Another year, another Canada trip and another Macbook [Part 2]

I’ve been using the new Macbook for just over a month , and feel that I’m getting to grips with it.  This is the second article I’ve written on this topic and gives a summary of some of the major talking points on thew 2015 Apple Macbook.

Plugs and Ports

New macbook usb c 960x540

I’m still not sure about this whole one port thing, it’s not a huge inconvenience but there’s certainly times when it can get in the way.  I quite often have a camera or memory card reader plugged into my laptop and an

xternal hard disk.  Normally I carry my Lightroom library for a trip on both the internal disk/SSD of my machine whilst having a second backup copy of the photos and the library on an external hard disk.  My normal work flow is to have the disk copy straight over whilst I’m importing.  Having only one USB makes this process which was once a single step; plug in hard disk to one USB plug in memory card – into a two stepper- no biggie, but still not ideal.  In it’s defence I can see that in the future as new 3rd party hubs come to market this will disappear.  Speaking of which the USB-C connector is definitely a step into the future.  It would be wonderful to think that finally, one day we will be able to carry a single jack or plug which will charge our phones, or do data transfer- really folks, it’s 2015 this should have long been solved.

Processor

Being a fanless design, there have been some compromises to get the machine to work.  I find that for most tasks I use the chip more than keeps up (long gone are the days where I care about Ghz or Mhz speeds).  When you move to use Macs you begin to actual care a lot less about specifications and more about the job that machine does.  So for me the machine more than keeps up with the daily grind of blogging, emailing, surfing and even photo import editing duties.  I have to confess to seeing a definitely detectable difference in the performance of VMWare fusion – but it’s still useable.

Keyboard

When I first opened the machine, I definitely was taken aback by the difference in the feel of the keyboard.  I’m used to chiclet boards from my old Macbook Pro and from my Mac Pro, but this new one, as reported, has a lot less travel.  Maybe the cause for the change of feel was the obsession with slimming the machine which required a new mechanism- but regarless, after a few hours its probably my favourite keyboard to work on.  So a plus that’s become a negative.

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Final thoughts and take aways

I’m keenly looking for a USB-C hub.  I already have the Apple adaptor, which is fine giving a standard USB port, an HDMI out and another USB-C (passthrough) to allow you to charge.  Why Apple didn’t bang on another USB port to add the transition is beyond me.  I’ve had a look at the marketplace, but it’s a little “Wild-Westesque” at the moment.  I know OWC have some new parts coming so I’ll take a look at them when they come and see what they offer.

The question of monitor connection is fazing me a little bit at the moment.  Does this laptop signal a new wave of Ultra HD Apple displays on the horizon?  What connector are we going for for those? Is DisplayPort dead? Will the new machines use USB-C natively- will there be adaptors.  Being honest, I will never really have call to plug in to a big display, but it’s still worthing considering.  I use the excellent Duet Display created by a pair of form Apple engineers.  Duet Display lets me use a Retina iPad or Ipad2 as a second screen- awesome for on the go editing, or proofing.

Finally I can’t help shaking the idea that eventually once Apple’s e-SIM system becomes finalized, that they wouldn’t consider building in this radio technology to the network stack of these devices- how cool would it be if this thing could chat to the internet whilst in power nap- that really would be the Internet- of-(Some)things!  Regardless as a generation 1 product the new Macbook definitely gives us a glimpse of the future.  When the 15inch Pro goes all USB-C I’ll be first in the queue – I can see it now – 3 USB-Cs, 32GB RAM, the new keyboard and a 2TB of Flash storage- now that’ll be worth seeing.

 

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