Top 5 MacBook 12" Myths! (2015)May 10, 2020
Alright, let's get started. The MacBook sucks because it only has one port. Coming from basically any other laptop, the new MacBook is almost ridiculously light on ports. What it does have is a single USB Type-C, which if you're only going to put a single port on a laptop, is the way to go. It's reversible so you no longer have to plug things in the wrong way, it supports powering other devices along with charging your MacBook, it has full USB 3 speeds along with DisplayPort or HDMI for using an external monitor. Not bad from this tiny little port.
Right now, accessories that use USB-C aren't exactly popular, but there are some like this flash drive from Sandisk that has a USB-C port on one side and full USB 3.0 on the other. For the most part, you'll need adapters like this USB-C to Full USB from Apple. It works well—you can even pair it with a USB hub to charge a ton of devices on the MacBook—but it's not the most elegant solution. On the other hand, you can totally use this with your collection of 3.5-inch floppy drives, which I mean is basically a must for a computer in
Since USB Type-C isn't a proprietary Apple connector, you can choose third-party cables like this full-size male USB cable from Google. This allows you to do cool things like connect your MacBook to battery backup or power an external monitor using the DisplayPort cable. This is great, except when you realize that using any of these forces you to use the battery, since there's no way to charge while using your single port. Apple sells an adapter that includes a full-size USB, HDMI, and another USB-C for charging, but what would be a much better solution is to simply include two USB ports like Google does on the Chromebook Pixel.
So is Apple completely crazy for putting only one port on the MacBook? No, but adding one more would be a nice improvement. You can't play on the MacBook. On the surface this seems entirely plausible. With a fanless design measuring just over 13mm, the MacBook has more in common with a tablet than a gaming laptop. Under the hood, we're looking at Intel HD Graphics 5300 which, while not lightning fast, could have enough power for some gaming. Load up a copy of Minecraft and the MacBook will handle it just fine, which actually isn't too bad all things considered. Install Steam and we've got a decent selection of games that will work on OS X.
Lighter titles like Super Meat Boy are no problem and even Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is fully playable at 1280 by 800 as long as you bring a mouse. in any case. A gaming PC it definitely isn't, but for light gaming it's actually useful. The webcam sucks. That would be a yes. So the new MacBook has a 480p webcam that's straight out of 2006. Now yes, it can be used in a pinch if you need to do a bit of video chat like on Skype or FaceTime, but it definitely sucks. The new MacBook is too expensive. Starting at $1,300, there's no question that the MacBook is an expensive machine.
Looking just at the Mac side of things, the 11-inch Air is $400 less, but that's not an entirely fair comparison. The base Air comes with four gigs of memory and a 128 gigabyte SSD which is totally ridiculous for a premium laptop. Spec in eight gigs of RAM and a 256-gig drive like the 12-inch MacBook and the price difference drops to $100, which is slightly more plausible if only for the better display. For an apples-to-apples comparison, there's the Samsung ATIV Book 9, which has a similar slim design with a high-resolution 12-inch display, the same Core M processor, and costs $100 more than the MacBook.
The MacBook isn't incredibly expensive, but it would make a lot more sense with a couple hundred dollar price cut. You can't do real work on the MacBook. This is another one that sounds completely rational. All it takes is a glance at the spec list to see some of the major red flags. A 1.1 gigahertz processor capped at 4.5 watts with no fan to cool it down? For perspective, the MacBook Air has 15 watts to work with and the 13-inch MacBook Pro has 28 watts on tap. In regular use, the CPU will boost up to 2.4 gigahertz, which isn't that far behind the others.
We have full Mac OS X, so running heavier applications like Photoshop is not a problem. While it's a bit impractical, you can also edit video on the MacBook as long as you carry a couple of adapters with you. I edited all this video in Premiere Pro and it handled it like a champ, the export was a bit slow but the editing itself was no problem. It does get a bit warm on top of the keyboard, but it's really not that much worse than most laptops. As a laptop dedicated to video and photo editing, it might not be the best option in the world, but for casual work it's totally useful.
It may be small, but the new MacBook packs a decent punch. Add another USB-C port and drop the price a bit and this could be the perfect laptop for a lot of people.
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