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Apple 12-inch New MacBook 2015 with Retina Display Review: Display, Specs, Price

( [email protected] ) Apr 25, 2015 03:08 AM EDT

Now that the new 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display is out, the question is whether this 2015 laptop has lived up to the hype. Indeed, there have been many people who expressed disappointment with the laptop. Still, it is important to note that this MacBook model is the first in a future line of Apple notebooks. So, its technology is still being perfected.

Thickness and Weight

One reviewer from Business Insider likened the new MacBook with Retina Display to an "iPad bolted to a keyboard." This cheeky assessment has some basis as this MacBook measure just 0.14 inches at the thinnest point, with an overall weight of just a little over two pounds. However, this comes at a cost as the new MacBook has the same performance standard as the previous MacBook Air from four years ago.

Display, Specs, and Performance

The basic MacBook runs on the 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor with 8 GB of RAM, while the higher-end version runs on the 1.2 GHz Intel Core M processor with 8 GB of RAM. In comparison, the more powerful 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display comes with a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor rated at 2.7 GHz.

Regarding memory, the basic model has 256 GB of internal storage. In contrast, the higher-end model has two times more memory space at 512 GB. Many observers report that the 2015 Retina MacBook has about 12 hours of battery life before needing a charge.

Yet, the thinner Retina MacBook retains the same high-definition Retina Display included with the MacBook Pro Lineup. The laptop has a 2304x1440 display on a 12-inch screen.

Notable Aesthetics and External Features

Upon typing with the laptop, one notices the new thinner and larger keyboards. The keys do not depress all the way like in conventional keyboards. This gives a much cleaner feeling to the overall design. Still, the feature takes some getting used to for those already accustomed to Apple's older keyboards.

The 2015 Retina MacBook has the new Force Touch feature, which detects how hard the user pushes the trackpad. This allows users to perform a variety of functions such as pausing and playing videos.

Perhaps the more controversial feature of the new Retina MacBook is its single USB-C port, which in theory does everything. That includes charging power and connection to other devices. However, the user can no longer charge their device while accessing external hardware at the same time. The idea behind this technology is for users to rely more on wireless cloud storage services.

Having the USB-C port, the Retina MacBook has done way with the iconic MagSafe Power Adapter. This Apple-specific system attaches a power cable to the notebook through magnetism. In the event someone trips on the cable, the line pops off without dragging the whole device to the floor. The bad news for many longtime users is that Apple may be getting rid of MagSafe in the foreseeable future. It remains to be seen if this will truly be the trend in years to come.

Is the New MacBook with Retina Display Worth It?

At a starting price of $1,299, the new MacBook is definitely pricey. While the device is setting a new standard for notebooks, it is important to keep in mind that the latter still has room for improvement. For instance, the 2015 MacBook with Retina Display has processors that are much slower than those found in its predecessors. User can buy the bulkier, but more powerful MacBook Pro for the same starting price as the new Retina MacBook.

Overall, the laptop is better suited for casual users requiring only basic internet usage and entertainment. Users who do high-end video production and photo editing may need to hold off on buying the new Retina MacBook until the next generation comes along.