The 12 inch MacBook and its relevance in Apples Notebook lineup

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Apple blogger, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Apple blogger macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2013
    Last year Apple launched a new MacBook. A new notebook that was thinner than the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, packed with new amazing innovations, and had only 1 port to do everything. Apple called it, "The future of notebooks". It was for the people who wanted ease of use, no wires, and an amazing notebook.

    I was really excited about this product. I waited till they updated their website and straight headed for the comparison chart. The innvovation on the new Macbook is Just Amazing. But the thing I went to search was, how different is it from the old MacBook Air (13 inch). Now the comparison chart just showed the specs; the battery life, processor, etc. Execpt for the thinness and Retina Display, and taking account only specs, the old MacBook Air was better than the new Macbook in every way. The MacBook Air in terms of daily usability only lacks the Retina display (which it'll probably receive with a new update this year). It costs $200-$300 lesser, has a better battery life, an inch larger screen, and more ports to connect to. The new MacBook on the other hand has only 1 new usb type C port, which was used for power, connectivity and replaced all the other ports.

    Now, its been almost a year and you must have gotten bored with the ranting of people saying that "only one port is not convinient", "now we have to buy accessories for more ports" etc, etc. The important point of the discussion is, does this notebook still have a place in the MacBook Lineup and does it need an update. Well, the MacBook mainly functions on wifi and bluetooth, which every other Mac can also do. The old MacBooks can have a litle more functionality too. And we all are hoping that Apple does not stick with this "1 port" thing with other Notebooks as well. But what I learned from the new Notebook was the way Apple was thinking forward. I am Amazed at the amount of innovation that has gone in this product and it certianly did deserve a place in the Apple lineup for a year.

    We know that the technolgy used is going to come on the other MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs to make them more thinner and better. The new Keyboard Mechanism, the new CPU thats 67% smaller, the new batteries, etc are all going to be seen in other products. Also, since the MacBook pro need more ports, it is likely that they would have more than 1 USB- C Ports.Similar more ports would come to the MacBook Air. Then, these Macbooks would be more efficient, making the the "New" MacBook, "old".

    So, after a year, it seems that once the other MacBooks in the lineup are updated, Apple will not update this product; since all notebooks will feature the same functionality. Apple could either replace this one with the Macbook Air, or just remove the MacBook Air all together.

    However, I feel (even its a bit too farfetched) that the MacBook could be updated only for a sole reason of showing what's coming next in the future. It could become the product that shows off the hardwork that goes into research and development, and become a product that reflects what Apple is trying to go forward with. (Just like they did with this one). It would symbolize what Apple wants to achieve. With the next MacBook, Apple could just "Dip their toes in the water" and check the response of the consumers. But then again, it would seem that the MacBook is just a "Product for Developers and Engineers" and the other Macbook's are for the consumers and Enterprises.
  2. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    I could see the MBA being phased out by the rMB. Remember that the original MBA was criticized for it's compromises. We're seeing history repeat itself and the rMB will take the title of the best consumer laptop away from the MBA.
  3. MaulRx Suspended

    Aug 27, 2012
    I think that's where things are heading as well. Maybe we will see the 11 inch stick around under the MacBook brand but I doubt it. I just picked up the Space Gray myself and I have to admit to loving it. A price point of around 1100 would be best.
  4. Fuzzball84 macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2015
    Ive had the rMB about 9 months now and its been one of the best laptops Ive ever had (for personal, not work use). Its portable (small and light), battery is superb considering the size and that it has an excellent display, and the keyboard (although takes a while to accommodate to) is pretty good.

    To be honest, I really only ever plug the power cord into the USBC port regularly...

    I treat it similar to my iPad air in that I charge it overnight and I find it lasts as long per charge as the tablet.
  5. kvyoung macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2015
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I could be wrong but I think we'll see the 12" rMB, a 13" or 14" rMBA and 13" and 15" rMBP's. They will likely slim the MBA further with battery and keyboard technology from the rMB. Because the rMBA will continue to run a core-i processor they'll need a fan and so won't be as slim as the rMB and they are also likely to have more ports. They will finally get a retina display. I don't expect as radical a change with the pros but they will likely be thinner and lighter while retaining the existing keyboard and gaining updated cpu and ports.

    I don't see the rMB going away. It is the ultra portable core-m fanless model. It will continue to be the thinnest in the MacBook line. I'm sure battery technology and processor upgrade will increase performance and battery life marginally.

    I am really impressed with my rMB. I had no problem adapting to the keyboard and while I don't use devices attached a lot I picked up a HooToo usb-c hub that provides pass through charging, HDMI, 3 usb and an SD card slot. I had previously bought the UX305CA hoping to save some money but in the end I sold it and bought the rMB. I did snag a deal on the rMB though. Bought a new open box 1.2\512 on eBay for $1199 with 35 months remaining on the Apple Care warranty which is now in my name. It had 2 cycles on the battery and is for all intents like new.

    The things I like better about the rMB vs the UX305 - backlit keyboard, smaller dimensions and weight, larger and faster SSD, OS X and killer warranty. The UX did have a Skylake M3 processor but to be honest I see no difference in performance in every day use between the two.
  6. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    No it won't. The MacBook Air is dead. The MBP getting a force touch trackpad while the Air didn't should tell you everything you want to know.
  7. Apple blogger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2013
    Well I think that it will. The MacBook Air didn't get retina because if it would have, it would be better than the new MacBook in every way. A normal consumer looking to buy a Mac, will not go for MacBook that costs 1299 with only one port just because of the innovation it has inside. The person person wants the best the money less money, and compared to the MacBook, Air would definitely be better because for the lesser price, you can do all the wireless stuff with your Air, plus have a better Battery life and performance, with more wired connectivity too. That's the reasons why I think it didn't get updated.
  8. golosin2 macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2012

    We will see the death of the MacBook Air. Regarding the laptop line, I think we will have the 12" (and hopefully 14") MacBook and then a 13"/14" and 15"/16" MacBook Pro.
  9. sunapple, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

    sunapple macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    The 12" MacBook is very relevant in Apple's line-up, they literally said it is the future of notebooks! The Air isn't!


    I could see this simplified line-up somewhere in Apples future (but Apple is known for messing up line-ups with confusing names...).

    MacBooks in two sizes with maybe Core M and Core i5/i7 processors for everyday use and a MacBook Pro with a Pro screen size (maybe two sizes like the iPad Pro), Pro quad-core processors and a Pro amount of ports.

    You could even use the Mini - Air - Pro naming from the iPad with Core M, Core i5 and quad-core i7 in that order. The amount of ports could very well vary between models which would make them geared towards different kinds of users (light-medium-pro).
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Hopefully Apple will spell "envelope" correctly. :D

    The "Air" naming made sense when the model was a departure from the thicker heavier Macbook/MacbookPro models.

    With the advent of the rMB there's not really a logical place for the Air models, especially if Apple further slims the MBP13. Doubly so if they don't change the display.

    I've been surprised that I honestly don't miss the 13.3" display of my MBA13. I set my rMB to do 1440x900 scaled and it's great. I have the same effective real estate and the slight reduction in screen size hasn't been noticeable when I'm just sitting and using it. It's only apparent if I set them up side by side; and at this point I'm amazed at how big and clunky the MBA13 is! #FirstWorldProblems :D
  11. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Like others, I think the Air will see the graveyard. They are probably waiting to update macs b.c a redesign is going to take place at WWDC (at least for the pros). Either before then or at WWDC we will see a spec bump in the macbook line and possibly a larger screen option.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2016 ---
    That actually seems very likely. The prices seem right too. I really think the new pros are going to start around $2K like you are showing.
  12. sunapple macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    It's spelled correctly though. In Dutch. :D
  13. MaulRx Suspended

    Aug 27, 2012
    I don't see them bringing back or keeping 3 different screen sizes though. 12 and a larger will be it.
  14. Eggtastic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2009
    I know this was a joke, but I got a little excited when I saw the 14" rMB. I would still settle for an updated rMB with the 12" screen, but the 14" would be nice.

    As for the prediction of the air line up being relevant I have to disagree. With focus shifting to iOS for apple, the Ipads now are treading lightly into laptop territory. I see the pros staying around and the rMB's to become the new entry level laptop.
  15. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Your observations are clearly based on not having used the device for any period of time. The MBA didn't get Retina because they built the MacBook instead. If you want super portability, you get the MacBook. If you want a larger screen, you get the 13" Pro which is not much different in size than the 13" Air. If you want cheap or maximum battery, you get an Air. If the Air had been given Retina, it would be expensive and no longer have the battery life. The 12" Retina screen splits the difference between the 11 and 13" Air. It has nearly the footprint of the smaller while the usable screen real estate of the larger.

    The Air will eventually go away because there is no place it fits in the lineup other than as a budget item.
  16. applesith macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2007
    I don't see the point in having 3 notebook lines, as the Air is no longer necessary because it's not the thinnest MacBook anymore. Apple will more than likely have MacBook and MacBook Pro.

    Possible Lineup:

    MacBook 12" m-processor
    MacBook ~13" (w/ maybe a ~15" option) dual core i-processor
    MacBook Pro 15" quad core i-processor

    The dual core i-processor will be slightly thicker than the 12" because it needs a fan. I'm not sure how the screen sizes will be allocated among them lineup, but there's no need to have MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.
  17. sunapple macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    That's a lot like what I was thinking, but two MacBooks with entirely different processors (and thus different design)? Seems like there's room for three names IMO.

    MacBook Air, MacBook, MacBook Pro. Sounds confusing to rename the MacBook to MacBook Air while introducing a new MacBook that's actually a MacBook Air replacement? That makes it even more likely Apple will do it.
  18. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    The price of the MacBook will go down in the next generation or two the same as happened with the MBA. the MacBook Air may have another generation or two left in it, but the branding will be retired and replaced with the MacBook in the near future as soon as Apple can get the price for making that thin of a notebook down.
  19. applesith macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2007
    They could go the more Dell route and call them MacBook 12, MacBook 13, MacBook Pro 15 etc. based on screen size.

    Or they could just not call attention to the thickness and it's just expected that you get a slightly thicker computer with larger screen sizes. I guess it comes down to the thickness difference between the "new air" and the new pro.
  20. Apple blogger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2013
    after reading the comments, I too now think.. That yeah.. Maybe they'll change the name and just keep the MacBook and remove the air. And probably reduce the price of the new MacBook to 999 slowly.. Because the entry level for 1299 would really not be that a good option..
  21. toddzrx, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016

    toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    I agree in general with your post, but the one glaring problem is that a Pro that packs a powerful quad core processor, a discrete GPU, a fan to keep everything cool, a retina screen, and a battery to power it all will not be that thin. Unless you want a computer with 4 or 5 hours of battery life, it just won't happen.

    My hope for the Apple laptop line:

    12" MacBook: 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, starts at $999
    14" MacBook: 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, starts at $1199
    14" MacBook Pro: 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, starts at $1499
    16" MacBook Pro: 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, starts at $1999

    Those are starting prices with RAM and storage options adding to the cost. The Pros should all have dGPUs and quad core processors to distinguish them as truly "pro" level machines, especially the 13" which is currently more of an Air with retina screen (chassis notwithstanding). The big question is whether the 14" MacBook has a Core M chip and fanless or a U-class chip that needs a fan. I could see that going either way, with consequences for either design.

    The point here is that I think Apple needs to clean up their laptop lines, and they could do so easily by delivering the same capabilities they have now with fewer models. But this is just my opinion. We'll probably know a lot more by WWDC.
  22. hokieputter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2011
    He said "those are starting prices with RAM and storage options adding to the cost..."

    Hopefully 16GB RAM is an option in the new rMB.
  23. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    It'd be a way to hit a specific marketing driven price point such as $999 even though higher spec models cost more. There's value to being able to advertise a low "starting at..." price. Gets people in the door who then realize they better in the middle model "just to be safe".

    Not to mention that there are a bunch of people in the world who don't really need much local storage. There are many who may need a light and portable laptop for whom a paltry 128GB is enough. We propeller heads, usually surrounding ourselves with other propeller heads, often forget the myriad non-techie users who have very modest compute needs.
  24. Howard2k macrumors 6502a


    Mar 10, 2016
    Yeah I guess that's true. I'm cutting my requirements down to 256GB in combination with NAS and I thought I was being stingy with local storage! But if it was a second machine then yeah, 128GB would certainly be usable. For that money I'm not sure how competitive it is, but then again, we don't know if this would be happening tomorrow or next year at this point.

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