Apple’s 12-inch MacBook has become one of the Cupertino-based tech giant’s most polarizing devices. Equipped with a rather underwhelming Intel M processor and a single USB-C port, the ultraportable laptop has been widely criticized for being far too limited for any serious productivity. With rumors stating that the 2017 update for the 12-inch MacBook is set for release sometime this year, Apple fans have begun airing their reservations about the overall future of the laptop. Considering Apple’s current update strategy for its laptops, it appears that the tech giant is turning the 12-inch MacBook into the new MacBook Air.
The MacBook Air has been Apple’s most portable and most affordable laptop for years. Prior to the release of the first 12-inch MacBook back in 2015, the Air was the king of portability among the Cupertino-based tech giant’s productivity machines. It was also the lowest-priced laptop in Apple’s lineup, with the 11-inch model being extremely popular among students and users who value portability over power. Then came the 12-inch MacBook, a device that is significantly thinner and lighter than the Air, according to a MacWorld report. Since then, Apple appears to have pushed the device to its consumers.
This was ultimately proven when the MacBook Pro 2016 was launched last October. During the debut of Apple’s power laptop, the Cupertino-based tech giant updated its offerings, branding the 12-inch MacBook as its entry-level productivity machine. For users who want power comparable with the MacBook Air, Apple has pushed the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, a slightly more powerful, albeit more expensive option. Those who want portability are practically relegated to the 12-inch MacBook.
The 12-inch MacBook, however, is now due for an update, as its latest iteration is already a year old. Rumors about the device are quite scarce, though initial reports and speculations suggest that the 2017 iteration of Apple’s ultraportable laptop would be a minor update from the last two devices that were released by the Cupertino-based tech giant. Newer processors and a memory bump are rumored for the device, but apart from these two upgrades, very few rumors exist about the upcoming productivity machine.
A 9to5Mac report stated that back in December, rumors emerged that the 12-inch MacBook Pro 2017 would be introduced sometime this year. According to the report, the updated devices would be equipped with Intel’s Kaby Lake processors. While the update would introduce more power to the ultraportable laptop, however, the machine would still be fitted with the chipmaker’s M-series processors, which would still make the 12-inch MacBook 2017 somewhat underpowered compared to rival devices along the same price range.
Apart from a Kaby Lake M-series chip, the 12-inch MacBook 2017 is also rumored to be bumped up to 16GB of RAM, which is double the 8GB of memory that is found in the current iteration of the device. An upgrade to 16GB RAM would be welcome for users of the sleek productivity machine, as it would allow users to multitask in a more efficient manner. Considering that M-series processors are already underpowered compared to the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air’s i-series chips, any additional memory for the 12-inch MacBook 2017 would be much appreciated by users of the ultrathin laptop.
Considering that the 12-inch MacBook 2017 might simply feature a memory and processor bump this year, many Apple fans have noted that the ultraportable laptop appears to be following the fate of the very machine it dethroned, the MacBook Air. Apple has never really been extremely aggressive or consistent with the update cycle of its laptops, but the improvements on the 12-inch MacBook, a device that has been polarizing to consumers to begin with, appears to have been far too little to attract consumers into purchasing the device. This has been seen in the MacBook Air, a machine that was just fitted with marginal updates for years before seemingly being discontinued.
The 12-inch MacBook 2017 does not have an official launch date from the Cupertino-based tech giant as of date, though speculations are high that the ultraportable laptop would be released sometime during Q3 2017. Pricing for this year’s updated 12-inch MacBook models is expected to remain the same as the current iteration of the device.
[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]