest to the keyboard. With the Force Touch trackpad, force sensors detect your click anywhere on the surface and move the trackpad laterally toward you, although the feel is the same familiar downward motion you’re accustomed to in a trackpad. The Taptic Engine also provides haptic feedback, so instead of just seeing what’s happening on the screen, you can feel it, too. The trackpad sends a tangible response to your fingertip when you perform certain tasks, like aligning annotations on a PDF.
In addition to the intuitive Multi-Touch gestures you may be familiar with – like scrolling, swiping, pinching, and rotating – Force Touch brings an added dimension to the Mac experience. The sensitivity is customizable, allowing you to adjust how much pressure is needed to register a click. And the trackpad can even tell whether you’re clicking with your thumb or another finger and automatically adjusts the sensitivity level.
- Redesigned Keyboard
- Traditional keyboards use a scissor mechanism, which tends to wobble around the edges. This creates a lack of precision when you strike anywhere except the center of the key. Apple needed to reduce key wobbling for a keyboard this thin; otherwise, striking a key off-center could result in the keycap hitting bottom before a keystroke registers. So Apple designed a butterfly mechanism, which is wider than the scissor mechanism and has a single assembly made from a stiffer material – allowing for a more stable, responsive key that takes up less vertical space.
The redesigned keys on the MacBook feature a larger surface area, a thinner construction, and a deeper curvature, creating a more defined space for your fingertip to naturally find and press the keys. These refinements may be subtle, but the feel is distinct and intuitive. Combined with the butterfly mechanism, this innovative design allows for much greater control when typing.
Since the keyboard is thin, Apple had to address how to backlight the keys in a way that took up less space while delivering an even cleaner and more refined look and feel. To do that, Apple removed the row of LEDs and the light guide panel that distributed light throughout the keyboard and instead placed an individual LED under each key. These LEDs are calibrated for uniform brightness, so every key and character looks clear and sharp with minimal light around the keycap. All while being engineered for as much energy efficiency as possible.
- Dual-Core 7th Gen Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 Performance
- The 7th Gen Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor with 14nm process technology provides fast dual-core performance. The dual cores can run at a stock speed of 1.4 GHz and can boost up to 3.6 GHz as needed, thanks to Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. With a 4MB L3 cache and 16GB of onboard 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, the MacBook provides fast and energy efficient performance.
- USB 3.0 Type-C
- To create a notebook as thin and light as the MacBook, Apple had to strive for efficiency in every detail, right down to how it connects to peripherals and power. So Apple contributed to a growing universal connectivity standard that combines the essential functions you need every day in one dynamic port. The USB Type-C port offers charging, quick USB 3.0 data transfer for connecting to external devices and peripherals, and video output that supports HDMI, VGA, and Mini DisplayPort connections. All in a small, reversible design that’s one-third the size of a USB Type-A port.
- Fast Flash Storage
- Part of what makes MacBook so responsive is that it’s designed entirely around flash storage. Not only does this make the MacBook much lighter and more portable than traditional notebooks, it also provides faster access to data. The flash storage is up to 9 times faster than a traditional 5400 rpm notebook hard drive.
- Fast Memory
- The MacBook features of 16GB onboard 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM. Combine that with powerful processors and faster flash storage and you get a notebook that can run more memory-intensive applications at the same time – without compromising performance.
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi: Three Times Faster
- With an emphasis on mobile, the MacBook is equipped with 802.11ac Wi‑Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. With AirPlay and Apple TV, you can wirelessly play video, show off photos, and enjoy music from your MacBook on your widescreen TV. And when your MacBook connects to an 802.11ac Wi‑Fi base station, such as AirPort Extreme or AirPort Time Capsule, your wireless performance is up to three times faster.
Operating System & Built-in Apps
- Built-in Apps
- The MacBook also comes with several built-in apps. You’ll be able to take full advantage of iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Maps, iBooks, Safari, Mail, FaceTime, Messages, Calendar, Contacts, Time Machine, Photo Booth, Mac App Store, iTunes, Game Center, Preview, Notes, and Reminders. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are also free, but you’ll have to download them from the Mac App Store. You’ll need an Apple ID as well.
The Mac Experience
- Environmentally Friendly Design
- Apple worked to create a computer that is energy efficient, free of many toxins, and highly recyclable. Because Apple designs both hardware and software, the MacBook is able to use a highly efficient power supply that reduces wasted power. The computer is free of mercury and arsenic, and its internal components are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). When the computer reaches the end of its long life, you can rest assured that it can be recycled. It is constructed from materials that are highly desirable to recyclers. The MacBook has been awarded EPEAT Gold status for responsible manufacture, energy efficiency, and recyclability.
- Tech Support
- Have a problem with your Mac? Get support and advice at the Genius Bar, located at every Apple Retail Store. Apple also provides online tutorials, troubleshooting forums, and 90 days of phone support for users who aren’t able to make it to an Apple store.
- Optional AppleCare
- Apple provides 90 days of free phone support and a 1-year limited hardware warranty on the computer. You can opt to add an AppleCare Protection Plan, at additional cost, which covers support and repairs for 3 years from the date of purchase. AppleCare can be purchased at any time within the first year of ownership of the computer.