12 inch Retina Macbook – 9 months later

I have been using the 12 inch retina Macbook for a good 9 months now, almost every single day.

Screen

The screen has been brilliant since day one. The brightness and sharpness is first class. I have not used it outdoor but in indoor use the brightness is enough for any purposes and the colours are brilliant! The retina display can be tweaked to display 4 different resolutions. The default resolution is 1280×800. A slightly higher resolution can be display at 1440×900.

At 1440×900 it can be difficult to use it to do presentation. The other lower resolutions are 1152×720 and 1024×640. 1024×640 has display issue with some applications though.

CPU

There were a lot people talking about how the Macbook will be unusable with the M core CPU running at 1.1/1.2 GHz.

Well, let me tell you, I have never once had any problem using the Macbook for production purposes. I have processed photos from my Nikon DSLR at 14 mega pixel using Adobe Lightroom. I have done video editing using iMovie of my kids’ birthday taken at 1080p. Below are the softwares that I regularly use with my Macbook WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM OR LAG:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • iMovie
  • Pages
  • MS Excel
  • MS Word
  • MS OneNote

And all while playing music from Apple Music using iTunes. And the CPU heat hovers around 50-70 degree C, and occasionally shooting up to 90 degree C when under heavy load. But the ability of the CPU to disperse heat is awesome!

USB-C

I have purchased a handful of cables and dongles. I was initially really afraid that ‘what-if’ will cause problem using the Macbook. But after 9 months of using, I only need to use a USB thumb-drive like 4 times since most of my works are stored on cloud and Airdrop has been really useful transferring files between devices.

Other than that I regularly use the APPLE VGA and USB dongle to output to my 23″ monitor. There is no problem ‘surviving’ with just one USB-C port.

One problem though that I would like to whine about is, after 9 months, the USB-C is getting kinda lose lately. In the beginning the fitting was tight and I needed the use of two hands to remove the charging cable from the Macbook. But now, it has become so lose that a light pull and the cable will comes off. 🙁 Not sure how long before the cable will become so lose that just by gravity alone is enough to dislodge the cable from the port.

Keyboard

This is the best part of the Macbook for me. The larger keys not only makes it easier to type accurately but it also looks really good with the lower and wider profile. It is one of a kind keyboard. And it has become a joy to type! The feedback of the keys are like typing on a mechanical keyboard.

Two problems I face right now are, the keyboard gets kind of shinny from the sweat of my fingers. And it only surrounds the areas of those commonly pressed keys, like left side of the spacebar, S key area and L key area.

The second problem is my right Shift key has lost its tactile feedback. It dose not click and travel anymore. Maybe I will send it in to Apple for repair since it is still until warranty.

Battery Life

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 5.23.20 PM
50%=2hr 37 mins of usage. 100% = 5 hours?

The battery has never been a problem throughout, though sometimes I get paranoid when the level dropped to 30%.

It is certainly not the claimed 9 hours of web surfing. I do not know how 9 hours of web surfing battery life was derived but I am regularly getting only about 5 hours of use. Right now as I type on my Macbook, it has 49% of battery left and it states 2:37 left. And I only have MS Outlook, iTunes and Safari opened.

However, on another note, the Macbook can really charge from flat to full really quick!

Overall Experience

My experience has been awesome since day one. Even 9 months later people are still awe by the thinness of this laptop, and plus having a gold laptop really turns heads. It is still quite rare to spot a 12 inch Macbook at malls or Starbucks. And if you walked into a Macbook Air and Macbook Pro packed Starbucks, lift this baby out and open it up on the table, it will put a BIG GRIN on your face. It is like you have travelled into the  future brought this laptop back. Nothing come close to it!

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Chi Siang Written by:

Hi! I am a Singaporean who used to work and live in Saigon for 6 years. I am married to my Vietnamese wife and we travel back to Saigon regularly. My years living amongst the Vietnamese and not amongst the expats community, gave me an unique insight into Vietnamese people, their culture, and their way of life.

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