wow, lots of words to repeat what others who like it have said, and what detractors complain about. reads like apple gave you a review unit and your pay back was positive. the whole professionally-written piece raises questions.
Great review, I love to read this type of posts. In my case I am mac user for a log time now, but on december I bought the i7 Surface Pro 3 and I can tell you that I absolutely love it, the only think i don't really like is Windows 8, but I've gotten used to it and I really think Windows 10 will solve most of my issues with Windows. For me as a student it has been a great device, really portable, office programs are much better than on mac, the ability to take notes is amazing for me at least as I use it a lot to mark up PDFs. The keyboard even though many people don't like it, once I got used to it I can write really fast and have no issues at all, the trackpad I find it really responsive but it's too small so I usually carry a mouse or use the touch screen.
Now I also have my 1.2 Macbook and it's clear to me it's a much better laptop, I love the keyboard, Trackpad, Battery life and everything about it, for my type of light use performance has been great. To be honest, although I do love the Surface I would not use it at all if iPad would have the inking feature as the SP3, that's the only thing missing in my apple lineup.
For those with battery issues with the Macbook as many have said, I found out screen brightness to be the key. For me to get to around 9 hours I have to set the brightness around 50%, if it's set at 100% It usually lasts like 5 hours.
This entire review was perfect and timely for me. My 2009 Air finally died this week. Travel a lot and for work in the past, now at Columbia doing school again in my 30s. The choice is really the MacBook or the MBP. The main review and this comment are swaying towards the MacBook. Not CPU intensive work at all. MS office, Keynote, web, Netflix and some photo and video, but only personal.Absolutely love mine - I opted for the 256 model as they didn't have the 512 in stock, not the end of the world. I've been using a 128gb macbook air for the last 4 years and never really struggled.
I do keep my music collection on a harddrive seperately but that's because it's close to a TB.
I've not had it hang for anything yet, i've ran my usual stuff on it and dealt with some massive libraries.
Next test is using Photoshop which i'm sure it will handle just fine as well
I use Dropbox and iCloud as well on mine. Honestly, I think the brightness is a big part of it. I'm usually below 50%, often well below. If I sit outside and the screen goes to 75-100% brightness then I'd say my battery life would drop to ~6 hours +/-. If you want great battery, it's worth adapting to slightly dimmer screens. My iPads generally go 10-15 hours because of this as well. It's worth noting though that this only helps so much on my Surface - I'm nearly always at 30% or so yet get about 5.5 hours.
The OS X tools to determine what apps are consuming power are pretty good. Anything suspicious there? Sort by the Avg. Energy Impact. Safari is generally the highest by far for me, but anything else - even iTunes sitting idle, that averages even ~1 is worth shutting down if you aren't using it as it seems to make a noticeable impact to me.
Or just looking at what the battery icon is saying (estimation based on what you are currently doing) vs timing it with a stopwatch/clock aka estimated time vs real time. It wouldn't be the first here that people are only looking at the time given by the battery icon. It would be nice if people would tell how they measured it so others can replicate and compare the results better.I think it all has to do with screen brightness and throttling.
Will have Dropbox running too, but when in need of battery life it can easily be disabled for a while.
Question on charging: you mentioned using usb-c to usb-a and an iPad charger, can you run off that while connected and still get some net charging?
Thanks again for all the effort, very timely thread for me!
I got my cables. Mixed results.
I have a USB charger built into one of the outlets in our kitchen where we typically charge devices. AFAIK this is a max of 2.1 amps, but I can't get it to charge the Macbook - it just reports no charging. Also, as I've seen reported elsewhere, with both of these cables, unfortunately the USB-C side is not really reversible - it really only charges in one orientation.
Things are a bit better with my 12w iPad charger where it does charge, and even when using the device seems to work ok. Looks like it would take about 8:00 to charge though during my normal use. Closed and asleep, I'd bet half that, as in 30 minutes of mixed use/sleep, it managed to get about 10% charge added. So asleep, I bet it would charge in a few hours.
So, not a bad way to get access to cheap charging as a backup. I'll probably leave one of these on my desk at work, and another in a secondary place at home just for the convenience of not having to move my main charger around. If you don't have at least a 2.4a charger though, probably worth just putting the money into a proper Apple usb-c brick as a spare.
Terrific. I decided to get the MacBook. Have only had it a few days So far loving it. I do have the iPad charger and an Anker with two ports that I use for work travel. Ill see how things go too. Don't so much need it to charge while using one, but as you said just a way to avoid carrying around its charger. Figured that can use power when it is available and thus still keep what power I have in the battery for when on the go. Now more class time than work travel, so 3 hour lectures or labs.