Back in April 2014 Apple updated the 11- and 13in MacBook Air with a slight performance bump, a price drop and little else. That's all set to change in a few weeks when Apple launches its redesigned MacBook (it isn't called the MacBook Air, just the MacBook) with a 12in screen, a new Intel Core M processor and an even thinner chassis. See all laptop reviews

Here's what you need to know about the 2015 MacBook with Retina Display including its release date, price and specs. If you're undecided on what to buy, see this MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air comparison review.

Apple also gave details on the Apple Watch price and release date so check our How to choose your Apple Watch buying guide.

12 inch MacBook 2015 release date

We originally thought Apple would use its developer conference to launch the new MacBook but it decided to announce it just before the release date of the Apple Watch.

This means it will go on sale earlier than we thought - on April 10th.

12 inch MacBook 2015 UK price

There are two models of the new MacBook: one has a 1.1GHz Core M, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD and will cost £1049. Jump to £1299 you get a faster Core M processor (1.2GHz) and double the storage: 512GB.  

If you like your Mac to match your iPhone and iPad, the MacBook is available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold. 

New MacBook 2015 gold

12 inch MacBook 2015: Specifications and features

12in Retina display

As for the Retina display, it has edge-to-edge cover glass and a resolution of 2304x1440, which equates to roughly the same 227ppi found on the Retina MacBook Pro. It's also an aspect ratio of 16:10 which is already used for the 13in MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

The display is just 8.8mm thick and the pixels have a ‘wider aperture’ and uses 30 percent less energy.

The current 11.6in MacBook Air has a 1366x768-pixel display, which is an aspect ratio of 16:9, and the same resolution used by most Windows laptops.

Design and battery life

Saying it has reinvented the laptop is a bit strong, but the new MacBook is - objectively - astonishingly thin, measuring just 13.1mm thick when closed. It weighs just over 900g, making it the lightest Mac ever made, and 24 percent thinner. It’s an all-metal enclosure with antennae integrated into the chassis.

12 inch Retina MacBook 2015 release date, specs & features

All the components had to be redesigned in order to make the MacBook thinner. The keyboard is also all-new, with keys 40 percent thinner, yet with 17 per cent bigger keycaps. They use a butterfly mechanism which makes them less wobbly when typing.

There’s a new backlighting system, with one LED per key.

Inside the unibody case, which is physically smaller than the existing 11-inch MacBook Air, there is a new logic board and a fanless design, making it again the first fanless MacBook.

12 inch Retina MacBook 2015 release date, specs & features

The board is 67 percent smaller than before and has an Intel Core M processor, up to 1.3GHz. It consumes only 5W, and the battery is fitted around the rest of the case, which are ‘terraced’ and fit the contours of the chassis. 35 percent more capacity, which leads to all-day battery life – up  to 9 hours browsing the web on Wi-Fi. 

On the board is also 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Force Touch trackpad

The trackpad is another new component. It has the usual glass surface but is otherwise redesigned. There are four force sensors and a 'Taptic Engine' just like the Apple watch for feedback when you click. You can now adjust the stiffness in software.

The sensors are pressure sensitive so you can have a light touch or a ‘Force click’. These can be used to achieve tasks in different apps such as bringing up a preview of a file when you ‘deep click’ in Finder. Or you can scrub faster in video by pressing harder.

Type-C USB

As rumoured, the 2015 MacBook's chassis is too thin for standard USB ports. So, it's first to feature the new, reversible USB Type C connector. As well as being smaller, the new USB port (which is roughly the size of microUSB) is also twice as fast as USB 3.0 with theoretical transfer speeds of 10Gbps. Amazingly, it's the only port on the entire laptop, so is used for everything from charging and data through to video output. There will be adaptors available from Apple and third-parties.

New MacBook 2015 USB Type-C