MacBook Early 2016 Review

After much promises I’ve decided to do a MacBook Early 2016 Review here it is. Here are some photos ( link ) and here are the specifications of the computer is as follows:

Space Grey

Intel m7 1.3GHz

8GB RAM

512GB SSD

I got that as a replacement for Surface Book after having loved the device but found that it was having issues when waking up so on the day I was taking it in to get repair I slipped on the steps then went ass over turkey resulting in a broken laptop. Thank god I had insurance on it so I filed a claim straight away so then at least I could get the wheels in motion so whilst that was happening I bought a replacement laptop which I decided to go with a MacBook (at the same time mind you I returned the Dell desktop I wanted to give a trial but didn’t like so I returned it and was waiting for a refund for that one so I could get an iMac (which I’ll probably write a review about)) rather than a full on MacBook Pro since I wanted more portability, cooler running and quite frankly it was a whole lot cheaper to purchase than a MacBook Pro where I might only use 50% of the power that is provided. I also bought the special dongle as well which is a hub for the USB-C port which allowed me to use my ‘old schools style’ USB flash drive.

On first boot up I was presented with the usual process of setting up which includes setting up a user account but before that I decide rather than connecting to a network I first set it up that I don’t have an internet connection which then allows me to keep the login and user account disconnected from iCloud where as setting up iCloud during the setup process means having the same login password as the iCloud one. In my case I’d sooner make it a little more difficult by having a different login for my computer vs. what I use for my iCloud account.

After setting everything up I hooked up the USB-C hub which instantly invoked a firmware update which made a large version jump when I compared the firmware version before and after the update.  I had a look through the review on the Apple online store and it appears that most of the complaints relate to problems that have been resolved with the firmware update. I’ve hooked up my external hard disk and also tried various USB thumb drives and no problems so I wonder whether it is a situation of people just not updating their hardware. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case given that I deal with customers on a regular basis running iOS 7.x on devices that could easily run iOS 9.3.5 and thus experiencing all manner of problems.

As for the performance itself, for what I use it for the performance was on par to that of the MacBook Pro I had in the past but keeping in mind that m primary use of my MacBook is for web browsing, updating my blog using MarsEdit and the occasional document on Pages. The general rule of thumb I suggest to people who are going to use a MacBook as their work horse is to remember that it is an ultrabook and secondly that as long as you avoid Adobe Flash you’ll be good to go.

Over all it has been a great move by transitioning from MacBook Pro to MacBook with the performance being on par with what I require. When it comes to stability I have experienced no issues, OS X is rock solid and I look forward to eventually 10.12 but more excited about 10.13 which will herald a stable version of APFS which will provide numerous benefits such as greater performance due to its multithreaded multi-core aware design vs. HFS+ which has limitations inherited due to the original design assumptions of it being a file system designed for floppy disks.

One thing to always remember is that a MacBook is an ultrabook so if you’re expecting to get portable workstation performance out of something designed for portability first and foremost. If you are experiencing performance slowdowns then the first thing to check is the software. The first thing I did was uninstall Adobe Flash (I installed out of habit as I assumed websites I visited still required Flash) when I found that Safari was so horribly unresponsive and afterwards everything just ran beautifully. Same thing could be said about any software, yes you can throw more hardware at a problem but in the end there comes a point when the software has be fixed up so that it doesn’t run like crap. Intel is putting a lot of work into their new CPU line but it all comes down to whether software vendors spend time optimising their software rather than just hoping that maybe the next hardware release will make up for the poor performance.

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