Mac Newbie Here: Will the 12" MacBook Suit My Needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by geokarbou, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. geokarbou macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    It's my first post here, I have been doing a lot of reading and lurking and I must say this is the go-to community for all things Mac.

    I am a complete Apple newbie. The only interaction I ever had with apple products is an iPod Classic I had which now the wheel isn't working any more.

    Anyway, since the presentation of the 12 inch MacBook, I fell in love, I mean this is a thing of beauty. Design-wise it hit all the spots for my taste! I love this thing and I want to describe you my situtation so that you can give me some real feedback on the viability of this thing for my needs, if it will cover my needs and can fullfil the tasks for which I want it.

    The only thing that is stopping me is that m-Core processor and makes me thing that I may be regretting spending so much money on something weak (is it??)

    I am a business analyst / consultant / online marketer so a lot of my work is done through online apps (Google Docs, various CRMs, SAP software etc.)

    Here is what I need it to do:
    • Heavy internet browsing (many tabs open 10-15)
    • Heavy Google Doc Usage
    • CRM suites
    • Word, Excel, etc.
    • I will be doing a lot of typing for content creation (large, multiple docs open)
    • Image editing on photoshop (no raw image sizes)
    • Multiple PDF reading
    • 1080p movies (don't care for 4k)
    • 1080p streaming
    • Need the retina screen
    • mayyyyybe some light coding (most likely none at all, but hey...)
    What I wont be doing:
    • Video editing
    • Gaming
    • 4k streaming / video
    • RAW image editing
    • VMs

    Apart from that I need the good batterry life. I would love it if it could stay alive for 8 hours (a work day).

    I will be moving next year to another country probably and doing some flying and work on planes so the light weight, thinness and compact size is a must.

    I don't care that much for the single port. I work a lot with cloud storage so that's that. I wish though it had an SD or microSD card reader for when there is no internet connection. I'll be susing a 2,5' external hard drive when needed. I am also planning on getting that $30 usb-C docking station I've seen lately being promoted around here, so as long as I can get 8 hours without the charger I'll be ok.

    At the moment I have a Surface Pro 3 (I5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD). This is a great workhorse and really compact, but I have come to dislike the top heavy design, since I do alot of writing it's not the best thing in the world, it restrics my lapability somewhat and tiring me. Also the batterry life isn't that good: ~4-6 hours but it's that damn Chrome ram and batterry hogger! (But I need those extensions to work :( ). I also love that I can lie in bed and have a tablet with just unclipping the keyboard. The top heavy design, batterry and 4GB of RAM though is what makes me look at the macbook.

    Also I have no idea about OSX and I hope I can do all the aforementioned tasks easily and without any problems (right?)

    So in conclusion: I am thinking of selling the SP3, and getting a 12 inch MacBook for all the reasons mentioned.
    The m processor is what I am dreading.

    I want it to be able to perform what I listed without any hiccups or lags. (SP3 is amazing in performance had no issues whatsoever)

    I am really sorry for the long post but from what I have read here, you are an extremely helpful community so I wanted to write everything in detail. It will be an expensive purchase for me and here (in Greece) due to the dollar - EUR rates and the fact that in Greece we are becoming a freaking third world country, prices are through the roof. What I can get for $1400 in USA I have to buy it here for 1600 EUR (~ $1800) :confused:

    That's why I wanted to be sure that I will suit my needs and I'll be ok.

    Thank you all in advance.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Since you already own a SP3, the MacBook's keyboard is an upgrade to that, so I think from that perspective its an upgrade.

    I also believe the current chipset in the MacBook is pretty decent. Perusing the geekbench site, it seems the MacBook gets a score of 2295 single core and 5067 and the SP3 gets 2667 and 5246 respectively. That means it may be a bit slower. I say may because real world experience may be different then benchmarks.
  3. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010

    First off, welcome aboard.

    I was in a similar situation as you and made the jump to the 12" MacBook and I am thrilled beyond words, my usecase is very similar to yours too as far as software I need to run and the performance is more than enough, no worries there. Spend the extra $300 ion the 1.2ghz processor. Not sure its needed, but its nice to have and it's what I'm running and it's giving me (you) what's necessary with your described conditions.

    And as an added bonus: You don't need to give up the Windows OS if you don't want to. Like you, I have no idea about OSX nor do I ever want to. I'm a Windows guy, it's what my corporation runs, not interested in re-learning how to right-click, have to have it. Just a head's up that I run Windows 10 100% of the time, it's easy to install, and depending on what reviews you read it's faster than OSX on this machine. It's a really good option for you if the operating system is a concern.

  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I use both a SP3 for work and a rMB for personal use (with a bit of my work done on it) every day.

    From your described usage I don't think you will have any trouble with the power of the Core-M processor. I'm not sure that I've ever done anything on mine where I've really come up against its limitations. Having a machine that is always quiet is a joy.

    I think the battery life will be ok for you. You seem to be getting about the same life out of your Surface Pro as I get from mine. On the Macbook I regularly go as much as 10 hours, but I'd say for your work 7-8 will be more realistic. It should be a fair bit better than your Surface even in the worst case.

    I think that the Macbook keyboard is considerably better than the Type Cover 3, the new Type Cover 4 closes that gap a lot, and I may actually prefer that keyboard now, although the trackpad, which is also considerably improved, is still a bit short of the one on the Macbook. That said, the Macbook's keyboard has no travel and no cushion at all and some people are going to really dislike it. You should give it a try first at a store if at all possible.

    I don't see anything in your workflow that you won't be able to move to OS X, although it will of course require new copies of some of the paid software.
  5. geokarbou thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2015
    Thank you for your reply, the photo is amazing! God I'm in love with this thing...

    The 1,2 model is out of my budget, it costs 2000 EUR --> $2200 here. Seriously it's worth buying flight tickets to USA staying a weekend buying the Macbook and coming home with the same money as just buying this thing here!!!!

    I don't necessarily want to use Windows on it (using 10 now I am pleased) but it's good that there is this option as well.

    I want to get to know OSX and dive into it.

    Thank you for your reply!

    I have played around with the keyboard at the apple store and I can say I can easily adapt and write really fast. The shallow travel isn't bothering me as it seems for so many people, it helps me write faster.

    I think that for what I need it, the m processor wont be that much of a problem. The fast SSD and the RAM will compensate with snap reactions etc.
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    One thing I forgot to mention is that Chrome is as bad on battery on a Mac as it is in Windows. If battery life is essential to you, try to use Safari as much as possible. And use an adblocker as that will help battery a good bit as well. What I do is run mostly in Safari, and don't even install Flash. I keep Chrome installed for any websites I run into that I need Flash or have other compatibility issues (exceedingly rare) since Chrome has Flash built-in.
  7. geokarbou thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2015
    I hate chrome, it eats all the RAM and battery. The only thing that forces me to keep it, are the extensions that make my life a lot easier.

    I'll use safari as my main browser and only when absolutely needed I'll open chrome. Maybe in OSX I'll find some alternatives and workarounds to eliminate the need for Chrome altogether.
  8. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    I can't see any limitation about processing power for your usage with the MacBook.
    Btw I strongly suggest to get rid of chrome and use safari instead.
  9. lite426 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2013
    I get 6 hours battery on my MacBook tops, from a notch or two above half brightness and just watching Netflix and browsing on Safari. No flash installed, Ad Blocker is installed.
  10. Rodan52 macrumors regular


    Sep 21, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia and Bali, Indonesia
    I think it would be hard to find a better alternative to the MacBook 12inch for your purposes. Avoid power hungry apps to extend battery life. I'm sure there will be a new generation of USB 3 accessories very soon so don't worry about that single port.
  11. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I would say that you are looking at purely the MB in terms of hardware. Office on Mac is NOT the same on OSX ( is getting better but lags still on OSX compared to Windows you may be better off looking at the Windows option still, especially as this seems to be more work then personal orientated machine ( are your apps that you need accessible from OSX )

    This may sound strange on a Mac forum, but have you considered the new Surface 4 or even Surface Pro 4.

    Of course if you want to get to grips with OSX then the Surface/Pro wouldn't help with that however if your main use is work then would suggest that better off focusing on that then worrying about the OS, and focus on the Apps that using.
  12. geokarbou thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2015
    No, don't get me wrong, I don't worry about the OS. I was just curious if all my tasks listed could be performed under OSX with new/alternative software. That wasn't my main concern in any way though.

    Also as I mentioned, I have the Surface Pro 3 at the moment and while it is great, the top heavy design has become a burden for me and a no factor for any device of mine from now on. So Surface 4, Pro 4 are out of the picture.

    Additionally I would like to dive into OSX and familiarize myself with it.

    As far as the hardware is concerned I was just curious as to the real life performance of the m processor. I've never had interaction with a machine with such a processor and that's why I asked here, since a lot of people are undertaking similar tasks to mine on their 12 inch macbook.

    And don't forget, I am in love with that machine, everything else design-wise looks completely dull and boring to me ;)

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