Steph Yiu

5 reasons to not buy the 12-inch Retina Macbook

So pretty, but so frustrating. :(

So pretty, but so frustrating.

I’ve had the new 12-inch Retina Macbook for a while now, and friends have asked me how it’s been. At first, I loved it because I was vain. “It’s so small and gold and shiny!”

But now, a few months after using it, I’m pretty frustrated. This is the first Mac since 2002 that I’ve disliked. So, if you were my friend looking to buy the new Retina Macbook, this is what I would tell you:

  1. It lags, even with the top of the line model. I don’t do anything out of the ordinary – just email, Chrome, and music most of the time. When I hop on the occasional video call, it just gets worse. I have to close every other application so that it won’t lag atrociously.
  2. The internal keyboard and audio die, randomly. I have to restart to kick things back into gear.
  3. The battery life is sub-optimal. Even fully-charged, my Macbook did not last a flight from Boston to Portland, OR. Also, you don’t know when it’s charging (because there’s no indicator light).
  4. The single USB-C port is a PITA. I’m pretty particular about my external mouse, and it requires a USB dongle. This means I always have an adaptor attached to my Mac, and I can’t charge my keyboard or phone simultaneously.
  5. I use an external Bluetooth keyboard. My Bluetooth connection will randomly reset, which never used to happen with my old Macbook Air. Similarly, my external mouse will lag, which never happened with my old laptop either.
  6. If you present often, most offices can’t support your laptop. If you forget your expensive HDMI and VGA adaptors, you’re out of luck. With my old Macbook Air, I almost never had problems since everyone had the required adaptors.
  7. The charger cable is USB-C to USB-C. This means that if you’d like to use an external battery with your Macbook, you’ll need to purchase another cable.
  8. There is no way to connect it to a Thunderbolt display. The laptop simply does not support it.

There are some terrific things about this laptop, too. It’s pretty. It’s light. The screen is beautiful. But if I could go back in time, I would have opted for another laptop.

Additional thought: This single-port issue is also making me seriously question the iPhone 7. I’d have to carry around lightning headphones for my iPhone and standard headphones for my laptop? Hmmm.

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