More rMB Details - Hands On (pros and cons)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Hankster, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #1
    I wasn't planning on writing a review, but after using this all day I noticed certain things that have yet to be posted. For those who already know I apologize for the repeat, but for those who are still thinking about the rMB you may find these details interesting. I've used MacBooks since 2007 and I've have three MBA the last five years (four MBA if you include my wife's). This rMB is very different in build and user experience. A few items I feel worthy to note.

    1. Just to be 100% clear, because I have read false reports, the charging cord is not short. It is over six feet long. There were reports the cord was the length of an iPad charger and that's just false. The cord is over six feet long.

    2. The speakers are very loud. I already knew this after testing it in the store. But, using it outside the store the sound quality is very telling. This is by far the best sound quality of any laptop I have ever used. And, I've been using laptops since the early 90s. It is easily x2 louder than my 11" 2014 MBA. There are plenty of posts about this now though.

    3. One concern I had previous to today was the lack of wrist/palm rest space due to position of the keyboard. This may still be an issue for people who have long fingers or big hands (strongly recommend you try before you buy if you fall into this category). On my 11" MBA it took me several months to get used to typing without hurting my wrist/palm on the edge of the laptop. I was afraid of the same issue here, however because the laptop is so thin it feels like I'm typing on the desk itself.

    4. Charging is fast. I did a test this afternoon and it went from 65% to 100% in about 35 minutes. With that you can pretty much assume almost a full charge in an hour's time. The laptop was sleeping, not turned off.

    5. Battery life. Starting from 100% I starting customizing my laptop. This included downloading and installing Photoshop, MS Office, Flash, moving files, etc. In two and a half hours I used up 30%. That may seem a lot, but it's not considering downloading and installing takes processing power. This was also two and half hours of nonstop use.

    6. The keyboard took me an hour to get used to. After a full day I'm fine with it. I do not mistype at all. If anything I "feel" as if I type faster, though it's probably just imagination due to the faster travel of the keys.

    7. The build quality feels like an iPhone 6. Very well done.

    Cons
    1. I do not like the power cord. I'm so used to the MagSafe that having to "plug in" a power cord feels odd. Also, there is no light indicator on the power cord which is something I used very often with my MBA models. I will very much miss these two features. With the MagSafe you barely had to "plug in" the power cord due to the magnet and you could just swipe it to remove. Not anymore.

    2. I am not a fan of the "force touch". For me how the track pad worked before was 100% fine. After several hours I turned off the "force touch" feature because I would sometimes accidentally activate it. There are also no features I need for "force touch" for. Just personal preference on this one.

    3. As odd as this is to say...it's too light. This is not a big "con". But more of something to get used to. My current laptop was an 11" MBA and I was always able to tell if it was in my work bag or not. I placed this rMB in my work bag and I cannot tell at all. It is that light. Honestly, this is lighter than the first or second iPad models. How Apple got a full desktop computer in this...I don't know.

    I hope I shed some new light on the rMB for those who are still researching. Also, the store manager told me this morning he received an email from corporate that they will be launching an Apple USB-C to 3 ports adapter. It's coming soon. I still purchased an adapter for my iPhone 6.

    PS: When I started typing this thread my battery was at 100%. I'm done and it's still at 100%.
     
  2. djbuu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #2
    For your force touch concerns, did you try adjusting the pressure needed to activate?

    In my tests at the Apple Store, the default setting is literally the exact same pressure needed to activate for a non-force touch track pad. So I'm not sure what's different for you.
     
  3. Hankster thread starter macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #3
    I thought about it. But, I don't really need another option for the track pad. So, for me it's not needed. I guess I could try and find a use for it, but overall for my use it's not anything big.
     
  4. vanimal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #4
    Thanks for the input, i was still debating because i do like it. And have seen A LOT of people say they are exchanging their 2015 MBPR on this forum. My only concern is my larger hands, the ends of my palms almost touch the wrist rest edge as it is on my MBPR. That is the only problem i can see. I could forget about the 1.5" screen difference probably within a week. I do connect to my 23" LED external time to time, but i guess there is a adapter for that. At a small cost. :cool:

    Still on the fence! Leaning closer to the MBR as a see a lot of satisfaction for it here. I am hanging on by a finger!:D
     
  5. hypno macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #5
    Vanimal in my day 1 review two days ago I had my biggest con being hands on the edge, and now I don't even notice it anymore. YMMV of course, but keyboard, screen size, and feel are pretty normal feeling to me now. OP is also right typing on a desk or table diminishes this way more than any other laptop because there isn't as aggressive of an angle from palm rest to desk for your arms...if that makes sense.
     
  6. wisestar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #6
    Thank you for the review! It is one of the most neutral review I have seen from the forum and very interesting! I am sold after your review despite of the cons as they are not problems to me. Have fun with your new "weightless" machine;)
     
  7. TEBnewyork macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #7
    The keyboard

    The other super nice thing about the keyboard is the new LED lighting. It lights the keys but there isn't light leaking out all around the keys like my MBA and MBP. It is quite nice.

    For work I use a rMBP attached to two thunderbolt displays. I'm hoping that a new wireless keyboard comes out with both the new butterfly keys and LEDs.

    This is the such an elegantly designed laptop. Really like it so far.

    But I agree I really don't like the charging cord. It isn't supple. But I do like that you can detach the cord from the charging brick.
     
  8. questioner76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #8
    I also played around with the MacBook at the Apple Store a few days ago. Like the watch, I definitely recommend that it be seen in person before ordering. I was very excited about it and wanted to sell my 15" rMBP to get one, but seeing the machine in person tempered my interest.

    To me, it has almost the same footprint as the 11" Air. Other than the retina screen, the product just seemed a little pointless. Why didn't Apple just add a retina screen to the MacBook Air and keep all of the connectivity and Magsafe? I felt like they just got a little too cute with design and maybe felt like they needed an all new product to drum up interest rather than just adding a retina screen to an existing product.

    The new keyboard and trackpad are cool, but gosh that's a lot of work just to make the thing a little thinner. I understand battery life would have taken a hit by just adding retina to an Air, but I wonder how much of a hit? The Air arguably solved the ultrabook market but for the screen.

    Even though the rMB screen is 12", it is teeny-tiny in person. You really need to see it to decide whether it's something you can work on.

    If Apple had added retina to a 13" Air, I would have been all over it.
     
  9. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #9
    But the whole point is the display. I doubt they did this as a publicity stunt. As your post reflects, Apple could have had the hottest product in the sector if they had put retina displays in the MBA. It would have gotten universal raves from reviewers, pundits and consumers. It would have sold so fast that they would have had to put new floors in most of the retail stores.

    Instead, they've gotten every hate twitch possible from armchair measurbators and frankly mixed reviews from most of the reviewers. Presumably the reason that they didn't do that is because, as they have several times in the past, Apple wanted to take the product not to the next step but several steps beyond. Whether that's a bridge to far (to mix metaphors) remains to be seen.
     
  10. Mindinversion macrumors 6502

    Mindinversion

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #10
    Just to throw an observation on this into the mix, it's also BRIGHT AS HECK! Someone on the forums had complained about uneven backlight on keys like command and caps lock. I went to turn the backlighting down to see if it exacerbated the issue, and found out it was only at about 50%!

    For the record, I still have the variation in those keys, but it's not something you even pay attention to unless you're looking for it. Also, hands covering keyboard [well, in my case.. touch typist]
     
  11. xPad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    #11
    That's well over 8 hours of total battery life. So, I don't think that dropping 30% is a lot. In fact, it's pretty amazing.
     
  12. thadoggfather macrumors 604

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #12
    Though you may not like force touch or see the added benefits in great detail right now, just remember it was needed to get a design this slim. In that sense, its more essential than on rMBP 2015, where it was added but truly not needed. However, I still liked it on that one also. And, its potential implementation depending on how devs adapt it, could in theory one day be a UX game changer beyond looking up dictionary words, FF'ing in quicktime at a multiplied rate, or clicking individual apps in the dock with multiple windows open to see a spread of them.

    The adjustable feel is awesome, and clicking anywhere on the track pad (including top corners, previously stiff and not doable from the conventional diving board trackpad)

    Plus tap to click is still an option, something I opt for most of the time.
     
  13. Hankster thread starter macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #13
    As a MBA user for the last 4-5 years I agree with you. When the news hit early last year about Apple making a "MBA" with a retina display I was very happy. To me the MBA is the perfect machine for almost anything besides heavy graphics or processing. I was hoping a 12" MBA with Retina display launch. To me this is still a MBA but taking away the MagSafe and all USB ports to make the laptop just barely thinner is baffling to me.

    That being said I still enjoy using this. I'm also a Photographer so I use Photoshop and edit .raw files so a retina display for me was key.
     
  14. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #14
    For photo editing, the TN panel was a major bummer. The retina displays are a good bit better, and according to Anandtech, this is the best retina display overall that Apple has ever put in a laptop.
     
  15. Hankster thread starter macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #15
    One reason I wanted the retina display is because for the longest time I always had to do my editing on my iMac. The MBA screen does not display colors correctly. So, now I can finally edit .raw files on a laptop. More convenient.
     
  16. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #16
    Yup. And the viewing angles are so narrow that if you move your head just a little bit from where it was when you calibrated the display (assuming that you used a colorimeter), it's all out of whack again. :( Preaching to the choir...
     
  17. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #17
    Glad to hear this. The way people were going on about it was like it was the length of an iPhone/iPad charger.
     
  18. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #18
    Two meters, so just under 80".
     
  19. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    #19
    After 4 days of use: (1.2/512)

    1. Battery life about the same as my 2014 11" MBA 1.4
    2. Keyboard - the best, very easy to use.
    3. Touchpad - huge improvement over the previous version. Love it.
    4. Weight great.
    5. Screen - How did I live with the 11" MBA
    6. Speed - No noticeable difference with 11" 2014 1.4 MBA
    7. Heat - No hot spots when running 4 programs at once.
    8. Ports - Yep needed USBC - USBA adapter right out of the box. This is a must have extra $20.00

    A very nice upgrade to the 2014 11" MBA.
     
  20. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #20
    Good solid review. I don't agree with all of it but most of it I agree with. The charging cable is almost absurdly long border-lining on comical. I do miss mag safe but if this new standard can power a 4k display and input/output etc... then to me it is worth the trade off. I love the keyboard personally. I like that I feel like I am typing faster and I my fingers are less tired when typing with it. I like the lightness of the computer. I don't feel like I'm lugging it around or that I have a lot going on. It feels like I am carrying less stuff. The force touch I like. It does take some getting used to though. I'm not one of these people who will turn it off. It's something I will just have to get used to. I think it's an improvement over extra levers and keys and things going on in the background.
     
  21. Hankster thread starter macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #21
    I have the same MBA and your points are 100% spot on. The only thing I wish was for the MagSafe and one USB port. But, I can deal with it. I never dock my laptop to an external monitor so the advantages of the USB-C don't impact me.
     
  22. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #22
    Why is it Needed:

    "8. Ports - Yep needed USBC - USBA adapter right out of the box. This is a must have extra $20.00"
     
  23. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    #23
    ZipZap

    The first reason it was needed is because I backupped my 2014 11" MBA with Time Machine. Since the external drive was USBA there was no way to load that time machine backup onto the 12" rMB without the adapter.

    The second reason is many of the projects I work on require some sort of external device plugged in via USBA. For example: Video Camera, iPhone, iPad, external disk, optical and HD.

    I use the iPad as a monitor add via Duo and it requires the iPad to be plugged in.

    Not many external devices, but there are some. I have the multi $79.00 HDMI adapter on order and then I will be able to charge at the same time.
     

Share This Page