Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Report: Super-Lightweight 12-inch MacBook Powered By Apple Silicon to Launch This Year

Schismz

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2010
227
107
I think the 12-inch MacBook failed because it didn’t fit well in the product lineup. It had 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD and a Retina display, which was quite impressive for the time. On the other hand, it had a small screen, almost no ports, and it was way too slow. The price was quite high, the same as a MacBook Pro. So for whom was it made? If your budget was tight you would obviously still go for the Air. If you had the money and you needed power, you would go for the Pro. The market for the 12-inch was not so clear. I personally never seriously thought of buying it.
I brought it. The only reason I did at the time was because it's the smallest -- possibly only? -- laptop at the time Apple had with a Retina display. MBA did not have Retina display, which was weird. It's... what it is, it's totally fine for being an ultra-portable laptop for using email, the browser, ssh, whatever, when traveling for business. At the other end of the spectrum my workstation at home is a Mac Pro 7,1 :)

I like it quite a bit despite not really using it in months, since all of life has been replaced by Zoom meetings. I will buy the first gen iteration of this because, why not? It won't cost very much and it'll be nice to replace a 4+ year old laptop.
 
Comment

sarvdan

macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2020
6
2
I hope they do reintroduce the 12-inch Retina MacBook. I own it in Space Gray and I love it. I think it’s the perfect size. It just needs an updated keyboard, an updated webcam and the ARM processor. I do hope they keep it fanless too. There‘s nothing better than a completely quiet machine. One thing I know I won’t get, but I think it would be awesome, would be if they offered it in the same matte black as the iPhone 7. That would look so hot.
 
Comment

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,280
2,002
Australia, Perth
A laptop with 15 hours of battery life? If that's actual usage, it's going to be the dream travel laptop.

as always Apple likes to report based on wireless usage... so it would be 15-20 hours of wireless web i'd assume I'd even say 15 hours would be the 'new base' figure because display size changes and tech added, but battery life always remains the same throughout

Why would that go away?
 
Comment

NewUsername

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2019
230
391
Comment

StrangeNoises

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
107
332
Works fine with a 4Kp60 monitor if you have the right dongle. I have confirmed this with the 2017 model, but IIRC the 2015 model is reported now to work too.

Note that the Apple dongle does NOT support this. Why? Because you can't have USB 3 + 4Kp60 at the same time. It's either USB 2 + 4Kp60 or else USB 3 + 4Kp30. Most companies go with USB 3 + 4Kp30. This includes Apple.

I have purchased a USB-C dongle with USB 3 + 4Kp30 + power + other ports, and a separate USB-C dongle with just 4Kp60 + power. Works fine with my 4K LG OLED at 60 Hz.

The original 2015 model, which I had, could only do 4Kp30. I had additional issues with the USB-C hub I had but I could confirm that by connecting the monitor directly (not a useful configuration as then there was no way to charge it).

Later MB12 models could drive at 4Kp60, just not the first one. So we're not contradicting each other but the buyer needs to be careful what secondhand model they're getting if this is important.
 
Comment

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,163
6,554
The original 2015 model, which I had, could only do 4Kp30. I had additional issues with the USB-C hub I had but I could confirm that by connecting the monitor directly (not a useful configuration as then there was no way to charge it).

Later MB12 models could drive at 4Kp60, just not the first one. So we're not contradicting each other but the buyer needs to be careful what secondhand model they're getting if this is important.
The first one was later supported at 4Kp60. That’s what I was saying in my last post. Yes even the 2015 12-inch MacBook supports 4K 60 Hz over HDMI, but only if you buy the right dongle/cable.

Also, you can get dongles with power delivery plus 4K 60 Hz HDMI. Unfortunately, Apple’s dongle is NOT one of them.

What you can’t do is mini-DisplayPort plus USB and power delivery, which is annoying for me.
 
Comment

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,163
6,554
The original 2015 model, which I had, could only do 4Kp30. I had additional issues with the USB-C hub I had but I could confirm that by connecting the monitor directly (not a useful configuration as then there was no way to charge it).

Later MB12 models could drive at 4Kp60, just not the first one. So we're not contradicting each other but the buyer needs to be careful what secondhand model they're getting if this is important.
Straight from the horse’s mouth:



The LG UltraFine 4K Display supports a resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz on these devices:

 
Comment

Amethyst1

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2015
2,424
3,067
Yes even the 2015 12-inch MacBook supports 4K 60 Hz over HDMI, but only if you buy the right dongle/cable
It also does it via DisplayPort/USB-C Alternate Mode on Sierra or later versions. Using it right now (until the battery runs out, that is).
 
Comment

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,163
6,554
It also does it via DisplayPort/USB-C Alternate Mode on Sierra or later versions. Using it right now (until the battery runs out, that is).
Yeah, that last part is my problem.

I have a 2010 iMac used as a monitor in target display mode with USB-C to mini-DisplayPort dongle, and I have a 30" Cinema HD Display with Apple active mini-DisplayPort to dual-link DVI dongle that I can use with it. Both of these work with my 12" MacBook but I can't charge the MacBook or use USB at the same time.

A second port would solve this problem. Even better would be two Thunderbolt-compatible ports.
 
Comment

johngwheeler

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2010
634
211
I come from a land down-under...
Some tests we did on the Apple Transition kit with Apple Silicone.

Encoding the free animation movie bbb_sunflower_1080p_30fps to a MP4 format with HEVC and AAC with a video bitrate of 6000k and audio bitrate of 256k
Encoding with FFmpeg 4.3.1 compiled versions for ARM and Intel (with x265 library)

Both system running Mac Big Sur Beta 5

Software encoding for video and audio:
Intel Core i9 2.3Ghz 8core 5:09
Intel Core i3 2.8Ghz. 23:18
Apple Silicone A12Z 36:43

Hardware encoding with Apple Videotoolbox (*) for video and audio:
Intel Core i9 2:58
Apple Silicone A12Z 10:51
Intel Core i3 N/A (does not have HEVC hardware accelerated encoding)

Although the Apple transition kit is not using the most powerful ARM atm it does clearly indicate they are much slower in doing hard crunching numbers. With the A14 it may be a bit closer to Intel Core i3
The hardware accelerated encoding was much slower too (which was a surprise).
Basically a Core i5, i7 and i9 will be much faster for the foreseeable future.

A side note: the Apple kit got incredible warm and it may have did some throttling along the test.

(*) Although it’s faster to encode, the file size is much bigger compared when using the software x265 encoder for achieving the same quality. This is a known problem/side effect when using VideoToolbox hardware accelerated APIs. If you need smal file size with high quality, you’re only choice is software encoding.

That is really interesting, but a bit disappointing! I've seen some video export benchmarks comparing the iPad Pro and MacBook Air (quad-core) showing the iPad Pro as being almost twice as fast, which I thought looked promising for the A12Z. I don't have the details of the test though.

Your ffmpeg timings will be more realistic I think. I would accept half as fast as the 8-core i9 as being a good result, but the A12Z is over 7x slower..
 
Comment

Felix Baum

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2020
1
0
One kilogram laptop? Yes, right here in 2019. And it's 14" rather than 12"


 
Comment

Lucifer666

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,033
396
How do you "wear out" a laptop? It's not a pair of shoes....curious!

First the keyboard started failing, one key at a time (bad design). Then the battery became virtually worthless. Then the screen started getting weird. Like that. Like a pair of shoes. :D
 
Comment

alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
1,167
643
NLD
I like that’s it’s super portable, and as a desktop, I’d just plug it into a 23” monitor.
I hope to plug it into my 27” 5k LG! I want to have two, but I can’t on my 2018 13” mbp without an expensive eGPU
 
Comment

akbarali.ch

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2011
590
337
Mumbai (India)
Sorry not going to happen, the ASIC processor has a long path to get to the matching speed of an Intel I9 processor. The Intel i9 processor is a very advanced processor with memory cache and threading engineering engineered into the processor. Intel has had years of experience with workhorse Xeon processors for 24x7 operations. Will Apple get their with the ASIC processor yes, but it is going to take years to reach.

The ASIC processor will have the greatest advance for Apple customers is they can start to create processors that meet the needs of the user requirements. Long battery life, App Store application compatibility, system security on the chip, high speed networking on the chip, Augmented Reality on the chip and so on. Remember a CISC processor was originally designed to be put in anything from a refrigerator to a home computer. A RISC and now ASIC are custom designed chips to meet the need of the technology it is going into that performs that function very fast and efficient.

Remember the iPhone 1 barely had 5 hours of talk time with the iPhone 11 Pro you get 25 hours of talk time, all do to ASIC battery power management and the new phone are a lot more power hungry than the first model :)

A12X touches the baseline MBP13 (2019) and so i expect A14X to touch baseline MBP16 (2019) atleast. Or maybe it will take a bit of time as you say.
 
Comment

ian87w

macrumors 68000
Feb 22, 2020
1,727
1,826
Indonesia
I think the 12-inch MacBook failed because it didn’t fit well in the product lineup. It had 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD and a Retina display, which was quite impressive for the time. On the other hand, it had a small screen, almost no ports, and it was way too slow. The price was quite high, the same as a MacBook Pro. So for whom was it made? If your budget was tight you would obviously still go for the Air. If you had the money and you needed power, you would go for the Pro. The market for the 12-inch was not so clear. I personally never seriously thought of buying it.

Apple probably thought this would be the same success as the MacBook Air was in 2008. At that time, you also paid more to have a slower computer which was lighter and thinner. However, the MacBook Air was really spectacularly thinner and lighter than the then-MacBook. The MacBook Air was 1.3 kg and 0.4-1.9 cm high. The then-current MacBook was 2.3 kg and 2.3 cm high. That difference is huge.

Compare that with the 12-inch MacBook, which was 0.9 kg and 0.3-1.3 cm high, whereas the then-MacBook Air was 1.3 kg and 0.3-1.7 cm high. Sure, it’s a notable difference. But is it worth hundreds of dollars while getting worse ports and worse performance? Definitely not, at least not for most people.

Anyway, I have seen lots and lots of MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros in the wild. But 12-inch Macbooks? Perhaps one or two times. So I wasn't surprised Apple nixed it.

However, if Apple releases it now, same design, but with an Apple Silicon processor, a normal keyboard, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and for a good price (preferably 899 or 999$), it could definitely be a huge success.
Also, I don't think Apple managed to push the price of the retina macbook to the magic $999.
In terms of performance, I don't see issues with the CPUs used in the Macbook. I have a Windows laptop with a core m7, and I don't have major issues with a typical laptop use.
 
Comment

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
6,659
3,465
There & Back Again
this makes the most sense out of all the first apple silicon rumors.

the last 12-inch was severely underpowered. apple will show it'll be nearly as powerful as MBP, but not quite enough ports for pros to switch over. then it'll show what apple silicon can do with better thermal design in the MBP.

It will be interesting to see how they give the Macbook a decent processor, but not allow it to be as good as the MacBook Pro. Will they start giving processor indicators, such as A14x 1.7 and then an A14x 2.8 for a MBP etc?

20 hours of battery life... Definitely interested to see what the MBP comes in at, and how it holds up to the stuff I need to run on it.
 
Comment

Nick_P

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2020
30
23
I hope Apple doesn’t bring back the awful butterfly keyboard! I had a 2016 12” MacBook and I truly enjoyed it except the keyboard. I vaguely recall reading a rumor a few months back that Apple was still messing around with its design for a future new MacBook model.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.