While some of you were having a food feast Eid weekend, I was invited by a friend of mine to inspect his latest gadget (being his tech guy and all). Little did I know he had acquired himself Apple’s 2015 Macbook, now for those who personally know me its no secret that an not much of an Apple fan, but am a great Apple lover (I know the difference is hair thin). After I got past the drooling and hiding away my Windows Dell Inspiron 13 7000 series, for fear that he would start comparing his new slim toy to mine, I started to notice some of its flaws. But first let me talk about what you get here.
This is Apple’s thinnest and lightest Macbook today, it’s a gorgeous piece of hardware and I doubt anyone — Apple fan or not — can disagree with that since my drooling was so evident. Unlike the usual Apple laptops, this Macbook comes in three different colors which you can choose from; this includes the space grey (that my friend had), gold and silver options.
This laptop is just stupid thin
Since this is neither a review nor a spec sheet showdown, am not going to bore you with the exact dimensions of the laptop, as a simple Google search can get you tonnes of information about that. This laptop is just stupid thin. We are now starting to see laptops into the same portability range as tablets and I think this is probably the biggest feature when it comes to the 12 inch Macbook.
Okay, let me be honest a here. On paper, I thought this was a terrible machine, it seriously doesn’t have great specifications for a power user like me especially when it comes to video or photo editing. Perhaps let me put this in perspective, the processor is the Samsung Galaxy s6 is more powerful than this 2015 Macbook. I still expected more especially considering that this guy had to spend over $1,300 on this sucker. I asked him, why he didn’t get a more powerful Macbook Air for less because, that’s saying a lot.
To charge or to transfer data? That is the Question
Not only does this thing have lackluster specs, but it only has one port! Yes, you read that right a $1,300 laptop with only one port not to mention it’s USB Type C (USB-C). This means your current flash drive, mouse, headphones, or any other USB peripheral won’t work directly, so on top of the $1,300, this guy might have to invest more in buying USB adapters for that full USB compatibility. It’s however great to see Apple’s adoption of future technology like USB-C, which is faster and more versatile than the current USB options. And, I also feel that at least Apple would have thrown in a minimum of two USB-C ports.
One of the biggest flaws with the Mackbook, is that the single USB port which is also used to charge it. That means while it is charging you wont be able to use any external devices with it unless you of course buy an adapter. I like the way Apple mints more money from its users. What am not sure of if this is an issue of being a first generation product, or greed on Apple’s end. This means you won’t find any display ports, SD-card slots, or any other port you might come to expect on a standard laptop.
Now here is another disappointment, this thing comes with a 480p webcam (read as far less than HD), which is very shocking considering the price tag on this device. Am not even sure why Apple keeps making these kinds of cameras considering every other product Apple sells has something better.
The Butterfly style Keyboard
I also wasn’t impressed with the typing experience even with my over 6 hours of use (I know that not long enough to make conclusions). I hope it will be something one would get used to with time. Personally I prefer keys with a little more height than these flat butterfly style keys and I find my preference more tactile and fine to type on. With the Macbook’s keyboard, it was hard for me to get the sense that I was pressing the keys.
With this Mackbook, you will also get the new force touch track-pad which feel surprisingly similar to the normal versions of the Macbook with some additional features like being able to fast-forward in videos faster depending on how much pressure you put on the pad.
The good things
Now I feel I have been coming down pretty had on this Macbook, but the weirdest thing about it is that in my 6 hour period with it, I never felt like letting go. While it has plenty of drawbacks, there are some really nice things about it as well. As I mentioned at the beginning –just like any Apple product — this thing is gorgeous, it also has a high resolution retina display so you get a pretty scrip screen with some nice room to work with even though it’s only a 12 inch display and of course the insane portability. Users of this laptop will find that it is so easy to grab and good use it without much compromise in terms of functionality. The portability of this laptop rivals that of a tablet but with this you will get much more functionality than what a tablet offers. This is the feeling you are supposed to get with something like the Surface Pro 3 but this would do a much better job at it.
It feels like a laptop but also feels as portable as a tablet with a less awkward keyboard solution than what the Surface currently offers. It also has pretty great battery life. My whole time I spent with it, I never needed to charge it at any one time. This is surprising given its super thing design, but the Engineers over at Apple really pulled off something amazing because the battery life competes with that of any of the other Macbooks and better than most Windows laptops.
Another surprisingly great feature of the Macbook is its speakers placed just above the keyboard. I have no idea how such a small laptop can produce such great sound. The speakers were so loud and very comparable to those of a 15 inch Macbook. It’s definitely something I wasn’t expecting but am happy they performed so well.
And, this is why I find this to be the weirdest Apple laptop yet. It’s pretty underwhelming in terms of what it provides but its amazing design caused me to fall in love with it within my first 6 hour encounter with it due to its ease of use.
It Manages to suck, but still makes me want to use it
This is definitely geared towards the constant traveler, or a rich student who doesn’t want to carry much to class. It’s a great note taking and web browsing device and if those are your main reasons for using a laptop, with also over $1,300 cash to spend, this can be your laptop of choice. But when it comes to recommendations, I can’t whole heartedly recommend it, because I know how much it lacks. Am hoping that Apple addresses most off the issues like the single USB port, bad webcam, weak processor and the ridiculously steep price tag on the next version of this Macbook.
Thanks Jack, a great geek Saturday evening well spent.