Who actually is the 12" MacBook for?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Dave245, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #1
    Ok so i've been thinking (for a while actually) about the 12" MacBook, who is the actual target audience? for example the MacBook Pro exists in 2 forms the 13" and the 15". There is currently a £400 difference between the 12" MacBook and the 13" MacBook Pro (512GB MacBook and 512GB 13" MacBook Pro).

    I've personally been debating whether to pick up a 12" MacBook (when they are refreshed soon) or opt for the 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, but i also own a 12.9" iPad Pro and the screen on it is bigger (i think?) than the 12" MacBook. I'd only be doing some simple tasks such as word processing (some of which i already do on my iPad Pro) play some very basic games (Theme hospital, Prison Architect) and edit some podcasts in GarageBand and iMovie. Portability would also be great since i could just put it in my bag and take it to my friends house when we do our monthly podcasts. Apart from that it would mainly be used for around the house at times when i need MacOs instead of IOS on my iPad Pro.

    With an iPad Pro 12.9" and the 9.7" on the market, do you guys think that Apple has made the MacBook to sit along side it and for the 2 to work well together? what are your thoughts and opinions? is the MacBook 12" too low powered or is it a nice in-between machine?

    Those who already own a 12" MacBook or even a 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, feel free to let me know your experiences :)
     
  2. deuxani macrumors 6502

    deuxani

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    #2
    I use it for Photoshop, Office 365, Citrix, Safari internet browsing, WhatsApp, etc. At home I have it connected to a 25" Dell U2515H and I take it with me on the road all the time. At a client location (I'm an IT consultant) I work the entire day just on the 12" screen (the battery lasts 10 hours so I can get through a working day without the charger).

    In situations where I in the past would bring an iPad I am now just bringing my MacBook. It's also great to use in the airplane, at the airport, other small flexible locations, because of the small footprint and the bizarre light weight.

    It's definitely not under powered for most users, but heavy Excel files with complex formulas, huge Photoshop files and big video projects you will notice slow downs. But it can still handle it. But in most cases it feels really really quick.

    I would also never go back to a computer with a fan, I truly hate fan noise. All I can say is that I love this device. The portability, the trackpad, the screen, the speed, etc. And the one port has never been an issue in the 4 months I've been using it every day.
     
  3. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #3
    i use a mbp for logic X and FCPX, but for everything else, this is it. i love carting this thing around (backpack, nyc). i can do all sorts of work on it (writing, affinity photo, the usual surfing, email). i leave the AC adapter at home, i can work all day on the battery (i dim the screen a bit, the keyboard backlight for longer battery use).

    i use crashplan (online) for backup (and regularly also backup to an external drive). so, the one port is no problem, and backing up online is 'invisible'.

    my fave mac to date (and i've owned a lot of them)...
     
  4. Boneheadxan macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #4
    Exact same sentiments here!

    I use a MBP for Logic/Ableton but the portability of the Macbook is just awesome and if you prefer running a full OS, it would be worth it over the iPad Pro.
     
  5. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #5
    Photoshop? That's impressive, I was lead to believe the 12" MacBook is low powered and couldn't handle things like photoshop because it used the M processor, I've got a 2011 MacBook Pro but it's aging now, there's no Retina display nor does it have a SSD (just HDD) and with it being the 15" it's not exactly the best for portability as its thicker (still has the DVD drive) and heavier. It's been a great machine tho and I've never had a problem with it. I'm just stuck deciding between the 12" MacBook and the 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

    Edit: 10 hours battery life sounds good, I don't even get half that on my 2011 MacBook Pro. 10 hours is the same as the new MacBook Pro's as well isn't it?
     
  6. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #6
    For full OS users the rMB has always been about form factor ie ultimate portability with a Full OS and in truth for most daily workflows its more than capable and is still able to run high end software and light gaming at a push ie it will get the job done you just have to me a little more patient and not expect to have 40 tabs open :)

    Although you could consider the rMB as a progression from IOS in truth there is little in common and using an IPhone or Ipad or IPP does not really give you a heads up on MacOS it's position is only by price in the line-up

    The rMB is as I noted above about it's form where the 13" MBP is the better standard/all round entry level laptop and the 15" is more for those who like the size and is very much aimed at users of multimedia software that can take advantage of the quad core CPU as very few other apps do.

    I think you will be very surprised with the rMB and may even question your IPP unless you have some good uses of the pen :) The 13" MBP is likely over kill for you and you are less likely to get the fun on the move your use to from it although it maybe on paper better value over the rMB
     
  7. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #7
    I use mine for website and app development, Photoshop and the usual dross. To me, it's like an iPad you can actually do productive things on. Mine (Early 2015) does struggle with 4K screens AND that workload, though.

    iOS is far too linear for productivity - using one app, then the next app, then the next app. MacOS isn't. One day there will be a perfect balance and one OS across devices, but today is not that day.

    I actually use it at work, too. Ditched the XPS they gave me and just started to "BYOD".
     
  8. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #8
    Thank you for the reply it's very helpful :) in all honesty I rarely have multiple tabs open in Safari (if that's what you were referring to?) when I do it's a handful at most. And usually it's only when researching stuff. I do use my iPad Pro for drawing and I also like using it to hand write notes and for the colouring in apps that are available.
    But I do also like to still use a computer, and since I'm not at university anymore (I was when I had my 2011 MacBook Pro) I don't feel the need for a 15" MacBook Pro, I don't need that much power. But I am wondering if the 13" with Touch Bar is worth it in the long run since it has Touch ID and the Touch Bar, or to go with the ultra portable 12" MacBook.
     
  9. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #9
    Touch ID and Touch bar are just nice to haves IMO and the 13" TB is reported to suffer with battery issues and it's something else complicated waiting to go wrong

    Of course I understand you can make purchases using the Touch ID but if you have an IPhone this is already covered. The TB is a bit too early to say it's not a bit gimmicky and it will depend to some degree what software you use if it has more value now or later

    As you use an IPP already you will equally not be restricted in portability with the rMB. I know the MBP is lighter and smaller this year but until you use a rMB vs the MBP you do not appreciate it although you would straight away vs your IPP

    My eldest is a lecturer at a top UNI and exclusively uses a rMB with bootcamp when needed and even plays WOW on it occasionally

    I suspect the rMB will suit your lifestyle better but are lured by the bigger potential of the MBP that your likely not to use IMO, get it on trial and see :)
     
  10. dave2010 macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2014
    Location:
    Canberra
    #10
    I could probably use an iPad for what I do, but a full OSX and keyboard is just a bit more comfortable to use. I'm currently lying down on a lounge typing with the MacBook on a cushion, that would be awkward with an iPad and keyboard I think.
     
  11. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #11
    yea I do have an iPhone 7 Plus. I think your right, the rmb will probably be the best option and I'm guessing it will still be better than the 2011 MacBook Pro that's now aging. I will definitely check it out at my local Apple Store when I go on a shopping visit in April (my nearest one is Birmingham in U.K. and I live a few miles away so I usually go to the Apple Store when I go on shopping trips with friends or family :))
    --- Post Merged, Mar 4, 2017 ---
    is the screen ok to have multiple things open with and multitask? I haven't used one but I'm a big fan of OSX (or MacOS as it's now called) and that's why I'm considering it alongside my iPad Pro. Sounds very portable if your able to have it resting on a pillow :)
     
  12. dave2010 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Location:
    Canberra
    #12
    I'd say mostly no, I am often even closing down the bookmarks bar in Safari to get a good view of a webpage on a 12 " screen
    Except, For a basic user like me, having small apps open like reminders, notes, messages with safari, numbers or mail is handy for moving information around either cutting or pasting, or writing new notes.
     
  13. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #13
    are you on the 2015 or 16 model? on my base-level 2016, i'll have as many as 15-20 tabs or more open in safari, mail, calendar, notes, running...
    plus music playing from itunes or spotify... and then i'll open affinity photo to do an edit. and have had no slowdowns, weirdness. it's been (so far) a stellar experience.
     
  14. Eggtastic macrumors 6502a

    Eggtastic

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    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    #14
    How do you get 10 hours? I get maybe 6 at best. This is also with 75% brightness and using safari. I assume either my battery needs to be replaced or your time is off.
     
  15. dave2010 macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2014
    Location:
    Canberra
    #15
    I'm on the 2016.. Sorry I think I misunderstood. I can open as many apps as I like, including converting video files, uploading photos to iCloud, without any problems. What I'm saying is if you want split screen like an iPad Pro, or lots of space to see two apps at once easily; you might want something bigger than 12" if that's your thing.
     
  16. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #16
    I use mine for a lot of word processing (I'm a translator and a grad student currently studying translation and interpretation). I also watch a lot of videos - both for work reasons or entertainment. I always have OmniFocus, Mail, Safari, Ulysses and a couple of messenger apps running, and there haven't been many adverse effects.

    I actually run Mail because Gmail.com caused my MB to run out of memory, forcing me to quit a bunch of apps. Since I don't rely on Gmail's features that much, I can put up with whatever oddities appear when I access my Gmail via the stock Mail app.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2017 ---
    I get around 6 to 7 hours as well, but I do somewhat tax my MacBook. I regularly watch videos on YouTube, wifi and Bluetooth are on at all times, and screen brightness is around 70 percent. I also don't let my MacBook sleep since there are times I spend a great deal of time reading something on it. Oh, and throw in Google Play Music playing music in the background when I'm not watching anything.
     
  17. lowkey macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    australia
    #17
    I originally bought my MB for travelling through Japan while on holidays. I used it to keep in touch with work stuff while travelling. I liked it so much I kept it as my main machine at work (I'm an architect) but wasn't using it for CAD.
    Office Suite. Adobe Suite. Internet and Emails. It's a great little machine and weighs nothing.
    Replaced it recently with a 5k iMac mainly for the screen size. On the MB you really can't have 2 apps visible at the same time and with palettes the actual work area can get a bit tight.

    But now I use it at home for general internet, email, and TV.
     
  18. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #18
    Check it out you may be able to have one delivered and take it back within the 14 days via your shopping trip (saves hassle of postage) if you don't like it, but unlikely :)

    I think the 75% brightness is probably your main culprit try 50% :)
     
  19. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #19
    Yea I'm going to check it out at the Apple Store along with the 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, that way I can compare them. I haven't seen the new MacBook Pro's in person yet either so it will be a chance to get a little hands on and decide properly.
    One of my friends has the 15" with Touch Bar and he loves it but he gets the use out of it because he's an editor, my uses are different because I'm a writer, the most I edit is podcasts, I have done the occasional video editing for friends but it's not that often.
     
  20. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    #20
    A writer then KB will be critical, not seen many post where writers preferred the new shallow travel KB not sure a shop trial will be sufficient time, but then both are better than IPP KB's :)

    Still if your light handed touch typist your in with a chance :)

    I would get one on order two weeks before your trip and give it a good bashing as with UK law you have 14 days no issue regardless of Apples policy which is similar on no quibble returns
     
  21. Dave245, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017

    Dave245 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #21
    Yea i type pretty fast as well. I do some word processing on my iPad Pro but I'm not a big fan of the onscreen keyboard, I like a physical one I can feel. Even tho I love my iPad Pro (it's great for using the pencil when taking notes, drawing and things like that) I still like a Mac to go along side it. I do love the split screen feature on both the iPad Pro and the Mac.

    Is there much difference between the keyboard on the MacBook and the new MacBook Pro's? Maybe Apple will update the MacBook this year and add the new keyboard from the MacBook Pro to the smaller 12" MacBook. Either way I'm still happy with getting a Mac, I can't say my 2011 MacBook Pro let me down in anyway, it's been a great machine and by far the best laptop I've ever owned.

    14 days to return even if I don't like it? I only thought you could return a product if it was faulty. That's good to know tho :)
     
  22. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #22
    UK consumer law on any "mail/online order" and Apple also have a 14 day return policy

    rMB has been updated I understand already but is still a bit shallower than the MBP which is also quite shallow compared to your old MBP.

    Doubt the design of the rMB will allow the new MBP KB to be used
     
  23. boltjames macrumors 601

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #23
    I'm a high-powered New York executive that commutes by train to Manhattan and travels to Asia and Europe 5x a year and does domestic US travel 10x a year. And for those 75 days I'm away from home I don't want to carry a big, heavy notebook with me. On the road, in the business class lounge, at 30,000 feet, I don't need a lot of horsepower. I need to check email, run Powerpoint, read PDF's, run a few basic spreadsheets, Skype into meetings, the usual EVP stuff.

    The 12" RMB is so thin and light and has such amazing battery life I can charge it up overnight, put it in my backpack, and literally forget its even there. And I can run presentations and take notes as I hop from appointment to appointment without having to bring the power adapter with me, the battery truly lasts all day.

    My RMB sits in a drawer 200 days a year, but on those 165 days I need it it's a world-class solution for business travel. And combined with my iPad Air 2 I can board a plane with a whopping 20 hours of battery life, 100+ movies and TV shows, and those two devices combined weigh less than one of those Microsoft 2-in-1's and the MacBook Pro with no compromises to the tablet or the full-keyboard or media capacity.

    So....you ask me....the target audience for the 12" MacBook is someone who travels a lot, or commutes by train every day, or is a student on a vast campus. It's not for the power user, not for a graphic artist or an HD movie compiler. It's a very portable notebook for a very portable audience.

    BJ
     
  24. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #24
    that's the saddest thing i've ever seen: you skype from the plane? (am glad i'm not sitting next to you); keep the rmb in a drawer 200 days a year? (how many years have you owned yours?) and you have prices in your signature, plus a rolex, trophy wife, beachhouse. you are high-powered indeed...
     
  25. DaMax85 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #25
    Personally, I think the rMB is the laptop for most people. It gets a bad rap from a lot of tech reviews for being "underpowered" and "overpriced" but depending on how you use your laptop, the differences between the rMB and the MBP in terms of speed and power could be negligible. Also, Best Buy often runs deals where you can get $200-$300 off a rMB so the savings versus bumping up to a MBP (especially with a touch bar) can be quite considerable.

    Ask yourself these questions:

    1. Do I cut A LOT of video? (FCX will work just fine though especially if using a proxy)
    2. Do I often use more than one port at a time? (You can always buy a dongle or two or a hub)
    3. Do I want my laptop for gaming? (I'm not a gamer, but I hear it's not the best machine for games.)
    4. Do I need an HD camera? (rMB camera is 480p)

    If you answered 'no' to all of these questions, or none are that important to you -- the rMB should be more than enough -- and all of that savings by not going for the MBP w/ TB can be put towards AppleCare, apps, or some great accessories like a case/sleeve, some new headphones, and dongles and/or hub.

    Do what I did: Buy one, test it out for a week or two, and if it's not enough for your needs, swap it out and drop the extra money for a new MBP. I found the rMB is more than enough for my needs and I LOVE the form factor.
     

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