Apple held a Keynote Monday evening to present its latest news. He took the opportunity to lift the veil on a new laptop designed for the most mobile users: the MacBook . Yes, him again, but this time things are a bit different and this article should help you see it a little more clearly.
Regular readers probably know it, but if we publish more than a dozen articles every day dealing with high-tech news, we also sometimes test watches, phones, tablets or even computers.
The focus will focus on the major announcements of our manufacturers, with positions in them. Because hey, the blogger's role is also to give his opinion, right?
The lightest, most compact laptop ever
No, it's not about me. It is actually one of the many teasers accompanying the visuals of the MacBook. Apple clearly announces the color, no competing machine can match its new ultra-portable. Not on this ground at least.
And we must admit, the manufacturer has done rather hard, for once.
Realize. The MacBook shell does not exceed 0.35 cm for the thinnest point, and 1.31 cm for the thickest point and therefore for the hinge holding the screen to the rest of the structure. It does even better than the MacBook Air, revealing at the same time a slight nomenclature problem in the catalog of the firm.
The same goes for the weight of the machine, which does not exceed 0.92 kg. Backpackers and journalists spending their time at the trade shows will appreciate it.
There is not much to say about the finishes. They are exemplary, as always. The computer gives pride of place to aluminum and it is also available in three distinct colors, modeled on the iPhone and iPad. You can therefore take it in silver, space gray or gold.
I can't deny it, the “wow” effect is there. However, no offense to Jony Ive, design isn't everything either.
A disappointing technical sheet and limited connectivity?
I think you have to have your feet on the ground. Today, when you want to produce an extremely thin and light machine, you have to make some technical concessions.
This is precisely the case here. The MacBook is powered by a dual-core Intel Core M processor clocked at 1.1 GHz or 1.2 GHz depending on the configurations. Not very swift. Fortunately, the Turbo Boost will be there, with a frequency that can reach 2.9 GHz.
Good surprise on the RAM, however, since the device is entitled to 8 GB of RAM in LPDDR3 at 1600 MHz. Remember for the form that the new MacBook Air ( mentioned in this article ) do not exceed 4 GB in their basic configuration. Limit, especially with Yosemite behind.
But now, the GPU also has a role to play and this time Apple has opted for a simple integrated chip: the Intel HD Graphics 5300. If it will suit most uses, we should not expect too much either. Especially since the MacBook is equipped with a 12-inch Retina screen displaying a definition of 2304 × 1440.
Note also that my tongue has forked in the video. Sorry, I realized that too late.
I could be wrong, but I really have a doubt about it. This configuration will be largely sufficient for simple tasks (word processing, surfing, music) but it risks showing its limits very quickly as soon as we want to go further and start photo editing or even video editing. The encoding may be a bit sluggish.
Apple has always been stingy on internal memory but it has made great efforts here since the MacBook has 256 GB or 512 GB of storage depending on the configuration.
And then there is the connection. The machine is equipped with only one USB-C port. It will be used to power the machine but also to connect it to various equipment. Be careful though because you will have to buy adapters charged at full price. Count 19 euros for USB, 89 euros for VGA.
Expensive ? Certainly, but it's not a shock. La Pomme Croquée has always sold its accessories at a high price and it fully accepts this strategy.
There remains the question of the single port. I have seen quite a few murderous comments on this subject. I will not hide from you, moreover, that this also leaves me very pensive. As at the time when the company decided to get rid of the optical drive.
The truth is, she has always made very bold choices, and which have paid off so far.
We must not forget that the MacBook is above all a nomadic machine. It was not designed to spend the day clinging to the buttocks of a router or an external hard drive.
Proof of this is that its battery will allow it to last a day's work with a single charge, and therefore between nine and ten hours. Not bad is not it ?
A silent machine and a new way to interact with OS X
The Intel Core M integrated in the MacBook are not necessarily super fast, but they still have a major advantage: they give off very little heat . Jony Ive and his acolytes therefore opted for a passive cooling system and the machine is completely devoid of fans.
It will therefore be extremely silent.
To reduce the thickness of its machine, Apple had to make some adjustments to its keyboard and touchpad.
The firm therefore worked on each key by exchanging the scissor mechanism for a butterfly mechanism. Direct consequence, the strike will be more homogeneous, but also shorter. We'll have to get used to it. For my part, I hope that it will be as comfortable to use as that of the other laptops of the brand.
Fun fact, these keys are also a bit bigger (17%) and typing should be more intuitive. Again, it's not me saying it but Apple. Another important point, the firm has placed an LED under each key to backlight them.
And then, of course, there's the touchpad. Or the touchpad , if you prefer. Finesse obliges, the manufacturer got rid of all its mechanisms. He replaced them with sensors placed at strategic locations. The plate will no longer be mobile, but it will be able to accurately detect the intensity of our movements. OS X will take care of interpreting them.
To view an image at a glance, for example, you will no longer need to press the space key on your keyboard. It will suffice to press hard on the touchpad. If you just want to select it, a simple caress will suffice.
These interactions have a certain potential, and they could save us a little time on a daily basis, but we will probably have to wait for the feedback of the first users to know what they are really worth.
Note all the same that the pad will be able to emit vibrations thanks to its haptic motor, and thus give us the impression that we have physically pressed it.
Some of you may know this, but the MacBook isn't the only one to benefit from this new touchpad. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina ( discussed in this article ) can also benefit.
So what do you think?
It is impossible to get a real idea of a product without touching it, without using it. I repeat it often, moreover, but being based on a few photos and on a technical sheet is not enough.
Now the MacBook won't be available until April 10. For lack of anything better, I will therefore have to deviate from my rule.
Nothing to complain about aesthetically. Apple masters the subject perfectly. The machine is beautiful, slim, light and compact at the same time. Frequent travelers will undoubtedly be in heaven, as will the most nomadic among us. Especially since she is silent, the naughty, and so she will not disturb your neighbors when you work on the train or on the plane.
I mentioned it a little earlier but the presence of this single connector is not a real problem. On the other hand, if you plan to connect the computer to peripherals (screens, hard drives), it will be better to have a well-stocked bank account.
The technical sheet leaves me a little more perplexed, however. I'm afraid the processor and graphics are not enough. Especially with this definition, especially with Yosemite. And if the next versions of OS X are more demanding, users may quickly find themselves in a dead end.
So there are a few unanswered questions and if I can give you one piece of advice, ultimately, it's to wait for the first benchmarks before rushing.