Slimmed down packaging
Likewise, Apple’s slimmed down the packaging of the new MacBook, which is surprisingly small—barely larger than the computer itself. It’s also slimmed down what’s in the box: you’ll find the computer, a power adapter, and…well, that’s about it (besdies attendant discs and a cute little chamois for cleaning the display). If you’re searching for included display adapters, you’re out of luck: they’ve become a thing of the past.
I’m of two minds about this. On the one-hand, it seems like a cheap nickel-and-dime tactic on Apple’s part, and one that it’s used before (remember when the iPod used to come with a power adapter?). On the hand, I can see the attraction for Apple of streamlining what’s included in the box. Simplicity has always been Apple’s watchword, and let’s face it: how many of you take the adapter from and immediately toss it in a drawer somewhere, thus ensuring that when the moment comes that you actually need it you can’t find it?
And, if you’re anything like me, even those moments are increasingly rare. Better, from Apple’s perspective, to make it an option for those who really need it, and save manufacturing a bunch of adapters that end up lost in people’s closets. Call it environmentally friendly, if you wish.
Hopefully, the need for adapters will be obviated by the eventual widespread adoption of DisplayPort, but that’s only assuming the video industry doesn’t feel the need to create yet another new standard next week.
Either way, I didn’t find myself using an external display on my old MacBook very much, so I imagine I won’t miss the adapter too much. The built-in monitor serves my needs very well, thanks, though that’s a point of contention too. With this model of MacBook, Apple has eliminated the option for a matte screen finish, apparently offending certain vocal factions of the Internet, who seem to think that either a) Apple has it in for them or b) at some point, a matte finish did something horrible to Steve Jobs and, as revenge, the CEO has vowed to wipe non-glossy screens from the face of the planet.
I think the answer’s simpler than that: 1) Steve clearly is a fan of glass used in construction where possible (cf. Apple Stores and the new trackpad—more on that later) and 2) perhaps more importantly, removing the choice between the two screen finishes means your average consumer has to make one less decision when buying a computer.
Yes, the screen is reflective. Yes, when you turn it off, it’s like a fricking mirror—it’s glass, after all. But if that’s the tradeoff I need to make in order to get the sweet, sweet LED-backlighting, then so be it. Simply put, the display is gorgeous. It’s bright as hell, especially sitting next to a two year-old MacBook. Yes, I do get reflections, especially if there’s a light source behind me, but I can either usually crank up the brightness far enough that it’s not an issue (and this sucker gets bright), or move the laptop (or myself) in such a way to avoid the reflection.
Either way, I’ve been living with a glossy display for two and a half years and the new model doesn’t strike me as substantially worse than the old one. Plus, as I’ve said, the instant-on super-bright LED tips the scales in its favor.