- Apr 12, 2001
At the WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple announced a collection of hardware refreshes for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac, which users are already able to order on Apple.com. Across the line of Macs, Apple added faster Kaby Lake processors, faster SSD options, made a Fusion Drive standard in the iMac, introduced more maximum RAM in the iMac, and improved GPUs.
Now, the company has allowed members of the press to test out both the MacBook and iMac refreshes to see how the computers stack up in comparison to the previous generation, as well as to Apple's competition. Below we'll round up opinions on the MacBook, 21.5-inch iMac, and 27-inch iMac. As many sites noted, first impressions and reviews for the all-new iMac Pro aren't expected to arrive until later in the year, ahead of the computer's December launch.
Apple sent reviewers the base 1.2GHz Core m3 model ($1,299) of the new 12-inch MacBook, and CNET came away largely impressed by the slightly beefed up machine. The site noted that the biggest and most welcome addition was found in the new and improved keyboard with a second generation butterfly mechanism, which has been adopted from the same keyboard on the MacBook Pro line from last year.
Otherwise, CNET liked the default Intel Core m3 CPU in the MacBook, which remains fine for activities like web browsing and streaming video but still lacks any sort of power needed for heavy multitasking or high-end video editing. Upgraded configurations of the MacBook are available with 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 ($1,599) and dual-core Core i7 ($1,749), along with available RAM bumps from 8GB to 16GB ($200), but Apple has kept review units focused on the base tier. All versions retain the MacBook's slim 2.03lb body and Retina display.Now the 12-inch MacBook has adopted that improved second-gen butterfly mechanism from the Pro line. Even using it in just a few initial typing sessions, I can totally tell the difference -- there's a click and spring to the keyboard that was lacking before. As someone who has typed hundreds of thousands of words across both previous generations of the 12-inch MacBook, I'm very pleasantly surprised by how good this keyboard feels.
Image via CNET
Both The Verge and CNET noted that power users will remain disappointed with the MacBook, which still only has one USB-C port. But for everyday tasks and low-power activities, anyone who can get over the port and power limitations should still find a lot of usage out of the 12-inch MacBook in its third generation.
CNET:The big question a lot of people are asking is whether the little MacBook is finally over that power hump that's kept users from switching over to it. I sadly cannot answer that for you, but my hunch is that the basic calculus isn't going to change. If you need speed, get a MacBook Pro or a Windows PC or maybe even a MacBook Air.
The improved keyboard and the faster CPU options feel like a real step forward, although the system is still not quite as updated as we'd like.
You're still stuck with the same not-great 480p webcam, and there's just that single USB-C port for all your power and connectivity needs, which will be a deal-breaker for many. But if you can work with those limitations, this is the best version of the 12-inch MacBook yet.
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Article Link: iMac and MacBook Early Reviews: Iterative Updates With Welcome Performance Boosts