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Apple's new MacBook

Apple's new MacBook proves to be quite the temptation

By Alvin R Cabral

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Published: Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:40 PM

Since Apple has always been in the business of impressing people - and earning a ton in the process - we wouldn't be surprised if the latest iteration of their MacBook will continue this streak. Especially now that it comes in a lovely new rose gold shell.
As far as looks go, there aren't any significant changes, although its nifty all-metal unibody form is pretty much becoming a standard right now across devices. It still comes with only two ports - the 3.5mm audio jack, long-rumoured to be ditched sooner or later (next iPhone, anyone?), and the USB-C connector, which is both a good and bad thing. You can charge and transfer data with it, but it's still only one port. One! At 0.52" at it's thickest, can't the MacBook accommodate a couple more, maybe a mini-HDMI even? Speaking of dimensions, it's also still 0.14" at its thinnest point and weighs 0.92kg. 
The new MacBook comes with a 12" Retina display, at 226ppi, but still no touchscreen. A source in the not-so-distant past told me that
Apple doesn't really see any reason to slap on a touchscreen on Macbooks, since laptops aren't meant to be used that way. In comparison, the HP EliteBook Folio, which HP claims to be the world's thinnest at 0.48", has  a touchscreen and loads of other specs to give the MacBook a run for its money. Most importantly, it is way cheaper.
The shallow keyboard Apple's been known for is, unsurprisingly, present here and although it may feel too shallow for some (including me) you are working with a full-sized keyboard that will work for everyone. Sometimes it feels like your fingers get lost while typing, but, for the most part, it works well. There are better speakers, as well.
The trackpad now comes with Force Touch - akin to the iPhone's - which can do loads of things - force-clicking can let you peek into the contents of a file icon, see details of a flight, add a date to Calendar and a whole lot of other stuff. The trackpad also has several gestures that will make your life easier while doodling with your device.
AND SO...
The one glaring thing about the new Apple MacBook is that it only has one USB-C port - as a matter of fact, it's the only port on it - which neutralises the option of charging it and transferring data when both needs arise. And both 1.1GHz and 1.2GHz options still have the same prices as what was served last year. Still, it works perfectly well - unless Apple introduces something new later on.  
THE LOWDOWN
Processor: 1.1GHz dual-core Intel m3 or 1.2GHz dual-core Intel m5, both configurable  to 1.3GHz dual-core m7; Intel HD Graphics 515
Memory: RAM - 8GB LPDDR3; storage - 256GB, 512GB
Platform: OS X El Capitan
Display: 12" LED backlit with IPS, 226ppi
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0; USB-C; 3.5mm audio jack
Camera: 480p FrontHD FaceTime camera
Colours: Silver, Space Gray, Gold, Rose Gold
Price: Dh5,199-Dh6,299
Pros: Sleek form, performs great, that Rose Gold variant
Cons: Only one USB-C port, keyboard a bit too shallow, still expensive
Author's Rating: 8.5/10
EXTRA (APPLE) BYTE
If you've been using Apple's basket of gizmos for a while, you will already know that you can do a lot with your Apple ID and iCloud. So, for the uninformed, here's a not-so-secret trick.
Say you have a number of Apple devices - iPhone, iPad, iPod, MacBook and Mac; you'll be glad to know that your Apple ID and iCloud syncs them all together for convenience.
Sign in with your Apple ID and activate iCloud on all of your devices and, say, you edit a photo on your iPhone, all changes you made will appear on your iPad, with no compromise on file size and resolution.
You don't even have to worry if you created a Microsoft Word document on your office Mac and suddenly need to edit it on your home MacBook that doesn't have Word installed! That is  because Apple's own Pages app can pull out your document from iCloud and retain the exact same format as what you previously had, and vice-versa after you're done with it. Anybody miss those dark days when document conversions were a real pain?
And if you forget to close some tab in Safari on one of your Apple devices - one that you don't want others to see - and scoot off for a vacation? Relax; you can close it using any of your other Apple gears; from anywhere. And the best part is that it can be done in an instant.
- alvin@khaleejtimes.com


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