This spring, Apple added a new MacBook to its collection, but which has a Retina display and slight improvements, and soon, it will be upgraded to OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Currently, the developers can test the Beta 3 (Build 15A244d), which can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or from the Mac App Store. But, let’s go back to the MacBook 2015, which, undoubtedly, is a very attractive laptop and which feels more like an iPad Air that runs on OS X. Plus, Apple equipped it with a USB Type-C port which supports data-transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps. Below, you’ll find a detailed review about this new product.
For the umpteenth time, Apple used aluminum to build the body, and made the laptop very thin at only 13mm, but this isn’t the only quality of the new MacBook. Apple made it very thin in order to remove the cooling fan and this allowed the manufacturer to use an Intel fanless Core M processor, which is very quiet and it’s passively cooled. Another thing that became thinner is the keyboard, which uses a butterfly mechanism that replaces the scissor type mechanism that holds the keys. The keyboard has 78 (in the US) or 79 (ISO) individual LED backlit keys which include 12 function keys and the useful four arrow keys with ambient light sensor.
Even if the chassis is made of aluminum, that doesn’t mean that you’ll find the laptop in the standard color, as you can choose between Space Grey, Silver and Gold. In the past, the MacBooks had a full-size USB 2.0 and they were powered using MagSafe adapters. But technology evolved fast and nowadays, it seems that more and more devices start to adopt a USB Type-C port, while the other port is reserved for the headphone jack, and it sits on the right-hand side. Besides Apple’s own Thunderbolt port, you won’t find another port (USB or for video outputs), which will disappoint you. And the absence of MagSafe will require you to be more careful with the power cord and to stop wrapping your leg around it.
The addition of the USB Type-C forces you to use a USB Type-C adapter in order to connect USB peripherals and monitors, and you will have to choose between a USB-C-to-USB-A adapter and a Multi-port adapter if you want to connect a HDMI-equipped external monitor or VGA, USB-C or USB-A devices.
The laptop has a width of 280mm, a depth of 197mm and it weights 0,92Kg, being easier to carry that the MacBook Air, which has a 13inches screen and which measures 325 x 227 x 17mm. What you’ll like about the MacBook 2015 is the fact that it measures only 3.5mm at the front, and you can easily open the lid with one hand, because Apple placed a cutaway there.
The Force Touch technology was finally added to Apple’s products and thanks to it, there’s no mechanical construction under the trackpad, and instead, it was added an extra click using haptic feedback, which means that the Force sensors will detect how much pressure you’re applying and they’re responding accordingly.
The MacBook 2015 houses a LED-backlit display with a diagonal of 12inches, which uses IPS technology. It’s a Retina display with a 2304-by-1440 resolution that results in a pixel density of 226ppi, but you can customize the resolution, by lowering it to 1440 by 900, 1280 by 800 or 1024 by 640. You should know that the aspect ratio is 16:10 and it supports 170-degree viewing angles.
The screen was measured with the X-Rite colorimeter and it resulted in a brightness level of 375.15cd/m2, which makes the content easy to read in bright sunlight. The color accuracy stands at 91.3 percent of the sRGB color gamut and the black levels are 0.33 cd/m2. You will be very satisfied with this impressive display because it makes the texts and images “pop” and you will not want to buy the 13inches MacBook Air.
The MacBook comes with a built-in 39.7-Wr lithium-polymer battery which lasts up to nine hours when browsing the internet, ten hours when watching movies via iTunes and up to 30 days when it’s in stand by mode. In addition, it features a 29W USB-C Power Adapter.
Hardware and Prices
The MacBook houses 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory and has a 480p FaceTime camera, but it’s available in two variants of processors:
– the first variant uses a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (which can be boosted up to 2.4GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache and you can configure it to 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (which can be boosted up to 2.9GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache. The onboard flash storage has a capacity of 256GB and you’ll pay $1299 on this model.
– the second variant is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (which can be boosted up to 2.6GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache, and this model supports also configuration to 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (which can be boosted up to 2.9GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache. However, this variant has a double flash storage and it costs $1599.