The All New Macbook – Review

In the march of 2015, Apple finally announced the long awaited refresh to its Macbook series, 3 years after it announced the Retina Macbook Pro. Although a lot of rumors said that it’ll be named as the “Retina Macbook Air” but Apple surprised us all  by naming its new notebook as just Macbook. Though the old Macbook was the entry line notebook in Apple’s lineup, this is a premium one. With the new Macbook’s Amazing Design, do comes the risks Apple has taken in this new notebook. To make it razor-thin, Apple made some serious compromises, but decided to turn these into features. Some proved to be good, while some were disappointments.

Hardware

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Apple’s first compromise is the hardware. To make this new notebook ultra-thin, apple had to design the first fanless macbook. You heard me right. This piece of beauty doesn’t have any fans, and hence it doesn’t make any noise. But with less power comes less responsibility. So Apple had to fit in the low powered Core-M which consumes only 5 watt of energy. There will be a day when even core i7’s will consume 5 watts, but that day is not here yet. This notebook is not a powerhouse. With its 1.1 GHz/1.2 GHz processors and Intel HD graphics, it will be able to handle the day to day tasks however 4K Video Editing, High resolution graphics manipulation, etc will be difficult. Though, I haven’t felt a lag in my usage till now, but I am not a power-user. And I have to say this, with a processor of 1.2 GHz, it handled all my tasks like a champ. It also comes packed with a huge 8GB of RAM, which is great! Apple has tried to compensate the processor problem with the RAM, and a fast SSD (256 GB/512 GB). These take care of a lot of things and things which are usually slowed down due to shortage of memory and slow hard disk, run at an amazing speeds. Overall, we can say that some great parts of the hardware compensate for some not-so-great parts.

Score: 710

Display

The all new Macbook has a stunning new Retina Display which packs a resolution of 2304×1440. The display captured my heart, and changed my decision from buying the Macbook Air (It has a very low resolution screen) to buying this one. With it’s IPS technology which Apple boasted at its Spring Forward Event, it is simply amazing and I would give this display a full score.

Score: 1010

Ports

The Biggest compromise that everyone has been talking about is the USB port. And it’s not even your usual USB port, it’s a Type-C, so it won’t be compatible with any of the current pendrives, or usb connectors. To connect it with other devices, you need to buy a 79$ USB-C adapter from Apple Store, which is not even available in India right now. So how were 3 months, living with a single port? It was pretty good. I didn’t feel that I was port-less, because I don’t need to connect to a USB, being an active dropbox and iCloud user (As I said earlier, I am not a professional, I don’t need to connect it to external monitors, or connect a gazillion flash drives at the time). Using, iCloud I was able to transfer all my files from my previous Macs. So living with one usb port wasn’t that bad at all. In fact, it wasn’t a very big compromise. It can be a pain for people who don’t live on the cloud & need to connect their USBs while charging their laptop.

Score: 610

Keyboard

As Apple boasted to reinvent the notebook, it had to reinvent every part of the notebook, including the keyboard. So Apple replaced the classical Scissor-Style Mechanism with the all-new Butterfly Mechanism. This was mainly done to make the keys thinner. Even though Phil Schiller said that Butterfly is more-stable than Scissor, honestly, Scissor-style feels much better. Due to it’s larger keycap size, this keyboard is more accurate than the traditional ones. However, this keyboard has been a point of criticism, as the less traveling distance, so the keys feel softer, and everyone is adjusted with the deep traveling keys which feel better. I would not recommend this laptop to programmers due to it’s keyboard, for they have to type continuously and this would be really uncomfortable, as well as tiring after a while.

Score: 610

Trackpad {.p1}

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The trackpad is simply amazing and futuristic. The Force touch which apple has incorporated is wonderful. The Classical Diving Board trackpad was replaced by this Force Touch trackpad. Why? Apple may say that this was done in order to improve the experience, but in reality it was done to make it thinner. But whatever, the trackpad can be pressed at any point unlike the previous trackpad which could not be pressed on the upper part. The force touch can be used to search a word on Wikipedia, or to fast forward a Video. It feels the same as earlier trackpad & has more functionality, so it’s a better trackpad overall.

Score: 910

Speakers {.p1}

The Speakers are amazing. For a notebook of this size, Apple incorporated some really great sounding speakers. I compared it with the Dell Inspiron 15 (2012)’s speakers, Macbook Pro 15” (2013)’s speakers, iMacs (2013)’s speakers, and it beats them all. The Speakers are clear, loud and applaudable.

Virtuaniz Score: 1010

Webcam

Let me be frank here,the Webcam is bad, very bad. If the year would have been 2010, it would still have been bad. This new macbook comes packed with a very low resolution, 480p camera. However, for me, the webcam is not something I use on a daily basis, and hence it didn’t affect my decision to this laptop.

Score: 310

The OS X Experience

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One of the main reasons that I Preferred this over XPS 13, or any good, handy ultrabook is OS X. The experience of OS X is simply amazing. The OS X is simple, easy to use and beautiful. OS X Yosemite, 10.10 its latest version, comes with some really handy and awesome softwares & features. First I would like to discuss about OS X itself. OS X, with its launch pad, more than 1 desktop, and Mission Control makes my work handy and easy to manage. There are a number of softwares I love:

Facetime: Way better than Skype. The interface, the experience, the quality, everything is better than Skype, or any other video-chat software. The Face-time is an essential for anyone who regularly video-chats. (Although ruined by the webcam.)

Pages/Keynote/Numbers: These 3 are more comfortable to use, as well as more easy to learn. These have made my work more professional, systematic and I would say improved my output.

Appstore and iTunes: Having An App Store for apps, softwares, games, etc. is simply amazing. Apple has actually, made the CD obsolete, since CD’s were mostly used to install softwares, and now you can do it using App Store. Further this will sync in all your iDevices. This experience is amazing.

Reminders and Notes: Setting a reminder on iPhone and then getting it on whatever apple device you are working is very handy.

Score: 910

Price

The price is something to debated. A $1299/$1599 or a ₹99,900/₹119,900 price tag is certainly not well suited for this notebook. I know, the design, build quality, display, etc are amazing, still, if it would have been priced at 999$, or around ₹60-70,000, a large number of people would have bought this. It is certainly not value for money. The Macbook Air which was introduced in 2008 had a price tag of 1799$ at launch, now in 2015, Macbook Air is the cheapest Macbook available. I think The Macbook will follow this trend & drop it’s price over the years.

Score: 610

The Conclusion

This notebook is from the future. With its wireless capabilities, beautiful design, amazing display, it has everything what a notebook needs to have. However, tts weak processor, bad webcam, and non-glowing apple logo, is simply sad. If you are not a power-user, use notebooks for day to day usage, and don’t care about the budget, then it is the laptop for you, because let’s face it, you don’t edit a 4K video daily.

Overall Score: 7.510

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