Overview of the 12-inch MacBook 2017 with Intel Kaby Lake processor

In June, Apple announced its updated MacBook at WWDC 2017. The entire range of laptops received the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors, which made them one of the fastest mobile computers on the market. Today we will tell you about the youngest, 12-inch model MacBook.

Foreword

The 12-inch MacBook 2017 is designed for those who want to get a laptop, made in the style of the iPad and running the MacOS operating system. It still does not have a touch screen, and it, as before, has a rather high price, however, this device has advantages that make it popular from year to year. The 12-inch MacBook 2017 is ultra-light, ultra-compact, and now, thanks to the new Intel Kaby Lake processors and 16 GB of RAM, it is also super-productive.

Design

The design of the 12-inch MacBook has remained unchanged for two years. Apple first introduced it back in March 2015. At that time, it looked modern, expensive, and very stylish, but this laptop cannot be called a “gray mouse” in our time..

The design that has been preserved from past generations is both good and bad, and here’s why: in order to fit a productive “stuffing” and a comfortable keyboard into such a compact case, Apple engineers were forced to take several unpopular steps. So, due to the practically absent panels on the sides of the keyboard, some users may encounter accidental taps while moving the laptop in the open state. At the same time, the main “chips” of the 12-inch MacBook remained in place. This is light weight, despite the metal case, and compactness, and stylish appearance.

Here’s what a 12-inch MacBook looks like when compared to the new 13-inch MacBook Pro:

Color options still include several options, among which gold and rose gold can be highlighted. Perhaps it would be nice if Apple also added colors such as metallic blue, purple or red, because, as you know, “there are no friends for the taste and color”.

The frame around the laptop screen is still quite wide, and is still made in black. FaceTime camera also has not changed. It is still a module with a resolution of 480p.

If you have never used a camera in a laptop, you may not notice its low resolution, but after the front camera iPhone and iPad module in a 12-inch MacBook disappoints.

We understand that the reason for this state of affairs lies in the minimum thickness of the laptop cover, however, we believe that creating future models, Apple will find some way out of this situation..

As we said, even after more than two years, the 12-inch MacBook does not look outdated. Yes, it can not be called futuristic, but this laptop is stylish and modern..

Performance

The 12-inch MacBook is one of the lightest and most energy-efficient laptops on the market. This model is not intended for games or graphics processing; it was produced to solve completely different tasks, but after upgrading to Intel Kaby Lake, this laptop “caught up” with the performance of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which allowed it to solve almost any problem.

These processors easily cope with games, processing photo and video materials, a large number of simultaneously launched standard tasks, and so on. In addition, Intel Kaby Lake has significantly improved energy efficiency and added support for high-performance H.265 video coding (HEVC).

A variety of processors can be installed on the 12-inch MacBook, from Intel Core m3 to Intel Core i7.

The laptop is suitable for video encoding, although it does not do it as fast as devices with chips of higher power. All this makes the 12-inch MacBook one of the most powerful compact laptops on the market..

In our case, the Intel Core m3 Kaby Lake processor is installed in the laptop. In the Geekbench 4 benchmark, the 12-inch MacBook showed the following results:

Single Core Test: 3317

Multi-core Tes: 6738

It is worth noting that the results were much better than the “last year” version of the laptop:

Single core mode: 2686 points

Multi-core mode: 5126 points

In terms of performance, it is approximately equal to last year’s Intel Core m7 Skylake processor, which showed the following results:

Single core mode: 3279 points

Multi-core mode: 6481 points

So far, we have not had the opportunity to test the 12-inch MacBook 2017 with the Core i7 Kaby Lake “on board”, but we will try to do it soon.

Also, for comparison, we tested in Geekbench 4 the new iPad Pro with the Apple A10X. He showed the following results:

Single core mode: 3,935 points

Multi-core mode: 9,299 points

RAM and read-only memory

In addition to increased performance through the use of new processors, SSDs have also been improved in the 12-inch MacBook..

Last year, Apple increased the read speed in its SSDs by 20%, and increased the write speed by 90%. This year, Apple again improved the performance of drives. This time, the overall speed increase was 50%.

In addition, the changes affected the RAM of the 12-inch MacBook. Previously, it was limited to 8 GB, while now its number can reach 16 GB. This will allow you to run even more applications on your laptop at the same time, and perform even more demanding tasks..

Display

The 12-inch MacBook is equipped with a Retina display with a resolution of 2304 × 1440 pixels, and a density of 226 dpi. The aspect ratio in the display is 16:10. Apple uses the marketing term “Retina” to classify pixel density. When viewed from a normal distance, the pixels on the laptop screen are almost invisible, which makes the display of text, images and interface elements very clear.

The Retina screen was first introduced by Apple back in 2010. The first device with such a display was the iPhone 4. On laptops, such screens first appeared in 2012. The first laptop with a Retina display was the 15-inch MacBook Pro, followed by the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and then the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K screen and the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K screen.

The Retina display in the first generation of the 12-inch MacBook, which we first saw in 2015, looked amazing. Apple managed to achieve such indicators thanks to new technologies, among which pixels with a wider aperture can be distinguished. Apple did the same trick with the 12-inch MacBook as it did with the iPhone Plus: rendering a larger pixel grid and scaling it to fit the screen.

As with any other Mac with a Retina screen, you can go to System Preferences and activate the zoom mode. There are several options to choose from: 1024 × 640, 1152 × 720, as well as 1440 × 900.

Here are the differences:

And here is the screen of a 12-inch MacBook with different pixel densities:

In our opinion, the laptop screen is almost flawless, but it would be nice if Apple added DCI-P3 support to it. This technology allows you to display on the screen a wider color gamut, which makes the red and green hues even brighter and deeper. If you use the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, iMac or MacBook Pro, you already know what effect this technology gives, and you probably would like to see it on a 12-inch MacBook.

As we said at the beginning of this article, the MacBook screen still does not support multitouch. Apple is convinced that laptop displays are poorly suited for touch control, and macOS is optimized for the mouse and pointer, not the finger..

Those users who have a 12-inch MacBook is not the first laptop, are used to using the trackpad, while children who have grown up on touch iPad, probably the first time they will try to click on the laptop screen.

In our opinion, a laptop and a tablet are still different devices. Most likely, Apple thinks so. If you need a computer with a touch screen, there is an iPad Pro on the market, and if you need a compact laptop, then (if it’s an apple laptop), you’ll have to put up with the lack of multi-touch.

Keyboard

Some people like keyboards with high keys, but most people think that the lower the keys, the less tired your fingers get when they are pressed frequently..

We always liked the keyboards on Apple laptops, and the 2017 12-inch MacBook is no exception to these rules. In order to achieve the minimum thickness of the laptop, the company created a new type of keyboard – the so-called “butterfly”, while previous models of “apple” laptops used keyboards with the usual “scissor” mechanism.

Thanks to the new mechanism, the entire key, when pressed in any part of it, moves evenly, which eliminates getting to a dead point on a regular keyboard.

Butterfly is 40% thinner than a regular keyboard, but 400% more accurate. In addition, in the 12-inch MacBook, Apple increased the surface area of ​​each key by 17%, and the trackpad area by 50%.

In the 2017 12-inch MacBook, Apple used a second-generation butterfly keyboard. In comparison with previous generations, the feeling of using it has not changed, however, if you have never encountered a butterfly keyboard, you will like some time to get used to it.

Trackpad

Many people know Force Touch technology from the Apple Watch. Subsequently, this technology was improved and implemented in the iPhone under the name 3D Touch. However, not everyone knows that it all started with a 12-inch MacBook. Since then, Force Touch has also been used on the MacBook Air as well as the MacBook Pro. It was this technology that made the Force Touch trackpad the best Apple trackpad ever created..

When you first touch the trackpad of a 12-inch MacBook, you won’t believe your own fingers. Now you can use the click not only in its lower part, but throughout its range. The Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook feels almost the same as a mechanical trackpad, but it’s much more convenient.

Due to four special sensors, the trackpad of the 12-inch MacBook is able to understand the pressure with which you press it, and the Taptic Engine technology creates the effect of mechanical pressure.

Ports

The only port that is present in the 12-inch 2017 MacBook is USB Type-C. This connector supports many different adapters, so you should not have problems connecting external devices or displaying images on a large screen.

An interesting “trick” of the laptop is that it can be charged by an external battery.

The fact that the laptop has only one USB Type-C connector, not everyone likes it. Many users complain that they cannot connect several devices to the laptop at the same time, or output the image from the flash drive to the big screen via cable. However, this state of affairs has a reason – it lies in the design. The 12-inch MacBook is very thin, and all the elements in it are so close to each other that there was simply no place for additional connectors.

Of course, you can live with one connector, but it would be nice if Apple found a way to add at least one more.

Apple ecosystem

The 12-inch MacBook comes with MacOS Sierra and will receive a free upgrade to the next generation macOS High Sierra this fall, along with many new features..

The updated MacBook, like all Apple devices, works great as a standalone device, but its capabilities expand significantly when connected to other Apple products and services. With iCloud, you can synchronize any data: from accounts to recently created photos. Synchronization allows you to send and receive SMS, MMS and even phone calls directly from your Mac, if your iPhone is on the same network with it. It also allows you to instantly send files through AirDrop between devices, and use AirPlay and Apple TV.

Conclusion

The ultra-thin, ultra-compact and lightweight 12-inch MacBook 2017 is a laptop, but it looks and feels like an iPad, whose screen is covered with a cover.

This ultraportable device will be chosen by those users who need a productive, and at the same time a small computer. Intel Kaby Lake processors, new, higher-speed SSDs, as well as 16 GB of RAM make the 12-inch MacBooks of 2017 real monsters in their class and leave no chance for competitors.

Perhaps the only drawback of this laptop is its price. For the entry-level 12-inch MacBook 2017, you have to pay $ 1299. If it’s expensive for you, but you want an apple laptop, take a look at the MacBook Air. Its cost is about $ 999, but at the same time it is not so compact, and much simpler in characteristics.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, compact, and high-tech laptop, the 12-inch MacBook 2017 is made for you!

Did you like the 12-inch MacBook 2017? Share with us in the comments!

source: imore.com

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