Apple's new MacBook represents nothing more nor less than the next stage of evolution of the laptop, at least how Apple imagines it. With a 12-inch screen, it should be slightly smaller than both the 13-inch MacBooks Pro and Air, but it manages to be much smaller, thinner, and lighter, all while packing in a high-density Retina display.

Even though it's smaller the unibody is even stronger. The metal doesn't just come in space gray, gold, and silver now — it goes all the up the back. Where previously there was a black backed hinge, now there's just back. The logo is metal now as well, and yes, that means it no longer lights up when the screen does.

There's also just one port on the left side, a USB-C which is set to become a new standard. On the right is a headphone jack and the dual microphones. That's it.

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The keyboard is full size but the keys are even fuller, with new butterfly switches replacing the old scissors. The keys go almost to the edge. They're also closer together now, and individually backlit. The left and right arrow are full height, and the escape elongated.

Then there's the Force Touch trackpad. It doesn't look different from previous generation trackpads and it doesn't feel much different either. That's what makes your mind break just a little when you find out it has no mechanical parts.

All in all, the new MacBook is, unsurprisingly, an incredible piece of engineering. It's an object even more than unibodies past, and yet another new standard for manufacturing at scale.

But that's the outside. Next we'll look at how it fares within.

12-inch MacBook


macOS Sierra