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Could the 12-inch super-thin MacBook be making a comeback?

By Kenny Yeo - on 17 Feb 2023, 10:19am

Could the 12-inch super-thin MacBook be making a comeback?

(Image source: 9to5 Mac)

Those old enough might remember Apple used to a make super-thin 12-inch notebook called the MacBook.

It launched in 2015 and was the most portable MacBook ever made. It measured just 13.1mm at its thickest point and weighed just 920g.

However, looking back, it was a heavily compromised device. To make it so thin and light, Apple resorted to using an extremely low-power Intel Core M processor so that it could have a fan-less chassis. 

This processor wasn't very fast to begin with and it would drastically throttle performance once it got hot. And once it got hot, it stayed hot for a long time because there was no fan to cool it down.

Unsurprisingly, Apple made this MacBook for just two years before pulling the plug. Now, however, it looks like it could be making a comeback. 

The old MacBook was very pretty but its compromised performance and high price tag made it an extremely niche device.

Bloomberg first reported last summer that Apple could be working on a compact 12-inch notebook and although noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that he hasn't heard anything about it, he didn't categorically reject the possibility either.

And now, a Korean source by the handle of "yeux1122" on Naver has said that Apple "is preparing to refresh the recent MacBook 12-inch model." 

However, it also said that Apple has yet to confirm the launch but that activities and movements surrounding the parts seem to suggest that it could launch a new product.

Is there any truth to this rumour? Well, Apple could certainly make an excellent super-portable MacBook now if they wanted to. Apple's custom silicon is perfect for this. The MacBook Air has a fan-less design and look at how fast it is and uncompromised it is.

However, the MacBook Air is already pretty portable. Sure, you could argue it's a little heavy at 1.24kg but it's just 11.3mm thick and it has a nicely-sized 13.6-inch display.

I'm not sure if it's worth having a smaller display just to shave a few hundred grams off. Is there a market for such a device? I'm not sure. Personally, I would just go with the MacBook Air and I think most people would too.

At any rate, it looks like Apple will announce new Macs soon and we'll see if the 12-inch MacBook really will make a comeback. Right now, it's looking likely that they'll unveil the eagerly anticipated Mac Pro and possibly a 15.5-inch MacBook Air.

Source: yeux1122 via 9to5 Mac

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