Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
I’ve been a MacBook Pro user for a couple of years and despite the release of the MacBook Air, I still preferred carrying around my 1.5 kilogram machine around.
I was skeptical when Apple first launched the MacBook – sure it’s thin and light, but knowing it uses a processor least performing that the one I was using made me skip the notebook last year.
Then I got the chance to test out the second generation MacBook. It still maintains the same design, but with updated (and faster) specifications.
First off let me tell you how beautiful this notebook is – edges curve out perfectly and the unibody design make it a worthy head turner when you use it in public. The new MacBook now comes in four colors: Space Gray, Silver, Gold (tested here) and Rose Gold. It’s the same colors as the new iPhones, and even if the colors doesn’t really matter to you, you’ll appreciate them more when you see them in person.
I often use an iPad when I can’t bring my MacBook Pro around. That’s how the MacBook felt – its lightweight build make it seem like I was just bringing a tablet.
The screen comes in at 12-inches with a 2304 x 1400 pixel resolution. My current MacBook Pro has a 13-inch screen, so adjusting to new size is easier than what I have expected. Apple has been always great with their displays, and the MacBook is no exception – colors pop out on images and even high definition videos looked great.
The keyboard remains the same – it’s a full size one despite the smaller size of the notebook and brings over the new ‘butterfly mechanism’ from the previous version. The keys on this MacBook don’t wobble and are shallow to say the least, which made my quite doubtful about using it in the first place. Sure, it was weird to type on it at first, but I got used to it and typing like crazy in just a few hours with it.
The Force trackpad is the same one found on the older version, and uses haptic sensors to give you that same feeling when pressing on a trackpad (when you’re really just pressing on a large piece of glass).
Apple first introduced the USB Type-C connector on the first generation MacBook, and it makes a return here. USB Type-C is fast – insanely fast, but that’s only if you have the right accessories to use it with. During my time with the MacBook, I’ve constantly complained being able to use my USB drives on the port.
It also has all the usual notebook goodies: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – all updated to the latest specifications. It’s baffles me that Apple stuck a 480p camera on the MacBook and the quality isn’t good – yes, it’s good enough, but for the price it definitely deserves more.
The new Core M processors power this new MacBook and works decently as expected. The version I got to test runs on a 1.1 GHz Intel Core m3 processor with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 PCIe SSD. Note that while it performs well with everyday tasks like emails, browsing the web or simply listening/watching on iTunes, it doesn’t really fare well when used with more intensive tasks.
Take for example a slideshow I made in iMovie – it’s basically a 58 second slideshow, but it took the MacBook about 50 minutes to render it. But that’s expected considering the processor used, I’m just saying that if what you’re looking for is editing even the simplest video you can skip the MacBook and get a more powerful one (like the Air or Pro) instead.
Still, it’s a perfect working laptop that you can use and bring everywhere. I must admit, I enjoyed using this device more than I expected. Add to that a decent battery life I got when using it – 7-8 hours depending on usage, which is already great in my opinion.
My only caveat about Apple’s MacBook is the price – the price starts at 5,199 AED and the top tier model sells for a whopping 6,299 AED. To compare, my MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display sells for 5,999 AED and it’s undoubtedly faster than the MacBook.
The MacBook is a great ultraportable that’s for sure and I sure had a great time using it in the past weeks. Will I replace it with my current notebook? Probably not. But that’s not saying it’s not great, if only it wasn’t this expensive.