Let's talk about the new Macbook
MANILA, Philippines – At Apple’s Spring Forward event last March 9, the company took many by surprise by unveiling a new 12-inch Macbook. Not an Air, not a Pro, just Macbook.
It was already rumored before the announcement, with people thinking that it might be the latest generation of Macbook Air. Its internal name at Apple – ‘Macbook Stealth’ – already hinted that it might be a new lineup.
Measuring a mere 13.1mm at its thickest compared to the Macbook Air’s 17mm, it is indeed a sleek laptop. It’s light too – very light, actually, weighing only two pounds compared to the Air’s 2.38 and 2.96 pounds for the 11 and 13 inch model. With that in mind, Apple must’ve run out of catchy names that are lighter than air, thus settling for a plain "Macbook" monicker.
Aside from its dimensions, it was also full of bells and whistles. Despite the model's thinness, Apple was able to pack a Retina Display on its 12 inch screen. They employed a new mechanism for the keyboard, called "butterfly," that allows the keys to sit lower in the frame.
A new trackpad technology, "Force Touch," was also showcased. Compared to the previous iteration, this one doesn’t mechanically click. Instead, it sends out little vibrations to simulate the "click" feel. It also allows a variety of commands, depending on how hard you press on the glass surface, thanks to Force Sensors below the glass.
The feature that really turned heads and sparked a debate is the absence of ports. The new Macbook has only one port – a USB-C – and a headphone jack. This was a real deal-breaker for a lot of people, even the casual users.
For one, it's become a habit to use a Macbook plugged in while another device is charging in another port. Second, some people are heavy hard drive users. The Macbook Air, despite being a bit underpowered, is known to be a reliable emergency workhorse where users can plug multiple hard drives and an SD card, and be able to edit videos.
Rappler discussed the USB Type-C connection back in January. Basically it’s a reversible all-in-one port that can deliver power, high data transfer rate, and can even be used for external displays. Despite Apple’s claim that adapters for the USB-C connection will be available soon, many are still saying no because of the bulkiness that will result from it (and the price of their adapters).
The single port is Apple’s way of pushing for a wireless workflow by using the likes of iCloud, AirPlay, AirDrop, and others as an alternative and modern means of connecting.
“The only intelligent vision for the future of the notebook is one without wires, where you don’t have to plug up cables to connect to things,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, during the notebook’s launch.
No stranger to backlash
Apple is not new to these kinds of backlash as they are known to ditch popular features in their products, according to a CNET report. In 1998 they stopped including the Apple Desktop Bus connector and used USB instead for the keyboard and mouse. They’re also the first to not include a floppy disk drive.
In 2008 they stopped using the Firewire 400 in favor of the less popular Firewire 800 and Thunderbolt. Then in 2012, they omitted Ethernet, Superdrive, and Firewire 800 from the Macbook Pro line.
Aside from the single port, other let-downs include a 480p Facetime camera and a very underpowered overall specs for the price. For $1,299 you will have a 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor with 8GB of DDR3 RAM and 256GB of flash storage. At that same price you can get the cheapest 13” Macbook Pro with a Force Touch trackpad too.
However, things will be subject to change. When the Macbook Air was introduced in 2008, it had only one USB 2.0 port, a single headphone jack, and a Micro-DVI port. Now, the latest Macbook Air has two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, a thunderbolt port, and an SD card slot (for 13” only).
With the new Macbook, you would be paying for the innovation and not much for what you can do with it. Users who want to have the most portable Macbook yet may want to wait a few years before the product becomes "stable" enough to be worthy of the price. – Rappler.com