12" MacBook owners, what aspects surprised you pleasantly or otherwise?

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
More often than not, when we buy a product, or in this case a MacBook, we do our research to see whether it would fit our use case or not. We read reviews and when possible, give the product a test run at the store.

In my case, with the 12" MacBook, I got it because I wanted something highly portable that ran OS X and could run Windows if need be. Those needs were fully met, and i am a happy owner.

Even so, sometimes certain features that may not have been advertised catch us off-guard in pleasant or unpleasant ways. Just today, I was caught off-guard by the macbook's built-in speaker. I almost never use the built-in speaker of any gadget I have, and I have always used headphones or external speakers to date. But today, I actually played a video and listened to the audio, and for something so small, the audio quality was excellent. Obviously it isn't probably studio speaker quality, but the sound was much better than I was expecting.

What about other users?
 

Eggtastic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2009
752
430
NJ
For me, a lot of things considering I went from a 2011 11" mba. This is the benefit of holding onto technology longer, not only do you save money, but when you do upgrade its that much nicer. For me, my needs aren't strenuous so I was able to hold onto my mba for years.

Anyway:
Retina Screen: not only sharpness but the colors (see my picture below)
Keyboard: each key gets a single LED for illumination vs mba which had less LEDs.
Design: space grey is beautiful, keyboard is to the edge, and I may be the minority here but I enjoy the shallow keys.
Speakers: I agree with you here, its awesome quality for the size.

Cons:
One Port: haven't looked into the structure, but felt it could have used one more port.
Bezel: still big for my taste (but way better than mba).

Its a great laptop that I chose over the newer rMBP despite the touchbar being a strong appeal to me (but in the end not worth the extra $500).

 

Quddy

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2016
42
10
Japan
For me:
- Speakers: they are really very good considering the size
- Battery Life: I knew battery life under MacOS was good but I am still pleasantly surprised by how good battery life is when running Windows 10 with Bootcamp. Better than most Windows laptops
- Design and Gold colour: I really like the gold colour. I don't have anything else gold as I usually prefer less attention grabbing design but this just looks nice. Bezels and "Macbook" logo are perfect and not distracting at all. Overall design is just better than any other laptop IMO.
- the display: 12" perfect, colour is great, love the 16:10 ratio and prefer it to 16:9 as work and browsing is just more comfortable, anti-glare coating is superb
- lifting the lid with one finger: at first I thought this was just marketing but it really is very convenient.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
6,741
1,698
ny somewhere
speakers. battery life. weight, size. keyboard.

am really happy with the 12" MB... but still need my older mbp for logic X and final cut X o_O
 

PsychicRutabaga

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2015
72
39
Minnesota
My 2015 rMB 1.2 was my first Mac ever. I'd have to say that trackpad was the most surprising feature. Best pointing device I've ever used.
 

Aenygma22

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2017
15
2
Likes-
The size and weight.
The screen, nice and vibrant.
The speakers (though I do use a Harmon Kardon BT Speaker with it for the most part).
The Space Grey colour. This is their best version of it.
The nice sizable trackpad.

Dislikes-

The keyboard could use a little more action (I have a 2015)
Only 1 port.
Battery? (Jury still out on this one for me).
My battery concerns-
1. I have been tracking my battery and if I charge it to 100% turn it completely off, and come back in 2 days and turn it on it reports my battery at 92%. That seems a bit much to me.
2. If I let it sleep, it used 5% every 24 hours.
I have time if any of this is abnormal for Apple to take a look at it, so I just keep monitoring.

Side note-
I can't open it with one finger. No way, if I try the MacBook just scoots across the desk. I have to use 2 fingers.

:)
 
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Quddy

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2016
42
10
Japan
Whenever I do that the whole MacBook scoots back as well. I have to hold onto it to get the lid to open all the way up.
Side note-
I can't open it with one finger. No way, if I try the MacBook just scoots across the desk. I have to use 2 fingers.
:)
That's strange... Since day one I have always managed to open with one finger when I have needed to. Maybe depends how you apply pressure or how quickly you try to open:confused:
 

mhunt407

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2017
29
13
Bristol, UK
Have to agree with the consensus here; the screen, audio, weight and trackpad are fantastic. I downsized from a 15" MBP and this fits my needs perfectly.

Keyboard has taken a while to get used to admittedly and battery life is disappointing compared to my old 15" but considering it's size and weight; I can't really complain.
 

nordique

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2014
1,413
866
For me the portability more than anything. Great screen.

I also value how it is fanless.

Some of you have mentioned windows....also agree with that. Windows 10 runs beautifully on it.


But it's so damn portable!
 

Zazoh

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2009
611
146
San Antonio, Texas
Have to agree with the consensus here; the screen, audio, weight and trackpad are fantastic. I downsized from a 15" MBP and this fits my needs perfectly.
Ditto. Mine was an older 2011 MBP 15" -- this is faster, and a joy to carry around. I take it with me everywhere. Screen is so clear and computer is so fast.
 
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DaMax85

macrumors member
May 19, 2011
39
14
I was on the fence between the 12" and getting the entry level 2016 MacBook Pro when it dropped last fall. Coming from 2011 13" MBP, I wanted something faster, lighter, and with a retina display. For me, it all came down to price. I snagged an open-box deal on a Geek Squad certified 2016 12" MB in Space Grey with the M3/8GB/256 SSD for $1,019. I've had the machine for three months and I LOVE it. I've had no performance issues, and I honestly don't miss the ports. I have a USB-C to USB-A dongle I only use when I back-up my machine and I also have an SD-card reader dongle that I have yet to even use. The speakers are fantastic and I love the retina display. I've even been able to do some basic editing in FCX without any issues. Battery life is solid, too.

I think if I had to cut video every day, I'd probably want a more powerful machine with a larger display, but the 12" MB has ben great for me and I think it's a great choice for the average user on the go.
 

Aston441

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,291
1,789
Side note-
I can't open it with one finger. No way, if I try the MacBook just scoots across the desk. I have to use 2 fingers.

:)
Maybe it's surface dependant. Some surfaces are stickier then others. Maybe OP has a sticky world.
 

ofarlig

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2015
174
135
Sweden
I was surprised at how much power it actually has. I only got the m3 processor but I still can do a lot. I daily use it for Xcode while running some movie/stream/netflix, loads of safari tabs, photoshop, teamspeak and such, all that on my 2560x1440 screen. That it handles multitasking like that surprised me a lot.
 
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robvas

macrumors 68030
Mar 29, 2009
2,801
372
USA
Battery life for surfing, chat, and light coding is really good. 9 hours or so. And for some trickery the first hour only uses a couple %.
 

BeatCrazy

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2011
1,808
732
I have a lot of Apple products, that each get lots of daily use, including:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone SE
  • iPad Pro 9.7
  • iPad Air 2
  • MacBook Pro 2016
  • MacBook 2016
  • Mac mini 2014
  • Mac Pro 2013
  • Apple Watch
and a few more I'm probably forgetting....

My point is, I think the 2016 MacBook is my favorite overall product. Definitely up there in the top 3 along with iPhone and iPad Pro 9.7.

It has a beautiful design, very reliable, and has performance for all but the most intensive tasks. The form factor is still astounding to me, even after almost a year of use. I can definitely see myself using it more in the future, as well as looking forward to updated versions.
 
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boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
4,267
2,499
Two things:

It's so light and thin that I don't even know it's there. I walk around with my backpack and feel a twinge of anxiety that perhaps I forgot it. I look inside, and there it is and I chuckle.

I run Windows 10 exclusively, I have never used a Mac operating system. It is my first time attempting this and first time using Boot Camp and I am awestruck how flawlessly it's performed. Not a single hiccuup, not a single crash.

The perfect travel notebook.

BJ
 

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
Two things:

It's so light and thin that I don't even know it's there. I walk around with my backpack and feel a twinge of anxiety that perhaps I forgot it. I look inside, and there it is and I chuckle.

I run Windows 10 exclusively, I have never used a Mac operating system. It is my first time attempting this and first time using Boot Camp and I am awestruck how flawlessly it's performed. Not a single hiccuup, not a single crash.

The perfect travel notebook.

BJ
It's interesting that you use Windows exclusively with the MacBook. Are there no other competing brands that are as light or sturdy as the MB? And is the experience still okay given the not fully optimized drivers?
 

Quddy

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2016
42
10
Japan
It's interesting that you use Windows exclusively with the MacBook. Are there no other competing brands that are as light or sturdy as the MB? And is the experience still okay given the not fully optimized drivers?
I use Windows 10 exclusivley as well, although I do boot into MacOS occasionally for updates.

I have to say the Macbook is the best Windows machine in it's class. The important drivers seem perfectly optimised to me. Graphics, audio, Wifi/LAN drivers all work fine. I have never experienced any BSODs. And suprisingly, the battery life is excellent, much better than other laptops designed for Windows. The only thing missing are the extras such as the additional touchpad gesture support.

When I bought it (early 2016) I looked for Windows laptops but found nothing comparable at the time. The likes of Asus, Acer, Hp, Dell etc were either too heavy, too large, too shiny, weird specs, obsessed with reflective touchscreens etc. Most of them had 4GB RAM and mSATA and by the time you specced them up they came to the same price or more anyway as upgrades come in groups, e.g. more ram or larger ssd only with 4K touchscreen.

Macbook has got the balance just right and aesthetically miles ahead. It's the only laptop that i'm aware of that has a 16:10 display that I find better than 16:9, and also the display quality/colours is excellent with a much better anti-reflective coating than others.

Oh and the speakers are way ahead of anything else at this size :)
 
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boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
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RMBwin.jpg
It's interesting that you use Windows exclusively with the MacBook. Are there no other competing brands that are as light or sturdy as the MB? And is the experience still okay given the not fully optimized drivers?


Yes, in my case there are no PC brands that make as solid, light, and thin a notebook as Apple does with the 12" MacBook. Going back 20 years I've always had the thinnest and lightest Windows machine available, Sony abandoned the business and it turns out the MacBook is currently the holder of that title.

The experience is terrific, I'm running Windows 10 on three non-Apple machines in my house and at work and there is no feature that can't be executed on the RMB via Boot Camp. If by non-optimized drivers you mean gestures and features of MacOS that I can't execute in Windows, that may be the case but I wouldn't know as I have never used MacOS. I boot directly to Windows 10, there is no hint of the Apple operating system at all, haven't booted over to the Mac side in over a year, no reason to.

I highly recommend Apple MacBooks to my friends and co-workers as best-in-class Windows 10 machines.

BJ
 

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
If by non-optimized drivers you mean gestures and features of MacOS that I can't execute in Windows, that may be the case but I wouldn't know as I have never used MacOS.
That's pretty much it.

On a different note, what kind of battery life are you seeing with Windows on Boot Camp? In the past, the battery life was significantly worse, so I'm wondering if the gap has been shrunken.
 

boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
4,267
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That's pretty much it.

On a different note, what kind of battery life are you seeing with Windows on Boot Camp? In the past, the battery life was significantly worse, so I'm wondering if the gap has been shrunken.
My use case is the RMB is in my backpack for an hour while I travel to a meeting in China and then its on for 2 hours during the meeting. And then its off for 1 hour while I travel to my next appointment and then its on for 2 hours at the meeting. And so on throughout the day. And if I use it that way, I can get all-day battery life, I can go from 7AM to 7PM without needing to carry the charger or cable.

Note that in these instances, Bluetooth is on (for my mouse) and wi-fi is only on during the meeting times. On long-distance flights, with all antennas off and backlight down to 30%, I can get 10 hours of movie watching.

BJ
 

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
My use case is the RMB is in my backpack for an hour while I travel to a meeting in China and then its on for 2 hours during the meeting. And then its off for 1 hour while I travel to my next appointment and then its on for 2 hours at the meeting. And so on throughout the day. And if I use it that way, I can get all-day battery life, I can go from 7AM to 7PM without needing to carry the charger or cable.

Note that in these instances, Bluetooth is on (for my mouse) and wi-fi is only on during the meeting times. On long-distance flights, with all antennas off and backlight down to 30%, I can get 10 hours of movie watching.

BJ
That sounds amazing, and this is all in Windows, right?

I probably should get mine partitioned pretty soon. I need Windows for some Windows-exclusive software.
 
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boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
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That sounds amazing, and this is all in Windows, right?

I probably should get mine partitioned pretty soon. I need Windows for some Windows-exclusive software.
Yes, all in Windows 10.

I have never used the Mac operating system since buying the computer and formatting the partition for Microsoft operating system. I've owned the machine since May 2015, that's 1 year and 10 months, not a single crash or hiccup. I couldn't be happier.

BJ