.. rather subjective, granted. I'm coming from a MBPr 15", mid 2012; i7 @ 2.3GHz with 8GB of RAM, 1TB SSD. Anything you read below can be seen as relative to that. Looks It looks, well, stunning. Physically, it's built just as well as any other recent unibody macbook I've had my hands on. However, it is less rigid than the big Macbook Pro ones. Simply due to it's lesser weight and thickness it feels like it would take less punishment than the big sturdy clamshell ones. That said, it is still extremely well built and once the "omg omg new device must baby it" factor wears off, it's a solid workhorse. I haven't noticed any build quality issues or defects on my model, although I can see how the tiniest differences in height would make it wobble on some surfaces. I have the space grey one and I don't think it'll scratch any different than the silver ones. Keyboard Much has been said on this and it's a mostly subjective thing. For me personally, it took a few hours to get proficient with it, mostly due to the different keysize-spacing-ratio present on this thing. Typing experience is fluid once you get cracking and your muscle memory adjusts to the new layout. It feels a bit like the Surface 3 Pro typecover does, but without the "yoghurty", wobbly plasticy feel. A solid keyboard, one I don't mind working on on the go. Very minor side-niggle: Some of the keys sound noticeably different. My backspace has a sharper tack to it; while my spacebar sounds deeper. Physics, can't be helped I guess. Trackpad is fine and joyful to use, compared to the old hardware design. Moving swiftly on! Ergonomy Coming from a 15" one, definitely a difference. The screen felt large at first glance, but after working on it for an hour and looking back to my 15" one it looked positively tiny. When at a desk, you need to adjust your sitting/working posture as well. While working on a 15" one was okay with regard to angle of neck, arm positions, seating height and so on, it's a definite drawback for the 12" one. Your neck tilts forward more and you need to watch out to avoid hunching over it. Yes, it's that much smaller. I'm looking forward to getting the AV adapter and using it docked in clamshell mode, which I suspect is the best usecase for this thing while at a desk. Performance: Resolutions, text editing, browsing I'm doing most of my work in simple text editors. It's more than fine for that. In fact, thanks to the more modern GPU (my MPBr has a HD4000), UI transitions feel smoother and less janky. If there's any lag it's all whining and nitpicking. I've upped the screen estate to x960 and x1050 to test, and it helps a lot. Yes, the text gets fuzzier, but only very slightly. I don't notice the difference at normal viewing distances, and my eyesight isn't too bad. It's definitely smooth to work with. Performance with the higher HiDPI resolutions is perfectly fine; but I suspect if you run something 3D-intensive you will run out of VRAM very quickly. That said, I find x1050 a tiny bit too small. While I don't have any problems reading it, it's tiring to the eyes even at daytime and I'd rather much lean back a bit more and switch back to x960, or x900. You definitely get used to it and work around the limitations. Performance: GPU - Games The GPU is .. not good. Don't expect to run anything remotely GPU-spikey on this. Tested stuff: * Cities Skylines, details all as low as they get, 1280x800: ~5fps * Neverwinter Nights 1 in VMWare Fusion (!): ~10fps * XCom Enemy Within native: ~10fps * Pillars of Eternity: Playable. Ish. Mostly held back by 3D effects. If you turn those down it runs, but it's not smooth by any means. * Rimworld: Still awesome. And also buttery smooth (not surprise there). .. You get the picture. HOWEVER: All 3D games in common had the occasional seconds-long pauses, which made them completely unplayable. I just assumed that was throttling I was seeing and moved on. Performance: IntelliJ, Ruby, Rails development This also works very well. IntelliJ IDEA is about as fast (slow) as it was on my MBPr, UI-wise and editing-wise. I didn't notice any problems that were due to the Core M. In day to day workloads, compiling small pieces of code, this thing actually felt faster than my old MBPr. Things are very snappy. I suspect the faster, lower-latency SSD, new CPU architecture and better CPU burst behaviour helps a lot here. Performance: Blender, Photoshop Perfectly usable with external mouse, keyboard. Starts to drop in performance when approaching 500k faces. Photoshop runs just fine, as expected. I haven't tried connecting my Wacom tablet yet but unless you go overboard with layers or DPI it really shouldn't turn your hair grey. Performance: VMWare Running Windows 8 in VMWare was a pleasant surprise at well. Installing it was done in minutes and the Desktop felt responsive and snappy as well. Installing all the Windows updates afterwards however wasn't a nice experience, but then again, this isn't on any other hardware bar desktops. While it stays cool when idle, it got noticeably warmer under load; on a summers' day this might be a bit uncomfortable especially at the top of the keyboard if your hands are prone to sweating. Running Visual Studio CE in VMWare isn't fun. Slow, laggy UI (in 2015 standards) is the worst of it, but it will suffice for the occasional patch. All in all, it felt about the same as running the same VM on my MBPr. The bad: The throttling is noticeable when you are putting sustained load on it. It drops down to 1GHz-ish rapidly (note: this is HUGELY influenced by your thermal environ). Still, it's a 1GHz Broadwell, so even with both cores pinned at 80%+, it never felt "starved", and while some things jittered a bit (like some hiccups when loading new pages in Chrome), it was very responsive and perfectly usable. Edit: Some more actual thermal/throttling observations with proper tools. Intel clearly has no qualms running this chip up to 90C and keeping it there. Even maxing things with VMWare keeps core clocks at a brisk 2.2, 2.3 for multicore use. I'd assume it only drops down more when the actual skin temperature (=outer case) reaches limits as defined by Apple, which I'm not privvy to. Not sure what you need to do to make it go there, but my normal workload is insufficient. Of course, back in reality-land, the MBPr is still faster by leaps and bounds. It absolutely pummels the MB into the ground with multicore usecases. To be completely honest, in day to day use and for my workloads/usecases, I wouldn't know the difference between this and the i7. Intel has done some awesome binning on these things I think. Battery That's a huge step-back to the MBPr. I haven't done any extensive testing yet, but I think that I get about 50% to 75% of runtime compared to my old thing FOR MY USECASES. Idle, the display is by far the biggest wattage slurper. I managed to squeeze out 6h(!) of IRC going from 80% to 60% at night, with the display set to very low. At daytime, it's more like 2 hours for the same span. Taxing the CPU, running VMWare, and so on, absolutely destroys your uptime. Realistically speaking, at daytime and with regular compiling going on, you can expect 3 to 5 hours of productive work in the cafe of your choice. Luckily, it charges VERY quickly! FWIW, I installed Intel Power Gadget and I saw my SoC draw 10W when the thermal envelope allowed. Fun times! The end of things I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep it. The added portability and just the "oh yes, i'll take it with me" factor are well worth the tradeoffs. I found myself sitting in lounge chairs, outside, or on the sofa, just because this thing is more portable. As they say, the laptop you have with you is more useful than the one sitting at home on a desk. BTW: Got a MBPr 15" to sell (in Germany)! Has a 1TB SSD! -- Let me know if you have questions burning bright.