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Small Problems of All Kinds

12″ Macbook 2015 Review

Leave it to AnandTech’s wonderful reviews to bring some reason to Apple’s 12” Macbook. Thanks to today’s review, I have a better understanding of Apple’s reasoning for creating the Macbook the way they did but I still don’t agree with some of the decisions.

I’m okay with the fact that the worst case scenario for the Macbook’s performance is somewhere around 2011’s 11” MacBook Air. I have one and it’s plenty fast for the word processing and light image editing that I do. I’m pleased to see that the battery life is superior to my 2011 Macbook Air, the fact that Force Touch works well (I tried it in person on a rMBP and it’s amazing) and the new keyboard is effective.

I didn’t even clue into the fact that Magsafe would be gone with the move to USB-C. I am a big fan of it and I’m sad to see it go. I also didn’t realize there was a cheaper USB-C to USB Type-A adapter. It’s $25 compared to the ludicrously priced $99 breakout box but I still believe Apple should have included the full breakout box with the laptop. It’s silly having to decide between using your USB stick or charging your laptop.

With this review and their dedicated Core M article, I have a better understanding of what Core M is all about. Burst performance > sustained performance. Most light workloads do not require long stints of sustained high performance so a processor like Core M makes a lot of sense for everyday computing. And it is impressive how Intel managed to pull off this feat while consuming just 4.5W.

It all sounds reasonable until I was reminded of the $1549 price tag for the base model. That’s just too much for all those compromises. Maybe in a few year’s time when there are more USB-C devices and more powerful Core M processors can be crammed into that chassis.

Mortal Kombat X DLC & Microtransactions Kerfuffle

I’m not picking up Mortal Kombat X until the inevitable Komplete Edition hits the $20 – $30 price tag. Realistically? That could be some time in 2016.

I was postponing the pickup for a handful of reasons.

  1. I only care about the single player campaign.
  2. I wanted all the DLC characters without having to pay extra.
  3. I didn’t want to pay more than $40 for all the above.

I don’t buy DLC characters like I don’t buy additional maps for multiplayer games. I feel those extras hurt the base game and the community. It either divides the player base, creates an artificial competitive imbalance or sometimes it seems tacked on. Whatever the reason, I try not to support it.

Now I have more reasons not to give them $70+. I heard about the “easy Fatalities” microtransaction but that’s like the shortcuts and other “cheat codes” that EA have been offering for years. Yes, it’s scummy but it’s unlockable through normal means. (In Mortal Kombat X’s case, unlocking it through in-game Krypt coins)

Well what happens if those “normal means” were made more inconvenient? Then we have a problem. A very scummy problem.

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