Macbook retina 2015, does it worth buying it.

I entered the computer world in 1997. I wasn’t a DOS user neither windows 3.11 user and I regret for losing that era. I started from the golden age of Internet and CDs. Of course my first computer was a windows primitive desktop. It was an ugly beige box with a 150MHz pentium and 16 MBytes memory and 1Mbyte graffic card. Only the respectable Sony display was decent enough.

In 1997 Steve Jobs had just returned in Apple. Also the arogant Rainbow importer of apple computers was the worst computer company I have ever met. So an apple computer wasn’t a choice. In 2004 I bought an eMac with PowetPC processor. It was a great computer but I couldn’t find good video encoding software which was my basic interest that time. Additionally hardware wasn’t compatible with mac like nowadays. I wasn’t  impressed due to the lack of specialized software. That wasn’t the case with my second apple intel computer. The MacBook Air 2011. It was a game changer for me. A goodbye to the dark age of windows.

I’m a four year avid user of OSX. I feel like a MACaddict. This is my review about the new apple macbook retina 2015. For someone new to apple computers, it is not a bad choice. Its design is amazing and definitely the future of ultraportables.

I will start from the negatives. First of all the price. When you buy apple, you buy innovation. You buy what the others will make affordable after two years. You either wait and have old affordable technology or you choose apple. This may sound dogmatic but is true. Aple differs because it combines software with hardware seemlessly . 2.000 euros for a notebook is much. Apple since the first iMac, after has a hight price tag. It is true that the recent years the price of macbook has lowered. But on which MacBooks? The old technology MacBooks. The new retina macbooks are still expensive.

 

Macbook retina 2015, simply shows the path of future laptops.
Macbook retina 2015, simply shows the path of future laptops.

As usual the apple computers can be customized. The same is true with macbook retina. The best configuration with 512 Gbyte SSD and 1.3 GHz intel core M raise the price to 1.950 euros. The basic configuration 254 GByte SSD, 1.1 GHz intel M core is at 1.450 euros. Still I’m not impressed. The www.cpubenchmark.net for the best optional cpu for macbook retina ,the Intel Core M-5Y71 gives a mark at 2.919. Now the best optional processor for the MacBook Air mid 2011 is the 1.8 GHz (i7-2677M) dual-core Intel Core i7 with 4 MB shared L3 cache.  

 The www.cpubenchmark.net for the i7-2677M gives a mark at 2.882.

So both laptops with four years difference have the some performance. Why then I should change my MacBook Air mid2011 with the macbook retina 2015? 

In four years Intel has succeeded to lower the power consuption from 17 watt to 4.5 watt with the same performance. It is a technological leap.

That creates three big differences. The aesthetic, the weight and the noise. The lack of airfan permits a slimmer design. The lack of big copper cooler reduce the weight. No airfan and no rotational HDD bring no noise at all.

Power Mac G4 Cube 2001
Power Mac G4 Cube was the last fanless computer before macbook retina 2015. It was a powerfull computer not like the anemic macbook 2015. It was fanless but not noiceless the HDD created noise. In 2001 a SSD was just a science fiction dream.

 Even the last fanless computer of Apple, the ill fated Power Mac G4 Cube was fanless but not noiseless due to the HDD. A noiseless computer was an early dream of Steve Jobs. First attempts were a failure and the dream remained a dream during his lifetime.

Macbook retina 2015 is very slim. It is so slim that actually no conventional data port can fit. Only the earphone jack and a new type of USB, the slim USB-C

USB-C
USB-C has a similar size to micro usb but it differs in many things. It is twice as fast as USB 3.0 , it outputs 100 watt and it can be inserted by either side like the lighting connector.

A micro USB is slim enough to be fitted but if you want to avoid an extra  power port, the micro usb is underpowered. I dislike USB-C even if it is a necessary evil. I also desliked the early preference of apple to thunderbolt than USB 3.0 . Apple has a long history of proprietary or less popular data connectors like SCSI, FireWire, display port and the recent thunderbolt. That confuses consumers. The inevitable USB-C adapters raise the cost further and add weight and bulk. 

The retina display sounds impressive with its tremendous resolution. The reality is that in most cases it doesn’t help. The osx select the retina resolution when the app is written for retina display. Otherwise a non retina display compatible program will show very small icons and letters. The OSX tries to magnify applications or downscale the resolution. The result is both inferior from a conventional no retina display. For multimedia applications retina display is second to none. For office applications is not really essential. As the time passes nearly all mac software will be retina compatible.

What I like in macbook retina is its slim design and its lightness which is comparable to the first generation of iPads. It is fully aluminium even at the place between the display and the main body which in MacBook Air is a black plastic strip. 

 

With the forthcoming of macbook retina the macbook air looks very old,
With the forthcoming of macbook retina the macbook air looks very old,

I strongly believe that it will replace MacBook Air as the forthcoming low powered processors will be faster. 

The first generation of MacBook Air 2008 was critisized for being too slow. After 2011 Macbook Air’s optional faster processors were equal to the base models of MacBook Pro 13″. The market of x86 CPUs is stagnated lately. Only the ARM processors in mobile phones and tablets has a marvelous progress. The extra low powered CPUs is the next bet from Intel. Intel after 2008 produced the low powered Atom CPUs but they failed due to their very inferior perfomance. Netbooks are gradually replaced by affordable ultraportables. 

The keyboard and trackpad is what you expect from such a small and slim computer. It takes time to be accustomed. Small computers are not ideal for fast blind typing. Only the expensive models of Lenovo thinkpad offer really good keyboards. The trackpads of apple and all the trackpads in general can’t be compared to a mouse. Since macbook retina hasn’t got a proper USB port only a compatible bluetooth mouse can be used without the mess of adapters. 

In comparison with MacBook Air the macbook retina is not upgradetable or reparable at all.

The macbook air can be upgraded with a new and bigger SSD.
The macbook air can be upgraded with a new and bigger SSD.

 For example in the case of MacBook Air, battery and SSD are replaceable, the same with fan even if MacBook retina doesn’t have one. In Macbook air anything is glued and soldered . The iFixit site which I appreciate a lot, gives 1 in 10 score, the lowest in repair ability. iPhone has 6 in 10 and you can’t say that it isn’t compact.