This is one of 5 articles dedicated to Apple’s Macbooks:

1. How you can choose the ideal Macbook 12″ (this article)
2. How to choose the best Macbook Air 11.6″
3. How to choose the best Macbook Air 13.3″
4. How to choose the best Macbook Pro 13.3″
5. How to choose the best Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro

Who is the 12″ Macbook ideal for?

Anyone who wants a laptop that’s as light weight as possible, with a long battery life.

The Macbook is incredibly thin: 0.11-0.52".

The Macbook is incredibly thin: 0.11-0.52″.

What is the Macbook 12″ good for?

  • Web browsing
  • Office work (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
  • Emails
  • Listening to music
  • Watching TV/movies from local files or streaming. Note that you’ll need an adapter to connect a monitor or HDTV.
lol

USB-C port is reversible: Either way is the right way

Why do you want the 12″ Macbook: Pros

  • Incredibly thin and lightweight: Only 2lbs and 0.11-0.52″ thick. Perfect if you’re traveling and often on the move.
  • It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  • 2304 x 1440 (16×10 ratio, 226 pixels per inch) high resolution Retina 12″ IPS display. 178° wide viewing angle, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors.
  • Outstanding out of the box grey scale and color accuracy
  • Excellent keyboard, with new butterfly switches: More stable and they have the same feel to them no matter where on the key you press.
  • Backlit keyboard: Each key is individually lit. The LEDs are calibrated for uniform brightness, so every key and character looks clear and sharp with minimal light around the keycap.
  • High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  • Silent: The use of the low power Core M processor allows the Macbook to be fanless. It contains no motorized parts and the only moving parts are the keyboard keys, the trackpad, and the screen hinge.
  • USB-C port is reversible: Type-C connector is a clear improvement over Type-A if you’ve ever struggled with getting a device plugged in the first place. Either way is the right way, making it much easier to plug in USB devices.
  • Long battery life: 9 hours of web browsing, 10 hours of Itunes movie playback.
  • Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  • Solid screen hinge
  • Force Touch trackpad: Excellent trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi
The new switches used in the Macbook keyboard.

The switches used in the Macbook keyboard.

Why you might not want the 12″ Macbook: Cons

  • Limited amount of ports: Only a single USB-C port and a combo audio jack. The Macbook 12″ uses its single USB 3.1 Type-C port for charging with the AC adapter too. If you plan on docking it to a screen, keyboard, mouse, etc., you’ll need an adapter or even two.  See the recommended adapters section at the end of the article.
  • Limited CPU performance: In sustained workloads (30 minutes +) the Core M will lower its frequency (and performance) to keep heat under control. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs where high sustained CPU performance is required.
  • Limited GPU (video card) performance. Forget playing modern video games or 3D rendering: you want a dedicated video card for that.
  • No LAN port
  • No optical drive
  • No Numpad
  • The Macbook cannot be serviced: RAM and storage cannot be upgraded, the battery is only replaceable by Apple.

How to Choose your Macbook 12″

What you need to know:

All models have this in common:

Dimensions: Height: 0.11-0.52″/0.35-1.31cm, Width: 11.04″/28.05cm, Depth: 7.74″/19.65cm
Weight: 2.03 lbs (0.92kg)
Screen: Retina 12″, resolution: 2304 x 1440 (226 pixels per inch (ppi)), type of panel: IPS (178° wide viewing angle, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors!)
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C, 3.5mm combo jack
Networking: 2×2:2 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
OS: Mac OS X El Capitan, with many built-in apps. Windows through Bootcamp, if needed.

What’s better on the 2016 models compared to the 2015 models:

Faster CPU, improved integrated graphics, much faster storage, faster RAM and 1 more hour of battery life.

Upgraded CPU: You get th newer, higher performance, 6th generation Intel Core CPU architecture, Skylake. Expect 10 to 20% more performance compared to the older models.
Upgraded GPU (video card): While the 2015 model included an Intel HD 5300 integrated setup, the 2016 model includes the faster Intel HD 515 GPU. According to Apple, expect “up to 25 percent more performance”.
Higher performance RAM: 8GB LPDDR3-1866MHz vs 8GB LPDDR3-1600
Storage: You get a faster storage solution, with 30-40% faster reads and nearly 100% faster writes performance.
Battery: You get an extra hour of battery life with the newer model, thanks to its higher capacity battery: 41.4 Wh in the 2016 model, 39.7 Wh in the 2015 model, as well as improved efficiency.

The 3 choices you have to make:

1. Choose your level of CPU performance:

2015 models: Intel Core 5th generation ‘Broadwell
Intel Core M Broadwell, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.2-2.6GHz
Intel Core M Broadwell, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-2.9GHz

2016 models: Intel Core 6th generation ‘Skylake
Intel Core m3 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.1-2.2GHz
Intel Core m5 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.2-2.7GHz
Intel Core m7 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-3.1GHz

The difference is in the architecture and in the base and Turbo clock frequencies (speed). The Skylake architecture offers higher performance than Broadwell and higher frequencies (GHz) also mean higher performance.

2. Two storage capacities:
256GB or 512GB

Are you unsure about how whether you want 256GB or 512GB of storage capacity?
Read our article on How to choose the right SSD storage capacity and pay less for your computer.

3. Choose between 4 colors:

You have the choice between four different colors:
1. Space Grey
2. Silver
3. Gold
4. Rose Gold (2016 models only)

Apple Macbook 12″:
The 6 available configurations

1. High-End 2015 model, 256GB storage

macbook_artice– Click here to see the price on Amazon
$1099.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

High-End 2015 model:
High-End Intel Core M Broadwell, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-2.9GHz
256GB of storage

2. 2016 model, Core m3, 256GB storage

macbook_articeClick here to see the price on Amazon
$1,199.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
– $1.299.00 at Newegg

Entry-level 2016 model:
Intel Core m3 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.1-2.2GHz
256GB of storage

3. Mid-range 2015 model, 512GB storage

macbook_articeClick here to see the price on Amazon

If you want the least expensive Macbook with 512GB of storage.

Intel Core M Broadwell, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.2-2.6GHz
512GB of storage

4. 2016 model: Intel Core M5, 512GB storage

macbook_articeClick here to see the price on Amazon
$1,499.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$1499.00 at Newegg

Mid-range 2016 model:
Intel Core m5 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.2-2.7GHz
512GB of storage

5. 2016 model: Intel Core M7 1.3-3.1GHz CPU, 256GB storage

macbook_artice$1,549.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

High end 2016 configuration
Intel Core m7 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-3.1GHz
256GB of storage

6. 2016 model: Intel Core M7 1.3-3.1GHz CPU, 512GB storage

macbook_artice$1,749.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Highest end 2016 configuration:
Intel Core m7 Skylake, Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-3.1GHz
512GB of storage

Adapters for the Macbook 12″ USB-C port:

Apple USB-C to USB-A Adapter

Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $19.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter: Power, HDMI and USB port

Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $79.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

Apple USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter: Power, VGA and USB port

Click here to see the price on Amazon
$79.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

Kensington 7 ports powered USB 3.0 hub and charger

Click here to see the price on Amazon
$44.95 at B&H (International Shipping)

Kanex USB C to VGA Adapter

Click here to see the price on Amazon
$16.95 at B&H (International Shipping)

Kanex USB C to HDMI 4K Adapter

Click here to see the price on Amazon
$19.25 at B&H (International Shipping)

Kanex USB C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Click here to see the price on Amazon
$16.95 at B&H (International Shipping)

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on how you can choose the ideal Macbook 12″.

Do you have any feedback or any questions?

Please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.