This is apparently the ‘notebook redefined’ according to the Cupertino brand. It is incredibly, impossibly thin. I’ve been using a MacBook Air for years, and this 13.1-millimeter, 2-pound device feels like an entirely different category of not-there-ness. It’s amazingly sturdy for being so thin, too. The screen, the 2304 x 1400 display that I wish desperately would have also come to the Air, is lovely. It’s the most important upgrade this device offers, honestly: once you start using a Retina display it’s hard to go back.
In every way, this is a thing of beauty; it’s no wonder Apple spent so much time talking about the engineering behind it. Everything about the MacBook is about beauty, whether it’s the single USB-C port on the left side—the only port on the entire device save for a headphone jack on the right—or the new Gold, Space Gray, and Silver colors. The Gold is actually much more handsome than gaudy, but the Space Gray is my favorite of the options. It’s dark and sleek, fitting for a device that’s so, so very thin.The MacBook itself, meanwhile, runs quite well for a device powered by a Core M processor and with no fan inside. Based on a few minutes of web browsing, typing my name over and over in a Pages document, and poking through Numbers, it seems like it’s up to the tasks for which it is clearly meant. It’s not for gaming, it’s probably not for editing video, but it does the basics really well.
It’s hard to say for sure without using the laptop more, which we’ll do as soon as possible, but for the moment the new MacBook feels a bit like the Apple Watch: it’s beautiful, a status symbol I’d be desperate to show to everyone I know and kind of already want to frame. It’s a clear indication that Apple values form and beauty first and foremost. But it’s expensive—the oddest moment of the event was when Phil Schiller announced the $1,299 starting price, and the room just deflated. It’s also a little underpowered for such an expensive machine. But good lord is it beautiful.