Some Thoughts on Apple's New MacBook
Yesterday, Apple announced a brand new MacBook. This is not a new MacBook Pro or Air, but a brand new series in the MacBook lineup.
The new MacBook is beautiful, there’s no denying it. It’s thinner that the MacBook Air (!!!) and has a beautiful, Retina screen. With a resolution of 2304x1440, the 12” display seems quite perfect for on the go use. Apple was basically the pioneer of extreme portability with the original Air, and the new MacBook continues that tradition.
But this comes at a price, literally and figuratively. The MacBook uses Intel’s Core M processor clocked at standard speeds. But the Core M works great only as long as you don’t move beyond basic tasks. The MacBook has 8 GB of RAM which is again sufficient for most day to day functions (I’m quite happy with 8GB myself, but 16GB is becoming the standard). And I’m wondering if the Intel HD Graphics can support the Retina screen without stuttering. Basically, the MacBook can’t become the primary device for power users. At best, it can be used as an add on device, for added portability.
And that’s where the price kicks in. At $1299, it’s more expensive than most people will pay for an add on device. If you’re willing to sacrifice some of the portability, Apple’s own MacBook Pro 13” starts at $1299 and makes for a much better package.
Another bone I have to pick with the MacBook is that single port. One port for charging, USB, HDMI is plain stupid for the way I use my laptop. The MacBook seems to be designed with some aspects of a laptop and some aspects of a tablet, especially the inclusion of this all in one port. I am, however, happy with Apple’s adoption of USB Type C and hopefully more manufacturers will follow suit.
I can’t comment on a couple of features such as the new keyboard and trackpad though early reports indicate that the keyboard isn’t too great to type on for extended periods of time. The trackpad uses Taptic technology to make it pressure sensitive.
Apple has built an interesting device, but I think that the next generation MacBook will be a more solid device, as most second generations are.
Edit: fixed price derp.
March 10, 2015