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yepp

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2018
2
0
I want to buy a light/travel-friendly MacBook. Discontinued 12” MacBook weights 2 pounds while the new 13” MacBook Air weights 3 pounds. To me, the weight difference is big enough to justify the 12”.

I can’t decide whether I should get a refurbished 12” MacBook now, or wait for a smaller-size (11” or 12”) MacBook Air.

My question is: do you think that Apple will release a smaller-screen MacBook Air at some point in 2020 as 12” MacBook has been discontinued? Thanks!
 

niteflyr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2011
968
155
Southern Cal
I'm still using my 2015 11" MBA for my travel machine. The smaller footprint and light weight makes it easier to travel with than the 13" MBA. For example the 11" sits nicely on an airline setback tray table. I was using it yesterday and it occurred to me that, with Apples newer laptop technology that have a much smaller bezel, they could easily put a 12" or 13" screen in the 11' MBA. After all, the 11" MBA actually has a 11.6" screen now. I would love to see the smaller form MBA return with a larger screen. I would buy it instantly.
 
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Florida Gator

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2004
229
65
Apple will never make an ultraportable MacBook again. It's clear their vision for portable computing is the iPad.

The Mac continues to be a decreasing part of their business and they aren't going to create more products that overlap with existing products.

As a loving user of the 12" MacBook, this bums me out. I keep checking out the new MacBook Airs but they are just too big. The iPad doesn't run the software I want and poking at an upright screen all day will give me RSI. Such a bummer.
 
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4sallypat

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2016
1,601
1,319
So Calif
I agree with others that replied.

iPad Pro seems to be edging into the computing field and less in the tablet field. I have an iPad Pro but it's too heavy and large to travel with ...

Myself, I love the 12" Retina Macbook and use it everytime I travel.
I am looking to get a "backup" rMB because mine is a 2015 first gen and since it has been discontinued, I'd like to have a 2017 i5 12".

The closest to the 12" is the 11.6" Air which is more wide than tall.
Either would serve you well with the ultra light compact Macbook.
 
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Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
708
353
Ocean State
I used to think that the 11inch Air was not as useful as the 13inch Air because it was too small. Until I actually got my 2012 11inch Air, I did not realize just how wrong I was in my assumption. I have since upgraded to an 11inch 2015 i7 8GB Air and couldn't be happier. I use this laptop exclusively for travel and really love the ultra portability of this laptop.

As much as I love using my 11inch Air for travel, I too don't think Apple will sell a newer version of the 11inch Air. To me it looks like they are pushing the ipad with different variations including their Pro line...

I would love to see an improved 11inch version come out but I doubt we will ever see one...
 
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magicMac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
802
257
UK
i suspect the 12-inch "MacBook" will return in more-or-less exact form factor as the 2017 model before it got discontinued - but when it comes back it will probably have an ARM chip. I personally would really like a 12-inch MacBook as a portable machine (over an iPad for example which I personally can't get much work done on). However the 12-inch was always criticised for it's poor performance ever since inception and including subsequent updates. ARM 12-inch MacBook might solve that. On the flip side, the amount of older mac apps that aren't going to run as a result of said architecture change...

A 13" Air with 10th Gen Intel chip , heatsink , better keyboard and even smaller bezels would probably do the trick. See what March even brings?
 
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mj_

macrumors 65816
May 18, 2017
1,242
811
Austin, TX
However for many people with mundane needs, the iPad Pro might be enough: e-mail, web browser, basic office apps (Apple's own iWork suite or Microsoft Office) and basic multimedia apps (Apple's own iLife suite or various third-party apps including a bunch of Adobe offerings).

These tasks are basically what the discontinued 12" MacBook 2017 was able to do, although this fanless, underpowered notebook crawled to a snail's pace when encoding video.
My problem with Apple's assumption, and you are 100% correct in what you are saying, is that portable computing is so much more than mundane tasks on one side of the spectrum and then video encoding on the other. Apple seems to think there is no in-between, no intermediary where people require professional applications that do much more than basic word processing but significantly less than professional audio or video production, nothing between dreadfully (mis)typing emails with your fingertips and supercomputing powers to edit the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The truth is that there is a giant in-between, and the 12" MacBook filled that gap quite nicely along all the other portable Apple computers.

And regarding the iPad (Pro) as the future of portable computing: excuse my language, but the iPad (Pro) is hot garbage. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPad and it's a great couch surfing and media consumption device for the living room. But that's it. Serious business applications are suspiciously lacking (and by that I mean more than a Slack client for chatting with my office mates) and Office applications such as Microsoft Office are nothing more than massively dumbed-down versions of their macOS/Windows counterparts and lack the most essential and basic features required for serious office work. The iPad (Pro) is a great device, but it is definitely not the future of mobile computing, and never will be. It's an expensive toy, and that's pretty much it. Things I cannot possibly do on an iPad (Pro): access network shares to download files; edit massive budgeting spreadsheets in Excel; use extensive macros and formulas in office applications, including but not limited to, Excel; software development of any kind, be it shell scripting or Java development; multiple VPN connections to multiple sites; extensive word processing; ODBC connections to hook into databases, be that PostgreSQL, Oracle, or MSSQL; and so on. I dread the day my 12" MacBook dies, because that will mean I will have to get a much larger, heavier, and most annoyingly active cooled MacBook Air, and lugging around another pound of computer with a fan in it is going to feel like a 10 year setback.

That said I agree with everyone else. Apple does not care about its Mac division anymore. It's not the big cash cow it once used to be, and Apple's future of mobile computing is definitely the iPad (Pro). I see no chance of another 12" MacBook or a 12" MacBook Air. That ship has sailed with the discontinuation of the last gen fanless MacBook.
 
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Florida Gator

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2004
229
65
My problem with Apple's assumption, and you are 100% correct in what you are saying, is that portable computing is so much more than mundane tasks on one side of the spectrum and then video encoding on the other. Apple seems to think there is no in-between, no intermediary where people require professional applications that do much more than basic word processing but significantly less than professional audio or video production, nothing between dreadfully (mis)typing emails with your fingertips and supercomputing powers to edit the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The truth is that there is a giant in-between, and the 12" MacBook filled that gap quite nicely along all the other portable Apple computers.

And regarding the iPad (Pro) as the future of portable computing: excuse my language, but the iPad (Pro) is hot garbage. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPad and it's a great couch surfing and media consumption device for the living room. But that's it. Serious business applications are suspiciously lacking (and by that I mean more than a Slack client for chatting with my office mates) and Office applications such as Microsoft Office are nothing more than massively dumbed-down versions of their macOS/Windows counterparts and lack the most essential and basic features required for serious office work. The iPad (Pro) is a great device, but it is definitely not the future of mobile computing, and never will be. It's an expensive toy, and that's pretty much it. Things I cannot possibly do on an iPad (Pro): access network shares to download files; edit massive budgeting spreadsheets in Excel; use extensive macros and formulas in office applications, including but not limited to, Excel; software development of any kind, be it shell scripting or Java development; multiple VPN connections to multiple sites; extensive word processing; ODBC connections to hook into databases, be that PostgreSQL, Oracle, or MSSQL; and so on. I dread the day my 12" MacBook dies, because that will mean I will have to get a much larger, heavier, and most annoyingly active cooled MacBook Air, and lugging around another pound of computer with a fan in it is going to feel like a 10 year setback.

That said I agree with everyone else. Apple does not care about its Mac division anymore. It's not the big cash cow it once used to be, and Apple's future of mobile computing is definitely the iPad (Pro). I see no chance of another 12" MacBook or a 12" MacBook Air. That ship has sailed with the discontinuation of the last gen fanless MacBook.

Nailed it.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
5,111
5,714
I think if/when the Air goes over to Arm chips it might be made smaller (reduced footprint from trimming screen bezels, no need for a fan, less battery for the same battery life etc) so it will be basically the absolute minimal form of a 13" computer. I don't see any suggestion of a sub 13" MacBook returning, though.
 
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