Apple MacBook 2016 Review

Appearance, size and weight have not changed: the new MacBook is the usual, wonderful design object. 280.5 x 196.5 x 13.1 mm thick, which become just 3.5 mm in the vicinity of the wrist rest. The weight is only 0.92 kg, twice as much as an iPad Air.

The novelty of this year aesthetic resides only in the new rose gold color, in addition to the classic gray sidereal, silver and gold. For the new MacBook there was a slight but significant improvement in the technical specifications: the combined test, the base model has a SoC with Intel Core CPU m3 1.1 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 2.2 GHz), 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM at 1866 MHz and 256 GB SSD. The integrated Intel GPU is the HD 515, with 1536 MB of dedicated RAM, for supporting an LCD panel 12-inch Retina in 16:10 format with resolution 2304 × 1440 32-bit color depth. To complete the budget there are a module Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac to 867Mbps and Bluetooth 4.0.

There are two other versions of the MacBook, respectively, with Intel Core m5 at 1.2GHz (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) and Intel Core m7 at 1.3 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz), both with 8 and 256 or 512 GB internal storage memory – PCI express flash drives of third generation.

As with the first model, this MacBook has a single USB-C port on the left side and a headphone jack on the left side. The USB port is 3.1-C January 1, with transfer rates up to 5Gbps that natively supports DisplayPort video output (Thunderbolt 1), VGA output and HDMI output, but you need the dedicated adapters, sold separately.

The FaceTime camera has not changed at all, the same as 480p, with the defects already known, especially in low light conditions.

The keyboard and trackpad Touch Force remain the same: the first has a key stroke of only 0.5mm, so it requires an adjustment period, while it is large and comfortable, but still can not find a specific use for third-party apps.

The software is the core operating system Mac OS X El Captain. Thanks to software optimizations, but also to change Intel architecture (now Skylake), this MacBook is very fast, able to withstand intense writing sessions in addition to browser windows, music playback and app in fullscreen without hesitation.

The average use of intensive testing, no impairment whatsoever slowdowns with 4 Google Chrome windows open (including 3 on two different desks and in fullscreen) with a total of 21 active tab, Fantastical and iTunes in fullscreen, music playback with iTunes, a Finder window, a Telegram, a Slack, a native iMessage and WhatsApp. In these conditions, the transition from one desk to another occurred without lag, as also the passage in Mission Control.

Also of note the temperature of the body, which never rises considerably, allowing you to keep the notebook on your lap without any discomfort.

Surprisingly, the model being tested did not even hesitate when faced with audio editig operations with GarageBand and video editing with iMovie. Apple sempbra then have learned from previous mistakes. It also shows the lack of those annoying graphical glitches that plagued the previous model.

Of course, for this MacBook is the fully-wireless setting: the only USB-C port discourages the use of cables, in fact, but they do not really feel the need. Wi-Fi is fast and Instant Hotspot with iPhone lets you surf without even pull out your smartphone from your pocket.

With a battery with approximately 5400 mAh capacity, or about 10% better than the previous model, Apple claims that the new MacBook has a maximum range of 10 hours.

In tests carried out during the trial period, with mixed use of video playback on Netflix (about 2 hours), word processing sessions (approximately 2 hours), instant messaging (about 1 hour in total), and playing music with iTunes (playback continues in background for about 5 hours), the battery runs out after less than six hours.

This test just described, it is good to specify it, is not a typical situation, but one of the worst scenarios in terms of energy consumption. The natural setting, ie without video playback from the web, with low music listening, less windows in fullscreen and, above all, opening the navigation sessions with Safari and Chrome do not (which is one of the largest sources of energy consumption for laptops in general, but especially for the Apple laptop), you can go up to 8-9 hours. To be fair, at no time our tests have given the 10 hours reported.

If last year the statement “MacBook is a hybrid for those seeking both a MacBook and an iPad that wants everything in one device” was true, now it no longer is.

Between MacBook and iPad, now, have hindered the two 9.7 and 12.9 inch iPad Pro and the new MacBook seems to have a new specific target: those who do not need to install complex video dual stream or manage more than two windows at the same time.

But it can do so even iPad Pro. So where is the essential difference. Obviously in the desktop operating system.

Moreover, the computational power does not offer the best performance for a machine of the same category, and 12 “display provides a large space for the arrangement of the elements.

The price is also very high: Starts at € 1,499 for the base model (described in this review), which increases to about € 1,300 if you take advantage of the student discount. If you think that for the same price you can get a good car like the MacBook Pro (although more bulky and heavy), you end up with more than a doubt.

The only thing clear at the moment is that, for Appple, the MacBook is the future of laptops, but, as usual, has a few years ahead of its time.

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