Editor’s note: táo has discontinued the 12-inch MacBook. It’s replaced by the newer, more affordable laptop macbook Air. We think the Air is a better choice for most people, even when the laptop apple macbook 12-inch is available for a discount. The Air has a larger display and better performance.

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It’s been a tough couple of years for the entry-level MacBook. The multi-colored, polycarbonate laptop apple macbook was once the popular choice for years, before it was replaced by the thin, unibody apple macbook Air back in 2011.

In 2015, the laptop apple macbook was brought back with a controversial redesign — & sales took a hit. In early 2016, Mac sales saw its first year-over-year decline in 15 years.

The new laptop macbook was a looker, but its high price & low performance pushed customers toward more cost-effective competitors, including the laptop macbook Air that just received an upgrade (in both components & pricing) in October 2018. The 2017 MacBook model was intended khổng lồ change all that. Featuring a 7th-gen Intel core m3 processor, 8GB of RAM, và 256GB of storage space, the new 12-inch laptop apple macbook ramped up performance across the board & aimed to give customers more bang for their buck.

Meticulous craftsmanship

The 12-inch apple macbook is an impeccably crafted laptop. Every inch is engineered khổng lồ perfection, from the laser-cut speaker grill to the silky glass trackpad & the high-gloss sheen applied lớn the iconic hãng apple logo on the lid. There’s no doubt that this is a luxury device from the moment you first cảm ứng it, and it’s an absolute joy to use.

Bill Roberson/DIgital Trends

There are some clever design flourishes that help phối the macbook apart from similar competitors. When it’s closed & set on a flat surface, it looks impossibly thin — the angled edges give the appearance that it’s much thinner than it is. Upon the release of its redesign, the apple macbook was the absolute thinnest of its kind at 0.52 inches, though it’s been bested this year by a number of laptops. In particular, the HP Spectre 13 comes in at 0.41 inches và the 2018 Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest of all at a stunning 0.35 inches. The 2018 macbook Air is only slightly thicker at 0.61 inches, although it’s considerably heavier by three-quarters of a pound because of its larger 13.3-inch display.

Opening it up, the keyboard stretches lớn either edge of the chassis, with the speaker running the full length of the top-edge. It’s an elegant, economical thiết kế that uses all the available space khổng lồ maximum effect.

Every inch is engineered lớn perfection, from the laser-cut speaker grille, to lớn the silky glass trackpad.

You can see the DNA of previous MacBooks here in the bezels around the display & in the proportions of the chassis. It’s clearly a descendent of the popular $1,000 MacBooks of yore, but there’s a refinement here — a uniquely modern feel. It’s plain but never boring. Speaking of those bezels, they’ve been reduced but don’t quite compare khổng lồ laptops lượt thích the Dell XPS 13 or the HP Spectre 13.

Huawei’s MateBook X is perhaps the MacBook’s most obvious competitors, as it rather directly apes Apple’s design. We like the MateBook X, but its kiến thiết isn’t quite up khổng lồ Apple’s standard. Though also rather efficient in its use of space, the Huawei option doesn’t feel as solid when handled, or when the display is opened.

Other laptops, like the Dell XPS 13, go a different direction entirely, using soft-touch materials to make the system feel warmer and more approachable. We like that approach, but if you want a cool, slick, thin device that feels lượt thích it was chiseled from one piece of metal, it’s hard lớn beat the MacBook.

On the MacBook’s larger sibling, the apple macbook pro 13, each side of the chassis features a single USB-C port (or two, if you go for the cảm ứng Bar model). It’s simple, elegant, & just enough for everyday use. You can charge your phone while your máy tính xách tay is plugged in, or use an external mouse. You can even choose which side your nguồn adapter plugs into, which is much more convenient than it sounds.

By contrast, the 12-inch apple macbook has a single USB-C port one the left side, và a single headphone jack on the right. At first glance, it seems like a daring move, an effort lớn pare away the non-essential elements. In use, it’s a step backward, plain & simple. You’ll butt up against this limitation in your everyday life, probably more than once during a single day.

The laptop apple macbook has only one port. It’s an unnecessary hindrance, not a feature.

You can’t plug in an external mouse and keyboard (without a dock). You can’t charge while you load photos off a flash drive. You can’t choose which side lớn plug your nguồn cord into. Investing in the 12-inch macbook means investing in a USB-C hub, which also means its ultra-lightweight build is compromised by the need khổng lồ carry around a bulky adapter if you ever need to, say, plug in your phone while your máy tính charges. Prepare to live that #donglelife.

Some of the Windows-based competitors vì chưng follow in Apple’s footsteps, but most have at least one additional port. The Dell XPS 13 has a set of Thunderbolt 3 & USB-C, and Microsoft’s Surface Laptop (and máy tính 2) has a USB 3.0 port combined with DisplayPort (but no Thunderbolt 3). The HP Spectre 13 offers three USB-C ports, which solves some of the I/O problems in a frame that’s even thinner than the MacBook. Even the cheaper, new laptop macbook Air has one more Thunderbolt 3 port.

Just for reference, how many ports did the 2011 macbook Air have? Five — two USB ports, a Thunderbolt 2 port, an SD thẻ reader, and a MagSafe nguồn port.

Taptic feedback

The new laptop macbook keyboard could be a polarizing issue for keyboard purists. It features the same second-generation butterfly switches introduced in the năm nhâm thìn MacBook Pro lineup, with its characteristically short key travel and snappy response. It can feel like keystrokes kết thúc a bit suddenly at first, but once you get used khổng lồ it, the keyboard is enjoyable, even if it’s not the best.

Bill Roberson/DIgital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The keys themselves feel large and spacious, which is an achievement considering the kích thước of this laptop. Every keystroke ends in a sharp, satisfying click, which can be unpleasantly loud of you’re a quick typist. It’s also worth mentioning that the keyboard itself doesn’t flex at all, not even a bit. When you’re typing, the macbook rests firmly on your lap or a table, and the keyboard is perfectly rigid no matter how hard you type.

Compared khổng lồ the keyboard on a máy tính xách tay like the Dell XPS 13, there’s a clear difference in the feel of each keystroke. On the XPS, you can expect a pleasant typing experience, as it feels like most other high-quality máy tính keyboards these days. The MacBook’s keyboard feels very different. It’s louder, more tactile, và a bit too stiff.

Just below the keyboard is the touchpad. Even on such a small laptop, táo bị cắn dở somehow managed to lớn make it feel spacious without ever feeling too big or too small. The Taptic Engine simulates actual mechanical clicks so well, we had khổng lồ double-check that the 12-inch macbook didn’t have a mechanical touchpad.

Multi-touch support continues khổng lồ be among the best in class. The silky-smooth all-glass touchpad responds immediately to swipes of all kinds, offering a seamless multi-touch experience.

Feast your eyes

The display is another high point for the MacBook, an arena in which táo bị cắn has few real competitors. The glossy Retina display features 226 pixels per inch, và a max resolution of 2,304 x 1,440. That degree of px density is impressive on a display this small. Text is crisp & inky, và images possess a remarkable sense of depth — but finding wallpapers of sufficient resolution can be a bit of a chore.

In our tests, the MacBook’s display achieved vị trí cao nhất marks in nearly every category, coming in second only to lớn the macbook phiên bản pro 13. Its very good contrast ratio of 915:1 that’s shy of the táo macbook pro 13’s contrast ratio of 1200:1, while the 4K Dell XPS 13 & Huawei MateBook X fell into a typical range for most laptops, coming in at 850:1 & 690:1, respectively.

The displays on all four laptops are crisp, clear, & rich, but the MacBooks are just a cut above the rest, offering the kind of crystal-clarity you just don’t find very often elsewhere.

Bill Roberson/DIgital Trends

The laptop apple macbook also hit 91 percent of the finicky AdobeRGB color space, while the macbook phiên bản pro 13 achieved a rare perfect score. On color accuracy, the apple macbook hit 0.96, to lớn the apple macbook Pro’s 0.72. In that demo lower is better, and these scores mean either one would be an excellent choice for creative professionals who need pitch-perfect color reproduction. The Huawei MateBook x and Dell XPS 13 don’t come close to achieving a score below one.

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Taken together, these results địa chỉ cửa hàng up to a very simple verdict – the MacBook’s display is a stunner. The only vaguely similar system that can be said to beat it the Samsung Galaxy Book 12, which has an OLED display. Yet that system, which is a 2-in-1, has plenty of other flaws & isn’t competing in quite the same arena.

The speakers on the laptop macbook are a pleasant surprise. Usually laptops of this kích cỡ skimp on sound, but that’s not the case here. The single speaker grille running along the top-edge of the keyboard produces bright, resonant sound, with remarkable clarity — no matter how high or low the volume. Speaking of volume, the MacBook’s humble little speakers are more than capable of filling a room with sound.

Quick, và quicker

The laptop apple macbook features a 7th-gen Intel bộ vi xử lý core m3 processor, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Even the new macbook Air has an 8th-generation version of the Intel’s low-power CPU. As an efficient mobile processor optimized for battery life over raw performance, the chip core m3 lacks the punch và horsepower of Intel’s vi xử lý core i5 & Core i7 processors, but during everyday use it’s a surprisingly strong performer.

Even when we tried to bao tay the laptop macbook with daily tasks, it rose lớn the challenge. Opening several browser tabs all at once, working with Microsoft Word và Excel running multiple documents at once, the scrappy little m3 kept up beautifully.

Fire up some 4K clip while Spotify is running, with a couple Word documents open, và you can start to lớn see the upper limits of its capabilities, especially on battery power. When this happens, you might see some đầu vào lag until you close a few windows.

Looking at Geekbench scores, you can see how the Intel vi xử lý core m3 stacks up khổng lồ beefier processors lượt thích Core i5s và i7s. The Dell XPS 13 maintains a sizable lead in single core and multi-core performance here, thanks lớn its 7th-generation vi xử lý core i7 processor. It’s a robust dual-core with Hyper-Threading, so it runs circles around the core i5 and M3.

The XPS 13 takes that lead further in our Handbrake test, a standard 4K video encode. The Dell XPS 13 finished the encode in just 13 minutes, while the MacBook & even the 13-inch macbook phiên bản pro finished it in 28 and 25 minutes respectively.

That’s an important note because the XPS 13, outfitted with an Intel core i7, is the same price as the 12-inch MacBook. That’s a substantial performance gap for two laptops of the same exact price. Clearly, your money will buy better performance elsewhere.

It should be noted that táo bị cắn offers a chip core i5 configuration of the MacBook, though it’s not the chip core i5-7200U you’ll find in most Windows laptops. Instead, it’s a rebranded version (thanks Intel) of the vi xử lý core m5 that’s now being referred to as a chip core i5. So while that model will no doubt be faster than the bộ vi xử lý core m3, it’s not going lớn compete with a true vi xử lý core i5 experience.

Speedy storage

Moving on lớn storage, the 12-inch laptop macbook is very quick on its feet, capable of throwing big files around without breaking a sweat. The 256GB SSD also partitions quickly, making it easier than ever lớn install a full version Windows with Boot Camp.

Looking at raw speed, the MacBook’s read tốc độ topped out at 1355 megabytes-per-second, with a write speed of 1035MB/s. These are impressive figures, just ahead of what we’d expect from a laptop in this price range. For reference, the Dell XPS 13 hit a read tốc độ of 469MB/s, và a write speed of 405MB/s (when last tested, with a SATA hard drive). At the other end of the spectrum, the apple macbook phiên bản pro 13 achieved an impressive write speed of 1,348MB/s, and a read speed of 2,000MB/s right in the same neighborhood as what we got out of its larger sibling, the apple macbook phiên bản pro 15.

The macbook phiên bản pro 13 more than doubles the MacBook’s hard drive speeds. However, the entry level 13-inch apple macbook pro is the same price as the MacBook. Again, your money goes so much further elsewhere, even at Apple. Are you seeing a pattern here?

No fun và games

It’s no surprise that the entry-level laptop apple macbook is utterly incapable of running even the least demanding games. Its Intel core M3 processor can get you through a workday, but its onboard graphics will never get you through a round of Battlefield 1.

Even when running 3DMark in Windows, the laptop macbook just can’t keep up with its competitors. The Huawei Matebook X & Dell XPS 13 both easily eclipse the MacBook’s graphical performance. Even in a relatively lightweight game like Civilization VI, the laptop macbook was only able khổng lồ manage about 8 FPS on 1080p at medium settings (again, testing in Windows).

You might be able to run Hearthstone, but even then you’ll experience some significant slowdown when the effects kick in. The apple macbook just isn’t made khổng lồ game.


While Apple’s decision to use the Intel vi xử lý core M3 cpu might sacrifice some performance, it’s great at keeping power draw low even under heavy workloads.

Moving on to benchmarks, the laptop macbook managed to lớn play our video loop demo for a little over 8 hours. That’s more than you’d get out of most laptops, though just shy of what we got out of the macbook pro 13, which managed to survive for 10 hours on the same test. The Dell XPS 13 fell between the two, managing 9 hours.

On the more demanding Peacekeeper test, the 12-inch laptop apple macbook survived for just over four hours, while the apple macbook pro 13 & Dell XPS 13 were neck & neck at around five hours.

During everyday use on the laptop macbook we could get about six to lớn seven hours of battery life before hitting the last 15 percent. That’s solid for such a small laptop, & it will see you through most of a workday. Having said that, the apple macbook doesn’t appear to have an advantage over similar Windows machines. Laptops like the Lenovo Yoga 920 và HP Spectre 13 easily best them, while the powerhouse Surface Book 2 delivers three times the battery life.

Our Take

The laptop macbook is an exceptionally well-made device, & if you bought one you probably wouldn’t be disappointed. It will do everything you expect it to vì — if you don’t try to lớn play games — but it has one flaw. The price. It’s not just a problem because it’s expensive. Hãng apple products are always more expensive than their competitors, as it’s a premium brand. There’s more to lớn it.

Is there a better alternative?

And here it is. The biggest hurdle the apple macbook faces. There are better alternatives everywhere.

The táo macbook pro 13 now starts at $1,300 (sans cảm ứng Bar), & it’s superior in nearly every way. You miss out on a little hard drive space, but what you gain in processor speed, battery life, display quality, và ports more than makes up for the smaller hard drive.

If you’re just looking for a compact laptop, you have even more options. The Dell XPS 13 và Huawei MateBook X Pro are great examples, but options like the HP Spectre 13, asus ZenBook UX331UA, & Lenovo Yoga 920 all offer better value as well.

And with the introduction of the 2018 macbook Air, táo has presented maybe the best competition for the MacBook. The laptop apple macbook Air is almost as thin, it’s not that much heavier, và it offers better performance. Now that the laptop macbook Air has its own Retina display (2,560 x 1,600 or 227 PPI), the laptop macbook looses maybe its most significant advantage. The apple macbook Air also increased in price and is now just $100 less than the MacBook, making te decision between them more difficult.

How long will it last?

If there’s anything that long-time Mac users will tell you, it’s that Macs will last for a very long time if you take care of them. The 12-inch apple macbook is no different. Hãng apple goes the extra mile when it comes to lớn build chất lượng and it pays off down the line. This thing is well-built, và should survive long enough lớn see itself become obsolete. The laptop macbook comes with 90 days of complimentary tech support, and a one-year limited warranty protecting against manufacturer defects. It’s eligible for the usual extended service via táo Care.

Should you buy it?


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The laptop apple macbook is a good, even great laptop, meticulously engineered & beautiful. Apple itself makes it a tough sell, though, by pricing the standard 13-inch apple macbook phiên bản pro at the same entry price và the laptop apple macbook Air just $100 less. Yes, the macbook is more portable – but that’s the only reason we’d recommend it over the Pro or the Air. Before you buy, we recommend you go lớn the hãng apple Store & look at all three models. We think you’ll find MacBook’s slightly slimmer size isn’t worth sacrificing performance.