With all talk of the new MacBook being underpowered, or lacking key connectivity or any of the other usual bashing that accompanies the release of a new Apple product, the only spec that truly matters is if the new MacBook is right for you. Here’s what we know: it’s incredibly light, has a super-thin new keyboard, a revolutionary Force Touch trackpad, a lone USB-C port, and it’s all housed in about as radical a new design as a laptop can get. Paired up with all-day battery life and a Retina screen that’s absolutely fabulous, the new MacBook is unquestionably an object of desire.
True, the processors, while Intel’s newest state of the art chips, are more focused on minimizing power consumption and heat than increasing raw processing power. As a result the new CPUs are in fact slower than several older MacBook Air models. That said, these chips are likely still considerably faster than whatever you’d be replacing to get this laptop. If you’re on a 2009 era MacBook Pro, the speed bump will be huge. All that said, the new MacBook isn’t meant for people who are in the market for the most powerful Mac out there.
The same can be said of connectivity. Yes, the only port on the entire MacBook (aside from the headphone jack) is a USB-C port. An entirely new connectivity option, the USB-C port can be used to power your laptop, plug in a monitor or attach an appropriately equipped USB-C external hard drive. By purchasing one of Apple’s numerous adapters, you can connect legacy devices (traditional USB, HDMI, etc.), but you need to always the adapter handy if you want that connectivity option. Abandoning aging tech has long been in Apple’s playbook; being the first to do away with both floppy drives and CD/DVD drives. It’s a toss-up if Apple knows where tech is headed, or is merely the one steering us there, but the fact is, the lone USB-C port isn’t likely to be grounds for much concern for the majority of users. Consider your daily use of your current laptop: how often do you plug in anything other than a power cable? I’m guessing not all that much, and for those moments when you do need to plug in a USB drive or a memory stick, just unplug the power, transfer your data, and plug the power back in when you’re done. Pseudo-problem solved.
Bottom Line: if you’re doing extensive Photoshop work, or video editing, this isn’t the Mac for you – but I’m guessing you already knew that. If you’re doing what the majority of people do with their Macs: surf the web, read and write emails, manage your photo library, and listen to music, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more portable lighter solution (other than an iPad Air).