Using a inch MacBook for Design Work

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Today, I’ve got another Tech for Designers review video for you and I’m gonna be telling you about using the 12 inch MacBook for design work Now I got this computer partway through last year and I got it to use as an on-the-go computer because this thing is so tiny and thin Such a nice light portable computer and I got it because I wanted to use it on public transport I have a lot of side projects on the go, as you’ll know if you’ve seen my channel before, and I wanted to be able to work on those while on my commute to work I also thought it would be a great computer to have to take away when I’m traveling as well rather than my 15-inch Retina Macbook which takes up quite a lot of space and is rather heavy

These day, I work from home so I don’t do the commute-to-work thing anymore but I do love taking this laptop to work in cafes because it’s much smaller to put in my handbag than trying to lug the 15-inch around with me Because it is a lot smaller than my 15-inch Macbook, that does mean it’s less powerful as well I thought I’d do this review to talk to you about how it feels to do design work on this smaller, less-powerful machine so that, perhaps, if you’re thinking of getting it, you know what to expect First, let’s talk about hardware Like I said, this thing is just super-thin and light

Minus the gold one because these do come in many different colors and I’ve stuck this “Teach What You Know” sticker on it because I just thought that looked cool there over the apple Unlike the Macbook Airs which are obviously Apple’s other thinnish computer, these Macbooks have Retina screens which is a really nice touch and makes it much more suitable for design work Because of the Retina screen as well, it means I can set it to more space in the screen resolution options and that means that actually I get a whole lot more fitting on this workspace than I would if I just used it at the normal 12-inch resolution The screen is nice The keyboard is all really nice

I absolutely love typing on this keyboard It’s so much better than the old Mac ones I’ve gotten really used to this now and I prefer to do most of my writing on this machine because of it Because this keyboard is so nice to type on I don’t know

The keys are just nice and flat and it’s just really nice to use Does take a bit of getting used to but once you get used to not having to push down as far on the keys, it’s awesome The trackpad is also great as most Mac trackpads are This one has the Force Touch trackpad and, personally, I don’t know why that’s useful on a Mac I don’t know

I know there’s also things that you’re able to do with it but there’s not anything that I’ve found that you can do with it that actually improves my workflow Most often, I’d say that the Force Touch actually would hinder my workflow Because I’d accidentally Force Touch something when I was just meaning to click So I turn that off, which is good that you can have that option One of the big downsides to this computer is, because it’s so thin, it’s got very few ports

It’s just got a USB-C port here and then your headphone jack on the other side And I guess, considering what they’ve done with the iPhone now, I should be thankful that they even put a headphone jack on it I personally haven’t actually found this lack of ports to be that much of a problem because this isn’t my main computer so I’m not trying to get stuff off of an SD card into it I’m not often trying to charge my phone from it or anything like that I have got this dongle here which plugs into the USB-C and it’s got a USB port, an HDMI, and also a USB-C

Means you can be charging your computer while also presenting And also plug this in if I do want to charge my phone from the computer which seems a bit overkill but there are options I think that the lack of ports would bother me if, like I said, this was my main computer but for me, the fact that this is so portable outweighs any annoyance of having to also have a dongle to use What about actually doing things on this computer? This is what I’ve had a lot of questions about, especially when I did my Tech for Designers Hardware video where I went through all of the hardware that I use A lot of questions came from who were interested in how powerful this thing was and if you could actually do proper design work on it

I took this away with me when I went on a company retreat This is the only computer that I took So all the work that I did that week was done on this little laptop and it was really a test of it’s power and also its limitations Like I said, my first tip for using this for design work is to set it to that more-space screen resolution option because otherwise I personally just feel like it’s really cramped and you can’t see enough of the screen to get stuff done Especially for video-editing in particular

This way, you can see much more of your windows in Premiere or whatever it is that you use if you have more space So, video-editing on this I found it’s perfectly capable of editing the video I haven’t found it lagging at all or anything like that One thing I do is set Premiere to half-resolution preview so that way it’s not trying to take up too much of this guy’s RAM

By the way, I didn’t say that before, but my computer is the early 2015 model so it’s the first version of these that came out, I think So I’m sure the new ones are a little bit more improved This one has eight gigabytes of RAM, one-point one gigahertz processor which is, obviously, not that impressive And it’s got 256 gigabytes of hard drive space Those specs are not great when it comes to wanting to do work that requires a bit of grunt

But like I said, I’ve managed to edit videos on this thing absolutely fine I edited a lot of videos on it when I was commuting and same whenever I go away This is what I edit on and it works out absolutely great for that One thing that it’s not great for is exporting those videos On my 15-inch Macbook, exporting a 10-minute video might take, I don’t know, like 22 minutes or something like that

Maybe less I don’t know Depends on what effects I’ved used But this guy takes over an hour to export a video sometimes which is obviously not great It’s doable, though

You just set it there and leave it to do it But, yeah It just takes a long time so be aware of that if you’re looking to make this your main machine That it has not got the power of other Retina Macs The other main piece of software that I use all the time is Sketch which is a vector-based web design tool, I suppose, is what you’d call it

I’m unsure if you’ve heard about it I’ll link on a card if you’re interested in that That I found works absolutely great on here because the program itself is vector-based and runs very quickly It’s not trying to process a lot of bitmap images or anything And so, power-wise, it’s been great for that

The screen size has been slightly too small for it, though If I have an Artboard in Sketch that’s perhaps a design that’s 1200 pixels wide, for example, you can’t quite see the whole design at full resolution You have to zoom out which means you’re looking at everything much smaller than it will actually appear For that reason, I tend not to use this thing to do finished design work and it’s more for the idea stage Or more when I’m out in a cafe and working on things which is generally going to be something that’s not finalizing web design, for example

It’s not the sort of work that I do there So, again, that hasn’t really been a problem because that’s not what I use this computer for But it would be a problem if this was my only computer, I think I would get quite frustrated about that Keep that in mind

Like I said, I love writing on this thing It’s the perfect little writing tool because the screen is the perfect size that you can see your writing tool, whatever it is you’re using But it’s not so large that you’re going to have other windows around distracting you And like I said, the keyboard it super-nice to type on Whenever I write the show notes for our podcast, for example, I do it on this machine and I also use Photoshop on it to create our feature images for the podcast as well

That runs absolutely fine When I get a few too many images in that featured image Photoshop folder, it does take a while to save because, again, it’s not that powerful But that’s just something that you learn to deal with So, all in all, I don’t think I recommend this computer to a designer who is starting out and this is the first computer that you buy or the only one that you own For the same price at the moment anyway, you can get the older Macbook Pro 13-inch and I think that would be a much more useful computer if you’re getting started

There’s more screen real estate It’s more powerful It’s a little bit heavier, obviously But if it’s your only computer, then I think that’s probably a better option If you’re looking for a more portable travel computer, no matter what other computer you own, then I think this is going to be a really great option

Because, honestly, I cannot get over how compact it is and how it just fits so easily into whatever bag it is that I’m carrying It’s pretty much the same size as carrying around an iPad but you can get a whole lot more done with it For that, it’s awesome That is my review of the 12-inch baby MacBook I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts on it and hearing about using it for design purposes

Because I’m sure that most people who buy this are probably not buying it for design I don’t know I hope you enjoyed hearing that perspective and hearing what it’s like to work on it Thank you for watching this video Give it thumbs-up if you did enjoy it

If you’ve got any ideas for what kind of videos you’d want to see in this Tech for Designers series going forward, then please feel free to leave the suggestions down below in the comments I’d love to see them Hit the Subscribe button if you’re new to my channel because I make new videos talking about design and design-related tools and things every single Saturday I will see you in the next one Bye

Source: Youtube

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