Apple MacBook 2016 Review: Wait, I’m supposed to hate this thing? Oh.
The 2016 MacBook is the perfect portable computer, probably the best one on the market. It’s also one of the best machines I’ve ever used.
I love this little thing. It has made my portable workflow more productive. And it’s fun to use.
Apple launched the new MacBook in 2015 to a mix of delight and derision. I wanted one immediately, even though my tech brain didn’t love the specs. The design was so sumptuous though. I wanted one, and I vowed to get one someday.
This year, the MacBook got upgraded to Skylake Core M processors. I bought the M5 model, with 512 gigs of storage. It complements the Mac Mini I picked up recently, and between the two, they are now my main computers. They work seamlessly together in a way my PCs and Chromebook never quite did.
First off, the port thing. Oh boy the port thing. The MacBook has “only one” port…which actually means it has one USB C port and one headphone jack. I’m pretty sure that’s two ports? The headphone jack outputs quality audio. From what I can tell, it has a solid amp and dac behind it…not surpising at all, coming from Apple. The speakers are also great too…powerful and dynamic.
It’s the lone USB C that pissed people off. “How will I use all my peripherals? I have to buy a dongle? This is stupid!” I would argue that the MacBook is made for those that want to travel light. It’s painfully obvious. If you’re looking to carry around peripherals, it sort of defeats the purpose of a tiny machine. If you’re really looking to use this at home on a desk, the dongles available are about as svelte as they come and enable every type of connection you could think of.
I don’t think the port situation is a big deal. I don’t carry any peripherals with me on the go except for headphones, and the battery really can last 9ish hours on this thing…so it’s fine. It has a decent Bluetooth 4 antenna so if you’ve got a bluetooth mouse, like the Magic Mouse, you’re covered there too.
*Shrug of indifference to angry port people*
I had a momentary crisis of conscience when buying this computer because the Mac Book Pro 13 is the same price and is more powerful, with more ports. But that thing is a tank in comparison! The MacBook is light at two pounds, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. It’s surprisingly sturdy. And its visual design outclasses the MacBook Pro.
The MacBook also has the cool butterfly keyboard. You might have just vomited on your screen when I called the butterfly switch cool…and that’s fine. I hope you feel better soon! I love the butterfly keys. I love that they’re big and responsive and tactile. I’ve never fetishized the key travel of mechanical keyboards, so I don’t mind that the keys barely travel. They feel really satisfying to me, as someone who needs to do a lot of typing. You really can touch any part of the key and feel it responding. It’s great. I like it better than any other laptop keyboard I’ve used.
I’m not surprised that this keyboard is rumored to be coming to every MacBook. Even though some people will hate it. It feels durable and satisfying.
I also love the trackpad. The haptic feedback really fools my brain, something the Steam controller never quite managed. The trackpad is somehow larger than those on any other laptop I’ve used. It’s great and perfect. Unlike the butterfly keyboard, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t love the trackpad.
The display here is gorgeous, and it renders the SRGB color spectrum perfectly. It’s 12 inches, but it’s 16:10 and the bezel is quite small, so it feels large and spacious somehow. It’s the best display you could ask for out of a machine this size. It’s probably higher res than it needs to be, at 2304 by 1440.
I have no complaints about the speed of the machine. It’s faster than my old Alienware 13 at many tasks, and with way more battery life. The NVME SSD is the fastest I’ve ever personally used. That it only has 8 gigs of RAM is maybe not ideal…but again, I don’t think this was ever meant to be a high-end machine. It’s a perfect midrange device, tech-wise. And it uses a third the power of comparable laptops.
I use Scrivener every day, and I love being able to auto-sync my work between home and portable use with iCloud. It’s built right into the OS, so my work is just there. I don’t have to use an extra app or a web based interface or remember to sync things or click extra buttons, unlike with so many other cloud storage solutions. I know that other providers have OS integration, but I’ve never had as issue-free a syncing experience as I’ve had on Mac.
If you’re looking for something like a Chromebook or an Ultrabook, but you want to step up to something with better design, solid power, and unmatched usability, well, here you go! I love this little computer. It’s exactly right for what I need a portable machine to do. I have zero complaints. I understand why people were underwhelmed by the initial 2015 version of this device as far as specs go, but this new 2016 model nails it. I know it’s a little pricey, but the keyboard, trackpad, storage size and speed, and overall portability make the MacBook 100 percent worth the money.
The MacBook is available with a Core M3 and 256 gigs of storage for $1299, and a Core M5 and 512 Gigs of Storage for $1599. There’s also a Core M7 available, but you have to special order it and have it built, and that takes a while. It’s the Chromebook/Ultrabook concept, executed with more skill.
Oh no I sound like a Mac person I’m a Mac person what happened help.