- It's ahead of the curve. Most reviewers seem to see the MacBook as a portent of things to come, with lots of pixels spent talking about how gorgeous it is. But having a laptop from the future is both good and bad. "Using a computer that feels like it fell through a time warp from the future is fun, but if that computer drops through the wormhole without any compatible accessories then there’s going to be some aggravation, too," writes Jason Snell for MacWorld. Most reviewers make some sort of reference to this being a signal of things to come. But most also say that they can't wait to see the model that comes after this one -- a sign that there's still some progress to be made to appeal to everyone.
- You lose some things -- like ports and power -- for that super-slim frame. The MacBook has only one port, a USB-C port that's also used for charging. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's worth thinking hard about, as you'll need to also buy at least one adaptor to connect to any accessories you may already use -- including your iPhone, iPad or iPod. As Jim Dalrymple of the Apple-focused news blog The Loop says in his (very positive) review of the laptop: "If you know going into the purchase that you are going to connect a bunch of things to your computer, perhaps the MacBook isn’t for you. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for a lot of people, like me, not having the ports isn’t a big deal." Many reviewers also noted it's slightly underpowered -- another concession to its size -- as compared to the rest of Apple's laptop line. Mashable's Christina Warren notes there "can be slowdowns, particularly if I've got tons of tabs open in multiple web browsers." Still, she said the laptop was enough to be her "day-to-day machine."
- Battery life may be a problem. One concern I've heard raised about the MacBook is that its one port for power and everything else means that you can't charge while doing, well, anything else. No reviewer said that the battery gave out on in normal, daily use. But Katherine Boehret of Re/Code found the MacBook didn't do well under heavy tests. "[My] harsh battery tests — screen at full brightness, power-saving off, Wi-Fi on to collect email in the background and a loop of video playing on iTunes — got only five hours and 23 minutes before dying. A similarly draining test on the 13-inch MacBook Air got more than 10 hours of life (reviewed here by Walt Mossberg)." Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal also found that in a "streaming video" test, that the MacBook had less battery life than either the Air or the retina MacBook Pro.
- The keyboard takes some time to figure out. That is, if you ever get to liking it. Apple has remade the keyboard on the new MacBook completely, making it thinner to fit into the sleeker laptop. The result? Very short keys. "It’s very shallow, which is initially off-putting, but within a day or so we were typing comfortably at normal speed," writes Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica. "Some will hate it, but we suspect most will be fine with it."
- Who should buy one? Good question. It's clear from the reviews that a lot of people want one, but most can't quite decide if they should give in to their desires. "I don’t know just who Apple’s newest laptop is for," writes Wired's David Pierce. "Rich people who fly coach? People with one laptop who want a second, gold one? But I do know two things about the new MacBook: This is what the future of laptops looks like, and I want one very badly."
The general consensus seems to be that this is a laptop for those who prize portability over everything else. If you're doing heavy video or photo editing, playing games, or just multitasking a lot, this is probably going to frustrate you. Ditto if you use a lot of accessories in the course of a day -- mice, projectors, external hard drives, etc. It seems the best fit is someone who wants something super-light and beautiful, and is willing to put up with its inconveniences to dance on the cutting edge.