Hands-on: the new MacBook

Anthony Caruana
20 May, 2015
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It’s taken a few weeks but I’ve finally got my hands on Apple’s new MacBook. I have to admit, I approach this review period with an air of scepticism.

Over the last few years, I’ve used just about every Mac Apple has had to offer. And, while it’s often taken a few days to get used to the new hardware, the core functionality has not really changed. But the MacBook changes things in some significant ways.

The hero of the MacBook is, in my view, the new trackpad. It’s hard to believe that the familiar click when you tap on the trackpad is created via the same haptic technology used in the Apple Watch.

In order to make the MacBook so thin – the base is only marginally thicker than the 3.5mm headphone port – the keyboard and trackpad had to be redesigned in order to find ways to simulate the familiar sounds and movement normally associated with typing and clicking.

The keyboard will take some getting used to. Apple has changed the entire attachment and click mechanism under the keys in order to accommodate the thinner body. As a result, the key travel is just 0.6mm rather than closer to 1.5mm with a regular keyboard. The keys are also larger than a MacBook Pro and are dished so the centre of each key is slightly recessed.

All of that is designed to make typing as comfortable as possible.

One thing I expect will get on my nerves is the need to use an adapter to connect almost anything I need. When I travel, I use my MacBook Pro as a charging station for my iPhone and iPad. An adapter with just one USB port will mean I’ll need to pack an extra power supply.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be exploring the MacBook, using it as our main system.  That will include some long haul flights, schlepping around conferences, working in client offices and at home.  That will give us a chance to put the new MacBook through its paces.

One Comment

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  1. Pete says:

    I’m sure the new Macbook is quite capable, and that the new trackpad is wonderful. The new keyboard may even be a good thing.


    Seriously – no USB port without an ADAPTOR??? I’ve given this some thought, and while I don’t plug something into the USB port on my raging MBP every day, it would be every second day. Often this is to share files with others. Needing an adaptor for this is retarded. In a desktop environment plugging in external drives via an adaptor is no big deal, but when out and about its just dumb – form over function.

    And the company that brought Thunderbolt to the world doesn’t have a thunderbolt port on its latest laptop? My iMac and MBP are getting old, and as I look to my future setup, a thunderbolt equipped laptop will do all I need when mobile, and when I’m back in the office, just plug in ONE thunderbolt cable, and via a dock I have a couple of 27″ monitors, speakers, external drives, gigabit network ………. all via that one plug and a thunderbolt dock. The best of both worlds.

    Maybe Apple are not aiming the new Macbook at people like me, but seriously ……….. no USB???

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