Mar 10, 2015 · 1 minute

Apple hasn’t sold a MacBook in almost four years. It’s sold MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, sure, but not any “MacBooks.” The moniker appeared to have died with its plastic-clad bearer.

That changed yesterday. Apple’s newest laptop, which is more svelte than the MacBook Airs and has a high-resolution display similar to those found on the MacBook Pros, is just a MacBook.

This new device has a 12-inch display, boasts a new keyboard design, and its only port is dedicated to its battery charger. It will come in three colors, and its starting price is $1,299.

It also stole the show from the Apple Watch.

That would’ve been inconceivable just a few days ago. How could a new laptop upstage a device that many claim will usher in a new era for Apple, much like the iPhone or iPad did before it?

Computers are boring. Some people tinker with their own rigs or get excited about incremental updates to their product line of choice, but to most consumers, PCs are a commoditized market.

This MacBook changes that. It’s a fashion statement, much like the Apple Watch; but unlike that device, it also has a clear purpose. It’s a lustworthy tool, not just glorified jewelry.

And unlike Apple’s other product lines, which are splintering into multiple device types (Air, Pro, mini, Plus, etc.), this one will bring everything that was good about the Airs and Pros into one product. It’s the new baseline, the version of the product that speaks for itself instead of relying on a suffix.

None of which is to say that the new MacBook will be perfect. The new keyboard, by all accounts, will take some getting used to. The new trackpad and its groan-inducing “Force Touch” feature don’t seem particularly intuitive. And some people still use SD cards and other physical media with their laptops.

But this is the most exciting MacBook in a long time — and that’s not just because it’s the first one in four years. Apple did the unthinkable and made laptops seem exciting again. That’s much more impressive than getting people to drool over a watch.

[illustration by Brad Jonas]