None of that has changed from last year, of course, but other updates made this year mean you’re not sacrificing portability for performance.
The most significant upgrade is to the keyboard
One of the MacBook’s little niggles since it first launched is that it is so thin that the keys have very little depth, making typing feel more like hammering away at a set of small tiles than at computer keys. The new keyboard mechanism, first introduced on last year’s MacBook Pro, makes keys feel a lot more responsive even if they’re not actually moving very much.
It’s a reassuring change, especially if you do a lot of typing. The flatness of the keys take a little adjusting to, but you’ll find your fingers gliding across them after a while. Apple has decided to not port over the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, and I can’t say it’s a feature I’m desperately asking for on this.
The other change of note is to the MacBook’s innards. It has been updated with Intel’s new seventh-generation Kaby Lake chips as well as 50pc faster memory, which gives it a hefty speed boost. Geekbench scores peg it as being around a third faster than last year’s model.
This is plenty unless you’re going to be doing any photo or video editing, or if you share my unfortunate habit of keeping dozens of tabs open in Chrome. For an extra £90 you can pick up a model with an Intel i5 processor, which I would say is worth the cash to future-proof your MacBook.
Most people’s biggest complaint about the MacBook hasn’t been fixed
There’s just one USB-C port on the left-hand side, which is used for powering the laptop as well as connecting any peripherals. This is a result of its slim design (the headphone jack is on the other side), and to be honest, I haven’t found myself in a position where I’ve needed two ports.
The MacBook’s battery is long enough to last a day, so you can simply plug it in to charge overnight as you would a phone, and I’m rarely plugging peripherals into my laptop.
But batteries degrade over time, and I can see myself in situations where it becomes annoying: if you want to charge your laptop and connect to a screen you’ll need a dongle, if you want to charge your iPhone (the standard cable still uses USB-A) you’ll need a dongle; if you want to take photos off an SD card you’ll need a dongle.