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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 780
 - posted March 10, 2015 22:55
So...the new MacBook - love it or hate it?

My gut feeling is that it looks pretty, but the lack of ports is just dreadful. Basically, it makes me want to run out and buy a 13" MBA with sweet, wonderful ports!!!

I can't be the only person who backs up files to various forms of storage on USB, and/or copies photos using either SD or USB (when my MBP's SD card reader glitches :/). I used to use Ethernet more often, but amazingly enough, I don't need that as much these days. (I also used to actively do networking stuff...now my day job revolves solely around sysadmin duties and we have nearly-perfect wireless.) I still use an optical drive from time to time, but am willing to accept the tradeoff of an external drive (but want to be able to use my charger simultaneously, damn it!).

I've been playing with an older 11" MBA from work and find it to be a bit too small for my liking, though I like the weight aspect of it. I imagine the 12" w/Retina display might get the job done (and is a touch lighter), but for me, it's always been about the keyboard. Initial reviews suggest the new thing is too shallow and the pix certainly suggest that it's impossibly thin.

Speaking of the 13" MBA, which I understand is getting spiffed up a bit (while keeping *ports*!!111!1!1!!!) - anyone have any experience with using Airplay of non-Apple content to an Apple TV? That is, 'display mirroring,' as listed on Wikipedia. Is the speed good enough to support streaming video? For instance, if I wanted to watch a video on NYTimes, or maybe if the good Doctor is playing on a um...site that isn't Hulu? I've heard lackluster reviews of Chromecast for any content that isn't officially supported, and was wondering how Apple's solution fares. If it's actually decent, I could see using it instead of just wiring an older computer up to a larger screen. [Wink]

I'm really not interested in the Apple Watch, so um...yeah, have fun with that if you have the cash to burn and don't mind your watch croaking if you have a long day. [Smile] I'll just keep using my phone to tell the time - it can go many days between charging. [Big Grin] [And take that, smartphones...the alarm even works if I turn it off at night.]
Member # 2814
 - posted March 11, 2015 00:29
Massive MEH.
Member # 123
 - posted March 11, 2015 13:06
I've used AirPlay, it works as advertised, displaying the full desktop, or, if you zoom the content full screen, then you have it all on the TV. YouTube or anything you can watch on the screen.

Airdrop is the bomb too.

I'm meh on the new MacBook too, the port thing sucks, especially if you use Time Machine. (Also, I need MacBook Pro power.) It looks awesome though!

I do want a Watch. [crazy]
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted March 12, 2015 01:59
This dongle provides HDMI/charge/USB3 ports.

Yeah, it's a bit clunky, but it lets you have a super-thin Mac on the road, and still have a full featured setup at your desk if that's your thing.
Member # 1659
 - posted March 12, 2015 10:14
In the spirit of my Birthday, if someone were to gift me one I would make sure it had a good home!
Member # 123
 - posted March 12, 2015 12:38
Happy B-Day MoMan! [Applause]

Hmmm... I'm used to always having my laptop plugged in (not a great thing to do to the battery) so I guess having the one port wouldn't be as big of a deal for most people, since most times, their port would be freed up from power.
Member # 780
 - posted March 12, 2015 20:07
Originally posted by Snaggy:
Happy B-Day MoMan! [Applause]

Hmmm... I'm used to always having my laptop plugged in (not a great thing to do to the battery) so I guess having the one port wouldn't be as big of a deal for most people, since most times, their port would be freed up from power.

I do the same - it seems to me that they could have put a port on the charging cable near the end - shades of their expensive dongles, but included. Having to make the choice between charging and using your port is a pretty lousy deal. As has been said on /., I'm sure Monoprice will be whipping up some useful gear in short order (at least it's a standard this time!!!), but out of the box, it seems lame.
Ugh, MightyClub
Member # 3112
 - posted March 17, 2015 13:13
Given the very long battery life I think the port tradeoff will be acceptable in many use cases. And if not, you can use a dongle. But, seriously, $79 frickin' dollars, Apple?! Are you out of your mind? I could see $29, or maybe even $39, but 80 bucks is insane.

This explains some of the design choices though:

[Big Grin]
Member # 780
 - posted April 26, 2015 23:32
So, I happened to be walking by an Apple Store this afternoon and stopped in.

One of the blue shirted flacks by the door advised me that there was no line and I could totally try one of the WonderWatches on if I'd like to. I pointed out my work-provided iPhone 4S, lack of money to burn, and politely passed on that. He did indicate that there were a bunch on the back wall that one could try out (firmly attached to display unit).

My first order of business was to check out the MacBooks - the 13" MBA is a thing of beauty and probably my next laptop. [Wink] The Stupid One-Porter was well...pretty to look at, but the keyboard felt unnatural. I think they actually made the key surfaces bigger, and I'm very happy with the style that hasn't really deviated in years across various Apple laptops. (I went from a G4 iBook to the 13" white MacBook, which was different but great, to the 13" MBP, which was fundamentally quite similar.) Given what seems like a different shape of the keys, I found my fingers drifting across in a different way, but far more significant to me is what I believe is termed key travel. The keys register input, but there's no satisfactory 'clunk' and bounce back. I forget what I was doing, but I think I hit Esc by the lower right corner as I'm wont to do, and it really didn't move properly. I live and die by my keystrokes - no thank you! I'm uncertain about the trackpad - I assumed the mock clicking would use some kind of horrible response like the original BlackBerry Storm. The first few times I tried clicking with it, it sort of deceived me into thinking it was received like a real click. I was very disappointed to see that 'Tap to Click' is still off by default - I turned that on as soon as the thing felt too weird to me. I suppose if you just use that, you don't need to worry about the lack of a real click. I can't quite explain it - I do like to click from time to time -- usually immediately after I've moved the cursor far across the screen - clicking feels more precise and less prone to 'slip.' (Mentally, I drift back to my old Apple laptops and their very large single-click button - despite being stupidly single-button-ular, it was very satisfying to click. [Razz] )

I'll probably give some of this another look at some point to better know what's out there, but the one port horror is really uninteresting to me. (And I think MagSafe is pretty cool!)

As for the MagicWatch - either I didn't spend enough time with it, or far too much time. (Roughly 2 minutes.) Probably more clever than the watch is the brilliant integration of the adjacent iPad to the watch - it tells you what's going on with any given screen you have open on the all-holy-entity. I think it's a bit chunky and definitely a bit confusing to navigate. An iPhone seems dramatically more useful than this thing. Maybe v2.0 will be better. Still, it's wholly unattractive to me, even if it appears to be the best smartwatch to date. A few months ago, I worked from 0800 to 0000, and probably didn't go to bed until 0100 or later, getting up the next day around 0730 to repeat the routine - I think that time would have been more unpleasant if my 'watch' feel asleep before I could. (Naturally, I had my various devices charging throughout the day. [Wink] )

BTW, it was only a matter of time - Monoprice now sells a handful of comparatively inexpensive USB C adapters/cables. [Big Grin]

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