Here's the Truth About Apple's 12-Inch MacBook

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Looking for a new ultraportable laptop? Then you’ve probably heard a lot about Apple’s new MacBook. This 12-incher is amazingly light at just 2 pounds, and it packs a gorgeous Retina display. But why is there only one port? And what’s the point of it when the MacBook Air already exists? Our friend Austin Evans tackles some of the most commonly believed MacBook myths to see what’s real and what's just a lot of hot air.

Myth No. 1: The MacBook Sucks Because it Only Has a Single Port

While the new Macbook may only have a single port, USB Type-C is the most versatile multi-purpose port ever used on a computer. Not only is it reversible, so it will always fit the first time, it supports the USB 3.1 spec, which means you can get transfer speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. And because power flows on USB-C, you can use it to charge other devices like a smartphone or tablet, or charge the laptop from a wall socket or external battery. With the right adapter, USB-C can even send video to monitors with HDMI ports or DisplayPort. It would be nice if there were more than one of them, but a single USB-C port isn’t the deal breaker it’s been made out to be.

Verdict: FALSE

MORE: MacBook 12-inch Retina Full Review 

Myth No. 2: You Can’t Game on the MacBook

A low clock speed and fanless design doesn’t mean what it used to. The Macbook’s 1.1-GHz Intel Core M and HD Graphics 5300 GPU might not run Far Cry at 60 FPS, but it’s more than capable of handling some Minecraft or Counterstrike: Global Offensive at 1280 x 800. You can also install Steam, which gives you access to literally hundreds of Mac compatible games available for download.


Myth No. 3: The MacBook Webcam Sucks

In short, yes it does. At just 640 x 480, the MacBook’s webcam doesn’t even meet the requirement for HD video. People will still recognize you on Skype or FaceTime video chats, but if you care about quality at all, you’re going to want to get an external camera.

Verdict: TRUE

Myth No. 4: The MacBook is Overpriced

At first glance, there’s no reason to pay $1,299 for a MacBook when you can get an 11-inch MacBook Air for $899, which is about the same size and more powerful. But not so fast. That’s only the base MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. When you spec an Air with the same 8GB of memory and 256GB SSD found on the new MacBook, the i5-powered Air costs only $100 less. An equivalent Samsung ATIV Book 9 actually costs $100 more than the new MacBook. In the end, the 12-inch MacBook is pricey, but it’s not as bad as it seems.

Verdict: TRUE                           

Myth No. 5: You Can’t Do Real Work on the MacBook

Just because the MacBook doesn’t suck a lot of power, that doesn’t mean it can’t handle some heavy lifting. While the standard clock speed is just 1.1-GHz, it can boost up to 2.4-GHz in a pinch. You also get a full version of Mac OS X, so you can still use apps like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro to edit a picture of video. In fact, Austin only used a new MacBook to edit the video above. What has your laptop done lately?

Verdict: FALSE

Bottom Line

Don’t let popular opinion dissuade you from a potentially powerful fit. Change always feels a little strange at first, and the new MacBook has a lot more to offer than what you may have heard.

Author Bio
Sam Rutherford
Sam Rutherford,
Sam is a former penguin trainer and archery instructor who dabbles in esports and has lived on three different continents. If you have some comments on new tech or the best noodle spots in NYC, drop a line @SamRutherford.
Sam Rutherford, on
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  • Erique Says:

    Myth No. 1: The MacBook Sucks Because it Only Has a Single Port

    One port-for-all is nonsense. One of Apple's greatest innvations within the world of notebooks was Magsafe, at a stroke it made their notebooks safer than rivals.

    I know companies that have changed risk assessments due to the trip hazard a plugged in Macbook Retina is, and the existence of Magsafe was a part of the purchase decision.

    Also, why the heck should adopters of this risible and expensive toy computer have to cart around endless adapters for their peripherals? Why do they have to buy them at all? Why didn't apple at least include some kind of USB-C splitter that allowed powering the device while using -an included- USB adapter for an other purpose?

    Most folks I know adopted Thunderbolt for their monitors and storage -especially with Time Machine, now they have a choice of using their Macbook as a desktop or have it charge.
    Verdict: True

    Myth No. 2: You Can’t Game on the MacBook
    You could play the built-in Solitaire and Minesweeper on a Windows 95 box, by your logic that makes them gaming machines.
    Verdict: True

    Myth No. 5: You Can’t Do Real Work on the MacBook
    I need 16 GB ram and a Quad-Core to do my work.
    Verdict: True

    Add this to the fact that, for an expensive piece of kit, that it has NO Kensington lock, this feature is useful for when I visit sites and need the John, I can lock the thing to a desk, instead taking the thing into the can while I defecate.

    Also, there are certainly issues with the keyboard, many users (I pity them) have issues with things like Spacebars, and one or two have had problems with the bizzarre motion the keyboard undergoes when the lid opens. This is aside from the fact that any touch typist has issues with the ridiculous spacing of the keys...

    Mac fanboys will defend their addiction like all addicts, heck, Apple could gold plate a dog-turd, put a part eaten Apple symbol on it can call it an 'iTurd' and many of them would buy it...and state it is the best dog-turd on the planet...

  • Doug Says:

    Fact #6 Apple has all its retarded fanboys in the media run out and defend what is truly one of the worst laptops to ever launch. Go look at a Dell XPS 13. Game over on price, performance, battery, style everything.

  • mca5287 Says:

    As much as I like Apple products, I'm going to wait until Generation 2 or 3 of the MacBook before spending at the very least 1300USD. The MacBook Air is IMHO so so much better, esp when it comes to ports! It does looks dazzling and I'm more than sure it reeks of quality but...skipping this 1st gen model for sure!

  • henry harmon Says:

    Really Sam?

  • Boris Says:

    Yes, it does suck because it has only 1 port. Charge your laptop while you charge your phone? No, you cant. Move your movies from external HDD to your Ipod/pad/whatever? Think again. Move pictures from camera/SD card and use mouse? Though luck. If it would have at least 2 ports, it would be another story. Try using only ONE cable/accessory with your laptop for a month and pray it wont drive you mad.

  • bonezy Says:

    I totally agree with Andrea. This Macbook is an overpriced piece of crap. Nowhere should the word 'powerful' be used to describe a Core M processor -- especially on something that costs $1,299 for a base model.

    Lack of industry impartiality. For shame.

  • ozz Says:

    Looking at your article the SP3 will be better for all of this tasks.

    I just don't want a lot of expensive adapters.

  • Andrea Says:

    Wow, what a surprise, another apple fanboy sheep working at the dated Laptop Magazine. How is this site even still around?

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