When I published the in-depth review of my daily driver, the 12-inch MacBook, little did I know that the very next post would be about its discontinuation.
In yet another refresh soon after May’s MacBook Pro updates, Apple has upped the specs for the MacBook Air. While doing so, the company has also discontinued the 12-inch MacBook, the smallest, sleekest, and arguably the most stylish MacBook to have ever existed.
You could argue about the lack of ports and power of this computer (more on that below), but as someone on this post’s comments section said, you didn’t really pay for an abundance of ports or power when you purchased a 12-inch MacBook. You bought it for its portability that came without the compromise of a desktop-class operating system with all-day battery life.
There are a lot of bad threads on the internet about the 12-inch MacBook that mark it as an overpriced, underpowered computer. However, many of the 12-inch MacBook users that I spoke to had shared a similar experience as myself. It is incredibly portable and decently powerful to get most of the productivity work done while on the go. It’s thinner and lighter than an iPad Pro with its full suite of accessories (Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Cover), yet offers the full macOS experience, no compromises with productivity.
If you read my full review of the iPad Pro (pre-2018), you already know that I switched from the iPad Pro to the 12-inch MacBook because I was missing a desktop experience. When I switched to this MacBook, it was like I hadn’t left the iPad’s compactness and I was still getting the full macOS experience thanks to just how small and light this computer is.
Even though the 12-inch MacBook is underpowered on paper, it doesn’t feel like so on my daily use of this computer. If you look at the Geekbench comparison between a Late 2018 MacBook Air (reviewed by Engadget) and my 2017 12-inch MacBook, you’ll see just how close they are.
That’s 4180 on single-core and 7818 on multi-core using a 2018 1.6 GHz MacBook Air. Now let’s compare it with my 2017 1.6 GHz 12-inch MacBook.
You can see just how close they are! For the record, I’m not a blind believer of relying too much on benchmark score. But I know for a fact that for the right kind of work, the 12-inch MacBook does not disappoint.
I was once a big fan of the MacBook Air because of its thinness and portability. But today, I don’t understand the MacBook Air lineup because it’s just too close — both in size, weight, and price — to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The redesigned Air is not significantly more portable than the 13-inch MacBook Pro to justify the Air over a Pro. But compare the size and weight of the 12-inch MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’ll see how big of a difference there is.
I think it would have made sense to give the 12-inch MacBook a boost of power and one more USB-C port and call it the MacBook Air. Or Apple could have kept it as it is, but price it a couple hundred dollars below the starting price of the MacBook Air. Either way, I think the MacBook had its place. The only thing wrong about it was the fact that it cost more than a MacBook Air.
Will Apple reintroduce the 12-inch MacBook again sometime later this year? I sure hope so. For a thin and light laptop, the 12-inch MacBook is the perfect on-the-go laptop that does not sacrifice usability and (for the most part) performance.
Have you used or tested a 12-inch MacBook? Let me know your thoughts if you will miss it.