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First Look at new 12-inch Retina MacBook

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I love the way it looks - the keyboard is awesome. Love the gold color too. For what it is intended for it is great. One deal breaker for me - no USB - just one and I would have been happy.

Sign...

Lisa
 
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chas_m

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I haven't gotten my hands on one yet, so I can only live vicariously through others like the guy who wrote the piece I linked to. I'm less concerned about the USB-C port (which can be converted into a "normal" USB port with a cheap adapter, or for that matter an expensive adapter if you want it to do other things as well) than I am about the travel on the keys. For me, that is a crucial factor.

Like a lot of veteran Mac users, when I first saw/heard about this at the presentation I was all like "whaaaat?" and annoyed about the lack of Magsafe and Thunderbolt (Apple's own invention fer cryin' out loud!). On reflection, however, I'm certainly starting to understand their reasoning. The lack of TB is Apple's willingness not to impose a standard that is going to remain kind of pricey and "pro user"-y on the market this machine is aimed at, which is simply NOT the pro user. Very few people who own a MacBook Air make serious use of the TB port on that machine. In a year or two USB-C, on the other hand, will be everywhere, and cheaply.

But the target market for this machine barely even needs the one port, apart from charging. This is not, as some have said, an iPad with a keyboard. It's a refined MacBook Air. The selling point of the Air has always been mobility in both weight and battery life. The new MB throws in a Retina display and *still* ups the ante on both weight and battery life. The type of users who prize battery life and mobility/weight above all are not, for the most part, us. They are students and writers and mobile social creatures, and maybe business people who don't use anything more hardcore than Office (that would be MOST business users, come to think of it).

To put this another way: I'm not comfortable with anything less than a car for wheeled vehicle travel. It has features motorbikes don't have. I like motorbikes, but could never rely on it as a sole mode of transport. So I need a car, minimum, both for what I do and the way I like to do it.

The new MacBook is a scooter, and appeals to the scooter generation. And scooters are cool, just not for me.

PS. I still think not including magsafe was a mistake, because it comes off easily when you trip on it. But I now understand Apple's logic on this: this thing doesn't need to be plugged in much when its out and about, which reduces tripping risk even more than Magsafe. You're supposed to charge this thing while you're sleeping.
 

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A very accurate and good review at Anandtech. Even though Anand moved on to work for Apple, the team he put in place still does excellent and very thorough reviews.

The 2015 MacBook Review

I very much agree with their review. My only issue for what you get is the price. Otherwise it's nice for it's intended audience but it's not for people like me. I would rather use a tablet for less $$$ and keep a better performing Notebook for my real work.
 

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If I end up moving to an iMac or Mac Pro here at home instead of a notebook, I def can see the MB as the next logical step for me. I've already gone through 2 iPads, 3 Kindles, and 2 Nexuses. Just sold my last tablet a few days ago because the thing just sat on my desk unused. I could pick it up and go lay down. If I was doing anything other than reading a book, it took maybe 5 minutes before I was up and going back to exchange it for my MBA. Everytime I took it out of the house, I always wished I had my MBA instead.

Practically everytime I pick up a tablet I find myself wanting either a physical keyboard, a bigger screen, a real operating system or some combination of those. Now to see if I can remember that the next time one of those shiny objects catches my eye.
 

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For reading in bed and laying down a tablet is great. For much else if it goes beyond a simple search I also get up and go to a real computer! :D Grin

So I agree with Bob!
 

bobtomay

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My other problem, after getting use to listening to audio books for many years now, it seems I much prefer having someone else read them to me than having to hold a book or tablet and the need to put it down when I want to go puttering around outside or in the garage or driving or... iPhone or iPod, earbuds and a good book And after listening to D*** Hill on the Jack Reacher series had to look for other books he's done and am on the last book in the Corps series by W.E.B. Griffin now.

edit:
We really need to remove that word from the ban list. I can't even remember the last time someone tried to use that as a curse word here. It is some folks name after all.
 

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The forums software does not like D ick Hill! :D Grin

Edit:
I do agree as most people who cuss don't really use that word.
 

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Practically everytime I pick up a tablet I find myself wanting either a physical keyboard, a bigger screen, a real operating system or some combination of those. Now to see if I can remember that the next time one of those shiny objects catches my eye.

Couldn't agree more Tom. I really like the iPad Air 2 but as nice as it is, it still isn't a real computer. I was at the Navy Exchange last week in Fort Worth.... they had a MBA 11" model (older model) on sale for $667 (no sales tax). I almost bought it but the SSD and amount of memory fell short. Other than that, it's really a nice machine to carry around.

I'll probably buy a new 11" MBA sometime before the Summer. My 27" iMac is just not portable enough. :p
 

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I guess I'm the outlier. My Retina iPad Mini is constantly in my hands. The iPad Air gets some use, and my MBPs get very little love . . .
 
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A very accurate and good review at Anandtech. Even though Anand moved on to work for Apple, the team he put in place still does excellent and very thorough reviews.

The 2015 MacBook ReviewI very much agree with their review. My only issue for what you get is the price. Otherwise it's nice for it's intended audience but it's not for people like me. I would rather use a tablet for less $$$ and keep a better performing Notebook for my real work.

As to the price of this MB Dennis, I read a article a few days ago by Cnet Apple MacBook (12-inch, 2015) review - CNET that priced the MacBook 12" as the cheapest, when they looked at similar Notebooks from other Brands. Priced vary competitively :)

By way of comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air starts at $999, but a similar 8GB/256GB configuration will cost the same $1,299. The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at the same $1,299 as this new MacBook, but with only half the storage. Upgrading that Pro model to the same 8GB/256GB will cost $1,499. And on the Windows side, a Samsung Ativ Book 9 with the same 8GB RAM/256GB flash drive and the same processor -- will cost you $1,399 (all prices in US dollars). So, in the context of its main rivals, the MacBook is actually priced rather competitively.

I guess I'm the outlier. My Retina iPad Mini is constantly in my hands. The iPad Air gets some use, and my MBPs get very little love . . .

I have been trying out Keyboard Cases for the iPad Air 2, and I have finally decided on one, the BELKIN QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 . . . I have had to get it from the US, as there isn't a single one, anywhere in Australia, as I have bought 2 off eBay, and both sellers came back with "We have no more of these left, and Belkin won't be supplying us with anymore" :( So Amazon was my friend.

I love it, and have used it for quite a bit of work, but without a Full keyboard (which the QODE™ is the ONLY Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 with the same amount of keys as the Notebook range) I think I will get a lot of use out of it. Im seriously looking at the 12" MB though to replace my 13"MBP with 256GB SSD and 750GB HD and 16GB RAM, as I use my iMac for all the coding, and RAM intensive Apps, and I'm pretty sure I could Build a Website on the MB w/out too much trouble.

I have found with the iPad Air 2, I can watch 6 40 minute TV Episodes on it, and it only drops to 50% battery, so with that and the MacBook, I think it will cover all bases, and then use the iMac, for my Photo Work and Xcode.
I am rid of Adobe, now there is Affinity Designer, and Affinity Photo coming out soon, as its still in a Beat that is actually really stable.
 
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chas_m

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I have (long story) about three spare BT keyboards around the place, so whenever I want to go out I always ask myself what type of writing I'm going to be doing.

If it's something that involves complex research, I'll pack up the MacBook Pro. But I always wish for something lighter.

If it's a straight piece of writing (fiction) that comes mostly out of my head, then I take the iPad Air 2 and a keyboard case (or a full-size keyboard and a case for it). Much lighter and easier to carry, easy to set up and use, battery life is fantastic, and I love the vertical orientation for long-form writing. It's also, as everyone has pointed out, great for reading, general surfing, and FBing.
 
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It looks nice. I won't be buying one, though I might have been swayed if it had an additional port for charging. I use VM's for working from home and as such use power and USB drives all the time, so this is a nonstarter for me. I'll pass and wait until the MBA comes with 16GB of RAM, or get something else entirely when mine dies or I get bored with it.
 
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I can appreciate the focus on ultra-portability of the new MacBook. As an avid backpacker, I fully understand the times when every ounce counts.

However, for what it does, I simply think the $1300 price tag for the minimum configuration is just plain way too high. If they were to knock about $300-400 off the price, I could see wanting one when the primary consideration is the ideal compromise between portability and power.

As is, however, I think most people who want that ideal will be better off with the MBA11", saving $200 for a better processor and putting up with the extra 3 ounces.
 

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Anyone plan on buying the new MacBook might want to read this article from Macworld Magazine first.

Seems it's a nightmare to repair and the iFixit folks give it a 1 out of 10 for repairability; 1 being the worst score. Macworld recommends that if you buy it, you also need to buy Apple Care.
 
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Anyone plan on buying the new MacBook might want to read this article from Macworld Magazine first.

Seems it's a nightmare to repair and the iFixit folks give it a 1 out of 10 for repairability; 1 being the worst score. Macworld recommends that if you buy it, you also need to buy Apple Care.

I've never bought AppleCare before, but IF I went ahead and bought the MacBook (Im seriously thinking on the next update) then this would be a given, since its a all-in-one unit, and no way of doing anything yourself.

I have also read a LOT about this new addition, on blogs, Tech Sites and many pother places, and there is a lot of negativity about this Macbook, but what none of them have cared to mention, is that it is aimed at new group of people, and them only.
this would be the equivalent to a NetBook IMO, where the owner, would use it primarily as a Web Browser, and writing on it, and that is it.
Yes it can Turbo Boost and I'm pretty sure Apps like the new Affinity Designer, which is a ⅓ of the size of PS, and in the work I have done in it, uses significantly less CPU than PS, but its still a writers, students notebook.
It fits into a group, that you wouldn't even put the MBA into.

For what it is, and what it does, I really like it, but like anything of Apple I have bought, I will wait to see if they can Improve on it, across the board in the 2nd Gen before I seriously look at it. $1799 AUD for the low end MacBook :(
 

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Yeah, I agree with you Brent. Lots of $$ whether Australian, Canadian, or US, to spend on a netbook. The author of that article I linked above brings forth some things that maybe most folks haven't thought out before buying. No doubt though that it's a travelers dream as long as you only need it for what has been mentioned.
 

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I have been trying out Keyboard Cases for the iPad Air 2, and I have finally decided on one, the BELKIN QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 . . .

I have one of these babies and I really like it. Really the only nit I have to pick is that the keyboard goes to "sleep" after a very short timeframe. So, then you have to wake it by hitting a key and then wait 5-10 seconds for it to start talking to the iPad. That said, the battery lasts forever (I have yet to charge it and I've had it for a few months now) the key touch and positioning is fantastic and I LOVE being able to easily detach the keyboard so that I can just use it as a tablet when that makes the most sense. Even better, the little lip for the speakers that channels the sound to you, is a really nice bonus too.

Oh, and I also use it with the Apple Smart Cover on occasion and it works well with that as well.

I agree - with one of these puppies, I have little need for a laptop. In fact, my MBP very seldom leaves its mStand. The only area where it's lacking is mouse support. If iOS would just support BT mice for situations where mice make sense (personally, I'd use it with Citrix), I would just buy an iMac and be done with the MBP altogether.
 
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I have one of these babies and I really like it. Really the only nit I have to pick is that the keyboard goes to "sleep" after a very short timeframe. So, then you have to wake it by hitting a key and then wait 5-10 seconds for it to start talking to the iPad. That said, the battery lasts forever (I have yet to charge it and I've had it for a few months now) the key touch and positioning is fantastic and I LOVE being able to easily detach the keyboard so that I can just use it as a tablet when that makes the most sense. Even better, the little lip for the speakers that channels the sound to you, is a really nice bonus too.

Oh, and I also use it with the Apple Smart Cover on occasion and it works well with that as well.

I agree - with one of these puppies, I have little need for a laptop. In fact, my MBP very seldom leaves its mStand. The only area where it's lacking is mouse support. If iOS would just support BT mice for situations where mice make sense (personally, I'd use it with Citrix), I would just buy an iMac and be done with the MBP altogether.

You are correct in everything you have said here Chris.

This really is the Ultimate Pro Keyboard for iPad. I have written quite a lot on it, and as you said the keys are great. I can actually type a little faster on the Ultimate Pro than my MBP keyboard.
I bought Ulysses App, for iPad and Mac (got them on sale) and because it has TextExpander capabilities, thats my goto writing App now. Its a MarkDown App, but can be exported in .txt, .pdf, .md, and/or .ePub. I write a lot of reviews on it, and if I'm doing a big post in Mac-Forums, I write it there, for the TE feature. I have something like 300+ snippets I use everyday.
I have noticed that the BT does drop out if you don't use it for a while, but like you its a little quirk. I have found too, that if its left for hours, then BT doesn't wake up, so I close the iPad up, open it again, and then the Magnets register and wake it up. *** If you have major issues with the BT, you can reset it by holding down all 4 corner buttons for about 10sec.

I also have a Smart Cover, and love that it can be taken off and with the protective case is a added bonus. I did have a Smart Case, but sent that back, when I sent the ZAGG Folio back. I liked the ZAGG, but the one thing I really wanted in it was stability and the ZAGG didn't have it. When opened up, if it wasn't on a table that was perfectly flat, when you touched the iPad, it would topple backwards, and adding to that, when it was on the table, and you touched the iPad, the whole thing was springy, so would wobble, and that meant I had to grab it with my left hand, and tap with my right and that was ugly.
I originally went with the ZAGG because it was $70 cheaper than the Belkin, but now I have it, I wouldn't swap it for even the Clam Case. The Clam would of been nice, if it had backlit keyboard, and could detach.

With the Ultimate, I like that the sound is channelled towards you, and have watched so much Netflix on it, I don't even need my TV anymore . . . JK but seriously, having the Elgato Diversity Tuner, I really could do away with it ;)
All, in all its a great case, and with some awesome Apps out there now, Prompt 2 (I can ssh back to my iMac), Ulysses, Textastic (Can write code), Transmit (download straight from my iMac/Server), Diet Coda, Air Video HD, 1Password, Safari, and a few other ones, I would love the ability to use a BT mouse, and if that ever came in, that feature would be a killer . . . Probably for the MacBook, MBA and MBP . .. . .
One other thing to mention too, is it has a lot of the NoteBook keyboard capabilities too, which makes its so close to using one of the above Macs . . . .

PS: If anyone in Aust looking for one of these, don't buy from **** Smiths, the only Australian supplier, because they don't have any in stock, and won't be getting any soon. Buy straight from Amazon, and you will have it in 3-4 days . . .


From my iPad Air 2
 

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