I am so happy with my new 12-inch MacBook. I wanted to share my buying experience comparing it to the 13-inch MacBook Air to help you decide between the two.
This review focuses on the MacBook.
Friends love their 2011 MacBook Airs, so I initially thought I would go with that. However, a trip to the Apple Store and seeing the Air next to the small, sleek, space gray MacBook changed my mind.
How to pay for your new Mac: earn credit card points
I purchased: Refurbished 12-inch MacBook 1.1GHz Dual-core Intel Core m3- Space Gray MacBook from Apple.com for $1099 before tax (business deductible).
A new 12-inch Macbook costs $1299 for 1.2GHz Processor 256GB Storage or $1599 for 1.3GHz Processor 512GB Storage.
Note: Refurbished means you’ll have to wait 3 to 5 days for free shipping.
Credit card point tip: use your Chase Ink and get 2-5% cash on Apple.com through the Chase Ultimate Rewards – Shop with Chase shopping portal. Seasonal awards vary but check for the current cash back or point amount.
The MacBook is only a 12-inch screen, so it’s practically a large tablet. It fits perfectly in my big ‘ol saddlebag, which is ideal for moving between meetings, coffee shops, and airports.
The butterfly keyboard took some getting used to. (In fact, I had buyer’s remorse for the first few days to the point where I even ordered a refurbished MacBook Air so I could compare both side by side during Apple’s 14 day no questions asked return period.)
Compare to the thick, spaced out MacBook Air keys:
In order to make this laptop as thin as possible, Apple reinvented the keyboard. They created a “butterfly” mechanism, which more evenly distributes the pressure on a key than the traditional “scissor” mechanism. This is supposed to provide a more precise typing experience and fewer errors. Butterfly is 40% thinner than a scissor keyboard, and four times more stable. It feels like you’re typing on a tablet.
For larger man hands, this might feel too compact and on a 12-inch. For my hands, I got used to it within a few days and now I can type somewhat physically inaccurately, relying on the butterfly mechanism to “know” which key I meant, much like I fly across my iPhone screen with little accuracy and let autocorrect do the work.
MacBook vs. MacBook Air – Display
After five days on the crisp MacBook Retina Display, switching over to the Air screen felt like going to a clunky, much older and blurry low resolution screen. Retina Displays make text and images extremely crisp, so pixels are not visible to the naked eye. It rivals the sharpness of crisply printed text. I just couldn’t get over the clarity on the MacBook. Retina is absolutely worth the added cost. You spend hours each day looking at a screen, and this screen is fantastically clear and sharp compared to the Air.
Limited Ports – USB-C Only
One MacBook drawback is the lack of ports and jacks. It has just one USB-C port and one audio jack for earbuds. No built-in USB.
The easy fix is to buy a connecting port. I recommend this one by Dodocool:
At just $45.99 on Amazon Prime, it’s much cheaper than Apple’s $79 version which is overpriced and has poor reviews. All my USB equipment like my wireless mouse and Sennheiser PC 8 USB Headset can connect simultaneously while the laptop also charges.
By the way: if you’re podcasting with Skype or Google Hangouts, I highly recommend the Sennheiser PC 8 USB – Stereo USB Headset for PC and MAC with In-line Volume and Mute Control:
Overall I would recommend a MacBook if you travel and want an ultra clear display with maximum portability. MacBook is small and light, it feels fantastic in your lap, and the screen is gentle on the eyes. It just depends on what you plan to do with it. The MacBook Air has a lower resolution screen but the extra inch adds quite a bit more area, which is nice for watching a movie, however it really just looks blurry once your eyes get spoiled on the Retina display.
Verdict: buy the MacBook unless you really prefer the traditional raised keys and a larger screen is important to you. Buy refurbished because the one year warranty is the same as a new machine and I can’t tell any difference, so why pay more?
Here’s the case I bought. At $13.99 on Prime, it’s a good value for MacBook case. The graphics aren’t super crisp on the stained glass version I bought, but it is protective and the snaps and rubber feet are still intact, unlike the Dowswin case I first bought. If you get a solid color, this would look nice and get the job done.
I joined The Beancast again. This time the theme was how much bunk is out there in marketing study land.
What do YOU do on your phone during TV ads? We tackled Facebook’s assertion that TV viewers turn to Facebook during commercial breaks, the hurdles facing people-based marketing, overcoming voting blocs at Cannes, and the effectiveness of brand takeovers on Twitter (I say not effective at all). Also, why Canada at Cannes is like the 1988 Jamaican Olympic bobsled team in Cool Runnings, and Travis Kalanick is a narcissistic frat boy. (Not mentioned on the show but worth noting: Sarah Lacy at Pando has been calling out Uber‘s problematic culture with little notice since 2012).
Here’s what I see coming for voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Lots of marketing opportunities here, and perhaps finally one eco-system to combine all social app data. More on that later.
What date did I move to San Francisco?
Who joined me at the Bruce Springsteen concert a few years ago?
What was the name of that Portland, Maine dive bar on the water with the oysters we loved?
When did I first buy raw maca powder?
That’s fairly simple stuff. The required data sources (which we’re already comfortable sharing) include:
Apps like Timehop can already tap into high level info like this and tell you where you were three years ago, but the social and detail layers will require more information and networked data.
What did I wear to Blackdiamondskye?
Which outfit should I wear today?
What topics did I research after my first lunch with Sandra?
Mobile GPS data (location services) from apps like Google Maps
Passbook (boarding passes, movie ticket stubs, event badges)
Messaging app history (iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.)
When was I happiest during the time I lived in New York?
Which job offer suits me best?
When did I know I was in love?
Everything we say and type? No – just all of the aforementioned sources, plus a future wearable or implanted device to monitor energy. Triangulate the data and apply some algorithms and AI.
Essentially, I think everything I currently rely on Evernote for will be available through a voice assistant that is continually self-improving a personalized tagging convention and data-rich picture of who I was, who I am, and who I will be (how I will behave).
Location, check-in, and social data – your digital footprint – will be accessible. Visuals included. The more you check in and document your every move, the richer your look-backs will be. This is similar to the re-do in my favorite Black Mirror episode, The Entire History of You, except what I envision is not based on a 24/7 life recorder, but an aggregation of experiential data shared by permission.
ICYMI – The Entire History of You premise: In an alternate reality, most people have a “grain” implanted behind their ear. It records everything they see, hear, and do, like a first person recorder for life. This allows memories to be (quite realistically) played back either in front of the person’s eyes or on a screen, a process known as a “re-do”.
I’m not advocating for a grain implant or anything as terrifying as what’s available in this show. But the personal data recall possibilities are pretty exciting.
Upside: wonderful for re-experiencing memories or pulling up information quickly.
Downside: our memories will get even weaker because we will exercise that muscle less and less. Oh, and privacy.
Pausing to write about this, because I’d rather question than let programming wash over me:
I’m not going to comment on Miss USA Kara McCullough’s statement that healthcare is a privilege or feminism a bad word. I’m just talking big picture here.
We were watching Top of the Lake right before a channel flip landed us on Miss USA. In Top of the Lake, sexual violence against women and girls is a main character in the story, and the next show we saw perpetuates sadly outdated female objectification, a big contributor to rape culture. Unfortunately, many people refuse to acknowledge the connection, but it’s well-documented in sociology and psychology. And it’s obvious. Entertainment and common narratives ranging from Disney princesses to fashion magazines to most advertising typically favor the male gaze. This (heterosexual, masculine) gaze is problematic for women becoming agentic, being respected as leaders, and being unencumbered by self consciousness.
I would certainly support a contest judged purely on how much contestants have made the world a better place, not on their physical appearance. Though doing good should be reward enough. Perhaps beauty should be its own reward too – why the need for comparison? Comparison is a thief.
If we must compare people, isn’t it time we moved past the superficial and looked to character and contribution alone? McCullough has a solid background: she is an educated scientist, she played basketball and now coaches it. Good. She also happens to be beautiful.
I’m not saying Miss USA is directly tied to rape culture. Let’s say they’re unrelated. Even then, a beauty contest puts the focus on the wrong thing – we’re capable of so much more.
I just felt sad when we went from a fictional show featuring a raped, pregnant twelve-year old girl to a live broadcast of fifty “modern” women teetering around a stage in stilettos and little clothing. These women choose to compete, but the competition is a problem.
Beauty contests send such a limiting, divisive message to girls and boys, to women and men. We teach kids, “it’s what’s inside that counts” then televise (very gendered) vanity. I have zero interest in watching something so old hat – frankly, it’s laughable to me in 2017. The only good thing about the three minutes I could stomach was Minnesota’s sporty swimsuit. But a hot body and a fashionable swimsuit does not a great representative of US women make.
I spoke to Dr. Michelle Groover’s PR and Communications class at Georgia Southern University in April 2017. I provided an overview of my marketing career for college students interested in pursuing jobs in PR or social media.
Overly honest (?) moment – for the best:
I forgot it was a class for PR majors, not marketing majors. While improvising, I mentioned my firm belief that social should not be left to hashtag-stuffing PR people – marketers are best to handle. And in-house always beats agency.
What I’ve learned about social media and PR
My tips for college graduates starting a career involving social media for brands
A few highlights from my work in social marketing:
Launching social for RMS Titanic, Inc. (Expedition Titanic dive, syndicating a live feed from the boat to YouTube and Facebook, managing community ranging from Titanic Fanatics to oceanographers to historians, 2010)
Building an ecommerce-focused social presence for global museum quality exhibitions including Dialog in the Dark, BODIES Revealed, and BODIES…The Exhibition
Creating a digital strategy and social presence for Avis Budget Group’s largest licensee (local Budget websites and profiles for seven states from Georgia to Utah)