Apple’s new MacBook is a bold departure from its current laptop line, and it’s not for everyone. But is it right for you?
A long time ago I learned an important lesson about being a product reviewer: Always consider the audience for a product. They’re who you’re writing for. I have a recent-model MacBook Air, so am unlikely to be interested in buying a new MacBook—but the facts of my personal relationship with technology should not really matter when I’m thinking about the bigger picture.
I think about that a lot at times like this, because I suspect a lot of the reaction to the MacBook among people who follow technology and Apple on the Internet comes from a similar place. People are often offended when a product exists that they wouldn’t buy, one that isn’t even targeted at them.
We are so used to Apple making shiny new stuff that we want to buy, that when a device appears whose design decisions are completely at odds with what we value, it’s off-putting. And that’s one reason why the MacBook (and the Apple Watch Edition, for that matter) drive some people batty.
Jason Snell nails it. Not every Apple product is for everyone.
I had the original MacBook Air, back in 2008, with the SSD. (I didn’t buy it; it was a gift from a client.) It was an overpriced computer – even more so with the SSD – but, wow, it was sleek and that SSD made up for any lack of speed the processor offered.
I loved that computer. I used it for about three years, then handed it down; it was still working until about a year ago.
I currently have a 13″ retina MacBook Pro as my second computer. It’s two years old, and it’s time for an upgrade. So the new Mac Book is for me. I don’t care if it’s not blazingly fast; it’ll still be faster than I need for a laptop. I’ve got a retina iMac for the stuff that hits the processor.
I get how some people are still holding on to old habits of using USB sticks to transfer data. Sneakernet’s still a thing, apparently? Not only has Apple tried to make the wireless transfer of files easier via AirDrop (when it works), but these days it’s easier than ever to share files via Dropbox and Google Drive and the like. Most people don’t need to use USB flash drives regularly. Apple shouldn’t build new tech to support people who are reluctant to give up old habits.
I actually often use sneakernet to transfer data to and from the MacBook Pro; or at least I did until recently. I had a two-year old AirPort Extreme, and only got about 3-4 MB/sec. I upgraded to the latest model, and I now get about 15 MB/sec; this is good, but I think we need faster wireless. If I’m copying a movie from my iMac to my laptop, it shouldn’t take ten minutes over wi-fi.