While you’d think the biggest announcement to come out of yesterday’s event would be the Apple Watch, it was really the new super-thin MacBook that was shown off. The new gold device (yes, gold) comes in at 13.1 mm thick and weighs in at just 2 pounds, but there’s a slight catch that comes with the new device.
I’ll be honest, the new MacBook looks gorgeous, and one could understand why so many people are going nuts over the new design. It’s ultra-thin, comes in 3 different colors (gold, space grey, and silver), and is so light you’ll think you’re carrying a tablet. Like its predecessors, the new MacBook sports a Retina display (Apple’s specialty screen that gives users greater resolution and clarity by adding significantly more pixels to the screen) by default as well. But as all good things do, the new device comes with a few caveats.
The first concern that users should have pertains to the specs of the laptop itself, as well as the price point that accompanies it. The next step up for a MacBook is just under $400 cheaper and has much better specs. The new MacBook is sporting either a 1.1GHz, 1.2GHz, or 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (up to 2.4GHz, 2.6GHz, or 2.9GHz with Turbo respectively), 8 GB of Ram, and a Intel HD Graphics 5300. The RAM is the only thing in the device that is on-par with the other MacBook models, with an inferior CPU and less-capable onboard video graphics. Power users should definitely be aware of these limitations, as you’ll have fewer resources at your disposal.
The second concern is the lack of ports. Typically, most Apple devices come with USB Ports, as well as HDMI and Thunderbolt ports for video output, but the new MacBook only has a single port – the new USB‑C port on the left side. This single port does, as we’re told, everything you’d want a port to do. From charging and USB transfers, to video output, the USB-C port is designed to handle all the functions of the previous multi-port options, but that means you won’t be able to transfer files using a USB drive directly, and you’ll have to get a special adapter if you want to do everything else as well. The new USB-C port also sports a different feature when charging, in that it will plug-in instead of connecting with a magnet – creating a potential problem should you inevitably trip over the cord! But the biggest issue, is that without a hub or extra peripherals, you’ll be unable to transfer files or output video while your MacBook is charging.
There’s a good chance that we’ll be having a similar discussion in the future, just like we did when the Air was announced in 2008. Much like the new Macbook, it had less impressive specs compared to the other Apple offerings at the time, as well as being thinner and lighter for a much heftier price point. Since that time, however, the MacBook Air has become a powerhouse in Apple’s computer lineup after they improved everything from the processor to the battery life. It’s certainly possible that this could be the next step in Apple’s laptop evolution!
While this new device may not be the best choice for power users, people who are less demanding on their laptops may find the new MacBook to be a good fit. With the size and lightness, it’s possible that Apple is trying to get on board the current popularity that is around devices such as Chromebooks, which are perfect for users who really don’t need a ton of computing power. With a beautiful design, display, and a size that will make it the perfect travel companion, the new MacBook will definitely continue to turn heads as we find out more about the device. For now though, people who need a device that can handle a lot of load should continue looking at the MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro.
Should you want to pick up the new Macbook, it can be found here on the Apple store, although it’s not yet available for purchase.