For Slim Fast Movers Only

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keenkenneth's review of Macbook 12 Inch with Retina Display


“For Slim Fast Movers Only”

Written on: 24/06/2016 by keenkenneth (8 reviews written)

I bought this

MacBook Retina Core M 1.1 12" Early 2015 Apple Laptop Computer

at the airport for just under £1000 in November 2015 - compared to the macbook pro it looked so much easier to add to all my things to carry. And it was. This is a machine for those who want above everything else - portability. All the talk about it not having the processing power of a Pro and not a possibility to upgrade ANYTHING inside will put off those who pretend to work professionally.
In fact this machine allows the user to place it in a small bag or case and not be weighed down nor have no space left for a camera or other device that is essential. I don't want to carry a DVD player with me, nor a CD nor an external hard disk. I want to have a machine which starts up immediately (well ten seconds is fine), which can runs all the applications like mailing, surfing and cutting video and making music all at once, without the system crashing. This clamshell or oystershell (I think it has been called due to its thinner dimensions on one side - the side which opens) model does run the applications and does well enough. For those who wish to upload and send huge files from their hotel room rendered and compressed etc will of course find fault with the processing speed. No additional ports but the tiny C usb, no disk slot, no amazing processor speeds and no heavy lump to carry when you wish to "take it with you" on a walk. The biggest advantage of this macbook is the fact that you can take it most places without it being a heavy load which annoys you once you leave the house.

There is a major design inbuilt obsolescence feature which I have not seen anyone else mention though.
The people at apple decided to bring out a new generation of laptops to capture the audience who were wishing to buy an iPad but didn't like the keyboard possibility. This is something between the iPad and the Air or Macbook Pro. It is light and easy to move but now the what I call nasty design feature is the fact that it has been made of smooth metallic whatever, and when you lift it then the design has carefully been thought out that many of you will hold it and then due to something distracting you - will let it fall to the ground. It is so smooth, that when it begins to slip, there is no edge to hold on, if it moves it may continue to move and if you are unlucky then you will be one of a certain percentage of people which Apple have calculated very precisely to not be able to hold it and it will hit the ground. To prevent this you can put some sticky plastic on your beautiful new smooth laptop but most are understandably unwilling to destroy the aesthetics of the design and will leave it as designed. I can guarantee that in ebay in one year there will be a huge number of dented macbook retinas for sale with corners clearly unsymmetrical, and perhaps also not 100% in order. Mine has in just 8 months slipped twice - but the dents are only clear to experts.
Barring that nasty trick, I believe the interior contains what we all need - fast power. The user interfaces are Apple's focus on making their machines redundant - the keyboard takes a week or two to get used to - not so much movement in the keys. And they may be the greatest flaw - when dirt gets in between the keys - it requires even less to interfere with the operation. Likewise the area between the screen and keyboard is designed to gather dirt from the keys and also the screen itself. The tiny holes for the loudspeakers are so fine that the dirt which enters is impossible to remove. This will slowly accumulate over the years and as we all know these machines are a disaster to open and clean ourselves - so that will clearly make this machine look dated just by the grubbiness which will be evident in that area.

The sound coming from those speakers is very impressive. I have no idea how they managed to get that deep bass sound from such a small space. And a powerful sound too.

The c usb connecting cable will also be a source of revenue for Apple since that will no doubt break at the plug itself. Apple in fact announced last year or early this year that they would be replacing cables for all those who had problems. I asked them to send me my replacement (before this problem arises) - and they demanded that I go to an Apple store - they don't want to send them by post - it could get lost perhaps?! But all is working as it should be.

The screen (Retina) goes without saying is perfect. I can use this in strong sunlight and still can see all features.

The operating system which was installed initially 10.10.4 has not been changed as unlike idiots I do not automatically make updates and then discover that there is a problem with such and such. I read the reviews and saw that the later versions had problems so will remain with this system until I read otherwise. On the phone to Apple recently I was assured that they have now brought out a corrected version 10.11 something and that all bugs had been removed - but that was just a month ago. I have read many comments from users in various forums (not the Apple ones of course but external) who say that they no longer have a stable system and cannot downgrade without loosing data and so on. I had contacted Apple since this 10.10.4 has frequently lost the sound - no big deal - just the sound has gone!! It required a reboot - but since that happens in just seconds it was just an annoyance, and it was just the sound of warnings which didn't function or the sound of my youtube videos sometimes. I reasoned that it was because of me unplugging the power and then powering via battery and then via mains again, perhaps which caused the loss of sound. But since last week I have not had the problem (except the "warning sounds" like "adjust volume" no longer being there!). The employee on the phone assured me that she had noted my problem and should it happen again I would be put straight on to a senior technician immediately who would ensure that the problem was corrected. One solution had been to log out and then log in as a guest and the problem was gone for all users, thus it was purely a software problem and nothing physical. Who wants a software problem?

Thus I write reviews and inform others about the honest situation awaiting them, since I also rely on others writing reviews before buying ANYTHING and hence we all make progress.

A very important feature of this machine is the fact that its power consumption is very low - I believe under 30 Watts which is excellent if you are like me going to be in situations where you wish to work using an external solar panel to provide power. This makes this machine very attractive since it will continue to operate long after others which use 100 Watts and more, have shut down.

All in all this is a laptop which is not going to be interesting for your average person - it is too expensive and too specialised for those. But for someone who likes power, light weight and will perhaps not care that is looks jaded after a scratch or dent, since they will be buying the newer "updated" version each year, it is the right thing to go for (the 2016 identical version M1.1 is claimed to be 8-11% faster).

Yes, I am happy, it cost me an amount of money more than alternatives but it is the best for its size and when you consider just how much time you can spend on a laptop during the day then to try to save a few hundred pounds is false economy. This can be taken anywhere and thus will be put to use more, and that will (perhaps through additional contacts, contracts or achievements) pay for itself in the end.

I wrote this in less than an hour so it is a spontaneous report with the aim of explaining all the points which I myself have found to be relevant to this machine. There are many other factors to be considered when asking yourself if this is the one for you, but you know that anyway, of course you do. :-)

Enjoy it

  • 6 - 12 Months

    Time Laptop Owned

  • Screen Quality

  • Battery Life

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

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