Apple’s new MacBook is one gorgeous device. We may go as far as saying it’s one of the best looking laptops in the market, but does it have what it takes to put other MacBook laptops out of business?
The new MacBook was introduced in a very weird position within Apple’s laptop line-up. It is redesigned with a body that makes it seem similar to the MacBook Air, but with a $1299 price point that is not even close to the company’s lower-end units.
With that in mind, we know many of you are wondering whether you should go with a MacBook Air or a new MacBook. These laptops are much more different than they seem on paper, so let’s jump into the details and show you which one is the right one for you.
|Macbook (2015)||MacBook Air|
|OS||OS X||OS X|
|CPU||Intel Core M||Inte Core i5 or i7|
|Screen||12.1″ 2304 x 1440 pixels||11″ 1366 x 768 pixels or 13″ 1440×900 pixels|
|RAM/Storage||8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage||4-8 GB RAM, 128/256/512 GB storage|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 5300||Intel HD Graphics 6000|
|WiFi||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible|
|Connectivity||1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps) which also provides HDMI & Digital AV Multiport by adapters; Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output||2 x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 2 port, MagSafe 2 power, SDXC slot (only on 13-inch version), 3.5 mm headset jack|
|Features||Keyboard backlit with each key housing individual LEDs||Full-size backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor|
|Weight||2.03 pounds||2.38 or 2.96 pounds|
|Size||11.04 x 7.74 x 0.14-0.52||11.8 x 7.56 x 0.11-0.68 inches or 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.11-0.68 inches|
|Battery||39.7 watt hour||38 or 54 watt hour|
This will likely be one of the main reasons why you would want to get a new MacBook instead of a MacBook Air. The new MacBook comes with a display that doesn’t even reach 1080p at its highest configuration. The 11-inch MacBook Air has a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, while the 13-inch version is improved with a 1440×900 pixel definition.
Meanwhile, the new MacBook Air comes with a stunningly crisp 12-inch 2304 x 1440 pixel display. This is what Apple would consider a Retina Display, which has unofficially become the standard for other products to beat. Everything should look amazing when viewing it through this panel.
Apple’s MacBook Air has been one of the best designed laptops for many years. The MacBook Air is known for its thin profile, so it was surprising to see Apple release a laptop that sports an even more enticing design.
The new MacBook comes with aesthetics that slightly resemble the company’s new iPad and iPhone design language. It is sleeker and flatter. Add the fact that it comes in gray, silver and gold options and you have what could be the coolest looking laptop around.
The fun doesn’t end there. Open the lid and you will see the device sports an improved, flatter keyboard that adds more surface area to the keys. In addition, Apple has introduced USB-C, which allows them to pack USB, charging, HDMI, data transfer and VGA-out with a single port. This makes the computer look sleeker than ever.
This is where it gets tricky, because even though the new MacBook looks like a powerful contender on paper, it really isn’t. Yes, it may have ample amounts of RAM and internal storage, but the processor is actually way inferior to the MacBook Air’s Intel Core i5 (or i7).
In addition, the Intel Core M chip in this laptop is powered at 1.1 GHz (or 1.2GHz), which is a very low speed to clock a processor at. You simply won’t be able to push this laptop as far as you would another Intel Core i5.
What the Intel Core M processor does offer is the possibility of the fan-less design and better battery management, but the MacBook Air can match the new MacBook in this department. In fact, the 13-inch MacBook Air can beat it by an extra 3 hours of battery life.
Because the MacBook is new, it also comes with some features MacBook Air users might be jealous of. For starters, the new MacBook comes with the new Force Touch trackpad, which allows you to perform shortcuts when you put more force into a click.
The new butterfly mexhanism on the keyboard also makes for a better typing experience. The MacBook Air also happens to have more bleeding light from the keys, as the new MacBook has a single LED light in each key, as opposed to using the same light source.
Pricing and final thoughts
Now, here is where the decision is really finalized, as there is no way to beat the MacBook Air in pricing. The MacBook Air line-up offers very good laptops with great performance for as low as $899. The new MacBook starts at $1299!
It’s really sad to see Apple’s cheapest laptops beat this $1299 “high-end” device in performance… and not by little. The MacBook Air is really a much more powerful machine. Why would you even want to consider anew MacBook?
Well, there certainly is a market. If you really want the thinnest of laptops, best design and a Retina Display, this new MacBook could be a good bet. It’s an expensive treat, but if you don’t need the performance and really care about the way things look (both aesthetics and screen quality), the new MacBook will be your favorite.
If you will be doing some more resource-intensive tasks from time to time (or ever), we would advice that you take your losses and get yourself a MacBook Air. It will be easier on both your work sessions and wallet.