The 2015 MacBook. Is it any good?
Well you should read this before you buy it!
We split our MacBook 2015 Review up into 5 categories.
- The Battery life and portability
- Performance and real world usage
- The stunning 11.04” Retina screen
- Ports and IO
- and the pricing
Battery life and portabilityLets start off with the battery life and the portability. The 2015 MacBook comes in a 11.04 inch form factor and only weighs about 2 pounds which is double the weight of iPad Air 2.
Its super thin form factor makes it super portable and easy to carry but how does that affect the battery life? We took it to the test and were quite surprised.
85% of the MacBook’s guts are filled with batteries leaving the actual processor and components not much room to spare. This has quite a positive effect on battery life however this comes with a downside. the processing power.
So how long does it actually last? According to apples website you can use it up to 9 hours for browsing the web and up to 10 hours of video playback however in my real world scenario test with the screen brightness cranked all the way up using Safari/Skype/Mail/Spotify/Photshop and iMessage my battery drained in about 5 hours.
Whats neat tho is that I am able to charge my laptop on the go by simply plugging it into my power bank using a cheap $5 3rd party USB 3.0 male to USB Type C adaptor and this is a BIG plus for me because you can charge your laptop without having a power outlet near you.
In terms of power consumption the intel core M chip has a TDP of about 5 Watts depending on the Core M Model you’ve chosen which doesn’t change the fact that its simply underpowered which directly leads us to category 2. The performance and real world usage.
Performancethe MacBook 2015 on a daily basis was quite a struggle, I went with the lower spec 1.1GHZ model and applications kept lagging and freezing and opening up multiple tabs overwhelmed this tiny machine. As someone who uses Mac OS X on a daily basis I can definitely tell you that this is not usual. My MacBook Retina 2013 never had any of these issues and heck. its already about 1 and a half years old. Well lets get back to the MacBook. I ran a test of Final Cut on it and, even a basic video took forever to render – but who edits videos on a machine like this anyways.
For the Bootup speed test the MacBook took about 22 seconds to boot into the login screen which is slightly below the amount time the MacBook Retina 2013 took.
In terms of performance this is a nice machine for people who simply want a light and basic laptop for things like Skype, Browsing the web and emailing and certainly not for video editors or gamers (but hey – gamers hate apple anyways right?)
Screennown for their excellent screens and the retina screen is no exception. Apple had to reinvent the display backlighting due to the sheer thinness of the new macbook and they got it right. The Retina IPS screen is sporting a 2304 by 1440 resolution is super crisp, has an excellent brightness and industry standard colour reproduction.
BUT WHATS THAT? A WEBCAM? o sweet they put a webcam on this thing.
No honestly the 480p webcam on the new Macbook is a joke. Lets just jump to the next topic alright?
PORTS and IOto the IO of the laptop you see apple’s new reinvented butterfly switch keyboard which doesn’t just sound unique but it actually is a total unique experience. You need quite some time to get used to this almost no travel distance keyboard but once you got the twist it is fairly nice to type on. but yeah…. you really don’t wanna write an entire book on this keyboard.
Next up – the trackpad. The new MacBook sports the completely reinvented force touch trackpad which has no moving parts and actually tricks you into thinking its a physical click but its actually apples new taptic engine which simply vibrates your trackpad in a way that makes yo u think you are actually pushing it down. You can adjust the force touch sensitivity in the settings and comparing it to the trackpad of the 2013 MacBook retina its a huge step forward and soon the entire MacBook family will get their upgrade to the new force touch trackpad and hopefully even the Magic Trackpad that you can buy from apple as an accessory.
The Speakers on the new MacBook 2015 are stunningly loud and good sounding, I honestly did not expect them to sound that well judging its form factor but its by far the best sounding speakers I have seen on any laptop so far but maybe thats justified since apple recently purchased BeatsAudio.
Jumping over to the ports on the new macbook….. …wait… where are the ports?
God damnit apple are you drunk? 1 USB C port only? oh well!
The new USB C port allows you to do things like charge your laptop, use an external monitor using the Display Port, HDMI or VGA standard, or transfer data with speeds up to 5 gigabytes per second thanks to the new USB 3.1 GEN 1 standard.
The MacBook also comes with stereo microphones which (ironically) are places right besides each other and a headphone port which can be used with any earbuds you want however apple compatible earbuds like the new UrBeats give you the ability to change the volume and use the microphone without having to touch the laptop which is pretty neat.
Pricingin 2 variations. the one I have been reviewing is the basic version with the 1.1GHZ Intel Core M chip:
- 256GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
- 1.1GHz dual-core
Intel Core M processor
Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz
- 8GB memory
- Intel HD Graphics 5300
and the more expensive model with the 1.2GHZ Intel Core M chip which is rumoured to be 22% faster than the 1.1GHZ base model:
- 512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
- 1.2GHz dual-core
Intel Core M processor
Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz
- 8GB memory
- Intel HD Graphics 5300
My Personal opinion is kind of mixed. I love the portability of this laptop and the battery life isn’t too shabby either but it simply won’t replace my MacBook Retina 13″ Late 2013 due to the fact that its way too underpowered and the keyboard just isn’t nice to work on.
Thats pretty much our opinion on the new MacBook 2015. Feel free to also check our our Facebook Page to get the latest crunchy news straight to your inbox!