5 things to consider before you buy a new MacBook – Computerworld

Apple’s newly updated MacBook line packs a lot punch in an ultra-thin (and ultra-sexy) case, making it a good choice for people who need the lightest laptop available but prefer a Mac with OS X to an iPad with iOS.

That said, the MacBook’s form necessarily dictates some of its function. And with prices that start at $1,299, it overlaps with Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line-ups — making it even more important to choose wisely when spending your money. For would-be buyers drawn to the small size and high-end looks, but concerned about whether the 2016 MacBook (vendor price) is a long-term keeper, here are five things to keep in mind.

If you’re a road warrior…

The biggest pro still going for the MacBook line (Apple tech specs) is its overall construction and build quality. The full-size, edge-to-edge keyboard (with large, backlit keys) minimizes any issues with typing on a small laptop; the 2304×1440-pixel 12-in. Retina display (packed with 3 million pixels) is simply gorgeous; and the large, pressure-sensitive, multitouch trackpad delivers haptic feedback when you’re using it. The combo of all three features smacks of high quality, as you’d expect from an Apple device. (It would have been nice if Apple had updated the 480p front-facing camera. Maybe next year.)

macbook 2016 four colorsApple

In addition to silver, space gray and gold colors offered when the MacBook was unveiled last year, this year’s model has a rose gold option. I wouldn’t buy one in that color personally, but rose gold seems to do well elsewhere in the world. (I personally love the space gray.) More important than a new color are the updated internals based around Intel’s Skylake Core m-Series processors and system architecture. The changes boost overall speed by between 15% and 25%, according to most benchmarks. For day to day use, you won’t notice much difference compared to last year’s MacBooks, but more speed is always welcome.

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