Tag Archives: Retina

Happy Hour Podcast 015 | Refreshed Macs, Apple Watch update, and the end of Apple’s rumored TV plans


Apple has slightly refreshed the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, added a more affordable Retina 5K iMac, and an iPhone related surprise. Along with that, we have a new Watch OS update and sad news about Apple’s rumored TV plans. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

New episodes of Happy Hour are available every Wednesday. As mentioned, you can download this podcast via iTunes or plug in our RSS feed link into your favorite podcasting app. Send an email to listenermail@9to5mac.com (or click here) and your question/comment may be featured in an upcoming episode of Happy Hour.

Note: iTunes (web interface and app) may still be propagating the new episode which could take up to 24 hours. Subscribing to the podcast feed will guarantee the latest episode is downloaded.


Here’s what we discussed in this episode:

If you missed our 14th episode last week, you can subscribe and find every episode or start off from the previous episode here.

Remember: Subscribe on iTunes to catch all of the episodes as they go live and send in your questions/comments to listenermail@9to5mac.com.

Filed under: Happy Hour Tagged: Apple, Apple watch, Happy Hour, iMac, MacBook Pro, Podcast, Retina

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DisplayMate: Apple Watch has ‘excellent’ display, but Ion-X glass bests sapphire in light tests


Screen technology analysis firm DisplayMate, best known for comparing the display performance of phones, tablets, and laptops, today published an extensive report on the screen inside the 42mm Apple Watch. Describing the screen as “excellent,” DisplayMate’s Dr. Raymond Soneira also explained the relative benefits of the Ion-X glass found in the $349+ Apple Watch Sport versus the Sapphire Crystal used in the higher end Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition models, notably praising the lower end model’s glass as superior across a number of tested categories.

“Apple has done a great job with the OLED display on the Apple Watch,” Soneira says, noting that it’s Apple’s first OLED screen. “It provides very nice, pleasing and accurate colors and picture quality,” including excellent calibration and rescaling of test images, which the company deemed “a very good side-by-side match to the iPhone 6.”

Although Apple hasn’t said much about the Apple Watch screens beyond describing them as Retina caliber, DisplayMate estimates the PPI of the 42mm screen to be between 322 and 326, either identical or nearly identical to the iPhone 6’s screen, with full 24-bit color. However, Soneira notes that “Blue is by far the least power efficient primary drive color” in OLED screens, “so it is desirable to reduce the Blue drive levels whenever possible,” including choosing a less blue white point to conserve display power.

The company noted two key issues with the Watch. First, to reduce power consumption, the screen is turned off in what Soneira describes as a “very annoying” way, while brightness has been reduced in a manner that impacts contrast and color gamut in stronger ambient light. Second, the sapphire crystal used on “premium” Apple Watches almost doubles the ambient light they reflect, creating brighter screen and mirror reflections, color shifting, and reduced contrast, all of which are better with the Apple Watch Sport’s Ion-X glass.

Soneira proposes that upcoming, “specially treated Enhanced Sapphire” will be able to deliver “both high scratch resistance and low Reflectance.” DisplayMate’s full report can be found here.

Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, Display, DisplayMate, Ion-X glass, Retina, sapphire crystal

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Apple offers workaround for users experiencing setup issues on 12-inch MacBook

MacBook 2015

Apple today shared a support article that offers users of the new 12-inch MacBook assistance getting around a bug involving Setup Assistant. According to the article, some users have had the spinning beach ball appear during the initial setup of their MacBook.

Apple is suggesting that users who get stopped by this bug to either wait 30 minutes for setup to resume, or to complete the Setup Assistant process without connecting to the internet. If the user chooses the latter option, they must reboot their machine after running Setup Assistant and choose a network after the laptop restarts. From there, they will be able setup iCloud and other services.

Apple writes:

Allow Setup Assistant to complete

If your MacBook stops responding and shows a spinning wheel after you create a user account in Setup Assistant, simply allow setup to continue. The setup process will resume after about 30 minutes.

You can avoid this delay if you complete Setup Assistant without connecting to the Internet. When Setup Assistant prompts you to select your Wi-Fi network, click Continue without selecting a network. If you have an Ethernet adapter, disconnect it before you start the setup process. After you complete Setup Assistant, restart your Mac. Now you can join your Wi-Fi network or connect your Ethernet adaptor, as well as set up iCloud.

If you restart your Mac during setup

If you restart your Mac during setup, the Setup Assistant will appear again. If you continue setup and see a message that the user account you’re trying to create already exists, create a temporary user account to finish setup.

You can read our review of the 2015 12-inch MacBook here. It’s worth noting that when I went through the setup process on my MacBook, I did not run into this bug, so it’s unclear how widespread it actually is.

Filed under: Mac Tagged: 12-inch, Apple, bug, fix, how to, MacBook, Retina, support

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Review: Can you actually use the new 12-inch MacBook for work?

MacBook 2015

Early reviews of Apple’s MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) have framed it as an expensive prototype from the future — a notebook that will someday be the standard, but one most people aren’t ready for yet. Despite that classification, the new MacBook is extremely tempting if you’re in the market for a new computer: it’s more portable than even the MacBook Air, it’s the first Mac available in gold and space gray finishes, and it has a trackpad with a new feature called Force Touch.

But can you actually do work on the 12-inch MacBook? That’s the $1300 question everyone is asking. I’ll unpack my experience below …

Key Details:

  • MacBook weighs 2.03 pounds
  • Tapered design like MacBook Air
  • Measures 0.14–0.52 inches thick
  • Retina display but only 12-inches
  • 1 USB-C port for power+data
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Redesigned, backlit keyboard
  • Comes in silver/space gray/gold






MacBook 2015

Performance & Battery Life

The new 12-inch MacBook won’t beat the rest of the MacBook lineup in any benchmark tests, but it’s still a fast performer. The answer to whether or not the new MacBook can be used for work depends on two things: what tasks the MacBook is capable of performing, and how long the MacBook can perform those tasks on a single charge.

The short answer to whether or not the new MacBook can actually be used for work is that it depends on what you plan to do, but for a lot of people the answer is probably yes. It’s not a machine optimized for performing power intensive tasks, but it can do a lot of low- to mid-level jobs well.

MacBook 2015 MacBook 2015 MacBook 2015

My Mac is typically running a couple dozen apps at a time during the typical workday including multiple constant Twitter streams, 20+ Safari tabs, quick photo editing, frequent downloading and uploading, lots of messaging and email, and music or video playback … all at the same time.

During my evaluation in an actual workday under typical conditions, I only noticed a performance issue when a particular Twitter app would demand more memory than usual — an issue experienced on every other Mac I’ve owned and tested.

The new MacBook is powered by a low power Intel Core M chip — a first for Macs — which helps it achieve a fanless design. That means the Mac isn’t as powerful, but it is completely silent and has a much smaller footprint. It also means the new MacBook shouldn’t get warm enough that it needs a fan to cool off.

As Dom mentioned when using the new MacBook to edit and export short video files, it did stand up to piecing together a 1080p clip, but working with a 4K footage resulted in dropped frames. But does the MacBook get too hot? Chrome (which includes Flash) was the culprit of an unexpected heat warning during Dom’s use. I’ve tried to achieve the same warning myself, and while I’ve managed to get the bottom of the MacBook uncomfortably warm especially during a Time Machine backup, I’m still waiting for my first heat warning.

Ripping and encoding a DVD in HandBrake using Apple’s SuperDrive ($79) and USB-C to USB Adapter (more on that later) resulted in the biggest performance hit compared to other Macs I’ve owned and tested. The job took several minutes longer on the new MacBook than it did on my mid-tier 2012 Mac mini; it also noticeably slowed down system performance until the job was done. Not an impossible task on the new MacBook, but not ideal if you have better tools.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

In terms of battery life, Apple promises up to 9 hours of wireless web usage and up to 10 hours of iTunes playback. In my actual (multitasking-heavy) usage, I measured 4 hours 35 minutes between 100% to 2% during continuous usage. Under the same use, the system said to expect 3 hours 57 minutes until a full charge was reached from 2%, although in practice only required 2 hours 22 minutes to reach 100%.

A typical workday usually spans 8 hours at least so 4.5 hours of battery life during typical usage won’t get the job done, but I’ve always had to connect to power with previous MacBooks so this is no different. The new MacBook can handle heavy multitasking and quick data input as it runs OS X and is very much a notebook with a keyboard and trackpad (both of which are different than previous MacBooks). An iPad with greater benchmark results may be more powerful with greater battery life, but it can’t yet run apps side-by-side or multitask between dozens of apps like a Mac. I can’t yet do my actual work on an iPad even if I wanted to, but the new MacBook got the job done right out of the box.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)


I mentioned in the previous section having the expectation of always relying on connecting a power supply to get through a typical workday with any MacBook. All other MacBooks have a dedicated MagSafe port for charging, and separate USB/Thunderbolt ports for transferring data and using external monitors. The new MacBook combines data transfer and charging in a single USB Type C port. You’ll have to pick up an adapter for now if you want to use your existing USB accessories, connect an HDMI or VGA display, or ever charge the MacBook while simultaneously using any USB accessory.

I typically use AirDrop or Dropbox to move files between various devices during the typical workday, but moving data from my old Mac to the new MacBook on day one meant using an adapter. Wireless solutions were available including restoring from a Time Machine backup, but I wanted a fast and reliable way to move data. Ultimately, I used a USB 3.0 external hard drive to carry data between Macs, which meant I needed Apple’s USB-C to USB Adapter ($19) for connecting the drive to the new MacBook.

Aside from the DVD rip test (which I never actually do; I had to blow the dust off the SuperDrive) and setting up the new MacBook, I haven’t needed to use any adapter again. The overly expensive $79 USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter ($79) from Apple is the most practical if you foresee needing one, though, as it offers both a power option and a traditional USB port. Google has some nice options available now and Belkin has some coming soon. If you foresee frequently relying on any adapter, though, the new MacBook probably isn’t the best machine for you as the hassle trumps the convenience of portability.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

Overall, though, the new USB-C port is a very interesting addition to the Mac. While it’s more difficult to connect and disconnect than the MagSafe charging connection found on the rest of the MacBook lineup, it’s also more resistant to accidentally unplugging during use. USB-C also allows you to charge the new MacBook in new ways not previously easily possible.

For instance, you can use a portable charger to re-juice your MacBook without needing a wall adapter. As the new MacBook packs in a 5263 mAh battery, I can achieve more than two additional charges with my Anker A7 13,000 mAh external battery pack ($29) and a USB-C to USB cable ($12.99). You can also charge the 12-inch MacBook… from another 12-inch MacBook. Connect the included USB-C Charge Cable ($29) from one 12-inch MacBook to another, and whichever Mac was connected first will charge the Mac you connect next.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook 2015 MacBook 2015

Trackpad & Keyboard

The new MacBook features a Force Touch trackpad first made available on the MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015). The new trackpad includes a second depth of clicking called a Force Click which can perform tasks that previously required three-finger taps or weren’t available at all.

Both a regular click and a deeper Force Click give the illusion of an actual button click, but the new trackpad is indeed buttonless. The illusion is created using haptic feedback which can be applied in other applications like iMovie and QuickTime as well.

In terms of how this impacts using the new MacBook for work, you likely won’t notice any loss of features (aside from three-finger dragging which has moved to the Accessibilities panel), only new ones like pressure sensitive drawing and new menus. Many of the features you can access with Force Touch were previously available through other gestures; its biggest impact, for me, is allowing the the notebook to be as thin as it is.

Force Touch trackpad Force Touch trackpad

The new MacBook’s keyboard is immediately obvious, and whether or not you can do actual work on the 12-inch MacBook likely depends on how you adapt to typing on it. The new keyboard is much tighter as it has almost no travel, or depth, found on other MacBook keyboards. Personally, I find the tightness feels more efficient and less sloshy, but it still takes a period of adjustment even if you’re optimistic. I can understand why other testers have written off the new keyboard as a compromise to achieving a thinner MacBook, but I’m personally finding that my Apple Wireless Keyboard is the one I don’t want to use now… except for the arrow keys.

I saw the arrow keys mentioned in multiple MacBook reviews and couldn’t understand how the design change could be that big of a deal. Then I started using it. The change is that the left and right arrow keys are now full sized while the up and down arrows are half of a full key. While the up and down keys are unchanged, I’ve found myself needing to look to use any arrow key now as the left and right keys feel like the nearby Option key.

13-inch MacBook Pro 12-inch MacBook 12-inch MacBook 'esc' key

The backlighting has also changed on the new keyboard. Apple says each key now has its own individual LED for backlighting. Between this and the general shallow design, you no longer see as much stray lighting when viewing the keyboard at an angle. The backlighting isn’t as perfect as Apple’s marketing material, however, as certain keys consistently have uneven lighting, an issue new to this MacBook. This means the escape key may read like ‘sc’ rather than ‘esc’ at night, and each Command key is noticeably dimmer than the letter keys.

On a trivial level, I find that the new keyboard font (San Francisco as found on the Apple Watch) is nicer to look at than the previous keyboard font (VAG Rounded). While it won’t impact your typing for work, it is refreshing to see all day long as a personal preference.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

You can see how similar the Lightning port on the iPhone and iPad is compared to the new USB-C port. While the iPad has a smaller footprint and is still thinner than the thickest part of the new MacBook, its portability feels very similar. Pair that with OS X, a trackpad, and a good, full-sized keyboard and the new MacBook gives the iPad a real run for its money. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus haven’t quite felt like iPad Air replacements for me as they have for other people, but the new MacBook is in close proximity. Carrying it closed feels very similar to toting an iPad Air around; aside from using the iPad Air as a second display, I can’t foresee toting both on a quick trip.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

If you foresee having to rely on the available adapters or find the keyboard unfavorable, you won’t want the new MacBook as your work machine. It’s also not the powerhouse that creative professionals and developers need to get the job done, but it can certainly juggle a dozen or two important tasks without hiccups if they’re not too taxing. You can pick up a MacBook Air for less or a MacBook Pro for the same price or more, but it will be the ultra thin design (and new color options) that make the trade-offs worth it for early adopters.

It can do actual work in cases where an iPad wouldn’t be feasible. My only real concern about the new MacBook is its display size: 12-inches is not a generous amount of screen space. I preferred to run the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its ‘more space’ option, but the text is uncomfortably small for me in the new MacBook’s ‘more space’ option.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

I’d be envious of a similarly powered 14- or 15-inch MacBook with the same design: you could easily include another USB-C port with the longer body, and the larger but still thin footprint could pack in a few extra hours of battery life as well.

As someone with a desktop Mac setup to fall back on, though, the new MacBook is a phenomenal portable solution. I can rely on it for work, and it’s as comfortable as an iPad to use on the weekends and evenings. It’s a more difficult decision to make if you don’t have a more powerful Mac to do the heavy lifting from time to time, but it’s not out of the question in the least to rely on the new MacBook for doing actual work.

The MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) is available from $1299 (Amazon/Best Buy) in space gray, gold, and silver.

Filed under: Mac, Reviews Tagged: 12-inch, early 2015, MacBook, MacBook Retina, Retina, Retina Display, USB type-C, USB-C

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New 12-inch MacBook with Retina display unboxing, overview, and benchmarks (Video)

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 5.37.54 AM

Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook with Retina display is out now, and today we’re going hands-on with the new machine. This ultra thin and portable MacBook is as controversial as it is beautiful, but will its features make up for the compromises? Let’s go ahead and find out…

We’re taking a look at the base model which includes a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 5300, and 256GB of internal storage. The display is 12-inches diagonally with a 2304 x 1440 resolution at 226 pixels per inch and a 16:10 aspect ratio. Essentially, this is Apple’s version of a netbook, but don’t let that scare you away. I was definitely surprised by the smooth performance within OS X. Of course, this MacBook isn’t built for CPU/GPU intensive workloads, but for the majority of people performing simple everyday tasks, it’ll get the job done.

This is Apple’s first fanless MacBook and there are no moving parts inside of it. The design is slim, sleek, and we once again have a MacBook available in more than one color. We have the Space Gray version on hand and have detailed its hardware and performance in the video below.

Check out our 12-inch MacBook unboxing, overview, and benchmarks video:

With this new MacBook, we have a new keyboard and trackpad design. Apple has created a new ‘butterfly key mechanism’ that provides a 40 percent thinner key assembly. Fortunately, there’s still a full-size keyboard here, and with 17 percent larger keys than a standard MacBook. They keyboard has much shallower travel, but I found it to be very easy to type on.

Apple has also implemented a new Force Touch trackpad that looks like a normal trackpad, but doesn’t act like one. This trackpad is pressure sensitive and doesn’t actually move like other’s we’ve seen on previous MacBooks. The sensors determine how much pressure is applied and Apple’s new Taptic Engine provides a “click sensation” when you press on the surface. It actually feels like a real click, but that’s not where the fun ends. This new Force Touch trackpad also comes with a wide variety of features that can be accessed with a Force Click. If you’d like to find out more about the Force Touch trackpad and its features, check out the video below.

As for the controversy, Apple has ditched all known forms of I/O this time around and left us with a single USB-C port on the MacBook’s left side. There is still a 3.5mm headphone jack present, but with only one very new USB port things may get tricky. The solution for just about anything is going to involve adapters at this point. The market hasn’t fully adopted USB-C yet and until it does, this is definitely going to be a concern to a lot of consumers. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but if you rely on ports, this MacBook may not be for you.

Something interesting to note is that you can recharge the MacBook’s 5,191 mAh battery with an adapter cable and an external battery pack. This can be very useful for long trips away from an outlet and is only possible because of the USB-C connection port available. With a 10,000 mAh battery pack, you can nearly triple the battery life on this MacBook.

All of the MacBook’s benchmark results performance tests can be found in the first video embedded above. Just out of curiosity, we put this MacBook through a real-world video editing test to see what it could handle and the results were surprising. With Adobe Premiere, there was absolutely no issue editing together a one minute clip with 1080p footage. We gave it a go with some UHD footage, but unfortunately that was a bit too much for it to handle and resulted in dropped frames all over the place.

Filed under: Mac Tagged: 12-inch MacBook, Apple, MacBook, Retina, unboxing, video

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12-inch MacBook review roundup: The future of the notebook, but USB-C, keys and speed are issues


We originally reported that Apple was preparing to release a redesigned 12-inch MacBook in January and the company made the device official during its Spring Forward event. The 12-inch MacBook doesn’t go on sale until April 10th, but reviews have already started pouring in this evening.

The all-new 12-inch MacBook has been completely redesigned and is the thinnest MacBook Apple offers. The laptop sports a 2304×1440 resolution display and is just 13.1mm thick at its thickest point. To get the laptop this thin, Apple made compromises and those compromises have made many potential buyers worry. The new MacBook on features a single USB-C port, with Apple encouraging users to use adapters to fulfill their other needs. Performance concerns also arose when benchmarks allegedly emerged from the laptop showing performance on-par with that of a 2011 MacBook Air. You can read our roundup of all the 12-inch MacBook reviews below:


If you value speed and performance above all else, you want a MacBook Pro. If you want something portable, fairly powerful and extensible, the MacBook Air is a great fit.

The MacBook, as it exists today, is really for a very particular group of people who want the thinnest, lightest MacBook they can get. It’s not intended to be a professional machine — though I can see this as a new standard issue for some executives, those who value portability above all.

This is the notebook for people who love their iPad but want something with a real keyboard and a bigger screen. It’s a great second computer to compliment an iMac or a larger MacBook Pro.


Much like the original Air, the new MacBook is expensive, and it’s not for everyone. In particular, it’s for well-heeled shoppers who demand the most portable machine possible, and who also don’t want to compromise on screen quality. That might not be persuasive to would-be Windows users, who have several compelling alternatives, many with equally sharp screens and a bigger selection of ports. But for loyal Mac fans who wouldn’t dream of switching, the new MacBook is by far the lightest-weight machine in Apple’s lineup, especially with this caliber of screen. It’s not for everyone, especially not right now, but if it’s anything like the Air, it might one day become the standard.

The Verge:

This new MacBook is the future. All laptops are going to be like this someday: with ridiculously good screens, no fans, lasting all day. Just like the original MacBook Air defined a generation of competitors, this new MacBook will do the same. It, or something inspired by it, is what you’ll be using in two or three years. It’s that good.

Here’s a crazy surprise I didn’t expect: my 13-inch MacBook Air felt big and clunky after I went back to it. And make no mistake, the MacBook Air is itself a wonder of engineering. Yet compared to the new MacBook it felt like a heavy, kind of ugly throwback with a mediocre screen. I really didn’t want to go back to that Air.

But I still went back.

You see, the problem with the future is that it isn’t here yet. Instead we live in the now, and the now doesn’t have the ecosystem of adapters and wireless peripherals I need to use this laptop with its single port. The now doesn’t have the right processor to power through the apps I need without ruining battery life. And right now, this laptop is far from cheap at $1,299.


My initial impression of the original MacBook Air from 2008 feels timely and fitting here. Of that laptop, which was considered both groundbreaking and frustratingly limited, I said:

“The design is revolutionary, but Apple’s MacBook Air will appeal to a smaller, more specialized audience than the standard MacBook, thanks to a stripped-down set of connections and features.”

Likewise, this new MacBook will also be the right fit for a smaller segment of a public than the more universally useful 13-inch MacBook Air or Pro. But those who can work with the limitations — primarily a lack of ports, shorter battery life, performance that’s not suited for pro-level photo and video editing, and a shallow keyboard that takes some getting used to — will love its sharp display, slim and light body, and responsive touchpad.

My primary caveat is this — if history is any guide, you can count on a near-future generation of this laptop boosting its utility by doubling the number of USB-C ports to at least two. So like many new technology products, it may be worth waiting for the next version, even if having a 12-inch, two-pound gold MacBook right now will make you the coolest kid at the coffee shop.


If money is no issue for you, you want a significantly smaller laptop, and you don’t mind being limited by a lack of ports, then maybe upgrading to the new MacBook makes sense for you.

But if you rely on USB ports and SD card slots, this MacBook’s single port for charging, storage transfers and other functionality will really bug you.

In a few years, we may look back on this laptop’s missing USB ports like we look back on the original MacBook Air’s absent Ethernet port or missing optical disk drive (here’s that 2008 review by Walt Mossberg), thinking, “Who needed that?” We’re just not quite there yet.


Apple’s new MacBook seemed like a shift so dramatic that it was bound to cause some discomfort when it was unveiled on stage in March in San Francisco, but in practice the big changes are far easier to embrace than you might expect.

It’s true that for users who treat their notebooks as their sole computers, and who like to plug a lot of things into those computers as a result, this probably isn’t the best option. But for people looking for a mobile Mac to complement their desktop machine, and for those who aren’t sending their whole day on their Macs for work (meaning likely the vast majority of general consumers), this is a future-oriented notebook that is just as effective in the present, too.


The MacBook is a gorgeous piece of hardware. The Retina display is excellent, and I’m really loving the Force Touch trackpad. The keyboard is more of a hit-or-miss affair; if you’re someone who is particular about your keyboards and spends a whole lot of time typing, it may be a deal-breaker.

This is a laptop that will serve its audience well. That audience is one that prioritizes size, weight, and stylishness over compatibility and ports and computing power. I’d say that this isn’t a laptop for power users, but I don’t think that’s true—there are whole classes of “power users” who don’t actually need more power than the MacBook can provide.

But if your workflow includes lots of USB flash drives and external hard drives, if you’ve invested in Thunderbolt hard drives or displays, or if your work really does require 16GB of RAM and the very fastest processors around, the MacBook won’t be a good fit. Fortunately, Apple’s isn’t ceasing production of the MacBook Pro—and it offers all of that and more.

Ars Technica:

Peoples’ angst about the MacBook’s port situation isn’t really about the MacBook, but rather a fear that all of Apple’s laptops are going to jettison all their ports. The company has maintained separate “pro” and “consumer” lines of laptops for years and years—the MacBook is clearly the future of the consumer line, but less-compromised hardware for pros will continue to exist. Apple is still selling all the laptops it was selling before the MacBook was announced, though the Air’s days are probably numbered at this point.

Ultimately the new MacBook feels like a first-generation product—a very good first-generation product, but a first-generation product nevertheless. It’s got some promise and a couple of major shortcomings and you don’t need to be the first person who takes the leap into the Brave New Future it represents. I use an iMac as my primary computer and a 13-inch MacBook Air when I’m sitting on the couch or in a café or on a plane, and perhaps 90 percent of the time this MacBook can replace the Air without issue. If this is going to be your main computer or only computer or if you’re one of the bare handful of people who use Thunderbolt for something, it’s hard to recommend.

Yahoo Tech:

But unless you’re a well-heeled executive who doesn’t do much besides write, email, and surf the Web, the price you pay — in speed, utility, and, yes, price — is just too high.

We know what this is: This is the 2008 MacBook Air. Today, the MacBook Air is frequently cited as the best laptop on the market — but the first model, in 2008, was also called overpriced, underpowered, and amazing-looking. In the same way, the 12-inch MacBooks of 2016 and 2017 will lose their flaws, enter a new era of USB-C compatibility, and seem much more at home in a more wireless world.

Even Apple is allowed to start with a 1.0 version. But you don’t have to buy it.

USA Today:

The other innovation is the presence of a new connector called USB-C, an emerging industry-wide standard. I have no quarrel with Apple’s decision to lead with the new connector itself. It is small–about a third of a size of a conventional USB connector- and versatile. It can handle, power, data and video all in one, and the plug is reversible so that you can insert it into the computer in either orientation.

My problem is that aside from a headphone jack, this is the new MacBook’s only connector. If the USB-C power cable that Apple supplied is already plugged in and you want to plug in any other USB accessories at the same time you’ll need an optional adapter. And those don’t come cheap–a USB-C to regular USB dongle from Apple fetches $19. A multiport USB-C adapter (with ports for full-size USB, an additional USB-C port, and HDMI) costs $79. Of course, you’ll see cheaper adapters from third party suppliers but now you have another accessory to travel with and keep track of.


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