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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 3, 2011
If you compared them side by side, you will immediately notice MBA trackpad is smaller than the MBP counterpart.


Logically it seems they wanted to distinguish pro line from the air by deliberately making the air trackpad smaller thus compelling buyers to opt for the pro models and pay more for a bigger-sized trackpad.

But the 12" macbook has the trackpad stretch all the way to the bottom edge of the keyboard cutout. Or could it be a conscious human factor design decision in an attempt to reduce the no. of failed palm rejection algorithm? I have yet to see anyone complain about palm rejection not working on them. Or was it an aesthetic design decision? I do think the top line of the trackpad not nearly touching the bottom edge of the keyboard cutout right below the space bar does look a little "cleaner" but then again this taste is highly personal.

If they followed the same design process of previous 12" macbook and 13" MBP, it would have been far easier and cheaper to just reuse the old layout which would have had the trackpad stretch all the way to the edge just like 13" MBP. Because the bottom top casing layouts of 2018 MBA and 2016+ MBP 13" are very similar, it is a natural step to adapt the same trackpad size and design of the older 13" MBP onto the newer 2018 MBA. But they didn't.

It really got me thinking what prompted them this design change.

Share your thoughts.
Last edited:


macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2012
Palm rejection failure was a huge issue for me on the Pro's as I use "Tap to click". Immediately noticed a huge improvement using the new MBA.
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macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2016
Does anyone have the exact specs for the trackpad sizes for the 2018 MBA, the current MBP and the current Macbook? I am using a 12inch Macbook now and think a larger trackpad would help reduce my wrist pain. It's just that I can't find the information anywhere. The keyboard is the same size for all of those, right?


macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
Not as much room due to the tapered design?

Edit: From the ifixit teardown, it looks like the Air is using the same taptic engine as the 12" MacBook - I believe @EugW has commented before that the force of the click on the MacBook is less than that of the pro, so perhaps this taptic engine isn't powerful enough to satisfactorily drive a trackpad the size of the pro's?
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Nov 20, 2008
I personally think the trackpad on the new MBPs is too large. I am also a tap to click user, and there was nothing wrong with the trackpad size last generation. They could've enlarged it a little but, but they didn't need to double the size.
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