Somehow, I managed to sell my Late 2011 15″ MacBook Pro on eBay for $757.00 (swapping a plate-based drive with a SSD and maxing the RAM really helps things along, I’d say). When I saw where the auction was trending, I pulled the trigger on a new Retina MacBook.

I’m starting a M.B.A. Program at Syracuse University, and I need a computer for online collaboration, note-taking, project work, and general travel. Sure, I’ll still have my 15″ Retina MacBook Pro for work/work-related things (heavy lifting in Photoshop/Creative Cloud, mostly), but I’m looking to make this new 12″ Retina MacBook my daily driver for all things personal and educational.

12″ MacBook Specs

Space Gray MacBookI went semi-custom with my MacBook:

  • Space Gray (of course)
  • 1.3GHz Intel dual-core m7 Processor (Turbo boost up to 3.1GHz)
  • 256GB PCIe Flash Storage
  • 8GB RAM

I even nabbed a free pair of Wireless Beats Headphones.

(If anyone wants to buy a pair of Beats Solo 2 (Wired) Headphones, holla.)

The one port dilemma

Here’s what I’m dreading: One port to charge, one port to drive a secondary display, one port to nerf all of my USB 2 and USB 3 accessories.

BUT: I’m currently loving the freedom of my 9.7″ iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard. It’s liberating being able to toss the iPad into my travel bag and get some work done on an airplane.

To calm my nerves, I purchased an Anker USB-C hub. I’ve used Anker products for a while, and have yet to be let down.  The USB-C Hub I purchased allows for pass-through charging, has an HDMI port that can drive a 4K monitor, and two USB 3.0 ports for storage or accessories.

More on that in a second.

For designing in Sketch or bitmap editing in Pixelmator, I’m going to use a Logitech Bluetooth mouse. Again, I don’t want to pay the Apple Tax on the new Magic Mouse (even though I have one at work and absolutely love it). Really, what it comes down to is $35 (Logitech) vs. $80 (Apple). Since I’ll really only need to use a mouse occasionally, it makes sense to save that money (or redirect it to AppleCare). Also, Bluetooth won’t take up one of those precious ports.

Don’t pay for extra storage

I wrestled with this for a while: do I pay the Apple Tax to double the Flash Storage capacity, or do I live dangerously with 256GB?

After a lot of thought, I decided to live dangerously. Mostly because I can grab a SanDisk UltraFit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive for bulk file storage and keep it plugged in to the Anker USB-C hub.

Boom – problem solved.


The worst part of this whole ordeal is the waiting. Because I opted for the m7 at 1.3GHz instead of the off-the-shelf m5 at 1.2GHz (and for more than I’d pay for the upgraded processor on the 256GB base model), I have a Build-to-Order configuration. And those take time to get here.

I rarely – if ever – do this, but I sprung for the $10 expedited shipping. That’s how bad I want to get into this laptop and get going.

I’ll update with more information as the boxes arrive at my door.

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