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12-inch MacBook review roundup

Yesterday the embargo was lifted on reviews of the Apple Watch; today, it’s the new 12-inch MacBook that’s under the microscope. Here’s a roundup of comments from the reviewers, all of whom are veteran Apple bloggers:

Jim Dalyrmple, writing for Loop Insight: “The new MacBook is a gorgeous computer that expertly fills a niche that many need. It’s powerful enough to do all of the regular work you’ll need to get done at home, the office, or on the road. The model I’m using is Space Gray, has 8GB of RAM and a 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor.

The MacBook runs completely silent and fits perfectly into my workflow. I haven’t touched either of my other two computers since I started using this one, and I’m very happy. This is my workflow now.”

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld: “This is a laptop that will serve its audience well. That audience is one that prioritizes size, weight, and stylishness over compatibility and ports and computing power. I’d say that this isn’t a laptop for power users, but I don’t think that’s true—there are whole classes of “power users” who don’t actually need more power than the MacBook can provide.”

Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge: “You are really, really going to want this laptop, even though it’s relatively expensive, starting at $1,299. It’s easily the most impressive laptop I’ve seen since the original MacBook Air. It’s almost unbelievable in every regard. How did Apple make it so thin? What dark magicks make this trackpad work? Is it really going to be fast enough? Why is there only one port? Every one of those questions has an interesting answer, and the mere fact that a laptop can still engender this much intrigue in 2015 is remarkable.”

Dana Wollman, writing for Engadget: “With its two-pound design, stunning screen and surprisingly comfortable keyboard, the new 12-inch MacBook offers a glimpse at the possible future of laptops. For now, though, its high price and lack of ports make it an expensive novelty, mostly meant for Mac diehards who put portability and screen quality above all else.”

Katherine Boehret, writing for Re/Code“The overall weight and feel of this new MacBook may change the way you use it. In a few instances, I easily fit it into my work bag and brought it with me. The two pounds of extra weight were noticeable, but nothing like carrying a full-size laptop.

If money is no issue for you, you want a significantly smaller laptop and you don’t mind being limited by a lack of ports, then maybe upgrading to the new MacBook makes sense for you.

But if you rely on USB ports and SD card slots, this MacBook’s single port for charging, storage transfers and other functionality will really bug you.”

Joanna Stern, writing for The Wall Street Journal: “It’s nearly impossible not to be seduced by this MacBook’s beauty, its dazzling screen and perfect trackpad. But don’t give in. Like the original MacBook Air, introduced in 2008, there are too many key compromises—in battery life, speed and port access—for the early-adopter price.”

Andrew Cunningham, writing for Ars Technica “Ultimately the new MacBook feels like a first-generation product—a very good first-generation product, but a first-generation product nevertheless. It’s got some promise and a couple of major shortcomings and you don’t need to be the first person who takes the leap into the Brave New Future it represents. I use an iMac as my primary computer and a 13-inch MacBook Air when I’m sitting on the couch or in a café or on a plane, and perhaps 90 percent of the time this MacBook can replace the Air without issue. If this is going to be your main computer or only computer or if you’re one of the bare handful of people who use Thunderbolt for something, it’s hard to recommend.”

Apple World Today will have a full review of the 12-inch MacBook as soon as we can get our hands on one, so stay tuned.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!