MacBook Air will become new MacBook 12?

radiologyman

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Jul 23, 2011
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Rumored upcoming 16 inch MacBook Pro will have size of a 15.4 inch MacBook Pro. Eventually or same time smaller bezels will come to MacBook Air, therefore 13 inch screen will fit in a smaller body that may be only slightly bigger than MB 12. Extra size will provide space for scissor type keyboard and can house a 9 watt processor because Intel has not been able to manufacture updated 5 watt processor suitable for MB 12. I do hope that in 2020 or 2021 Intel or Apple will make processor that will allow for reincarnation of MB 12 in its current form, with approximately 12.5 inch screen.
 
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mj_

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May 18, 2017
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Austin, TX
Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. Impossible to say because it depends on your particular workload, ambient temperature, age of and dust ingress into your device, etc. For me personally the fact that it has a fan in the first place is a deal-breaker.
 

Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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Yeah, so the MacBook Air has a fan. It helps provide better performance because during high load activities, the fan cools the CPU to an acceptable thermal threshold whereas the MacBook has no fan and simply just thermal throttles the CPU at the expense of performance.

I did a couple of 4K video transcodes on three fairly new machines and here are their relative scores:
  • Mac mini 2018: score 100
  • MacBook Air 2019: score 146
  • MacBook 2017 (i7 maxed out): score 223
Same OS, same video files (I encoded two different videos), same Handbrake settings (H.265 VideoToolbox). They were in the same room (same ambient temperature) and none of the systems were doing anything else.

So the MacBook 2017 took 50% longer than the MacBook Air 2019 but the former was silent. The latter was the noisiest of the three systems (fan around 5800 rpm).

The question really comes down to how much you value silence over performance.

Note that the Air 2019 has the T2 chip and HEVC encoding is done in hardware. The MacBook 2017 does it in software and thus will drain the (smaller) battery quicker.

I will point out that in normal desktop usage (office programs, web browsing, video playback, etc.) one cannot hear the Air's fan. Sometimes the fan is off (as it is right now).

The MacBook's performance is fine for tasks that don't tax the CPU.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will flatly state that the MacBook Air 2019's keyboard blows doors on the keyboard of the MacBook 2017 in terms of comfort and feel.

The three primary user interface components that I use to interact with the computer (display, keyboard, trackpad) are all vastly superior on the Air 2019. Moreover, the Air 2019 has a second Thunderbolt 3 port.
 
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radiologyman

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I will point out that in normal desktop usage (office programs, web browsing, video playback, etc.) one cannot hear the Air's fan. Sometimes the fan is off (as it is right now).
Thank you for pointing out the difference, that fan most of the time runs although quietly. I bet that vibration can be still felt when holding it.
 

Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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I wouldn't know. I don't hold notebook computers in my hands while I'm using them.

The point is that the Air's fan doesn't run that often during mundane tasks, something some of the geniuses here don't seem to understand.

Just because a notebook computer has a fan doesn't mean it's maxed out 100% 24/7/365.

The MacBook Air's fan is there to remove excessive amounts of heat during unusually high and temporary workloads. It wasn't intended for normal use.
 
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mj_

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The point is that the Air's fan doesn't run that often during mundane tasks, something some of the geniuses here don't seem to understand.

Just because a notebook computer has a fan doesn't mean it's maxed out 100% 24/7/365.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: that's not the point. The point is that some people are more sensitive to fan noise than others, something some of the geniuses here don't seem to understand ;)

I, for one, am extremely sensitive to fan noise. My brain seems to be wired in some weird way that picks up on this particular frequency and pattern, and it drives me bonkers to the point where I completely lose track of what I was doing. Just because a notebook computer's fan isn't running at full speed 24/7 dones't mean it won't annoy the bejesus out of some people. And then there are people like my wife at the exact opposite of the spectrum who won't even notice fan noise until it's starts competing with a jet engine.

Even at low RPMs I will hear the fan, and it will drive me crazy. I've returned many a laptop that was supposed to be dead silent according to various users and reviews but turned out to have a fan that was simply unbearable for me. Among others I've returned a 2015 MacBook Pro that by all accounts is one of the most quiet laptops available and yet drove me completely nuts.
 

radiologyman

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record: that's not the point. The point is that some people are more sensitive to fan noise than others, something some of the geniuses here don't seem to understand ;)

I, for one, am extremely sensitive to fan noise. My brain seems to be wired in some weird way that picks up on this particular frequency and pattern, and it drives me bonkers to the point where I completely lose track of what I was doing. Just because a notebook computer's fan isn't running at full speed 24/7 dones't mean it won't annoy the bejesus out of some people. And then there are people like my wife at the exact opposite of the spectrum who won't even notice fan noise until it's starts competing with a jet engine.

Even at low RPMs I will hear the fan, and it will drive me crazy. I've returned many a laptop that was supposed to be dead silent according to various users and reviews but turned out to have a fan that was simply unbearable for me. Among others I've returned a 2015 MacBook Pro that by all accounts is one of the most quiet laptops available and yet drove me completely nuts.
I use my laptop as a lap top and at night on my chest, so it has to be cool and fanless. I had 4 top of the line Sony ultraportables and heat and fan really bugged me. I don’t need a performance beast from a laptop, I own a workstation for my work but MacBook 12 with weight of an IPad really works for everything else
 

wowee

macrumors member
May 23, 2015
63
10
vide space for scissor type keyboard and can house a 9 watt processor because Intel has not been able to manufacture updated 5 watt processor suitable for MB 12. I do hope that in 2020 or 2011 Intel or Apple will make processor that will allow for reincarnation of
Rumored upcoming 16 inch MacBook Pro will have size of a 15.4 inch MacBook Pro. Eventually or same time smaller bezels will come to MacBook Air, therefore 13 inch screen will fit in a smaller body that may be only slightly bigger than MB 12. Extra size will provide space for scissor type keyboard and can house a 9 watt processor because Intel has not been able to manufacture updated 5 watt processor suitable for MB 12. I do hope that in 2020 or 2011 Intel or Apple will make processor that will allow for reincarnation of MB 12 in its current form, with approximately 12.5 inch screen.

I hope you are right. I was very upset they discontinued the 12 inch as It was my favorite laptop by far and I use it for everything even though i've owned (and still own) the more powerful 15 Inch pro.

I DON'T see the point of the current MACBOOK AIR- the weight difference between that and the 13 pro is negligible but the performance hits are HUGE. I don't see why anyone would buy an "air" over the "pro."

BTW. Touch bar is USELESS gimmick. I think this has been proven to be true overtime. I am losing more faith in APPLE everyday.

I really hope Apple ends up shrinking down the Air to the 12 inch form factor with reduced bezels making the screen bigger. This would make sense in a VERY confused lineup.
 

Elwe

macrumors regular
Dec 30, 2006
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I am also one who really enjoys a fanless laptop. I use a 2017 MacBook with 16GB of ram (not my only system, though). I will not replace it with a MacBook Air.

I could see myself replacing it with an ARM-based and silent updated MacBook . . . or, and I think this may be slightly more likely at this point . . . a 2019 or 2020 iPad Pro. The acquisition cost is actually cheaper. The keyboard options are not great, though. And I can still do more on macOS . . . for example, the MacBook I have can run Chrome and two small VMs fine. I wish they had update the keyboard, added TB3 (and another port), kept the low-power cpus so it would be fanless. And maybe enhanced the FaceTime camera. I was fine with the cost premium. The size and silence are features I am willing to pay for.
 

wowee

macrumors member
May 23, 2015
63
10
Let's hope they release a laptop that is smaller and lighter than the current "air" - because the current "air" is too heavy if you ask me.

I had the 2015 12 inch and loved the form factor but the CPU etc was too slow. I upgraded to the 2017 12 Inch with 16GB Ram and the faster processor and have been using it since. I have found it to be adequate for many tasks including moderate/heavy lightroom work (The only issue was inport/export which took a long time - otherwise was fine working on RAW images in the develop module). The speed trade off for portability was something I could / can live with.

Of course it could always be faster so I was eagerly awaiting an update - but sadly they discontinued it.

The Air is not light enough (nor any faster) to justify a purchase which leaves me kinda stuck for ultra portables.

I love just having the 12 in my travel bag or camera bag and not noticing the weight. I hope apple will release another lightweight option soon.
 

radiologyman

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Let's hope they release a laptop that is smaller and lighter than the current "air" - because the current "air" is too heavy if you ask me.

I had the 2015 12 inch and loved the form factor but the CPU etc was too slow. I upgraded to the 2017 12 Inch with 16GB Ram and the faster processor and have been using it since. I have found it to be adequate for many tasks including moderate/heavy lightroom work (The only issue was inport/export which took a long time - otherwise was fine working on RAW images in the develop module). The speed trade off for portability was something I could / can live with.

Of course it could always be faster so I was eagerly awaiting an update - but sadly they discontinued it.

The Air is not light enough (nor any faster) to justify a purchase which leaves me kinda stuck for ultra portables.

I love just having the 12 in my travel bag or camera bag and not noticing the weight. I hope apple will release another lightweight option soon.
I have both 2015 and 2017 MB 12 as well, and hopefully that 2017 will work for a long time, until Apple will return to this true ultraportable. Current MBA is to heavy/big to replace it and has a fan
 

Macalway

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Aug 7, 2013
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Again and again they argue. Why?

They try to convince you that their way is better. They just can't understand why you don't see it. MY GOD it's like a sickness :D. If I say I don't want a fan, I have my reasons. If I say I don't need a larger (anything), I have my reasons.

Anyway it's moot, now they they killed it, thanks. Would you argue at a funeral? What's the point. It's dead.
 

0989382

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Jan 11, 2018
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Yeah, so the MacBook Air has a fan. It helps provide better performance because during high load activities, the fan cools the CPU to an acceptable thermal threshold whereas the MacBook has no fan and simply just thermal throttles the CPU at the expense of performance.

I did a couple of 4K video transcodes on three fairly new machines and here are their relative scores:
  • Mac mini 2018: score 100
  • MacBook Air 2019: score 146
  • MacBook 2017 (i7 maxed out): score 223
Same OS, same video files (I encoded two different videos), same Handbrake settings (H.265 VideoToolbox). They were in the same room (same ambient temperature) and none of the systems were doing anything else.

So the MacBook 2017 took 50% longer than the MacBook Air 2019 but the former was silent. The latter was the noisiest of the three systems (fan around 5800 rpm).

The question really comes down to how much you value silence over performance.

Note that the Air 2019 has the T2 chip and HEVC encoding is done in hardware. The MacBook 2017 does it in software and thus will drain the (smaller) battery quicker.

I will point out that in normal desktop usage (office programs, web browsing, video playback, etc.) one cannot hear the Air's fan. Sometimes the fan is off (as it is right now).

The MacBook's performance is fine for tasks that don't tax the CPU.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will flatly state that the MacBook Air 2019's keyboard blows doors on the keyboard of the MacBook 2017 in terms of comfort and feel.

The three primary user interface components that I use to interact with the computer (display, keyboard, trackpad) are all vastly superior on the Air 2019. Moreover, the Air 2019 has a second Thunderbolt 3 port.
It's superior in the ways you point out. However, the MB is superior in taking up less desk space, being much lighter, fanless and silent in all situations.

As usual, a different product line to the Air, and Pro, for different users with different areas of importance and unique use cases. The Air is newer and less expensive than what the MB was, so it's also superior in bang for buck.

But there are definitely little advantages to the MB. Obviously not enough to compete in the lineup or from a cost to build standpoint, hence how it was pulled by Apple. But nevertheless, some small points that some people might still prefer.
 
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radiologyman

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We have seen recently that Apple does listen to fan base and this forum is one of the prominent Apple communities. I will send an email to Tim Cook about it, anyone has it?
 

mj_

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May 18, 2017
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Austin, TX
A true successor to the 12" MacBook will be fanless. I'm not even gonna give it a second glance as long as it has a fan.
To quote myself: this thing sucks! My MacBook is in for yet another repair under the keyboard replacement program (fifth replacement in 2.5 years, must be a new record!) and since Apple does not give out loaners while they unsuccessfully attempt to fix the clusterf*** they themselves created in the first place I had to purchase a mobile Mac with the sole intention of returning it again in a few days when I pick up my MacBook with brand-spanking-new-yet-broken-by-design keyboard. To my surprise this was also what the genius suggested I should do.

Either way, I've had my worst fears confirmed. I've only had this Air for about two hours and the fan is already driving me CRAZY! It's constantly running at 2,700rpm and cannot be turned off completely even with MacFanControl. I can hear it very clearly, and it's annoying as F***. This is an absolute no-go - screen is awesome, keyboard feels much better than my 2017 MacBook's, and I love the size because the front edge is not digging into my palms but that constantly running fan is driving me crazy and simply not acceptable.
 

radiologyman

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Jul 23, 2011
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Things looking more promising for Macbook 12 successor. I agree that it has to be fanless. Not sure where reference for OLED coming from but that would be awesome. I would gladly take miniled though if that's easier.
 
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Macintoshrumors

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Oct 18, 2016
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Big mistake, them killing this. Crazy.

Relax. Apple has never said they are killing it and op is speculating. Don’t believe eveything you read, they ar e just opinions.

Anyway, I doubt apple will regress and make the Air the old MacBook. Both the 13’ and 15’ are moving up in screen size, while keeping the same form factor (maybe thicker, just reduced Bezels like the iPad line). The air will still be the air. Op is either new or can logically piece together trends or patterns.

The MacBook will come back, like it did in the past, and will prob be the first arm Macs, followed by the air or perhaps the air will be getting the new in-house processors.
 
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Aston441

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Sep 16, 2014
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That’s the reason I did not want an Air but someone claimed that fan rarely comes on?
My 2011 MBA was touted as being fanless by various publications. That’s why I bought it. Imagine my surprise when I first heard it spin up in 2014.
As “designers” (lol) have made software more and more bloatedthe old MBA fan screams nearly all the time.

I expect software bloat to continue.

Do you really think today’s MBA will still be quiet in 4 years? Hint: it will not be silent.


Not to mention the new MBA screen is hot garbage.
 
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