Refurbished macbook 12 inch compared


Actually, I suppose, you"re going to lớn see everytoàn thân refer to it as "the new MacBook" for a little while, but that"s just temporary. The name is a signal. Apple could have sầu called it the MacBook Air 12-inch or the MacBook Sllặng or any number of other things. But instead, it’s the MacBook. That has to mean something.

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You are really, really going to lớn want this máy tính, even though it"s relatively expensive sầu, starting at $1,299. It’s easily the most impressive sầu máy tính xách tay I’ve seen since the original MacBook Air. It’s almost unbelievable in every regard. How did Apple make it so thin? What dark magicks make this trackpad work? Is it really going khổng lồ be fast enough? Why is there only one port? Every one of those questions has an interesting answer, và the mere fact that a máy tính can still engender this much intrigue in năm ngoái is remarkable.

After using this tiny little wonder of a computer for a little over a week, I have a pretty strong guess about what the name means. It’s called the MacBook because Apple sees it as the Platonic ikhuyễn mãi giảm giá of what a máy tính should be. It’s what Apple believes all laptops should eventually become.

But if you know anything about Platonic iđơn hàng, you know that there"s a big difference between the igiảm giá & the reality. And so the big question for this tiny new MacBook is simple: is the reality anywhere cchiến bại khổng lồ the ideal?


The MacBook is what happens when the iPad Air decides khổng lồ up and grow a keyboard, hinge, & trackpad. It"s a thin, compact, & light sliver of a machine with no loose pieces và no unconsidered lines. The same precision we"ve sầu seen on Apple"s phones and tablets has been applied here — it"s genuinely a màn chơi above sầu any other laptop Apple has ever made, to say nothing of other hardware makers.

It is, in a word, beautiful.

A thin machine with no loose pieces & no unconsidered lines

It"s almost impossibly thin, measuring just over 13mm at its thickest point. It"s even more impossibly light, weighing just over two pounds. That"s about a full pound less than the 13-inch MacBook Air & a third of a pound less than the 11-inch Air. And that weight is perfectly distributed across the deông xã of the máy tính và the screen. It"s so well-balanced that it feels lighter than it actually is.

People who use the 11-inch Air are going to lớn feel right at home page, and actually people who use the 13-inch Air will, too. It just feels like the ideal size for a small máy tính, perfectly fitted khổng lồ a full-sized keyboard and not a whit bigger. Apple also redesigned the hinge so that it is made of metal, increased the size of the trackpad, and moved the speakers (which are reasonably loud, but obviously lack anything resembling bass) up above the keyboard.

It comes in gold, silver, and space gray. I got a gold review unit because, well, why not? I think it totally works. It"s much more restrained in person than you might think, but honestly I"d probably over up choosing the space gray model.

To pull off this design, Apple"s kinh doanh đoạn phim will tell you that it required a lot of inventions. The keyboard, trackpad, screen, and batteries all needed to lớn be redone khổng lồ make the MacBook as thin as it is. And in every one of those cases, you can safely believe sầu the hype. But the flip side of invention is compromise, & unfortunately there"s enough of that here that I have sầu lớn leaven the enthusiasm I"ve been expressing thus far with a warning: it"s not all wonderful. Invention và compromise.


But let"s stichồng with the inventions for now, because they truly are remarkable. It starts with the keyboard, which is shallower than what you might be used khổng lồ. Underneath each key is a butterfly mechanism, a "steel dome" that registers your keystrokes, and an individual backlight for every single key.

At first, I hated it. It felt weird lớn have each button move sầu so little when I pressed down on it. But it didn"t take long at all for me lớn change my mind. The combination of all those new parts meant that the essential friction & "clack" that ảo diệu any great keyboard is still here, just different than what I was used khổng lồ. I can bang away on this thing or type more softly, and both feel completely satisfying. The only real hassles are the redesigned up và down arrow keys: they"re entirely too small.

The next thing is the screen, a 236 ppi Retimãng cầu display that"s 2304 x 1440 pixels. The invention here is that it"s thinner and brighter thanks lớn rearranged electronics inside, and it"s also more energy efficient. The thinner screen also means that the Apple hình ảnh on the baông chồng of the máy tính no longer lights up, if that"s something you care about. But ignore those specs & just look at it: it simply puts the screen on the MacBook Air khổng lồ shame.

The redesigned keyboard will grow on you

It"s sharp và bright, và Apple also switched the bezels to blaông chồng to match the rest of the Retina MacBook lineup. Those bezels are thin, too, so the combination makes the screen feel really big. You can mix the resolution all the way up khổng lồ 1440 x 900, so it"s effectively giving you the same real estate as the 13-inch MacBook Air. You can’t crank it up khổng lồ the full resolution, but you wouldn’t want to lớn anyway, since it would make everything way too small.


The Force Touch Trackpad feels like an impossible object. It has tiny pads that detect pressure, và then an electromagnet inside that simulates the feel of a clichồng when you press down. So when the laptop is off, you feel nothing. When it"s on, click. It"s all in service of thinness — and some clever software features.

You can set the cliông chồng strength in settings and also turn on a bunch of unique features for it in OS X. Force clicking (as it"s called) lets you open up website page pReview on liên kết or definitions for words. You can also step through fast-forward speeds on videos and even feel some haptic feedback in a select few apps, lượt thích iMovie. Honestly, none of those software tricks felt very intuitive lớn me. But the trackpad itself felt completely natural, easily up lớn Apple"s standards. In fact, it feels better than normal for a MacBook, since you can now clichồng on the very top of it as easily as the bottom.

The Force cảm biến Trackpad feels lượt thích an impossible object

There are other inventions, too. Apple redesigned its batteries khổng lồ be tiered, so they can cram more of them inkhổng lồ the MacBook. The result is a claimed nine hours of battery life — a clalặng that"s notably cthảm bại to lớn my experience. In our relatively light thử nghiệm, which reloads websites once a minute, this MacBook actually beat Apple"s claims by about an hour or so. But when you"re putting it under găng tay, you"ll get a bit less, probably closer to lớn eight hours.


But here"s where the inventions, while impressive, begin to feel more lượt thích those compromises. Apple created an all new, tiny little circuit board to lớn house all the microchips that power the MacBook. It means that it doesn"t need a bạn at all, but it also means that using the kind of processor we"re used to lớn on modern laptops isn"t really tenable.

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Instead, the processor on the MacBook is an Intel Vi xử lý Core M, clocked at 1.1GHz but with a Turbo Boost mode that can crank it up to lớn more than twice as fast (and there are other, more expensive variants that can go even faster). Hence the compromises: the MacBook benchmarks at about the same cấp độ as a four-year-old MacBook Air. That sounds dire, but in my experience it doesn"t feel anywhere near that slow — mostly.

Fast enough for most common tasks, but it gets warm if you push it

Basically, if you vày anything that’s going khổng lồ really tax the processor, this máy vi tính probably isn"t going to cut it for you. In that sense it"s actually kind of like a Chromebook. It"s fast enough for 70 percent of what I vị, but a little slower than what I"m used to lớn. For about 20 percent of what I vày — mostly phokhổng lồ editing — it works but requires patience. But it"s the last 10 percent that"s hard: đoạn Clip editing, really big iPhoto libraries, basically anything processor-intensive can get rough.

I"ll also say that the Chrome browser is kind of the perfect ứng dụng to lớn show where the line is between "good enough" và "kind of slow." Chrome has really become something of a resource hog for me lately. It’s not a problem most of the time, but load up enough tabs, & any computer will start khổng lồ chug. On my MacBook Air, that happens at around trăng tròn tabs. On the new MacBook, it’s about half that.

Safari runs much better, but the point is that the headroom for apps that hog resources is much smaller than what I"m used to. And in any case, the fact that it"s fanless means that the laptop gets warm. I wouldn"t say hot, but it’s definitely riding that line of comfort for bare legs. Fortunately, the heat is localized khổng lồ where that processor cranking inkhổng lồ turbo boost is located: on the bottom, near the baông chồng.

The tiny board, the fanless design, the fact that it can power this Retina display at all — all these inventions are impressive sầu. But being impressed và being able to get work done are not the same thing. It"s a compromise I can"t promise you is okay unless you"re sure you"re not going khổng lồ push a machine beyond the basics & can st& to wait for those times when you need khổng lồ.


Which leads me khổng lồ the last invention / compromise: the new MacBook has a new port, called USB Type-C. It"s also the only port besides the tai nghe jack. You use it for power and for connecting your phone, monitor, printer, camera, or whatever else you might have. And because it"s a br& new kind of plug, you will need adapters for all of those things.

Say you want khổng lồ charge your computer, plug in your iPhone, and plug in an external monitor. That"s a totally natural thing to lớn want to do! To pull it off, you are going to need lớn have the right dongle — và you’re going khổng lồ need khổng lồ buy it, too, since they don’t come in the box. They"re just beginning lớn come on the market now, & I’m hopeful they’ll be both cheap and plentiful, but so far I"ve only been able to use the basic ones. So, just by way of example, right now I can"t plug my Apple MacBook inkhổng lồ my Apple Cinema Display because I don’t have sầu a dongle with Display Port on it.

Again, this is an invention and a compromise, and it"s one that I"m actually a little torn on. USB Type-C has a legitimate chance of being the One Connector To Rule Them All. Google và Notê are already using it, other phone và laptop manufacturers are on board, and from a technical standpoint it"s a really great plug. It"s svào, it’s reversible, it"s fast from both a data và power perspective, & it"s not proprietary. I charged the new MacBook with Google"s power adapter. Heck, I charged the new MacBook off one of those battery bricks that"s meant to power an iPad tablet.

Sure, I miss the safety of the MagSafe adapter, but being able khổng lồ buy any number of chargers và adapters from whomever makes the cheapest or best ones is a big giảm giá — và worth the tradeoff. Or will be, once USB Type-C takes hold.

Apple says that it designed the MacBook with the idea that soon you"ll be able to connect everything wirelessly anyway. The iPhone can sync wirelessly or use AirDrop, lots of cameras tư vấn Wi-Fi, etc, etc. That all sounds nice, but I can tell you from painful experience that the dream of wireless peripherals is usually more lượt thích a waking nightmare of confusing sync settings, delays, & frustration. The MacBook supports Bluetooth 4.0 & an alphabet of Wi-Fi standards, but that"s not enough, not yet.

Talking khổng lồ other Verge staffers about it, I joked that I"m looking forward lớn "Livin" La Vida Dongle." That"s almost true! When it comes down lớn it, I mostly plug in power & only rarely need to lớn use an SD card reader or plug in some other USB device. But when I need it, I need it, and having khổng lồ carry a rat"s nest of adapters and cables puts a huge damper on the portability of this machine.

A lot of people rethành viên the moment when Steve sầu Jobs pulled the original MacBook Air out of that interoffice memo envelope. It was jaw-dropping. But it"s easy lớn forget that the very first MacBook Air had problems — some of the very same problems as this new MacBook: not enough ports, slow, expensive sầu. But the next version became the MacBook Air you know now, the one everybody toàn thân either uses or copies. The one that changed laptops for five sầu years.

This new MacBook is the future. All laptops are going to be like this someday: with ridiculously good screens, no fans, lasting all day. Just like the original MacBook Air defined a generation of competitors, this new MacBook will bởi vì the same. It, or something inspired by it, is what you"ll be using in two or three years. It"s that good.

All laptops are going lớn be lượt thích this someday

Here"s a crazy surprise I didn"t expect: my 13-inch MacBook Air felt big & clunky after I went back khổng lồ it. And make no mistake, the MacBook Air is itself a wonder of engineering. Yet compared to the new MacBook it felt lượt thích a heavy, kind of ugly throwbachồng with a mediocre screen. I really didn"t want to lớn go baông xã to lớn that Air.

But I still went baông chồng.

You see, the problem with the future is that it isn"t here yet. Instead we live sầu in the now, và the now doesn"t have the ecosystem of adapters và wireless peripherals I need khổng lồ use this laptop with its single port. The now doesn"t have sầu the right processor to lớn power through the apps I need without ruining battery life. And right now, this máy tính xách tay is far from cheap at $1,299.

But if history is any guide, all of those problems will go away — và more quickly than you probably expect. When they vị, I"ll be using this MacBook. The MacBook. Hurry up, future. Hurry the hell up.

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