If you’ve read my blog for any period of time, it’s no secret I’m a fan of Apple. Despite my love for the majority of their products, I’m not without an ability to point out when they fail (Apple Music…eck). But once again I’m blown away by the technical achievement of their latest offering, the new Macbook.
For the past few years I’ve worked on a Macbook Pro, and loved every minute of it. The build quality and user experience was second to none, and I rarely if ever had any downtime or crashes. If you search online you will find thousands of articles, discussions and comments between PC and Mac users beating each other up on which technology is better. I find the whole argument tired and pointless. To each their own. Everyone has different needs, wants and opinions on how they want to use their technology, and there is no one size fits all. Are Apple products incredibly more expensive then their counterparts? Absolutely. But to me, the additional cost is worth the build quality, time saved not dealing with system crashes, and the incredible support of their products. The time and hassles saved are worth the upfront added expenses.
That being said, I’ve now moved to a Macbook and this thing is an absolute technical achievement. It blows my mind that they’ve been able to build a laptop this thin and portable that does what it does. It’s definitely a fairly big shift moving from a full size workhorse laptop to a more portable, travel friendly one, but I really love this machine overall.
What I Love
Form Factor – This thing is crazy thin, lightweight and portable. I haven’t seen anything even come close to this level of build quality at this size. It’s the perfect machine for traveling, and while I had to sacrifice some performance specs for the smaller size, I haven’t found myself struggling with any normal day to day usage.
Keyboard – Full size keyboard? Check. Crazy how they fit that on this. The backlit keys are awesome. Touches like these in such a small package to me quantify the price. This could not have been easy to pull off. The keys have a different feel as there is a shorter distance on the press. They did so by replacing the traditional scissor-based keyboard switches with a new butterfly mechanism, which saves 40 percent thickness per key. That means that you get less travel with each press, but Apple also points out that there’s greater stability across the key, meaning keys don’t ‘lean’ to whatever corner you’re exerting the most pressure on which each keystroke. It takes getting used to, but again, after time it makes sense.
Touchpad – At first the touchpad threw me off. It doesn’t work like previous iterations. There are no moving parts with this thing, yet it throws taptic feedback at you to fool you in feeling the “click”. The addition of the force touch provides more functionality that developers can take advantage of such as getting the definition of a word on the fly. Still playing around with it, but as I get used to it, it just makes sense.
Speaker – It’s crazy the sound that this little thing puts out. No need for an external speaker, the sound is more than enough for casual listening.
Display – If there’s one thing you can’t argue is Apple’s display tech is outstanding. The Retina display on this thing is about as good as it gets.
What I Don’t Love
Inputs – Probably the biggest complaints on the net is around the fact that this machine only has one USB-C input. Yes, it’s not ideal. But there’s no way they are able to build a machine with this profile any other way. Is it a pain? Sometimes. Does it suck that you have to buy a $79 adapter to connect an external monitor, charge and add a traditional USB input? Yep. Honestly, I wish they would have included that with the machine. For me the portability trumps having those inputs in the machine. Having the adapter solves the issue, but yes, it comes at an additional cost. This is definitely a machine meant for wireless connectivity.
Lack of HD camera – Not sure how an HD camera doesn’t happen. I have to believe it can certainly it in the thing, so this is a miss in my opinion. But by no means a deal breaker as I’ve never found myself doing a ton of photos or video calls on my machine.
Price – No surprise here. In most cases, Apple products are more expensive, plain and simple. The anti-Apple community allows rants on this issue, but I feel they never really factor in everything. Build quality/materials, support/service, reliability…all these things factor in to the cost, and while paying more up front isn’t ideal, I believe that the time saved and the quality of the product are worth the price.
This is a machine for the person that prefers portability and simplicity in their computing and uses their computer for productivity and entertainment. While the machine can handle light to medium photo and video editing, it’s not intended for power users in that regard.