The good: Super thin and light; Beautiful screen; Comfortable keyboard
The bad: Only includes one port; Expensive
Who should buy: Apple fans looking for a highly portable laptop who don’t use a lot of accessories or connections.
The MacBook Air set the standard for super-slim ultrabooks when it launched in 2008. Now, Apple is hoping its newest MacBook will have the same effect.
Nearly one year after Apple first unveiled its 12-inch MacBook (no “Pro” or “Air” in the name), it’s introducing a new model with better performance, longer battery life, improved graphics, and a new rose gold color option. This refreshed MacBook includes the same Retina screen, Force Touch trackpad, redesigned keyboard, and single USB Type-C port as its predecessor.
The result is a sleek, gorgeous machine with enough processing power for average users. But Apple still insists on giving the MacBook only a single USB port, and a Type-C one at that. While USB Type-C is a big improvement over past implementations (it’s faster and the cables work no matter which way you plug them in), there aren’t many compatible accessories just yet. I still want to be able to plug in accessories like hard drives and flash drives while simultaneously charging my laptop, too. That isn’t possible with the MacBook sans an adapter.
That being said, I understand why Apple designed the MacBook this way. Users who store most of their data in the cloud and don’t frequently plug their laptop into external monitors tend to value portability over connectivity. And as frustrating as a new standard might be, USB Type-C will be a big improvement when its time comes.
Giving the MacBook only a single port also allowed Apple to make it the company’s thinnest and sleekest laptop yet. The new MacBook is the same size and weight as last year’s model, weighing 2.03 pounds and measuring 0.14 inches thick at its slimmest point. The MacBook’s svelte design is undoubtedly its most striking feature. It’s so lean I almost forgot I was carrying a laptop in my bag. When I went to reach for it one time, I expected instead to pull out the 12-inch iPad Pro, which only weighs about half a pound less than the MacBook.
The only visible physical difference between this year’s MacBook and last year’s model is the new rose gold color option, marking the first time such a color has been available on a Mac product.