Why you should not buy a new MacBook

Apple announced their latest MacBook this past week. And while I think that the design is gorgeous, the rest leaves much to be desired. Matching your iPhone with gold, silver, or space grey does sound enticing. Unfortunately you are better off getting just about anything else.

Let us go ahead and look at the problems and the alternatives.

The Problems:

One Port: I think all of the tech geeks have been rather unanimous in their disdain for this feature. The MacBook has only port. It is a USB Type-C. Yes only one port to charge, connect external displays, or your USB flash drive. So you’ll need an unsightly dongle that costs $70. Sure USB Type-C is the future, but why not two or more? All this does is further limit your real portability.

No Click: Sure Apple bills it as Force Click. It will intuitively tell how much force you’re applying and will even fast forward faster in a video clip based on more force. But it’s a gimmick, there is no real click. Sure Apple Trackpads have great reviews, but that is the past. Unless you want another steep learning curve while your curse, this is another dozer.

The CPU: Apple was always going to take this CPU and run with it. Its fan less and is faster than an Intel Atom. And we know that Steve Job hated fans. But this 1.1 GHz Intel Core M is a tortoise to the hare that was the previous generations. Fan less is coming but it’s not here yet. Especially not with a Retina screen attached. It will work for light duty but not much more… just like an iPad.

So let’s go ahead and looks at the alternatives.

The Alternatives:

MacBook Air: Sure it weighs more at 3lbs but it has a 1.5 GHz Intel Core i5. Also it has ports, like a dedicated port for charging, 2 USB 3, SDXC, and Thunderbolt 2. And the price is less at $999. You will miss out on a Retina screen however.

iPad Air 2: The new MacBook won’t do much more than browsing. An iPad with Retina display will do all a MacBook can do for only $500. Yes it has only one port, but it weighs only a pound. And you can still get Microsoft Office. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and case for less than $100. You wouldn’t be able to do much more on the MacBook due to the limited CPU.

Surface Pro 3. Here is the winner. At 2.4lbs and thinner than the MacBook. Add a great keyboard with real click touchpad and it’s still only .03in thicker than the MacBook. USB, Power, DisplayPort, and MicroSDXC. The display is 12in Retina, just like the MacBook, but also a touchscreen. The CPU options start at 1.5 GHz Intel Core i3 up to a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7. Starting at $799

Let’s compare:

  MacBook MacBook Air iPad Air 2 Surface Pro 3
Size 11.04in x 7.74in x 0.52in 12.8in x 8.94in x 0.68in 9.4in x 6.6in x 0.24in 11.5in x 7.93in x 0.36in (0.55in[1])
Weight 2.03lbs 2.96lbs 0.96lbs 1.76lbs/2.4lbs[1]
Display 12in 2304×1440 13.3in 1440×900 9.7in 2048×1536 12in 2160×1440
CPU 1.1Ghz Intel Core M / 1.2Ghz Intel Core M / 1.3Ghz Intel Core M 1.6GHz i5 / 2.2Ghz i7 Apple A8X 1.5GHz i3 / 1.9 GHz i5 / 1.7 GHz i7
Storage 256 / 512 GB 128 / 256 / 512GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 64 / 128 / 256 / 512GB
Camera 480p 720p 8 MP back 1.2 MP front 5 MP back 5MP front
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm Audio MagSafe 2, USB 3, USB 3, Thunderbold 2, SDXC, 3.5mm Audio. Lightning connector, 3.5mm Audio. Power, USB 3, MicroSDXC, DisplayPort, 3.5mm Audio.
Battery 9 Hours 12 Hours 10 Hours 9 Hours
Price[2] $1299/$1599 $999/$1199 $499 / $599 / $699 $799 / $999 / $1549

[1] With additional Pro Type Cover keyboard

[2] Starts at these prices but may be configured in a variety of ways. The iPad is priced on Storage, all others start based on CPU specs.

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