New Apple laptops – the good and the bad

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At the latest Apple product release we saw a bunch of new and updated products. For photographers looking for portable machines it’s worth comparing them to the list of criteria I wrote about last week.

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The new 12″ MacBook is super-slim with a Retina screen, but only has one USB-C port. With an adapter this can be expanded to a charging port, one video port for a screen/projector, and a single USB3 data port. Thus if you were going to use this machine for photography backups and processing in the field, you would be limited by the storage space inside the machine. You could connect a card reader and import photos, then disconnect the reader and connect a backup drive. But I can’t see how you could ever have a card reader and a drive connected at the same time (unless you had a powered hub, which doesn’t work well in the field). Also the machine has less CPU power available than the MacBook Air models.

Speaking of which, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models have also been updated. Their basic architecture is unchanged, but they have faster processors, and in some cases faster SSDs. If I needed to replace my current 11″ MacBook Air I would be happy with an updated model with faster processor and larger SSD.

We also saw the Apple Watch officially announced. Personally I’ll stick with my Pebble Steel, which is linked to my phone with Bluetooth, lasts for almost a week between charges, and is completely waterproof. It’s not the new Pebble Time Steel, but if I needed to replace my watch that’s probably what I’d get instead of the Apple Watch. It will be interesting to see how all these products develop over the coming years!

 

The images on this page are courtesy of Apple Inc.

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