Apple MacBook 12-Inch (Early 2015) Review: The Laptop Reinvented?

Battery Life

To measure the battery life of the MacBook, we ran two tests. First, we subjected the Mac OS X 10.10.3 partition to our web browsing test, and then we loaded up BatteryEaterPro on the Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit partition (Boot Camp) to see how the system compares with an assortment of Ultrabooks.

Battery Life Test
Heavy and Light Workloads

Apple MacBook Battery Web Browsing

With the brightness cranked down to 50 percent, the new MacBook held strong in our web browsing test for an incredible 17 hours and change. That's about double what Apple advertises, though we have to point out that the display is a bit darker than we'd like at 50 percent brightness. We also completely disabled the keyboard's backlight. Finally, Apple's 9 hour web browsing claim is based on the displays brightness being set at 75 percent.

All that said, our standard test really highlights the energy efficiency of Intel's Core M processor line. The Core M-5Y31 in the new MacBook has a low 4.5W TDP, and a 3.5W SDP (Scenario Design Power, which is more of a real-world rating).

Apple MacBook Batter Eater Pro
When we loaded up BatteryEater Pro under Windows 8.1 Pro, the results weren't as impressive, though still very good overall. The new MacBook again took the top spot (this time a tie), however the 3 hours and 41 minutes it took to drain the battery is far more pedestrian than the web browsing test in Mac OS X 10.10.3.

Bottom line? Battery life here is downright excellent for casual computing chores, and pretty darn good when putting the MacBook through its paces.

System Acoustics

There's not much to say here, as the new MacBook isn't nearly silent or virtually silent, it's dead silent. Since it's rocking flash-based storage and a fanless CPU, there are no moving parts to generate noise, nor could we detect any kind of electric whine. As we previously mentioned, the tradeoff is that the bottom can get uncomfortably hot even when just surfing the web or downloading apps, though never to the point where it affects stability.

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