MacBook reviews like this piss me off

Reviews in the tech industry are hit or miss at best—we can all agree on that. Sometimes a review comes out that I just don’t get at all. Mashable’s review of the latest MacBook is one such review for me.

I should say that I don’t have one of the new MacBooks, so I haven’t used it, but I do use the last generation every single day and love it.

The most upsetting news is the new MacBook still has a single USB-C port.

That’s not the least bit upsetting—that’s the best news of all. MacBook appeals to a lot of different people, me included, that don’t need more than one port. I don’t want the laptop any bigger just to fit another port or two.

I don’t plug my iPhone into the computer, I don’t plug my iPad into the computer–I don’t plug anything into the MacBook other than the power cord.

If you need a computer with multiple ports, Apple has those. Perhaps the MacBook isn’t for you, but it’s perfect for me.

The reviewer shows a picture of trying to plug a keyboard, mouse and an iPhone into one USB-C to illustrate why he needs multiple ports. He’s either being deliberately obtuse, trying to misled his readers, or he’s never heard of Bluetooth.

Besides, most people wouldn’t need to plug an external keyboard into laptop that already has a keyboard, although I understand some do.

Though I would have liked to see a bigger boost in performance than just a 20% faster processing, 25% faster graphics and extra hour of battery life, I also would have liked it if the laptop was capable of editing 4K video. Why is it the iPad Pro can edit multiple streams of 4K footage, but the MacBook can’t? It’s embarrassing.

And I want a fucking unicorn. 20% faster processing, 25% faster graphics, and an extra hour of battery? Sold!

I’ve run Pro Tools on a MacBook Air from a couple of years ago, so I’m not sure what kind of processing power he’s looking for. This MacBook is plenty powerful.

I’ll admit, I don’t know why the iPad Pro can edit multiple streams of 4K video and the MacBook can’t.

I also don’t understand why the 12-inch MacBook is still so damn expensive. $1,300 is far too much for the base model that’s slower and less capable than both the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air. The high-end (non-custom) MacBook Airs are both cheaper than the entry-level MacBook at $1,100 and $1,200, respectively.

Go buy Dell.

If the MacBook is what the future of laptops looks like, it needs to be affordable as well. And for the vast majority of potential buyers, it’s not.

No, it doesn’t. It needs to be the best, and I’m pretty damn sure there is not much out there that can outlast Apple’s equipment. I wonder if he’s seen the PC sales numbers for the past few quarters—they’re all down, except Apple.

I also don’t understand…

No, you clearly don’t. That is the most intelligent thing he said in the entire review.

  • Lol. Opinions are hilarious.

    • Jeff Safire

      And true.

  • Kriztyan

    I agree with you Jim, I looked at them when the came out, and I quickly decided that it was not for me. I ended up buying a 15″ Macbook Pro that I simply love. I needed the extra USB ports and the i7 processors. Off course I paid a almost twice as much as the cost of the MacBook, but I got a laptop that kicks ass. My point is that the Macbook was obviously not for me, but that does not make it a bad choice for someone else who doesn’t need to do 3D, video editing and heavy multilayered Photoshop editing.

  • David Dean

    Same reason I don’t want a phone with an SD card slot and replaceable battery – I’d rather buy an iPhone

  • StruckPaper

    First of all, some of his whines aren’t completely off base. One connector is pointless. Just because you don’t plug your iPhone into your laptop does not mean others don’t.

    Second, you’re not a neophyte in this industry. You know very well that he is trolling for attention with this review. He knows the likes of you will help him get page hits.

    But then, perhaps you too are playing the same game. Faux emotions inflate page view count. Well done.

    • Sigivald

      Those Others should … buy a different laptop, though.

      It’s not like the Mashable author doesn’t know the MacBook is a single-purpose design aimed at the smallest, lightest possible Mac portable, not “pleasing people who really need both more than one USB port and just cannot abide having to deal with a hub for their wired KB and mouse”.

      I mean, when I put it like “why not just use a hub for your giant pile of wired accessories”, it seems less pointless and more like “it’s a docking station, a very cheap, standardized one, using USB”, eh?

    • But then, perhaps you too are playing the same game. Faux emotions inflate page view count. Well done.

      calling a troll killer a troll? for your own sanity then, dont ever visit the Macalope,

    • Mo

      “No Wireless. Less Space Than A Nomad. Lame.”

      Whining that a specialized model of Mac isn’t as fully-featured as the non-specialized ones you’re pretending don’t exist? Totally pointless.

  • Perspective: “Lenovo was trailed by HP, Dell, Asus and Apple. Of those top five PC makers, only Asus and Apple had better shipments than a year ago, and those were up by just 1.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.”

  • Steve Miller

    It clearly says “Opinion” not review… wipe your tears.

    • Ruurd Pels

      And a review is what?

  • Prof. Peabody

    The reviewer gets it wrong because he argues from the point of view of a laptop consumer in a big box store with dozens of different variants to choose from.

    Apple instead sells the MacBook as an appliance to people who already know what they want, and who know that none of the other companies offer it.

    • Sigivald


      And if they want some other Mac, well, Apple offers two other product lines (even if the Air is moribund).

      I mean, it sounds like what he really needs to do is just get a 13″ Pro.

      • Ruurd Pels

        What he needs is to go out of the writing business. And land in crappy Dell hell for the rest of his dismal life.

  • By “review” he meant: what I want in my perfect world vs. what the product that I’m writing about actually is.

    Incidentally, I guarantee you that sometime in the next year or two, Apple will alter this MacBook somehow and the same douchenozzle writer will be raking Apple over the coals for it and proclaiming how great the last MacBook was (the very one he’s bitching about now).

    Example: “The iPhone 5S is too small… it needs to be larger like the Samsung XYZ.” One year later: “The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are too big to handle, the iPhone 5S was the perfect size. Steve Jobs never would have changed it!”

  • rj

    I read that article and also thought it was lousy. The MacBook isn’t a MacBook Pro. End of story.

  • Merckel

    What a complete ditz. Mashable clearly thinks Apple should produce a “one size fits all” computer, although I have no clue what THAT would be.

  • Tom_P

    Ha. Ha. Nailed it.

  • I think the hope behind the USB-C/Thunderbolt complaint is that the next version of Thunderbolt will use USB-C connectors instead of Mini DisplayPort like the current generation of MacBook Air and Pro do.

    That’s kind of a legit thing to be disappointed in, since Thunderbolt over USB-C will signal updated displays, an entirely updated laptop family, etc. It’s like right now one shoe has dropped and we all know (or think we know, at least) the other one is coming.

    But it’s still not’s what before us and doesn’t really belong in a review. It’s disappointment over speculation.

  • rick gregory

    Eh. It’s a nice upgrade but it’s not really compelling if the first version wasn’t for you. My main issue with the single port is simple – when I’m at home I want to plug in my external screen and power. I can’t without doing the dongle dance. Two ports would allow me to do that and I don’t think they’re such a huge deal as to require redoing the case (allowing for the fact that I could be wrong there….).

    I want to see the Pro lineup this year and what happens with the Airs.

  • judazuk

    “and I’m pretty damn sure there is not much out there that can outlast Apple’s equipment” really..? I would say any PC can outlast any Mac without a problem. Why is PC sales slowing down, it is not only because more people use smartphones, it is also because their old PC’s last so long. Apple even made a point of mocking PC users for running really old computer quite recently “‘There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old. This is really sad, it really is.”” no it is not sad, it is good for the environment (the thing Apple claimed to care so much about just a few minutes before in the same event) , and shows just how good PC’s are .. and they do not cost an arm and a leg

    • The Mac I’m typing this on right now is 4 years old. My other Mac is 8 years old. They’re both in fine shape.

      Those “facts” you pulled out of your own ass based on your biases? Shove them back up there.

    • nice story bro. my desktop pc is a 2011 iMac, and it still screams (SSD HD, 20gb ram, 2gb vid, etc)

  • MacBook review reviews like this piss me off

    I’m super surprised by your response to this. The MacBook is a slow machine. So slow in fact that a 20 % CPU boost isn’t enough. I know 20 % performance boost should be considered plenty. But if you boost CPU performance of a Texas Instruments calculator with 20 %, it’s not much help if that calculator has been sold to you as a computer. MacBook, at least the one released last year, is from my experience painfully slow in the most mundane of things. The beachball is an old friend back for a near permanent visit.

    • Ruurd Pels

      That is not at all important in a review. This is not a review. It is a huge whiny piece of egoistic vomit from someone that obviously thinks Apple is out to make him feel bad. If it’s too slow for you, don’t buy it. Save up for a MacbookPro or something else. The whole review is information free. As a prospective buyer the only thing I learn is that Wong is a whiny asshole.

      • Mo

        Not to mention the editor who assigned him this piece.

    • man

      It’s an option that balances size vs power. 12″ is a nice complement if you travel a lot. I like it better than iPad for work and play, since I have the big iPhone. Combo is great for road warriors.

    • Mo

      “I bought this carrot but I hate it because it’s not also a tomato.”

      Sounds like this MacBook isn’t meant for you. Perhaps there’s another device out there you’d prefer for your specific use-case.

  • Ruurd Pels

    BURRRRRRRNNNN and justly so. I think the reviewer like so many critics think of it as jewelry. To show off to others. They whine about specs, specs specs but never have I heard them talk about being able to perform any useful work. Me – and obviously you Jim – need our stuff to work. Yes it is very nice to have a capable machine but it needs only be capable for the task you are putting it to. I think Wong displays the same senseless specfrenzy as a lot of car lovers display. More HP, more torque, bigger wheels, more lights, more luxury and blissfully forgetting that they still are only allowed 60 mph and only need the thing for a 15 minute commute. It is all about what Wong wants. His dystopia obviously makes it impossible to write an informative review about the new Macbook. What can you use it for. What did they improve. What colors can you get…

    • Mo

      It’s all about what Wong wants… for the moment.

  • man

    It’s really great for travel. Just need a way to dock with Apple monitor when at home. Other than that, it’s pretty amazing for what they can do with that small a logic board.

    Maybe a Mac Nano using that logic board would be cool.

  • John
    1. Well, it’s Mashable. Like Forbes, I never go there. Because, you know, a life.
    2. I bought last year’s Macbook with the 1.3 GHz and 8 GB of RAM. In other words, loaded up. Because, you know, I actually use computers.
    3. I love this computer, especially the keyboard (which some people hate) and the retina screen. Because, you know, shit actually matters.
    4. I travel a lot so I love the lightness. Unlike the author, I have no need to plug a microwave oven into my USB hub. Because, you know, I don’t own SCSI either.
    5. I currently have Xcode, IntelliJ, and two docker containers running. I will admit that my gradle builds are a little slower, but not enough to bug me. I don’t need an Because, you know, a job.
    6. I don’t do a lot of video editing or play games, but Photos and Omnigraffle run just fine. Because, you know, I don’t list “gamer” as one of my top three skills.
    7. I was in about 4-5 hours of videoconferencing this week and the 480p is just fine for me. Actually most people who actually use videoconferencing kill their cameras. Because, you know, bandwidth.
    8. Now back to work which means good tools. Because, you know, a Macbook.
    • rick gregory

      So I’m curious – why did you go Macbook vs Air? Because when I compare them (II have an 11″ Air), the only thing I really want is the retina screen. Everything else is a downgrade or at best, a wash. And no, I’m not convinced that being even lighter than a small Air is a huge deal.

      • Ruurd Pels

        As a developer my needs are 1) screen real estate 2) disk IO 3) memory and processor speed in that order. Point in case: I turn up the resolution of the Retina screen up to 11 to have as many pixels as possible.

        • rick gregory

          Same here. Which is why I use an external monitor. 🙂

          Disk and memory…. seems pretty much a wash between the Macbook and Air of a given generation.

          • Ruurd Pels

            Well, 2880 by 1800 is hard to match. One would have to look for a 4k monitor…

        • John

          I agree about real estate but I’ve been traveling so much for the last 2-3 years I also need portability. I’d love to haul a 15″ Macbook Pro around but I would die. And honestly, I don’t do much “web” development. Mainly services and mobile.

          It’s funny though, because of the screen I tend setup my IDE/Editors for full screen with side bars closed. I now automate everything and push all my work to Github frequently and let a build pipeline do all the hard work. The smaller setup keeps me efficient. Kind of a neat side effect.

          • Ruurd Pels

            Actually that is what I do. Schlepp it around in a Timbuk2 messenger that isn’t even for a laptop. So add a Thule sleeve to the weight equation there. And a week worth of clean clothes etcetera on Monday and a week worth of dirty ones on Friday 🙂

      • John

        For me it was the screen. I was getting eye strain on my 11″ Air which I don’t get on my Macbook.

  • Why is it the iPad Pro can edit multiple streams of 4K footage, but the MacBook can’t? It’s embarrassing.

    easy answer — the MB is an ultra portable, designed for portability, not power. the “Pro” designator on the iPad Pro indicates it can use beefier software.

    its like complaining that you can’s tow a trailer w/ a compact car. uhhh…

  • YidKid

    Yeah, the article was poorly written, and more of an opinion piece than a review, but I agree with the basic premise. For a 2nd gen product, it should’ve had a 2nd port, somewhat better performance and also a better camera. It’s just too pricey for what you’re getting, unless a buyer just has the money to spend on such a specific use product. But, many times the cost for a cutting edge product will be more than a mature product line. But for me, personally, I would not be happy paying for, carrying and keeping up with the variety of dongles you’d require should you need more options than one port provides.

    I have a mid-2012 i7 Air and it’s the best Apple notebook I’ve ever owned. It’s used in a demanding tech support environment and gives me the flexibility I need in a reasonably small package. I’ve used a friend’s 1st gen Macbook and I found I like the Air’s keyboard better. I admit the retina display is beautiful, but I feel like it’s not worth the flexibility I’d have to give up. Also, unless I’m mobile, I keep mine plugged into a Thunderbolt display and I’m able to connect all my peripherals as needed, and still have connections to spare.

    I suppose if one just plans to use it for email and casual web surfing, and has the money to spend it’s a great notebook. Also, I have no doubt that Apple will eventually improve on it like it did with the Air, and I can see it eventually replacing the Air. And at some point, I may own one and once again say it’s the best notebook I’ve ever owned (grin)… but not just yet.

    Lastly, not sure why people get so upset over these things? People that like / need it are going to buy it, and people that don’t, aren’t.

    • Mo

      Reviews like Wong’s are deliberately misleading and intentionally based upon fallacious arguments. They upset people who care about the fact that a review like his could, and will, have a genuine influence upon consumers who won’t know any better.

  • Mo

    Great assessment. I wish you’d do more like this.

  • Tommy C

    For me I love my MacBook, and if the one just released had added a second USB-C port, I’d have snapped it up immediately. My usage doesn’t need two ports all that often, but every once in a while I need to do something with an external HDD and still need to power the thing. And while there are adapters, there really isn’t any logical reason I can think up that two ports couldn’t have been provided and still allowed the laptop to be the exact same size it is.

  • makeittalk

    Excellent! Funny how “intelligent” reviewers pick up the wrong device for them and then whine that it doesn’t fit their lifestyle. Don’t try to cut wood with a fucking hammer. Its not the right tool for that. The MacBook fits my needs perfectly as well. I recognize it doesn’t work for the wired ones. Too bad. We are well into the 21st century. They will catch up in another 50 years.