Review of the New 2015 MacBook
The new MacBook is the laptop of the future but is it really worth it? Let’s find out. The basic question that everyone is asking revolves around many variables; the new MacBook has one USB-C port which takes care of the power, data input and output, display connections and accessories. But there are some concerns about processing power. The MacBook has an Intel Core M processor which is light on power and drops the fan completely but this effect the processing power. Nevertheless, the MacBook is still a great product.
Here is what you Get:
- 12-inch, 2304×1440 display, 226 PPI
- 1.1GHz Intel Core M dual-core processor with Turbo Boost to 2.4GHz
- Intel HD Graphics 5300
- 8GB of RAM
- 256GB PCIe-based flash storage
- 480p FaceTime Camera
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Single USB-C port for data I/O, display, networking and power
- 3.5mm stereo audio in/out port
- Force Touch trackpad
- 39.7-watt-hour battery offers 9 hours web browsing, 10 hours offline iTunes movie playback
- The Device is amazingly light and portable
- The display is beautiful with a high definition screen
- The only problem that we could see with the device is the single port, they could have done better.
Without a shadow of a doubt, this is an awesome device and the best notebook that money can buy. The design has an appeal of its own, the shell is sleek and made from aluminum, you get three different color options and all the hinges are metal. This is the best portable computer that you can get; anyone who has gone to the store and tested the MacBook would instantly want one. The outward appearance is impressive, much better than the old MacBook’s.
The design of the new MacBook deserves a discussion, every single inch of this notebook is stunning, the details are exceptional, for example, the all-aluminum hinge which replaces the metal unibody seems like small change right? But it elevates the design to new heights. Makes the MacBook look like perfect machine; this is further complimented with the lack of holes in the design.
The single USB-C is a grey area but it definitely increases the aesthetics of the notebook. The remarkable feature of the MacBook is that it’s so sleek, a powerful computer packed into a small space. The case is 13.1 mm thin, at its thickest point and the weight is less than 2 pounds. This makes the MacBook only half a pound heavier than the original iPad. Once you pick it up, you will feel that the notebook is extremely light and durable.
The design also stands out with the keyboard backlights, Apple has has used LEDs for each key and is already looking much better than the previous versions. The overall charm is elevated further with the smaller black bezel around the 12 inch retinascan display. You can also lift the lid when the clamshell is closed, this makes it easier for you to open up the lid one handed. This feature can be expected from a lighter notebook.
Force Touch Trackpad
The Force Touch trackpad is MacBook’s latest innovation and a great example of the entire latest Apple tech, with zero mechanical travel, the Force Touch trackpad almost feels like a button that you can actually click. The Force Touch trackpad uses a taptic feedback engine which gives a vibration response. This lets the user feel a physical click sensation directly under the fingertip, and it does not matter where the user presses.
The response regarding the tactile is not the same with Force Touch trackpads, it can be a little tricky at first. But once the user has adjusted to the Force Touch trackpad, since the ‘click’ you feel is the same across the trackpad, and produces consistent results (which wasn’t always true with the mechanical switch).
Another feature of the trackpad is “force touch” interaction, this translates into a deeper click into different actions, you can get dictionary definitions in Safari plus or website previews. The feature is third party and the developers are adding new features to make it more interactive.
It does not take long to get used to the trackpad, you may need to spend very little time to get used to it. You may want to try the Force Touch feature in the dictionary, and we guarantee that you will like it.
The keyboard is completely redesigned; the MacBook keyboard was fitted in a very shallow case. Apple had to replace the old-fashioned scissor based keyboard switches with their new butterfly mechanism. Amazingly, this would save you about 40% thickness per key meaning; you will have to press less. Apple also says that this system ensures that the user gets more stability through the key, so the keys will not lean if you are pressing on the corner, you can exert more pressure on the corners and still get the same response.
The latest keyboard and the Force Touch trackpad will take some time to get used to. Many users are accustomed to deeper travel of the keys so the shallow travel of keys will require an adjustment period so users can get comfortable with the typing. But seasoned MacBook users will not find this to be an issue and will get used to it pretty quickly.
The keyboard is full size and that is a good achievement by Apple considering the size constraints and the small case design. We felt more comfortable with the keyboard, we think it is a great innovation and reduces key travel to a significant level. Don’t confuse this with the myriad iPad keyboard cases because this is completely different. You will not have to hammer away on the keyboards like in the previous versions of Mac keyboards. You will need to get used to becoming a touch typist and within time you will feel comfortable with this tech as you have with the previous Apple notebooks.
The biggest improvement in the keyboard is key backlights, with each key having a separate LED; this gives a lot of visibility in the dark and a very nice look. The keys look more focused and this means that the user will not be distracted or catch the attention of spectators.
Single USB-C Port
In spite the latest input hardware in the form of the track pad and the re-engineered keyboard the MacBook’s biggest change is the single USB-C port. This single USB-C port has been the center of discussion and that is why we paid close attention to it when we tested it.
We came to a conclusion that the one port didn’t really cause any problems, in fact, we didn’t even notice it. But if you are going to plug in a lot of stuff at once and use this device as a standalone notebook than you might face some issues. Once we start to see more multipurpose hubs and docks it’ll be less burdensome, but for now whether or not this is a second computer will be a huge contemplation, particularly for power users.
Apple provides a USB-C to standard USB 3.0 adapter with the notebook, which you can buy for $19 from the online Apple store. We used this maybe a couple of times, when we connected a SD card reader to import something.
Charging and Power
Charging the MacBook is interesting to say the least, the USB-c port tightly grips the cord. This could have some repercussions; you could trip off the wire and pull your notebook down with you. It seems that Apple have made a calculated risk, although we did not find it to be troublesome. The battery drains slowly so we were able to use the MacBook throughout the day and then plug it during the night, so it’s more like an iOS device.
You will need more presence of mind on where you leave your notebook plugged in, much different than the previous MagSafe. Apple has included guides to make your think differently.
The MacBook is a center of expectations and that is synonymous with every user. We were expecting the MacBook to meet certain requirements likes the Photoshop and logic Pro and we are happy to report that the MacBook did well in these applications.
We were thinking that the new Intel M processor would not perform well but we had tested it in every way and we were not disappointed. The new MacBook was not shy in handling all the tasks that we threw at it. One issue that we noticed was running the video stabilization corrections on every clip used. The MacBook got warm and started gulping the battery that was a bit disappointing. We think more processing power would we better.
But let’s speak practically, The MacBook will not let you feel that it is underpowered because Apple has made a lot of concessions to make sure that their device is not only functional but profitable as well. The notebook is fairly powerful and is competent; this means that you can do pretty much everything on it. If you are using the notebook for watching videos, using the photo app or for browsing the internet, the performance will be more than enough for you.
With Wi-Fi browsing, the MacBook can last up to 9 hours. Apple’s original specs say that it lasts 10 hours of iTunes movie watching.
The MacBook’s battery offers up to 9 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing, according to Apple’s official specs, and 10 hours of iTunes movie watching, We have tested the battery in almost every scenario, in the couch and during travelling.
The battery life is great, we never felt concerned or nervous at my point because the MacBook sips the battery very slowly especially when we were using the MacBook on the road. As usual we were trying to find places where we could connect the machine and charge it but that was instinctive and we resisted the urge, in the end we were happy with the long lasting power of the MacBook.
If you leave aside the video editing, the battery performs very well; you can occasionally use Photoshop and use Slack, Safari, Tweetbot and occasionally Skype. But if you are out on the road, we would suggest to not using unnecessary applications especially the video editor and the Photoshop. The video editor sucks the battery and the MacBook gets very warm pretty quickly. We also noticed that the battery performed well when the brightness at 50%.
But everything will change once you start using Final Cut Pro, and you plan on using it for an extended period of time than it will suck the life out of you notebook. All heavy tasks will tick down the battery at an alarming rate. But even with that, we were still able to record a 60 minute voice recording.
The display is great, Apple has used high-res tech and it’s amazing that Apple has used this high-res tech in such a thin device. This definitely, Apple’s crowning achievement and is a manufacturing achievement as well. We liked the 12 inch diagonal display, though it is not that roomy because we usually use a 15inch display but the resolution is awesome to say the least.
Apple is all about change and this new shift might be a little dramatic and will cause some issues for many users but once users get used to it, it will definitely aid them in being more comfortable. We think it’s easier to embrace changes, with Apple; it’s the way to go.
Of course, it will be of some discomfort for users who use their laptops as their primary computers because those users would probably want to plug in a lot of things at once, so for those users, the MacBook won’t be a feasible option. Overall, the MacBook is a superior machine and the notebook for the future.