Why You Should Skip This Year's New Macbook

Apple latest Macbook is thinner and lighter than any current Macbook Air (even the smaller 11.6″ screen counterpart). In addition, the new Macbook sports many “first” innovations from Apple:

1) Single USB-C connector handling all input / output functions (video, accessories, power)
2) Fanless laptop – silent operation
3) First gold colour laptop – similar colour options as that of the iPhone and iPad alongside “Silver” and “Space Gray”
4) Force Touch trackpad – offering pressure detection, for new set of gestures and control
5) Weight of only 900g!

Despite all that, I would suggest avoiding this current generation of the new Macbook. It runs on the latest Intel Core M architecture, similar to the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and Asus Transformer Book Chi. The Core M is not known as a performance workhorse, and is generally slower than the i3, i5s on last generation laptops. Intel 14nm architecture is still new and for the price Apple is charging, it doesn’t justify the performance or lack thereof in the new Macbook. Give Intel some time to mature the 14nm manufacturing process and the next generation chips will see significant performance improvement as they transit to the smaller die.

** A single USB-C connector** is just not practical**, unless you are only using it as a Facebook machine. But then, I would just recommend getting an iPad instead. From a practical standpoint, a single USB-C connector is way too limiting. Most users would require a USB-C to a multi USB port hub and also a USB-C to video output options at this current moment. All this detracts away from the convenient and integrated machine that people are looking for. All these accessories aren’t going to be cheap too. In terms of video streaming, Airplay and Miracast technologies are all good but haven’t reach a mature level of adoption yet. Lastly, there aren’t many USB-C accessories except perhaps for the Sandisk USB-C dual thumbdrive. But by next year when the next Macbook is launched, the ecosystem would have evolved. It doesn’t pay to be an early adopter here. I’m also pretty sure Apple would throw in an additional USB-C port at least, just like how they upgraded the single USB port original Macbook Air.

Specifications

  • 256GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage1
  • 1.1GHz dual-core
  • Intel Core M processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 5300
  • S$1,788.00
  • Includes GST of approx. S$117.00.*

Pricing and Availability (Singapore)

The all-new MacBook will begin shipping Friday, 10 April through the Singapore Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/sg) and select Apple Authorised Resellers. MacBook comes with a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.4 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at suggested retail price SG$1,788 inc. GST; and with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting from suggested retail price SG$2,288 inc. GST. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/sg/macbook.

Don’t forget to check out the price of the USB-C accessories which you would need.

The new Macbook is almost spot-on with the slim, lightweight, minimalist designed laptop. This is a similar scenario to when the first iPad Mini was released. Great form factor and all but undermined by a low resolution screen and crappy processor. So if you can, hang on to your existing laptop till the next gen upgrade. Otherwise, do consider the refurbished Macbook Airs or Macbook Pros. Those are priced significantly lower around S$1100 region and offers good value for money.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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