The New MacBook. In all of it’s golden - actually, Space Grey - glory!

I finally got around to looking at The New MacBook in store today, and I must say it’s rather impressive. Nothing really took me by surprise, although I was pleasantly surprised to find I like the new keyboard.

I need to say this… MARCO WAS WRONG!!! (If you have no idea what I’m taking about, read this:

I typed extensively on it, and there were a few typos here and there that I wouldn’t usually make, but after a while I got into a pleasant rhythm. I feel as though with a bit more time, I’d be significantly faster and more accurate typing on this thing that on the keyboard of my current MacBook Pro.

It’s still a “no buy” for me at the moment, for two primary reasons:
- A 12″ screen is just too small. There’s no two ways about it. Using a scaled resolution doesn’t help much either – it’s just too small. I’d be a lot more serious about a similar MacBook with a 13 or 14″ screen. But as it is, the 13″ screen on my current MacBook Pro does the job, albeit a little on the small side, and I certainly couldn’t move to anything smaller.
- It was noticeably slower than my current MacBook Pro. Not in a bad way and certainly not in a way that would be perceived as slow for most users, but coming from a computer with a powerful i7 processor, a 1.1GHz Core M chip just doesn’t cut it. Even adding an extra second or two onto the opening of most applications on the computer is enough of a performance loss for me not to be interested. And I didn’t even begin to compile code on it…

This is not to say the MacBook isn’t a good machine, because it is. It’s also not to say it won’t get better in future models over time, but at this point I don’t think the hits in screen real estate and performance are worth the benefit of a stunningly thin and light design.
There’s certainly a lot of potential for the MacBook – a computer that’s right for 80% of people, 80% of the time.

Apple Watch try on & first impressions

I’ve been meaning to write this up for a while now. Apologies that it’s taken so long.

This will just be a short post outlining my first thoughts and impressions of the Apple Watch. A bit of background: last Friday Apple opened up Apple Watch pre-orders. They also opened up their stores to try-on appointments. While I’m not pre-ordering or buying this first-generation Watch (happily sticking with my original Pebble until my Pebble Time order ships), I did book myself in for a try-on appointment. 

I tried on a multitude of watches, including:
- 42mm Space Grey Sport. This one was my favourite, as it was extremely comfortable & lightweight. The sports band feels amazing, and happened to fit my wrist perfectly - which is more than I can say for some of the other bands. I also feel as though 42mm is definitely the right size for me, as 38mm is just too small. 

- 38mm Stainless Steel with Milanese Loop. I was most disappointed by this one. To begin with, it was the only 38mm watch I tried on and I didn’t like the size at all. It felt microscopic. Secondly, the Milanese Loop wasn’t as comfortable as some people have made out and I also didn’t think it looked very nice. 

- I also tried on a few others, including Stainless Steel with both the classic buckle and Leather Loop. I don’t have too many interesting thoughts on those bands. 

After the try-on, if I was to purchase one I’d certainly be going with the 42mm Space Grey Sport model for the reasons listed above. 

A few observations about the watch:

- Apple Watch looks INFINITELY better in person than it does on Apple’s website or in any other photos of it. I went in with the intention of not wanting one, but if there’s one reason as to why I slightly want one now it’s because of just how good it looks on the wrist. Seriously, I encourage you to go and check it out in a store - Apple Watch looks incredible. 

- However, it is small. I mean really small. I did not expect it’s size. Even the 42mm is feels tiny on my wrist. Apple’s marketing material don’t show the size of the watch in comparison to any other objects, hence I was fooled into thinking it was the size of an average male wristwatch. This is not the case, and took me by surprise. 

- The Sport band is insanely comfortable, and *feels* more premium than other bands even though it’s the most simple looking one. 

- The leather loop felt more solid and more magnetic than I thought. The layer of leather was really thin which made the band feel cheap, in my humble opinion. 

- The stainless steel Apple Watch collection is noticeably heavier than the Apple Watch Sport. Not in a way which is uncomfortable however, it’s just worth noting for the sake of this post. 

- The Apple Watch Edition loops surprisingly good. I thought the Gold might look too fancy for my tastes, but that was not the case. If I had the money I’d go for the 42mm Gold Apple Watch Edition with the black sport band. Unfortunately that costs A$17,000 here. 

With regards to the try-on appointment itself, I made a few observations. I didn’t feel rushed at all. I felt as though I was allowed and able to try on every watch I wanted without being rushed away. I did, however, feel restricted in what I could do when I had the watch on. I know this hasn’t been the case for everyone, but the particularly Apple Store employee who was focusing on me made sure that I didn’t loosen/tighten any of the bands myself, and whenever I would try to take a watch off or put a new one on she was sure to assist me. It was as if I was a toddler who wasn’t trusted to play with a fancy collection of toys. She was nice about it, however I did want the experience of fiddling with the straps on my own. The only exception to this rule was when I was trying on the Leather Loop and the Milanese Loop - she put the band on most of the way and told me to “lock” it in place at a tightness which felt comfortable. I also didn’t get to swap any of the bands, or try out different band combinations other than the defaults which I was presented with. Who knows - maybe if I’d been able to put the Milanese Loop on a 42mm Steel Watch my opinions of it would be completely different. 

Overall, my experience last Friday afternoon inside of the Sydney Apple Store on George Street was a pleasant and enjoyable one.

It’s worth mentioning that at the time I went into the store, there was no new MacBook to look at. At that time, Australian stores had no idea when it was getting released in Australia - they couldn’t tell me that or when they would be getting stock. As I left the store and Apple Watch pre-orders began around 5pm local time, the MacBook magically became available on the Apple Online Store in Australia, so I presume it’s now available to look at in stores. From the online photos, it truly looks like an amazing machine and I imagine I’ll be writing up another post about it when I take another trip to the Apple Store to check it out (hopefully soon!).

I’ll leave you with some photos from my journey to the Apple Store:

The above image contains A$48,000 worth of Gold Watches.

Was surprisingly unimpressed with the above combination - 38mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch with the Milanese Loop. Behind my wrist you can see the store employee taking out another watch for me to try on. The display case is standard for every try-on - all of the watches are lined up inside of it. Here, they are attached to chargers until they are taken out of the case. All of the watches inside the case are available to try-on during the appointment, however the employee will ask you a few questions to get to know you and your interests before suggesting only a few to try on. The idea is to pick something based on the style you like and then they begin the try-on based on that. 

Last - but certainly not least - the above image shows my favourite watch combination: 42mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch Sport. It was the appropriate look of style meets stealth. In conjunction with the sport band, it was also very lightweight which made it the most comfortable of the watches I tried on.

At the beginning of this post, I said it was going to be a short one. I’ve gotten a bit carried away here - oops! I do hope, however, that you’ve found this post enjoyable and informative in some way or another. That’s it for today folks.