Apple's shiny new MacBook: Here are the pros and cons of buying this $1299 laptop

Apple launched new MacBook at the Apple event, calling it the thinnest Mac ever made (it's only 13.1 mm thick) and it also comes in a golden colour. We take a look at the pros and cons of the Apple MacBook.


Apple launched new MacBook at the Apple event, calling it the thinnest Mac ever made (it's only 13.1 mm thick) and it also comes in a golden colour. We take a look at the pros and cons of the Apple MacBook.

We'll start with the Pros first.

Design and Weight

This is definitely the biggest pro of the MacBook. If you found the MacBook Air too underpowered and the MacBook Pro too heavy, well the new MacBook changes all of that.

It's only 13.1 mm thick and weighs 2.03 pounds, which makes it lighter than the MacBook Air. The 11-inch MacBook Air weighs around 2.38 pounds, while the 13-inch weighs 2.96 pounds. The MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display weighs 3.48 pounds.

Apples shiny new MacBook: Here are the pros and cons of buying this 99 laptop

Apple MacBook will cost $1299 and comes in three colours. AP

If you want a sharp screen and a laptop that is light and looks great, the new MacBook is your answer. Add the gold coloured version to this and it will appeal to a lot of people, especially in India and China. Of course, let's not forget that die-hard fans were disappointed because Apple once again denied them a black-coloured MacBook. Space Grey is a poor substitute, no doubt.

A sharper screen

The new MacBook has a 12-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display which is 2304 by 1440 pixels with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It's a much sharper screen than the MacBook Air (13-inch) which has a 1440 by 900 pixels resolution or even the 11-inch MacBook Air which has just 1366 x 768 pixels.

In short, if you don't want a MacBook Pro but want sharp Retina Display screen, the new MacBook is the obvious answer.

Better speakers

This post on Mashable points out the new MacBook has stereo speakers and they do sound louder. "On the MacBook Air, the speakers are hidden in the vents near the hinge. On the new MacBook, the speakers are blasting sound upwards at you," says the report.

Keyboard and ForceTouch

Apple's new MacBook has a keyboard, which is 34 percent thinner and uses a new butterfly mechanism to provide keys that are “four times more stable” and more precise and according to Apple the “stainless steel dome switches located beneath each key deliver a crisp and responsive feel when typing”. Also each key is individually backlit with its own single LED, which looks quite nice.

The new MacBook also features the all-new Force Touch trackpad which has built-in force sensors that allows users to customise the trackpad based on the pressure exerted. There’s also a new gesture called Force Click, which is essentially a click followed by a deeper press, and can be set for specific tasks like checking the meaning of a word or seeing a map, etc. It eliminates the right click, which will be an interesting new feature to explore.

The cons:

Processor

The new MacBook comes with 1.1GHz, 1.2GHz, or 1.3GHz dual-core fifth generation Intel Core M processor. It also comes with 8GB of RAM and will come in 256 GB or 512GB flash memory storage options. Where speed is concerned, the new MacBook isn't the fastest, especially for the price that it commands ($1299).

The Apple MacBook comes with a new keyboard and Force Touch on the trackpad.

The Apple MacBook comes with a new keyboard and Force Touch on the trackpad.

As this hands-on Laptopmag notes, "this is one of the first laptops in the market to use Intel’s low-power Core M processor." You should note that the MacBook Air 11-inch has a faster, 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5 processor, though for 8GB RAM you'll need to shell out more, whereas the MacBook starts with 8GB. Also the MacBook won't be ideal for gaming or video-editing as this piece on Wired points out.

Ports

So Apple got rid of all the ports and instead the new MacBook ships with a new compact USB-C port for data transfer, video out and charging in a single connector. USB-C supports higher wattage charging, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) data transfer and DisplayPort 1.2 all in a single connector that’s one-third the size of a traditional USB port.

All of this sounds great, except that if you want to say charge the MacBook and connect a USB drive at the same time, you'll need an adapter (which costs $$79 and $19 for the USB one). Thanks for nothing, Apple.

Also as this Mashable post notes no MagSafe charger means your precious MacBook will no longer be saved from crashing to the ground in case someone trips on the charging wire.

FaceTime Camera

The Apple MacBook has a 480p resolution FaceTime camera, says the official site of the Apple MacBook. In an age where 720 p front camera is standard (all other Macs have a 720 p camera in the front) this is not good news. It means that even though you'll spend $1299 on a new shiny laptop, your Skype calls will have a terrible resolution because Apple didn't give you a good enough camera. No HD calls on this shiny laptop is a raw deal indeed.

The new MacBook's USB-C charger doesn't sound like a great idea. Reuters

The new MacBook's USB-C charger doesn't sound like a very practical idea. Reuters

Battery

Apple says the new MacBook comes with a “terraced battery design” that is layered in individual sheets and that the new Macbook has 35 percent more battery capacity than would be possible with traditional battery.  What it translates into is this: up to 9 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 10 hours of movie playback.

That's not a lot of time if you consider the price of this laptop. The MacBook Air (13-inch) delivers upto 12 hours both for web and movie playback, while the MacBook Pro with Retina Display will give 10 hours web and 12 hours movie playback.

The price

The MacBook is priced at $1299 for 256 GB and 512 GB will cost you $1599. That's close to Rs 80,000 and Rs 1,00,000 for a machine that is underpowered and will definitely require adapters if you want to use say a charger and a USB drive at the same time. Sadly the Apple Logo won't glow either in this new MacBook anymore, so that just makes the price seems worse. If you want a slightly more powerful machine, the MacBook Pro will make more sense for users.

What the MacBook has going for it is the design and the weight, along with its 8 GB of RAM.  What doesn't go it justice is the poor camera and the lack of ports. But if you've always wanted a golden MacBook, then here's your chance.

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