Although we expected for the renewal of the range of portable Apple was arrived Retina display your Macbook Air, Apple left its portable reference almost as it was to ensure maintain benefits that have placed it as one of the most interesting markets and opened a new category in its catalog: the Macbook.
The Macbook 2015, so let’s call for better understanding, it is a model with a 12-inch screen and resolution Retina where Apple has initiated the introduction of a number of developments in the design and technologies that do not fit into their seated ranges for the shortcomings left the final team.
Macbook 2015, technical characteristics
|Screen||12” IPS (2304×1440 pixels) (Aspect ratio 16:10)|
|Processor||Intel Core M (2×1.2 GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel HD 5300|
|Storage||256/512 GB SSD|
|Connectivity||802.11ac WiFi + BT 4.0|
Power Adapter 29W
|Ports||USB-C, making headsets, microphones|
|Dimensions||280 x 196 x 3 / 13.1 mm|
From this sheet and we draw clear conclusions of the elements that are placed on each side of the virtual balance with which we will evaluate the new Macbook. On the positive side, we have the design, weight, thickness, touchpad, screen and even keyboard, leaving the side of the limitations everything associated with the availability of a single multipurpose port, the keyboard itself and processor usage Core M.
A minimal in all aspects
It looks like a Macbook Air 11 inches outside and practically it is. The only difference is aesthetically apple does not light, an anecdote, but otherwise, the design is a continuation of what already gives the Macbook Air.
In the body of an 11-inch model, Apple has placed a 12-inch screen, with an aluminum finish in one piece and equipment offering the buyer a weight of 920 grams and a thickness of most 13 mm will. With these figures, this team is all comfort always carry with us if we need it and from the first moment you catch and appreciates the little notebook weight and thickness, with a continuous feeling that does not carry anything on top.
The finish, as in the Air, is a magnificent wedge (which enables thinner still appreciate) but with the novelty of a nod to iOS Apple computers. The new Macbook 2015 includes the three colors that now form the base models of iPhone and iPad. The classic silver is accompanied by a golden surprising (who would have thought that the “joke” the golden smartphone would cause this furor also accompanied by consumer response) and a spatial gray (calling Apple) which for me is the most successful and beautiful.
As mentioned before, the apple longer lights in this Macbook, imagine that one-third resemble the iPad, another by not waste one iota of a battery that cannot have too much capacity, and finally, by the so aggressive reduction the part of the screen.
The only interesting level design in this Macbook is on reducing weight and thickness, which has been done in a balanced way, allowing us generally with a single finger will be able to lift the screen without the team slide or is displayed on a table unstable.
But this design minimum Apple has not left anything cheap for the company. And we are not referring only to the price. As we will be watching, the exercise of industrial design has required to exciting innovations but also sacrificing too much getting less thickness and weight at all costs. Three examples: keyboard, processor, and ports.
Shiny Retina display
Although not completely ignores frames, the display occupies almost the entire surface of the new Macbook. It is an IPS panel 12 inches that Apple has reduced the thickness much getting into the process to improve consumption by 30% according to the company, win millimeters in the overall thickness of the laptop and the quality of the panel is more appreciated with the naked eye.
The IPS Retina panel receives the name thanks to its resolution of 2304×1440 pixels, which leaves us a very grateful density of 226 dpi, in line with the screens already see long under Windows team level. It is certainly a 16:10 format that feels pretty good.
More important it seems to look beautifully color reproduction, contrast or brightness level, which grows to nearly 350 nits allowing proper visibility outdoors. The viewing angles are also complete and generally this screen represents a jump of absolute quality about it so far offered the lightest Apple’s Air laptop. Despite all this, it seems a bit more spectacular and enjoyable screen Macbook Pro Retina, perhaps only by the size because technically they are virtually identical.
As Apple has not wanted to enter it has been in touch technology to provide this panel, something I would have liked to see but can still be somewhat absurd with the current desktop operating system. But if you decide to install Windows 8 or Windows 10 the future, I am convinced touch technology on the screens of laptops.
Although you can work with the native resolution, standard Apple handles equivalent to 1280×800 pixels screen of 1440×900 pixels or even virtual resolutions, two resolutions and allow balanced overall team performance fluid.
If we wanted we could also connect via adapter this computer to an external display 4K but not something that we recommend for the power limitations that would suffer.
Related to the image, we do not understand Apple sloppiness with the quality of the integrated camera, which does not exceed 480p and really offers a quality too elementary.
A keyboard that forgets that is used to write
Although there are features and data to be us to indicate whether or not a keyboard is comfortable to type on with him, also in the analysis of this part of a notebook is no room for personal feelings. And this happens in an extreme way with the new Macbook keyboard.
The new Macbook keyboard itself occupying much space as possible in the design team. It is complete, change the settings of the size of some keys that are easy to get used to, but most important is that the keys are larger, surprising enough to have this keyboard on a computer screen 12 inches.
To achieve Apple has made quite a few changes. To start has increased the width of the keys, all else being stuck together. The combination of these two decisions has been very successful and, so far, Apple has set a very good keyboard in a more compact size. There are therefore some hits in this section.
Another improved Apple keyboard aspect is the backlight. Now it is individual for each key, which has its own LED that can regulate intensity with several levels. The result is also very good with absolute uniformity in lighting that enhances the visibility of each key. It looks great each and no light pollution between keys at all.
But the most decisive on experience with the new Macbook keyboard is the system called butterfly that Apple has been removed from the sleeve. The starting point seems to me a breakthrough.
To start aside the classic scissor system makes millimeters gain an advantage in the mechanism of each key in pro of a thickness less portable, an almost unhealthy obsession pushed to the limit by Apple in this Macbook. This change is also achieved absolute uniformity in the key when pressed. No longer it depends on where the pulses, whether in the center or more on one side, to have the same answer. In this respect, the new Apple keyboard is great and allows us to a couple of days of adaptation, speed and identical to other computers and keyboards of Cupertino precision.
But the real key to assessing what the new Macbook keyboard 2015 offers us is the journey that makes each key when pressed, which has been greatly reduced, and the answer is very significantly less than with other keyboards even portable . It is quite strange and definitely loses reducing the impact of classic keyboards, which can be tiring as we spend typing on a touch screen.
There will be users who end up adapting to this new sensation on a laptop but I do not personally convinced that being an intensive tech leader you are looking for above all comfort.
Just that is what has gotten people of Cupertino with the Force Touch. This trackpad, which already covers the entire range of portable equipment company, eliminates the pure physical response when you click to replace it with a haptic response that varies depending on the intensity with which we press on the trackpad.
Responsible for controlling the answer is the operating system, hence with the computer off, the trackpad us no response whatsoever. The advantages are many, starting because the response operation or not depends on where we press on the trackpad, or to choose the amount of pressure to be exerted to manage a particular action.
If Apple has its trackpad to head in the market in recent years, now it seemed that Windows computers could bring, again have a really good solution that takes more advantage yet.
The bad news is that for now there is almost nothing of the potential advantage of this technology. The possibilities of this Force Touch is still in its infancy, and there are hardly any special features built into the operating system, such as forward or backward in a video with more or less speed as intense that we press the trackpad (in Quicktime only). There SDK, so we will wait to see how developers try to take advantage. And Apple, which has a large control technology but still barely squeezes.
No, I could not live with a single USB port
Opening the MacBook case to proceed to trial we flew over the head how to face the test of the single port. The headphones we avoided. That USB-C port is called to be important in the medium term, and it is likely that its adoption will be accelerated by the bet that Apple has made in its new Macbook.
But now it is unaffordable unless you have very clear what you’re buying. Do not think for example in this Macbook as a team that can use connected to an external display. Can it? Of course, that’s what that port. But then forget about having it connected to power, to connect any USB peripheral via nor charge your smartphone or read a USB stick. All this must be done practically one by one or using an adapter. But even the most basic converting the USB-C USB classic is included in the package, which would have been a detail by Apple.
But even so, we are depending on all the time remembering to bring appropriate adapters in case we need them, you can never ensure it is not at some point. Not to mention the lack of SD card reader, a use that I think still quite widespread.
Although it depends on how you use the computer and the way you work and interact with the laptop, Apple does not reach the least we should demand that a laptop no matters the future that says come. It chanced or not with the choice of USB-C port, but with only one not going anywhere for now. Impossible for most users think of this laptop as the main computer with this limitation.
But good compromise autonomy
Apple has done a Herculean task for the whole interior of the new Macbook, including areas of wedges, are intended to battery minus processor, internal memory, and others. At the technological level seems great, another on this team, but in return we get an autonomy which, being very good, about 9 hours according to Apple, is below the excellent margins that Apple had become accustomed in their models Air.
With aspirations to be a team to wear all day over and forget the charger to work day would come right away power. In continuous video playback are smoothly over the 10 hours if control brightness and connectivity, but in a day’s work / regular study using connectivity, not limited brightness and draining the processor, we are left at the fork commented, rather about 8 to 9 hours. And these figures we are already so amazing and beyond the scope of competition.
A controversial decision, not so much what we were saying before being unique, is the choice of USB-C for the equipment load. It seems a wise move while the charger is small like an iPad or the ability to use an external battery to recharge Macbook for 2015, but we lost successes we liked a lot previous load connector, the Magsafe.
For starters there is a magnetic connection, so considering the low weight of the Macbook, is a potential stumbling and serious problem with long charging cable and the end Macbook tatters. But also, we lose the LED charging light how comfortable it was to hear a glance the state of charge of the laptop. The inclusion of any LED in the housing we would have liked. Curious indeed the nod to Apple mobile devices makes the typical sound when activated charging smartphones when connected to power.
Power to the basics, does not expect anything more
If I’m honest, I had serious doubts that, after trying several Windows computers with Core M as the main processor, Apple were to choose this chip for some of their equipment, before I would have expected a step ARM processor. But here we are, talking about a Macbook riding that very chip that leaves no surprises and delivers what it promises: a step back in power formats impossible to get equipment with classical processors.
The choice of Core M has its advantages. It would be impossible to deny them. The most obvious as we have said is the flexibility it gives manufacturers to create smaller, thinner and lighter designs, and to dispense with the fans and leave all the cooling, which is low, to the housing. Here comes in handy Apple the metallic finish, it is the escape of heat generated by the processor, with two possible choices: Dual Core 1.1 Ghz or 1.2, but with Turbo Boost up to 2.4 and 2.6 GHz respectively.
Since entering almost summer in the south, the Macbook is heated, not to a problematic level, but significant and could even become annoying in a few weeks if we put it in our lap. Apple already warned that in environments of excessive heat that should not be anything common (spend hours with the team at the sun directly) and demand the most of the computer, the operating system could end unilaterally shutting down the system to protect it , as with the portable devices.
The second advantage of putting a Core M inside this Macbook is that fanless, operation of this laptop is just as loud a tablet or smartphone, which also carries SSD memory. That is, absolutely nothing. Not a sound can alert us that the Macbook is on.
Views figures have to talk about how we have done intense these days we have tested the new Macbook. Beyond that even Apple admits that its overall performance is on par two previous generations of the Air, on a day to day are where we check what we can give him.
We can keep open while applications for browsing, listening to music, social networking or office without appreciating the lack of fluency, but if we keep adding a photo or video editor, the experience begins to introduce obstacles.
Moreover, when we tried to open more than a dozen browser tabs or manage tens of RAW files in a photo editor, Core M limitations are evident and the system eventually significantly slow down the workflow.
In the graphics, the native resolution or Apple escalations have not found problems, and the integrated GPU meets. So it does in simple and not demanding graphics like Minecraft or Hearthstone games, but when we try to enjoy other titles such as Tomb Raider, which we tested, experience and drops to a level not worth it, not only for refresh rates so locked but everything we tried to do.
We turn now to the internal memory. Think of a laptop today without an associated lead – based solid state memory technology seems inadmissible. SSDs that Apple has placed on this Macbook are 256 or 512 GB, and offer fast performance but not as much as the Air or Macbook Pro last generation.
If the Macbook Pro 2015 gave us average speeds of 617 MB / s write and 1239 MB / s reading this Macbook we should be at 874 MB / s and 437 MB / s. Good numbers but not excellent.
The same goes for the sound. Apple left integrated speakers just above the keyboard, covering almost the entire width. The performance we get is expected in the middle of a laptop that wants to look sound but with limitations to deliver deep bass.
Just we point performance with a warning: in this Macbook, the choice and configuration are very rare and not upgradeable after the purchase of the product if it is true that is a wise move that RAM is standard 8 GB. But there is no more possibility.