It’s time for the 12-inch Apple MacBook analysis released in 2016 that features new sixth-generation Intel M processors, enhanced graphics, increased autonomy, and availability in the new rose gold finish.
The latest MacBook renewal
Although we have to go back to 1989 to find the first adventure in the world of Apple’s portable computing, it wasn’t until 17 years later that the first MacBook was released.
From 2006 until now much has rained and numerous changes this family has undergone. They started out as plastic equipment, in black and white tones. In 2008 they adopted the Brushed Aluminum Chassis of the MacBook Pro and, following the emergence of the more «mobile» model, the latest macBook renewal adopted wedge design, and extreme thinness as signs of identity.
Few things change
If we used for Apple laptops the same notation that they use on their smartphones, we could say that the computer that Apple just introduced us to us is a MacBook 2015″
Everything but the range of colors, in which we can find available this new model, which adds to the existing portfolio a new color, rose gold. In this way, we can match the available tones with those that we can already find on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus smartphones.
Despite sharing the other physical characteristics with their predecessor, it never takes time to go over them to, a little later, analyze the elements that have changed.
Within Apple’s range of laptops, the MacBook series is the only one that doesn’t allow us to choose between different screen sizes. Thus, while in the Air range we have 11 and 13 inch models, or in the 13- and 15-inch Pro, on the new MacBook we can find only the 12-inch Retina IPS panel.
The (strange) resolution of 2,304 x 1,440 pixels, offers a pixel density of 226 dpi, which within Apple’s portable range, surpasses any of the Air models, with about 140ppp, and is only surpassed by the 227 dpi of the MacBook Pro 13 inches.
Like the previous model, the screen quality is pretty good. In the laboratory tests we have measured 345 lum. medium-gloss. A few values necessary for the usage profile that we are expected to give to this equipment and that goes through its use outdoors and under high luminosity conditions, such as these summer days that already accompany us and that will not be an inconvenience for the MacBook.
The gamut reaches 98% of the sRGB reference space, which translates, as is usual on Apple computers, into clean, vivid and realistic colors. Although with regard to the theme of the screen we continue to wonder when they will bet, at once, those of Cupertino for including a touchpad on their laptops.
Convenient to transport and use
Portability remains one of the bets on the MacBook range. As we said before, adopting the Air family design reduces profiles, improving even this one, 1.3 cm tall versus 1.7 on MacBook Air. And with a considerable weight reduction that puts it below the kilogram.
For its part, the keyboard continues to offer that small travel necessary to reduce millimeters of thickness in the equipment assembly, although the large size of the keys makes its prolonged use end up being satisfactory.
With regard to the touchpad they maintain the commitment to its Force Touch technology, the 3D Touch as they have called it on iPhones, which increases the functionality of the great touchpad thanks to the recognition of the pressure we put on it.
Performance and battery
The real important changes are found in the new processors available. The equipment our lab has analyzed is the most basic, with an Intel M3 chip at 1.1 GHz, accompanied by Intel HD 515 graphics. Although we can find configurations with a Core m7 at 1.3 GHz.
The maximum memory under any configuration is left at 8 GB at 1,866 GHz and the maximum storage, on PCIe flash drive at 512 GB.
This configuration has not encountered a problem when it comes to facing our battery of benchmarks and synthetic tests, surpassing each of them. Except for the demanding 3D Mark where Intel graphics have shown that they are not especially well prepared to handle the most demanding games.
Beyond synthetic tests, the actual user experience has been much more satisfying. We’ve worked with the Adobe CS suite by moving mockups, and working with images without difficulty, and the good management of Mac OS «El Capitan» is noted when it comes to allocating and releasing resources, proving that this is another key point that helps many users opt for the Apple ecosystem.
Although the biggest bet has been one of the key elements of mobility, the battery. With proprietary tiered cell technology, the new MacBook has reached 8 hours of autonomy.
A Mac with Windows?
While it is not a novelty (in fact it accompanies us from the first computers with Intel processors) it is interesting to make a small section in this analysis of the MacBook to mention one of the most curious, and interesting, utilities of Apple computers.
Thanks to a desktop App, as they have decided to refer now to the software, called Boot Camp, users of any Mac (MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, etc.) can comfortably create and with the help of a wizard, a partition on their hard drive to install a copy of Windows and toggle in the use of one or the other operating system depending on the needs of each moment.
The App itself takes care of downloading the compatibility software of the components from the Internet, see the drivers, and creating the installer from a Windows CD or ISO image. However, for this computer you can only create installers starting with Windows 8 and only with 64-bit operating systems.
We have done so, and we have verified that the performance with Windows is similar to that found with native software. Although we will lose the optimization that Apple achieves with the advantage of developing the hardware/software set, in elements as interesting as the Force Touch of its trackpad, which loses the double tour and stays like a traditional touchpad.
Connections and connectivity
Like the previous model, Apple’s new MacBook only offers a USB 3.1 Type-C connection. It is true that their approach as a mobility equipment does not invite you to think about the need to connect many peripherals as we do with home equipment. But still, pendrives to copy information, or network cables for office work environments, are elements that you won’t be able to enjoy (a priori) with our brand new MacBook.
There are cables and adapters in charge of, through the USB connector, offering other connections such as Ethernet or USB-B, but first of all we will have to buy them and then load them. Despite this drawback, it is worth noting the commitment to this new connector that is not limited to data traffic, but also allows us to use it as a charging port of our laptop.
Thus we can find adapters that combine power, full-size USB and HDMI in one collecting the main needs of most users.
All the upheaval that can cause the choice of connections of the new MacBook disappears when we talk about the wireless connectivity it offers, since it maintains the usual standards on these computers, with support of the main WiFi protocols a/b/g/n/ac and with the 4.0 revision of Bluetooth connectivity.
The commitment to 3G/4G modules on laptops was born as a great project of the future, but in view of the few teams that make up it today, it seems that it has not become a necessity.