We designed MacBook to be not only thinner and lighter, but more functional and intuitive than ever before. To do that, we couldn’t just shave a millimetre here, a gram there. So we started from scratch, re-inventing each essential element as part of a singular, deceptively simple design. It’s everything there is to love about Mac. In its purest form ever.
Click and drag to rotate MacBook
A keyboard re-imagined from A to Z.
From the beginning, our goal was to design a full, uncompromising Mac experience. And a full-sized keyboard is an essential part of that. In order to fit a full-sized keyboard in the incredibly thin MacBook, we designed the keyboard from the ground up. Each component has been rethought, from the underlying mechanism, to the curvature of the surface of each key, to the distinctive new typeface. The result is a keyboard dramatically thinner than its predecessor. Now when your finger strikes the key, it goes down and bounces back with a crisp, consistent motion that makes typing with precision a breeze.
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 centre of the key. We needed to reduce that wobbling for a keyboard this thin; otherwise, striking a key off-centre could result in the keycap hitting the bottom before a keystroke registers. So we designed a unique 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. This innovative design improves stability, uniformity and control — no matter where you press on the key.
The redesigned keys on 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, the design allows for much greater control when typing.
When we set out to design an incredibly thin keyboard, one of the first things we considered was 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, we 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.
3 million pixels. 0.88 millimetre. Razor sharp.
The 12-inch Retina display on MacBook isn’t just picture perfect — it’s also paper thin. In fact, at just 0.88 millimetre, it’s the thinnest Retina display ever on a Mac. A specially developed automated manufacturing process forms the impossibly thin edge-to-edge glass that’s only 0.5 millimetre thick. And we reduced the space between display components for a tighter, more integrated design.
To deliver the gorgeous Retina experience on the sleek MacBook, we had to innovate on every level, right down to the pixel. So we redesigned the pixels to create a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through. This enabled us to use LED backlighting that’s 30 per cent more energy-efficient than the Retina display on any other Mac notebook, yet still achieves the same level of vivid brightness.
The Force Touch trackpad. Press a little deeper, do a lot more.
The Force Touch trackpad may look like other trackpads on the surface, but underneath it’s unlike anything that’s existed before. Force sensors detect how much pressure you’re applying, and the new 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 than ever before.
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 a new dimension to the Mac experience. The sensitivity is customisable, 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.
Click and continue to press on the trackpad to enable new capabilities, like looking up the definition of a word, previewing a file in the Finder, or creating a new Calendar event when you Force click a date in the text of an email.
Gradually add pressure to the trackpad to vary the speed with which you fast-forward through a QuickTime movie or zoom in on a location in Maps.
Press lightly for a thin stroke or harder for a thick one when marking up a Mail attachment or creating a signature for forms in Preview.
We squeezed the most into it. And out of it.
Each component inside MacBook has been meticulously designed to get the most out of an incredibly thin and light enclosure. We chose the latest, most efficient processors coupled with fast Intel HD Graphics 515, and optimised macOS to draw on the processor using as little power as possible. Because no fan is needed to cool the computer, it runs silently and without any moving parts, and it has more room for battery cells to provide all-day performance.1
Inside you’ll find sixth-generation Intel Core m3, m5 and m7 processors with 14-nanometre process technology. This means that the chips are packed with transistors for higher density and more efficient performance. The Core M processors are the perfect fit for MacBook, combining energy efficiency with the performance needed to handle everyday tasks.
MacBook is the first Mac notebook ever without a fan. Since the Intel Core M chips draw only 5 watts of power and therefore generate less heat, no fan or heat pipe is required. Instead, the logic board is seated on top of an anisotropic graphite sheet, which helps disperse any heat that is generated out to the sides, all while your Mac stays virtually silent. MacBook is made even more efficient by macOS features like Timer Coalescing, App Nap and Safari Power Saver, which ensure that every task is performed using just the right amount of power. No more, no less.
11-inch MacBook Air logic board
MacBook logic board
With MacBook, we were able to take what we learnt from making thin yet powerful devices like iPhone and iPad, and push that knowledge even further. We carefully arranged the processor, flash storage and memory on the smallest and highest-density logic board ever in a Mac. In fact, it’s 67 per cent smaller than the logic board in the 11-inch MacBook Air.
Storage and memory
Even with its miniaturised internal components, MacBook has an impressive capacity to store the files and run the applications you need every day. It features 8GB of fast, power-efficient 1866MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory. Combine that with 256GB or 512GB of flash storage3, and you get an amazingly thin and light notebook with snappy performance.
Innovation on every level.
To achieve all-day battery life1, we needed to use every millimetre of space inside the slim MacBook enclosure. Traditional rectangular batteries leave unused space when placed in a curved enclosure, so we created a new type of battery technology that allowed for an innovative terraced battery cell, custom-shaped to fit the specific contours of the enclosure. The result is 35 per cent more battery cell capacity than would have been possible before. So all the available space in the enclosure is used, and you have all the battery life you need to get you through the day.
The battery cells in MacBook are not only designed with enormous attention to detail, but are also assembled with extreme precision and care. High-speed cameras first take detailed photos of both the casing and the battery. We use those photos to account for microscopic variations in each enclosure, and carefully place the batteries so that not a single millimetre of space is wasted.
USB-C. One port. A world of connections.
To create a notebook as thin and light as MacBook, we had to strive for efficiency in every detail, right down to how it connects to peripherals and power. The multifunction USB-C port is a new universal connectivity standard that combines the essential functions you need every day in one small, reversible port.
Fast Data Transfer
The USB-C port on MacBook delivers speedy USB data transfer (up to 5 Gbps) for connecting to a host of external devices and peripherals.
The USB-C port on MacBook enables quick and efficient charging of your battery.
The USB-C port on MacBook supports video output for HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections.
New third-party accessories such as cables, adapters and storage devices give you the flexibility to expand the capabilities of MacBook.
Each aspect of your MacBook — from the Retina display to the terraced battery to the advanced technologies of macOS — has been optimised to be as energy-efficient as possible, with a typical energy consumption of 10.10 kWh per year. It also exceeds the low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it an ENERGY STAR 6.1 qualification. And because the MacBook battery requires less frequent charging, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint from day-to-day use.
Designed with the environment in mind.
We designed MacBook to be free of many harmful toxins, including beryllium, brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s also made from highly recyclable materials such as aluminium and glass. MacBook has earned the highest rating of Gold from EPEAT, which evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it’s designed and manufactured.4