The new MacBook: a 24hr review

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by profmatt, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. profmatt macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I received my new rMB yesterday. Here are my first thoughts, which may be of interest to those of you thinking of taking the plunge.

    1. The trackpad blows my mind. I can't get my head around it. It feels identical to the old-style trackpads, except this one doesn't physically move like they do. I was worried about how it would work, but it's exactly the same. Isn't technology marvellous.

    2. The keyboard is fantastic. I absolutely love it. I'm a touch-typist and on this keyboard I absolutely fly. They keys are larger in area (which is taking a little getting used to) but I like the size, and the travel is much less than a regular MacBook, but still enough to feel like you've achieved something when you push down the keys. It's a much better experience, say, than typing on an iPad Pro, where there is no travel at all on the on-screen keyboard.

    3. It's astonishingly, ridiculously small and light. The 12-inch screen is smaller (well, duh) than my MBP (which had a 13-inch screen) and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think everything is slightly smaller on screen so that you still see just as much stuff, but you have to squint a bit, lol. In terms of weight: an rMB plus and iPad Pro = a MBP. Isn't technology marvellous.

    4. I've not really experienced any problems with the processor speed (I bought the lowest spec model). If anything the whole thing feels faster than my i5 MBP, possibly because it's a fresh set-up and all the files are neat and clean and in the right places. I'm not getting beachballs of death. The hardest thing I'm asking it to do is InDesign and, while it takes a (short) while to load, it hasn't really struggled.

    5. I'm dubious about the claim of 9 hour battery life. I reckon it might only be 6. I have no hard evidence of this.

    6. The only thing I'm finding traumatising is that, in some lights, my gold rMB looks pink. It seems to change colour quite markedly depending on the lighting. Right now, it looks orangey gold, with the trackpad a darker shade. In other light, it looks pink, with the trackpad looking an unattractive grey.

    Technically, I've traded down in swapping my MBP (which I'm selling) for a rMB. So far, I feel fairly comfortable with that. The rMB is a very cleverly and mostly attractively designed piece of kit, that seems to work just as well, albeit with a smaller screen.
     
  2. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #2
    Congrats on your new purchase!

    I went to play with a RMB again in Apple Store yesterday. I hate the keyboard less than before. (It feels like it has changed a bit since last time I played with one, is that possible?! Like travel has slightly increased... Or maybe it's just the particular computer I used...) The screen, well, amazing. The thinness, incredible. Sound actually didn't blow me away, maybe in a smaller room it would but my Air seems pretty much the same. The trackpad is so amazing that after using it twice I still keep on forgetting that it does not have a mechanical click, because it feels so... realistic. And, damn it, it's thin and I love that, in a laptop it makes much more sense than in a phone.

    If not for the battery threads I would be quite upset about having chosen an Air over the rMB. But I think I'll have a rMB when the 2017 revision comes out. I'd like a 14" version though because the current 12" is just too small. I like the thinness but not the small palm rest areas. My Air does everything I want it to, it's just not so... cute.
     
  3. profmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
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    UK
    #3
    I simply do not believe the trackpad doesn't move. It is exactly the same feeling as a regular trackpad. It's incredible.
     
  4. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #4
    Interesting perspective to read. I'm also coming from a rMBP 13" (which I use in connection with an iMac) and as of this weekend I was planning on returning the rMB and sticking with the rMBP. It was a combination of the screen size and keyboard, and just a feeling that the rMB was a bit *too* small. But before taking the rMB back I packed it, along with my camera and typical travel gear in my Timbuktu bag and compared it with the rMBP.

    The difference was significant and enough to convince me to give the rMB a couple more days. My rMBP is back on craigslist :)

    Part of the appeal for me in making the switch was getting in on the recent Best Buy/Discover card cash back promo. The rMB (base model) ended up being $860 out the door, which means I won't take too much of a hit should I decide to migrate to a speedier v2 later this year.
     
  5. DougFNJ macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #5
    Great thread, I picked one up yesterday as well. I bought the silver with upgraded specs. Best Buy is selling for $200 off plus I used the movers coupon for an additional 5% off followed by my Best Buy Credit Card giving an additional 5%. Made it completely worth it, got the upgraded model for about the price I would had paid for the base model.

    This is a trial run for me. I had bought the rMBP with upgraded specs earlier this year and hit some financial speed bumps shortly after. If this ends up working out as I am hoping I will sell that, pay this off quick and have a few hundred to put towards other bills.

    Setup was easy, I used the migration tool to move everything over from the rMBP to the rMB and it finished in under 3 hours. Playing around with the 2 back and forth, the screen quality is great on both, brightness levels and quality are the same.

    I messed around a little on a short video I have been editing with FCPX and it was not nearly as slow as I thought it was going to be. I threw as much as I could to see where my pain points would be with a slower processor and it took everything I threw at it pretty well. Nothing was ridiculously noticeable lagging, and that was well beyond my normal use scenarios.

    So the jury is naturally still out, my early thoughts are this will do well for me.
     
  6. profmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Well, I've decided how I feel about the screen.

    It's too small. The MacBook is going back.

    Which is a pity, because I really loved that keyboard.
     
  7. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I was in a similar situation too you, i was switching between the MB and the MBP trying to decide which one to keep and at first the MB screen seemed a bit too small. I eventually decided to put the MBP away for a couple of days and just use the MB, after a couple of days i got the MBP back out and the screen now seemed to big and the 12" on the MB now feels perfect, i think 12" is the sweet spot now. So it might be worth giving it a bit longer, i would change it for a space grey if possible though.
     
  8. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Land of Smiles
    #8
    That's a shame I never thought an inch was that significant
     
  9. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    #9
    I love the "idea" of the extra portability the rMb can provide but in all honesty is a 13 inch rMbp REALLY that much less portable in the grand scheme of things? I currently have a 15 and a 13 and there IS a significant difference between them. I love the 15 but it is way too big and costly to take with me. I don't mind adding a lb and an inch for a computer that is superior in everything it does.
     
  10. profmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
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    UK
    #10
    It is for two reasons. First, you're getting about 5/6 of the screen area. Actually, it's worse than that because the free screen area is proportionately even less because you (mostly) have to have menu bars and whatnot. Second all the text is proportionately smaller and this was the ultimate deal-breaker as I found it hard to read. (I could enlarge everything, but then I've effectively got even less free screen space.)
     
  11. Zorn macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    I'd say give it a few more days to see if you adjust. If not, it's a safe bet the new MBP redesign will be in a similar vein to this new rMP so you'll be able to get this keyboard on a bigger laptop eventually.
     
  12. profmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
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    UK
    #12
    I will be shovelling money towards Apple when they make something like that. A bigger retina MacBook in this new style is dream scenario.

    I can wait. There's really nothing wrong with my MacBook Pro, other than it's dull and grey. (But at least it's not pink, ha!)
     
  13. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #13
    2015: The year mainstream tablets become larger, and mainstream computers become smaller.
     
  14. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #14
    Is there not a font setting so it's not as bad as changing resolution ?
     
  15. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #15
    Not on OS X, your stuck with what Apple believes is optimal for the specific scaled resolution on Retina, and plain stuck on non Retina displays.

    Q-6
     
  16. SteveJUAE, Jan 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
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    #16
    Ohh my bad :oops:

    I naturally assumed you had similar options on fonts and icon scaling (ease or access etc etc) as this is not about applications but interface with your laptop. One of Apples strengths was always fonts hence it's early adoption for the print / publishing industry many years back.

    I'm never in OSX long enough to notice. I'm very sorry did not mean to highlight a Windows only function I understand the OP dilemma now, thanks :)

    I recall my sons commenting on my youngest 15" rMBP now. I bought him this to replace his 17" Alienware laptop that was a disaster. I just thought it was his preferred settings not a limitation. I know you can scale up the Icon bar at the bottom we did that a couple of days back when we were playing with an IMac in a store

    Please tell me it's not restricted within Apps/Software by others

    I also recall that someone asked us what resolution we were using in Bootcamp the other day now I know why, thought it was strange at the time
     
  17. profmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Even if you could increase the font size, you're still reducing the effective usable size of your screen as everything now takes up more space.

    For me, I'm all about 13 inches. Ahem.

    But -- oh! -- that keyboard. No lover has ever satisfied me as much as that did. (The same is true of Apple's new whatever the plastic-rubbery stuff is they use for their cases nowadays. I could rub those bad boys against myself all night long.)

    (I may have overshared.)
     
  18. SteveJUAE, Jan 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #18
    Increasing font size is not as a dramatic as resolution change as some items wrap etc, you can also play with other individual items eg menu size so you get to max out what you paid for :)

    A bit too much info on the rubber :D but I get the point LOL. I'm more a dense metallic man myself now if they made Lego out of stainless Steel with magnets I could be fiddling all night long
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    Bummers man, you seemed to really like the computer.

    I agree, the screen does look rather diminutive. I was at my local apple store before Christmas playing with an iPad Pro, I then moved on to the rMB and was shocked at how small the screen looked and felt, especially compared to the iPad Pro.
     
  20. profmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    I really did like it. I'm sad to see it go, but it's just too small for my needs.

    I've given my MacBook Pro a good old clean and polish, I've actually completely erased it and reinstalled the system software and my files*, and it's almost as good as new! Even with its clunky keyboard :(

    ________________________

    *which is surprisingly easy nowadays: almost all of my files are in the cloud (Dropbox and iCloud) and the proprietary software I use (Office and Creative Suite) is also downloadable
     
  21. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #21
    This was my experience, too, although the 13" didn't feel too big. Just bigger.

    The past nearly two weeks I've found transitioning from the 13" rMBP to the 12" rMB similar to how it felt originally to decide between the 6 and 6 Plus last year. Once you get used to one, the other feels too big (or small) when you try it again. In the phone case, using my son's 6 feels cramped now as I've grow to prefer the 6 Plus. With the laptop, although the 13" screen feels more roomy, the machine itself feels heavy and clunky after using the rMB exclusively for a day or two. Ideally, I'd probably opt for a 13" rMB.
     
  22. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #22
    Isn't this the whole point?

    A fully functional, but very small, computer?
     
  23. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    It is but some people don't like to sacrifice the larger screen size. They should have made the Macbook an inch bigger so the screen equaled to 13 inches but still had a smaller chassis. (Though I believe the MBP and MBA are 13.3 inches)

    At 12 inches the MB is actually only .4 inch larger than the MBA 11, which is actually 11.6 inches.

    As I have learned the MBr should only be compared to the MBA 11 and not the MBA/MBP 13 cause it's a different class of computing due to the size.
     
  24. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #24
    Funny that almost sounds negative :)

    We did the opposite a couple of days back with my boys and we thought how big the IPP seemed and what would you do with that :D
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #25
    It wasn't meant to be, but rather just an observation. :)
     

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