Apple axes 12-inch MacBook as it preps 16-inch MacBook Pro

By David Flynn, July 10 2019
Apple axes 12-inch MacBook as it preps 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple has dropped its most compact laptop in an overnight reshuffle of the MacBook family, and is also said to be planning a large-screen notebook with a 16-inch display.

First up, the 12-inch MacBook – which has long been the thinnest and lightest in the company's laptop line-up – has been put out to pasture.

The small footprint, slim profile and 920 gram weight earned it popularity with many business travellers seeking a barely-there notebook with solid battery life, although the single USB-C port hampered life on the road.

The 12-inch MacBook was edged out by the 13-inch Retina MacBook Air which launched last year with a lower price, better specs, a second USB-C port and Touch ID fingerprint security, albeit wrapped in slightly larger and heavier model.

Apple's mid-2019 refresh of the 13-inch Retina MacBook Air is modest, adding True Tone display technology which dynamically adjusts the colour and intensity to match ambient light levels so that images on the screen appear more natural. There's also an always-welcome drop in price, with the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Air landing at $1,699 compared to last year's $1,849 starting price.

At the other end of the scale, reputable industry analysts expect Apple will pull back the curtains on a premium MacBook Pro before the year is out.

Tipped to have a screen of 16 to 16.5 inches clocked to even higher resolution than the current 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, the flagship laptop would also predictably be driven by a new Intel processor.

It could also debut with a new keyboard design, ditching the troublesome 'butterfly' mechanism for an improved and more reliable 'scissor' design.

Also read: Apple pumps up entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro in mid-2019 refresh


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


05 Jun 2012

Total posts 127


I love my tiny, light little MacBook, and am horrified that I will no longer be able to replace it with a similarly sized Mac when it finally dies.
Perhaps when that unhappy day finally arrives, I will replace it with something from a different manufacturer which offers better features (such as a detachable touch-screen - effectively a tablet and laptop in one) at a better price.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

Ian - agreed - aaargh indeed. My little MacBook has been the best travel computer ever, and smaller, lighter and more convenient than any tablet and keyboard combo I could find at the time. Like you I totally love it, and am typing on it as we speak from the deck of my house.

I ditched a MacAir for the MacBook...the new Air is a bit too big and heavy. All I can say is bugger, and hope my MacBook lasts a good many more trips. It has transformed the weight of my carry-on.

If you find a new tablet/keyboard combo that's a good replacement, please post it here! Thanks, Rob

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 107

I also love my 12”

It’s lack of fan means you don’t need to remove it from your bag. It lasts forever and is lighter and easier to use than a tablet and keyboard.
It’s no super computer but is perfect for travel. I agree the MacBook Air is just too big and too heavy in comparison.
When my 12” dies, if apple doesn’t have a replacement, I’m going to have to go back to windows for the first time in over a decade.


05 Jun 2012

Total posts 127

I also got the MacBook as a replacement for a Mac Air, and did look at new Airs but they were just too bulky and heavy for my liking. My little MacBook fits perfectly in my shoulder bag, having a footprint smaller than a sheet of A4, and superb battery life. Sometimes when doing heavy work on documents I find the small screen a bit of a strain if I have forgotten my reading glasses, but I wouldn't swap it for anything. In fact when it showed signs of age a couple of months ago and started behaving erratically I spent ages trying to check if it had a virus or malware before finally going back through old back-ups and restoring one by one until I hit a build before the problems started (apparently a known problem with Mojave and gmail, I just had to go back to an earlier version).

I bought it used (from Apple) and have run it (up until those recent issues) without any problem for four years. When it goes I will be scouring Apple stores for another used one... In fact I might buy one anyway as a back-up!!

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