New Apple MacBook Air 12-inch retina screen notebook computer with various upgrades for 2015. Possibly the ultimate writer's notebook computer.

Update – the Spring Forward Apple event just happened (it’s still going on, but all I care about is finished).

The MacBook Air 12-inch retina notebook from Apple is a reality.

There are some pleasant surprises. Not sure how this shakes out. The dumb thing is still light as fly-paper – at 2 lbs.

Here’s what I got from the presentation:

  • 2 pounds
  • 1.1 GHZ processor with turbo up to 2.9 GHZ
  • 10 hour battery on WiFi. They say 9, but they always sandbag
  • gold, space grey, UFO silver – the usual
  • 8 GB RAM (nice)
  • 256 GB SSD (nice)
  • revamped keyboard – keys using butterflies, not scissors – maybe nice for feel. Let’s see.
  • bigger keys – no mention of whether keyboard narrows, or not
  • forced touch tapping on trackpad – so, it’s like clicking – without a click? Remains to be seen
  • starts at $1,300 which is nice, and $1,599 for faster processor and 512 GB SSD – can that be RIGHT?
  • one USB 3 (c) port, and a headphone jack that doubles as a microphone in
  • nicer backlight – one for each key, less light bleed it looks like
  • 24% thinner than the current MacBook Air – guess they compared to 13-inch
  • no fan – that means no noise, but maybe more heat

That’s about it.

Is it the ultimate writer’s notebook computer? Could be. Depends on a few things – like the keyboard really, and whether they dorked up the touchpad to make it forced touch.

Shipping April 10th.

The current MacBook Airs and Pros are getting updates too. Faster Processors and RAM, and the Pro is getting the forced touchpad dealio. Hope it’s not a deal breaker. I frickin’ LOVE the current trackpad.

UPDATE 7/2015 – I’ve spied this thing in the Apple stores here and tried the keyboard over and over. Though I don’t like the feel, I actually type more accurately with it, and faster. It’s weird. I don’t want to like it, and I don’t, but, productivity seems like it would actually go up if I used one. Anybody having the same experience?

It’s almost like typing on a flat desk with just some haptic feedback for a key click. Like the touchpad and its fake click. Maybe that will be the next step as people get used to very little key travel with this one, then in a couple more generations, they eliminate moving buttons at all and just give you a little buzz vibration to make it seem like you touched a key – but the keyboard will be absolutely flat.

Wonder how thin the Apple notebooks will be in 2 years? Extremely… maybe just like a couple pieces of paper.

Here is the MacBook I currently recommend (1/2018) for writers – nothing beats it IMHO: