Apple is a company of legend; they are the creators of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the makers of some of them most popular desktops, laptops, programs and apps that we use on a daily basis. In fact, Apple’s aura is so powerful that even the haters have to admit that whatever Apple does is usually a huge success. So when Apple recently announced its new, sleek Macbook (not Macbook Pro, just Macbook) everyone, including myself, was super excited. After all, it looks gorgeous, boasts Apple’s best keyboard yet (with a new cutting edge ‘butterfly’physical key build), a new ‘Force Touch’ track-pad that eliminates the need for control-clicking, and of course the usual amazing Retina display that we all know and love. The new Macbook will start at $1299 – no surprise there, Apple’s products are always highly priced – but is that ok this time around?
After taking a look at some conspicuous dents in the design, I’m afraid that the answer is no, it’s definitely not worth the money.
The new Macbook comes with a 1.1GHz or 1.2GHz Intel M Processor. Besides the weak processing power right off the bat, here’s something Apple or Intel won’t tell you – this is basically a mobile processor. Don’t expect this meager GPU to chew through Photoshop, or Final Cut, or any other demanding programs or games. Not looking so great anymore, is it? In terms of actual performance, you’re looking at an overpriced netbook that lacks any of the real power a $1300 machine should come with. But that’s not all!
The second issue is arguably even more ridiculous: there is only one port. ONE. And I don’t mean only one USB port, I mean just one port in general – for connecting extra devices such as a mouse, hooking the Macbook up to a monitor, plugging in a flash drive, and even for CHARGING – one port. Yes, it is a fancy new USB-C port capable of taking multiple versions of USB (and it doesn’t matter which way you stick the USB stick in, upwards or downwards, which is really quite neat) but that doesn’t justify having only one available. When is the last time you asked yourself, “Gee, should I charge my laptop or be able to use a mouse?” I don’t think that’s ever happened yet, but I guess Apple is known for innovation..? Of course, to add to the insult, Apple has conveniently designed a USB-C hub that it’s willing to shell out to you for about $80. So you basically have to pay an extra $80 for a flimsy USB Hub that should have been in the actual laptop itself, and on top of that you have to lug it around with you. This design decision is so ridiculous that is has spawned a viral parody video with millions of views, where an “Apple Designer” re-tells the tale of how the single-port design was a hilarious mistake that somehow made it to the finished product (the video is really worth a view if you need a laugh).
This video explains everything you need to know.
The Macbook isn’t entirely terrible, of course, and still packs some serious innovation: the Force Touch pad is a marvel on its own, and the new layered battery cell design squeezes nine hours of medium use into a relatively tiny frame. However, with the serious issues of minimal processing power and the one-port-to-rule-them-all philosophy, the new Macbook ends up being nothing but a cheap way to suck money out of people who don’t care enough to do some research on what makes a good laptop. To be fair, Apple did start the Macbook Air in a similar fashion – overpriced and low on features (but it’s so slim!) – and, over time, turned it into a respectable workhorse of a netbook. Still, the fact remains that it’s just not fair for Apple’s customers to have to lose in the process.
(IT Consulting Denver)