2016 MacBook Review Roundup: SSD Performance is Much Improved, Lack of Ports and 480p Camera Are Still Negatives

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    When Apple announced a refreshed 12-inch Retina MacBook last week, it provided several publications with review units to get a look at the changes in the new machine. We've gathered up a range of these reviews below to highlight the general release reaction to the new 2016 MacBook.

    The MacBook is identical in design to the 2015 MacBook, but it includes a faster SSD, improved Skylake processor with better graphics, longer battery life, and a new Rose Gold color option. Many of the reviews focus on these improvements while also calling out missing features that many were hoping for, including an increased number of USB-C ports, Thunderbolt 3, and an improved FaceTime camera.


    Engadget's Dana Wollman says Apple's claim of 25 percent better graphics performance and extra battery life "are indeed accurate." With the SSD in the 1.2GHz 512GB machine, Wollman saw read/write speeds of 947MB/s and 845MB/s, respectively, significantly improved over the 738.2 and 451.7MB/s speeds of the year-ago model.
    Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham said the 2016 update isn't going to please people who disliked the 2015 MacBook given its single USB-C port. Those who held off from purchasing the 2015 MacBook might be interested in the 2016 model given its speed improvements, though, and with the SSD, encrypted performance is much improved. Ars Technica has a wide range of benchmarks that are worth checking out.

    Laptop Mag's Mark Spoonauer says the 2016 12-inch MacBook "better than its predecessor" but "still involves compromises." He highlights the improvements in the 2016 MacBook but notes that Apple didn't fix its biggest shortcomings - port availability and low-res FaceTime camera.
    The Verge's Dieter Bohn said the new MacBook feels about 25 percent faster. He also covers the new "vibrant" Rose Gold color, which can look "either kind of bronze or incredibly pink."

    Additional Reviews: CNET's Dan Ackerman, Mashable's Christina Warren, and TIME's Lisa Eadicicco.

    Apple is selling the new Retina MacBook on its website, with prices that start at $1,299. Orders placed today will be delivered in approximately a week, but many retail stores around the world have the machines in stock for immediate purchase.

    Article Link: 2016 MacBook Review Roundup: SSD Performance is Much Improved, Lack of Ports and 480p Camera Are Still Negatives
  2. 1applerules1 macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2015
    I can't even remember the last time I opened my camera on my MacBook Pro. I like how everyone complains about it even though most of the complainers can't afford it anyways.
  3. aaronhead14 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2009
    Still can't figure out why anyone would by this crap. If you're spending this much on a laptop, get a MacBook Pro. One port is unacceptable!
  4. Barry Bishop macrumors member

    Barry Bishop

    Aug 19, 2015
  5. StudyFlo macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
    The A9X blows those Intel chips away (at least in this benchmark). It's just a matter of time until we'll find those ARM-chips in our MacBooks.

    And yeah, I know that the software is made for x64 and its not that easy to convert everything to run on ARM. But Apple never had easy tasks to sollte (but still did)!
  6. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    I just can't wait for the "omg the iPad's A9 is so fast, Apple is ready to drop Intel and move its Macs to ARM!!" comments.

    Edit: Missed! That was fast.
  7. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I get the minimalist thing but 2 ports is required IMHO.
  8. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I was shocked that the iPad Pro bested all those laptops. On those terms, yes it's a laptop replacement. It's just held back by the current limitations of iOS.
  9. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    Install OSX on the iPad Pro or move the processor over to the Macbook its a beast looking at this list.
  10. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    The OS of the iPad doesn't tax the processor the same. Running a Mac with an A9 processor would yield worse results.
  11. Blizzardman macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2010
    Gilbert, Arizona
    Why are people constantly complaining about this laptop as if Apple got rid of the Air and Pro and this was the only option? Get the other machines if you need ports or performance and quit whining.
  12. StudyFlo macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
    if it was that easy... but yeah, they should definitely do that some day.
  13. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Wait until September after the remove the 3.5mm jack from the iPhone. They will release an updated rMB with the 3.5mm jack replaced by a Lightning 2 connector.
  14. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    It's an early ultraportable fanless laptop. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't buy or recommend it either. But when the MacBook Air was first released, it cost $1000 extra just for a 64GB SSD; an SSD which had read/write speeds barely hitting 100MB/s.

    Think of it more as a concept that will be honed and improved with multiple iterations. The MacBook Air was originally a massively overpriced, insanely underpowered laptop, which prioritised weight and thinness above all other aspects. Time will tell to see if Apple finally 'crack' the balance of power/price/ports in the rMB.
  15. StudyFlo macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
    I guess not. That 3,5 jack in the mac has an optical port integrated, which is not included in the iPhone, so there's a difference hier.
  16. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    The weight and size of these machines is incredible and is the main reason people will pay a premium for it. If you're trying to compare spec sheets, this definitely isn't targeted at you and it's missing the point of the product.

    If this could connect to my Thunderbolt Display, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. OS X on a laptop barely bigger than an iPad? Yes, please.
  17. OSX7 Suspended


    Jul 26, 2015
    Because it fills a void caused by their meaningless existence.
  18. Mac 128, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016

    Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Not in the rMB. Check your specs. It is exact same support as the iPhone. The MB Pros are the only portables that include a digital I/O.

    If Apple drops the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone, I would expect that in addition to replacing it on the rMB, they will add it to all Macs. When they add it to the MB Pro, they may keep the 3.5mm jack, but likely will eliminate the digital I/O at that time and make it analogue only like the rMB & Air are now.
  19. wozmatic macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2014
    Apple, you're slippin

    Hurry up and release a MacBook Pro already.

    Do you not want our money or....
  20. macduke macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    When I see something like this compared to the often remarkable YoY improvements seen in iOS hardware, it makes me worry that the Mac is slowly dying off. For the price this thing just doesn't have the lifespan. It can't even beat the much cheaper iPad Pro on raw performance, lol. But it can do more—for now.
  21. CJozef macrumors member


    Aug 31, 2015
    One port is not a problem. If its for you, then the product is not for you. But the 480p camera, o_O ... I would like to know the reason why ... must be something
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The increase in the SSD speed is nice. That's the bottleneck for many operations now, so might be the most noticeable improvement.

    For those complaining, I'm guessing that Apple will release an updated rMBP in June at WWDC with Skylake and TB3.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 25, 2016 ---
    It's what happen when Apple is dependent upon Intel. The Core-M is in general faster than the A9 (the benchmarks are skewed by factors such as iOS vs. OS X vs. Windows), but throttles much more quickly. If Apple had kept the MacBook Air 11.6" size and weight, they could have squeezed in the 15W Skylake-U chips that HP and Dell are using, but I'm guessing that they have grander designs (i.e. 28W Skylake-U) for the upcoming revision to the rMBP. So this is really their only option if they want a thin, fanless design in an x86/x64-compatible Mac.
  23. brownpaw macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    I see a market for it, I just don't see a $1200 market for it. This needs to start at $899 max, maybe even $799.
  24. LordVic macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011
    The bulk of the gripe comes because most users were looking for an enhancement to the existing Air lineup, not another product that cuts corners.

    I would argue most people who want "thin and light" laptops are probably more than satisfied with the MBA's size and weight. In fact, as I've stated countless times, the difference in size between the 11" MBA and the 12" rMB is almost non existent. we're talking about a couple MM's here and there, and the weight of a roll of quarters difference. What we were looking forward to was an upgrade to the MBA to fix the one thing that is horrible about it. The display, which hasn't been updated in 5 years and is arguably one of the worst displays avialable on a $1000+ level laptop.

    But instead of giving us the MBA's with retina option. The MBA's went untouched and a new, very compromised, and much MUCH more expensive laptop fills that spot. a Laptop that sacrifices everything the MBA had going for it, in favour of "thin".

    So now from Apple laptops we have a weird choice.
    Thin and Light with good display? You go rMB, but you get 1 port, a heavily throttled CPU, compromised typing experience, 480p webcam and a $1549 price tag (CAD)
    Thin and light with semi powerful internals? You go MacBook Air. You get back two USB-A ports, magsafe and thunderbolt (with 13" also getting SD card). But you're stuck with a really low end TN display, with horrible colours and a lot of light bleed and wash out.
    POwerful internals with all the things: Get a rMBP. you sacrifice the "thin and light" that the two others offer, But you get all the ports and more, the best power Apple can offre in a laptop and the high res display. But confusing matters against the lower two options, the 13" rMBP comes in at the same price at the rMB.

    The rMB just did nothing but add confusion to the product lineup, that was historically, very straight forward. But now, we have this product sitting dab smack in the middle, that nobody was really looking for.

    Thats why there's so many people going "WTF apple?"
  25. Mr Fusion macrumors 6502a

    Mr Fusion

    May 7, 2007
    It's called greed.

    Err... Wait, it's called "maximizing shareholder returns."

    I've been saying it for a while now, Apple is the new General Motors. They could fix EVERYTHING that people gripe about in their machines (including the MacBook) TODAY if they wanted to...

    ... But they're out of ideas. So they'll spit it out piece by piece, year after year to keep you buying.

    This isn't a company that loves its customers, it's a company that has its balls out and middle fingers up to them, practically daring them to buy their half-baked products.

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