MacBook 2016 review: all of the possibilities, all of the realities – The Verge

But the thing to remember is that when I say I’m pleasantly surprised by the speed, I’m coming from a place of modest expectations. When you expect more power, you’re going to run into roadblocks. We’re still talking about an Intel Core M. You can buy a more powerful, 13-inch MacBook Air with a 2.2ghz dual-core Intel Core i7 and TurboBoost up to 3.2ghz for $1,149 — less than the starting price of the MacBook. And actual video-editing pros are still more likely to turn to a MacBook Pro, at least for now.

Despite the increase in power, the new MacBook is said to have one more hour of battery life than last year’s MacBook. In an official Verge test, which involves turning off all power-saving settings, setting the display to around 65 percent brightness, and running a loop of web pages, the new MacBook lasted me exactly 10 hours. With normal usage — the screen brightness popped up, having multiple tabs open in power-hungry Chrome, and using apps like Slack — the MacBook would sometimes get me through a work day, but only if I wasn’t using it continuously. If I used it continuously, starting early in the morning, it would need a charge by early afternoon.

Again, this is all relative: while this is much better than my three-and-a-half-year-old MacBook Pro, it’s still not as impressive as the battery life on a 13-inch MacBook Air.

there’s still the single usb type-c port to consider

Then there’s the single, solitary port on the MacBook to consider, a USB Type-C port. As it often goes with the early days of new standards, the conversation is more about convenience than it is about the technology itself. USB Type-C as a technology has proven itself: it offers speedy transfer rates and faster charging. USB Type-C as a single port, though, has proven itself to be a pain in the ass. It requires adapters to do anything beyond just charging the laptop, or just charging your phone from it (not both at the same time!).

It says something about the 12-inch MacBook that it’s powerful enough for editing video and yet simply transferring that video from an SD card is more complicated. It makes an obvious case for using cloud storage, for services in general, but like the move away from floppy disks, or ODDs, change sometimes comes slowly.

For Apple laptop lovers, obsessed with a certain design aesthetic, who are willing to ignore the inconvenience of a single port, and who aren’t put off by the price, the new MacBook won’t be a tough sell. At all. Sometimes when we buy a new consumer product, we buy into the possibilities of the product rather than its capabilities, and this is one of those times. But for most people? I’d wait to see what’s coming down the pipeline.

Photography by Vjeran Pavic


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