Apple’s new MacBook might well be the blueprint for tomorrow’s notebooks, but it’s not the only ultra-thin and light laptop out there.
It has a very attractive screen and its thin profile and 2-pound weight would be heaven for my back, but it’s terribly underpowered with its puny 1.1GHz or 1.3GHz Intel Core M processor. The single USB-C port is extremely versatile, but it also means owners will often visit dongle hell.
Alongside the new MacBook introduction, Apple updated its MacBook Air with the latest fifth-generation Intel Core (“Broadwell”) processors and faster flash storage. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro also got the fancy new Force Touch trackpad. The MacBook Air’s screen, of course, is still not a Retina display.
The new 12-inch MacBook also commands a premium over the MacBook Air; it starts at $1,299, which is pricier than all of the standard Air configurations in 11.6- and 13.3-inch models and the same as the entry-level 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Apple’s new MacBook isn’t the only ultraportable notebook to choose from. Intel’s low-wattage Core M processors are paving the way for thinner and lighter Windows 8.1 Ultrabooks that give Apple’s new baby a run for its money.
Here’s how the new MacBook fares against Samsung’s ATIV Book 9, Lenovo’s Yoga 3 (11-inch) and Asus’ Transformer Book T300 Chi. For fairness, we compared the new MacBook with Ultrabooks with 11.6 to 12.5-inch displays and fanless Intel Core M processors.