Apple recently released their latest refresh of their MacBook laptop line, and with it introduced one of the thinnest and lightest laptops they have ever created. This new laptop comes wrapped in a stylish package as you may have expected and comes with some impressive specs for its size.
Design – The Thinnest Macbook Yet
It is hard not to assume that the new MacBook will be awe inspiring to look at. It’s made by Apple after all. But, there are a few aspects of the design that stand out in particular.
First, the laptop itself is incredibly light. If you thought past versions of Apple’s MacBook line were light, you will be shocked when you lift this little devil the first time. In fact, it is so light, it will make your old MacBook seem bulky and overweight, even trumping the latest Macbook Air laptops in its finesse and weighing in at under 2 pounds, measuring only 0.51 inches at its thickest point compared to the latest Macbook Airs 0.68-inch chassis.
The laptop itself is designed with a 12-inch screen, but we will talk more about that later. I mention it only to say that the MacBook is rather small, which I’m sure helped with the weight. Apple decided to squeeze as much out of the real estate as possible with the keys being almost at the very edge of the laptops frame.
One of the neatest new design elements that Apple has included are the available color schemes. In addition to the traditional silver color that Apple originally popularized so many years ago, you can now get your new MacBook in gold and space gray, much like the iPhone. So, if you have always wanted your iPhone and Mac to match, now is your chance.
Performance – A Look Under the Hood
The MacBook is powered by the new Intel Core M processor and can be bought in the 1.1 GHz, 1.3 GHz and 1.3 GHz flavors that can be turbo boosted to 2.9 GHz. This processor, while not the fastest processor in Apple’s arsenal, is more than enough to get the job done for every day tasks and some heavier applications, although it won’t be enough to satisfy the needs of most gamers and more advanced users. It comes with 8GB of RAM which should be more than enough for most users daily computing needs, although it’s worth noting that due to its design all parts are non-upgradeble due to a custom designed motherboard and battery which is inaccessible without dismantling the entire machine.
Much like the original MacBook Air, instead of a traditional large hard drive the new MacBooks come with onboard Flash storage and you can choose from 256 GB and 512 GB flavors. While this will be more than enough to satisfy most users, more advanced users might find this storage lacking and will need to come up with other options to store movies, music and other data files.
You might think that in a laptop this small that they had to sacrifice size somewhere. Believe it or not, they didn’t. This small laptop includes a full size keyboard that is back lit making it easy for you to type no matter what your lighting may be. The keys themselves feel great and are highly responsive so if you were thinking of using this laptop to write your next book, you won’t be disappointed.
Force Track Pad
The new MacBook includes Apple’s new Force Touch Track Pad. Now I’m sure you are all wondering exactly what that is. I’ll admit we had to do our research too. In a nutshell, the track pad is much like you have seen in past MacBooks. Only with the new Force Touch Track Pad, you can actually use the force behind your presses to help dictate what happens and how. It is an interesting take on design and control. While it is interesting and can be fun, I still wonder why they opted for this type of control instead of a standard touch pad and a touchscreen for added control, .
The screen size is only 12 inches, but that is one way that Apple shed the weight to make it one of the lightest laptops ever created. However, for a small screen, the resolution is truly impressive. Unlike previous Macbook Air models, the screen is one of Apple’s patented Retina displays running a resolution of 2304 x 1440. The detail at this level is truly remarkable and your images and text will never be more crisp or clear than how they will look on the MacBook.
The video is powered by Intel HD Graphics 5300 which, while is definitely not enough to run the most graphic intensive games that are available, will still be more than enough for basic photo editing apps and will even power some older games at decent frame rates.
Believe or not, Apple was able to squeeze in stereo speakers and even dual microphones onto this tiny frame. The sound, as you may expect, is nothing like enjoying sound desktops with larger speakers and isn’t even as good as many larger laptops, but it should do the job for most users. While a little thin, the audio didn’t sound too tinny and was clear while covering most of the sound ranges at a decent enough quality. Overall, for the size of this laptop, the speakers handled themselves well, and you simply cannot expect deep bass rounded sound quality on speakers in the size range. Rather get yourself a portable speaker set if you are music fan or plan on wathching a lot of movies.
Ports and Expandability
Apple has never been known for its expandability and it has always pushed the envelop when it comes to its port designs. The new MacBook is no different. It does include a headphone jack that looks as if it is almost as large as the laptop itself, but what is really different is the complete lack of pretty much every other port you can think of. It includes a new USB 3.1 standard port known as the USB-C.
At first glance, you will immediately see that this port isn’t like many of the past USB ports. Based on the USB 3.1 standard, this port will do more than just allow you to connect peripherals, you can even charge your laptop with this port. In fact, you have to, as it is the only port you have. This is likely due to just how thick this laptop is but it could create a problem for many users who have a lot of older USB devices that they may want to use. While there are adapters you can get, you won’t just be able to connect any old device and you will only have one port to work with so you have to plan your peripheral connections carefully. Not to mention that the adapters available from Apple cost a small fortune.
One of the biggest pluses of the new MacBook is the extremely long battery life. The battery is rated for up to 9 hours when surfing the Internet wirelessly and up to 10 hours of iTunes music playback. Those are pretty impressive stats, to say the least. Remember, that your mileage may and more than likely will vary depending on how you use your MacBook. Continuous use of more intense applications will definitely put a drain on your battery although I would be certain no matter what you will see better battery life on this device than you would on one of your older MacBooks.
You won’t find Windows running anywhere near this computer. This MacBook comes with Mac OS X Yosemite preinstalled giving you the latest and most advanced UNIX based operating system from Apple. Any longtime Apple user can attest that Mac OS X is one of the most advanced operating systems in the world and is also one of the safest. Programmers and media enthusiasts alike with enjoy its UNIX code base and numerous unique media editing apps. If you are a Windows user looking to make a change, the MacBook could be one of the best decisions you have ever made.
The MacBook from Apple hits all the right notes, with spectacular style that will match their latest iPhone designs and give users an even more unique style to their laptop, and the right specs to give you the power you need for even moderately heavy applications.
The MacBook is small and light making it the perfect laptop for users who need to take their computer with them. At around $1299, it is one of the more expensive laptops in this spec range, but it comes with the style and reputation of Apple that simply can’t be beat.
At first glance, the Apple MacBook might appear to be somewhat overpriced for what you get compared to some other high-end laptops on the market. However, after you pick it up for the first time and feel how sturdy and light it is, you will understand that the saying “You get what you pay for,” truly means something. While this laptop is definitely not made for serious gamers, light gamers could find this a highly portable laptop perfect a great asset to their arsenal and day to day users will appreciate it’s outstanding design and impressive performance as Apple solidifies its place as the top rated laptop manufacturer in the world.