Sign In

Home/Blog/The Evolution of MacBook
16 Aug 2021 · 5 minutes read
· by Mairead Bond

The Evolution of MacBook

The MacBook is a brand of Macintosh notebook computers designed by Apple.

From the first MacBook in 2006 to the MacBook Pro and Air - Apple's famous Notebook computers have massively evolved over a twenty year timeline. 

Continue reading to see the evolution of the Macbook.

1. The PowerBook Era (1999-2005).
Before looking at the very first Macbook, the PowerBook deserves an honourable mention. The PowerBook was a highly successful model for it's time, with cutting edge specifications such as 2MB RAM, a PowerPC G3 chip and a CD and DVD drive. 
The age of the PowerBook lasted over a decade with the PowerBook G4, which started to look more like the first MacBooks. For its time in 2001, the design was sleek at one inch thick, even if it did weigh over five pounds. It was slightly more powerful than the G3 with specifications including PowerPC G4 processor, 128MB RAM and up to 5 hour battery life.

2. The First MacBook Pro (2006).
In 2006, the first true MacBook was released. It still weighed in at over five pounds and was one inch thick, but it was the first to have the signature backlit keyboard. It was also the first model to introduce any type of fall protection, known as Sudden Motion Sensor - this reduced the impact on the hard drive during a fall.

The 17-inch model was up to four times faster than the PowerBook G4 and included a number of impressive new features including 67 GHz Intel Core Duo process (up to four times faster than the PowerBook G4), 512MB RAM, a scrolling TrackPad, a built-in iSight camera and an 80GB hard drive.

3. The First MacBook Air (2008-Present).
Just a few years after the MacBook Pro, Apple released their thinnest option yet - the MacBook Air. It measured just 0.16 inches at its thinnest point and 0.76 inches at its thickest.

In the initial years after its release, the MacBook Air became one of the biggest sellers for Apple. It was incredibly thin yet surprisingly sturdy, with new trackpad gesture controls and a remote optical drive, it was a revolutionary product for its time. 

4. MacBook Air 11 inch (2010-2016).
In 2010, Apple released the 11 inch MacBook Air. The price was a bit lower than the sister 13 inch model, which was made possible by the smaller design and also slightly lesser capabilities such as battery life and performance.

In 2015, Apple announced that they would discontinue the 11 inch model and focus solely on the slightly larger 13 inch model for future releases.

5. The MacBook Pro With Retina Display (2012-Present)
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display was released in 2012. The 15-inch model featured the Retina display iPhone users were accustomed to. It still had a thin design at just 0.71 inches and weighed less than 4.5 pounds. At the time, it had the highest resolution on the market of over five million pixels.

The features include up to 7 hours of battery life, an Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (2.7 GHz to 3.7 GHz), up to 16GB RAM, up to 768GB flash storage (SSD) and a HD camera.

6. The Thinnest MacBook Pro Yet (2015-Present)

In 2015, Apple introduced a new line of thinner, faster MacBooks. The new line weighed only two pounds and were just 13.1mm thick. With a new 12-inch display and more responsive keyboard, it became a favourite among MacBook users.

Features include up to 10 hours of battery life, new USB-C ports, a full-size keyboard, a 1 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core M processor (up to 2.4 GHz), 8GB RAM and 256GB flash storage (SSD).

7. MacBook Pro (2016-Present)
2016 saw the introduction of a new MacBook Pro line. The new 13-inch and 15-inch models were the first models with the new Touch Bar above the keyboard with a Touch ID sensor.

Features include a brighter display, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, 50% larger trackpad, Intel i5 (up to 3.1 GHz) or i7 (3.6 GHz) processor, 256GB SSD (up to 2 TB), and 8GB RAM (up to 16 GB).

8. MacBook Air (2018-Present).
The MacBook Pro series clearly took over as the more popular model, however, in 2018, Apple introduced its newest MacBook Air. At 6mm at its thickest, it's a great machine for those looking for a MacBook with a Retina display but at a much-more affordable price.

It's features include up to 12 hours battery life, 50% thinner screen borders, touch ID, 20% larger trackpad, 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor, up to 16GB RAM, up to 1.5GB SSD, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port and improved speakers and camera. The 2018 model showcased one of the biggest redesign features for MacBook in a long time. 

2019 Onwards
Since 2019, Apple has continued to release updated versions of the MacBook Air and Pro. New additions like True Tone and increased battery life can be enjoyed, but there has not been a truly revolutionary redesign to the MacBook since it's early days.
However, this September will see the release of the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. These MacBooks will have a significant design overhaul, with the introduction of the new colour range as seen on the newest iMacs. These new MacBooks will address complaints that users have had with the MacBook Pro for years by bringing back older features that include MagSafe, more ports, and physical function keys.

With Megamac, you can protect and compliment your MacBook with our range of Nomad Laptop sleeves, available here
Published 16 Aug 2021 by Mairead Bond
Mairead Bond
Share this article
Share using your device's native controls.
Or to your favorite social network.
Facebook pixel