For years, the MacBook has been a favorite in Travel + Leisure's annual Tech Awards. Its thin dimensions, long battery life, and beautiful display are features that had gone unchanged for a good two years. But if you thought that Apple had perfected this laptop—think again. During today’s Apple Watch announcement, the notebook was the opening act—and quite a stunner it was indeed.
The new MacBook is thinner, smarter, and more energy-efficient, with performance specs that are making tech nerds swoon. A two-pound, 0.71-inch thin, all-metal body (which comes in a beautiful gold color option) will surely be the talk of the town, but it’s the less obvious upgrades that will make a difference when you’re on the go. For starters, there’s 35% more battery life, thanks to a brighter but more energy-efficient screen, an amped-up Intel Core M processor that runs on only 5 watts, and new battery technology that allows for up to 9 hours of web browsing or 10 hours of movie playback for that long transcon flight. A “force touch” trackpad allows you to apply more or less pressure to bring up a variety of touch-based shortcuts, from easily opening an address on Apple Maps or pulling up a Wikipedia entry on the historical monument you’re about to tour. In other words, it’s now easier and faster to get the information you need. And individual LED lights behind each keyboard key make for more even backlighting when you’re cramming out emails in low light.
The verdict: this is arguably the most efficient, beautiful, travel-friendly laptop on the market, improving on what was already an undisputed category leader.
Prices start at $1299 for a 12-inch model with 256GB Solid State Drive, and shipping begins on April 10.
Nikki Ekstein is the Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.