What is small, reliable, and surprisingly powerful? This is. But like all Apple products, it's not all shiny and nice, there are some... interesting flaws...

Which I will get to later.

The Specs


My Opinions

This is not all of my opinions on this laptop, just the ones I thought were poignant, and not just "It's different than other computers" because that list will never be completed, things will always be added, removed and changed.

The Size

The really big understatement of this device is how small and light this device is! You just don't notice it on your lap, and when you carry it.

The Lighting

The Auto-Brightness on the Keyboard and the Screen, is amazing!

The Battery life

That's right... 13 HOURS on the battery! That is AMAZING! For a reasonably powered laptop, with my quite extreme use (HD streaming over wireless, Compiling code etc.) that is not bad!


The thing that blew me away is the speed! From cold boot to all on it is a matter of seconds, and as soon as you see the desktop, it's go time! And for most apps (The Apple bloatware seems to be hit and miss) the load time is effectively nothing. Loading Music and High definition videos off the internal drive is instant, and you can seek freely around, with minimal load time. Sure most of this is because I went from a standard mechanical hard drive to a solid state drive, but that doesn't understate the insane speed!


Given its size, and having an integrated graphics card, you would think it would be really, really bad to game on. But it's actually quite good! It won't play Crysis on ultra high, but it will play games like Thomas was Alone, Team Fortress 2 and Left for Dead 2 on high, solidly at or above 30 FPS, and is very playable. This floored me. The sound of the small fan screaming bloody murder, made me laugh my arse off.[br]

It's cooling is, not 100% up to the task under 100% load, but under normal load, it will easily handle cooling itself.[br]

I would have used a bigger sample set, but having a life gets in the way of those kind of things.[br]

iWork and iLife

While it is not as feature rich as the Office suite, it still is quite powerful, I've done multipage reports, taken notes, made Powerpoint presentations on it. It has meet every need I've had without a worry.[br]

iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband are very good, and it is completely possible to make very good photos, video and music, and with a fair bit of practice, you would get very high quality, professional photos, video and music from them, although it will be more limited than Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X.[br]

Oh and they come free with it, you just have to download and install them...[br]

The User Interface

What happens if you take Window's Metro Start menu, and remove all the good parts, what do you get? Launchpad!

Say you want to open Safari, you click the word "Safari", it drops you to the desktop and does it load? Nope.[br]
Even though every other application made by Apple does that behaviour, click the label under the icon, and it does what that icon does.[br]
And when an application is installed or updated, it does a sparkly effect around the icon, using up all the icon's display box, and if you click it, it won't load the app.[br]

In Finder, Enter renames the selected item, rather than, you know, enter it, the "Backspace" key, labeled as Delete, doesn't Delete, or go back... it does nothing at all. When you look at a button, and can see a label for a valid action, and it does nothing, or even worse does something completely different, is just bad design.[br]

User experience is the largest pet peeve I have with OS X. Consistency is not a thing with Apple.[br]

And the most commonly used hotkey, Copy, in OS X is Command + C. Which is the most awkward hotkey ever.[br]

Security and Quality of Code

Or more aptly, lack thereof. Apple's security and Quality policy is... reasonable at best.[br]

They released Yosemite with massive bugs, things like significantly reduced wireless performance, not being able to see updates, not storing settings, not being able to wake up from sleep. Testing current generation devices, especially when you only have 5 devices in that category, through Software Tests, Burn in tests, and Performance tests should be standard operating procedures. For me the wireless bug was noticeable, at least once a day the wireless would disconnect itself, it's more stable now, but still isn't fixed.[br]

They have lots of little poor software design inspired bugs, Double freeing, not checking objects exist, Memory map leaking, stuff like that, that leads to instant shutdowns, root system access, full memory leaks... Just small things.[br]

Then you get Clamshell mode. If you read Apple's documentation you only have to worry about the security considerations if have external keyboard and mouse, external monitor and AC power right? Wrong, all you need is AC power and an Display port adapter. Which is amazing when you want to watch videos, but not so much if you an enterprise user, or at a conference etc. It would be nice if you could disable it (for enterprise environments) or manually Command to Lock the screen, so you can use all the features and still have the security when you need it.[br]

The Bloatware

This is the only computer I've owned that you can not remove the pre-installed software. Applications like iBooks and Game Centre, since most people [like me] don't need them since most users that invest in those areas have a Kindle, and Steam, which are cheaper, much more usable, and not locked down to a single specific platform! And Photo Booth, which I'm pretty sure no one else other than teenagers ever use![br]

I have no idea why they don't allow you to remove the pre-installed software, if it was absolutely needed to do something, then download, and reinstall on demand from their own App Store! Give the user the option to control their computer, and call the shots, especially with small hard drives.[br]
If I had to give this an subjective score I would give it a 8 of 10.
Most of the stuff is ether good or just perfect, but when they go wrong they horribly wrong.

If looking for a very light, flexible laptop with long battery life, this is what you want.

If your looking for a powerful or easy to use computer, you need to look elsewhere, since the learning curve is quite steep, and size was deemed more important than power.