Apple MacBook (2017)

The Good The new 12-inch MacBook adds the improved keyboard mechanism from the MacBook Pro line. New processor and RAM options mean better performance.

The Bad Little else has changed, including the lack of ports beyond a single USB-C connection. You still can't get more-powerful mainstream Intel processors.

The Bottom Line With a subtle tweak to the keyboard and better component choices, this cult favorite mini MacBook suddenly feels like it can be your everyday laptop.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Battery 8.0
8.5 Overall

Compare

Apple MacBook (12-inch, space gray, 2017)
Apple MacBook (2017)
HP Spectre x360 13-ae011dx - 13.3" - Core i7 8550U - 8 GB RAM - 256 GB SSD - US
HP Spectre x360 13 (late 2017)
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
Apple MacBook Air (2017)
Lenovo 110S-11IBR - 11" - Celeron N3060 - 2 GB RAM - 32 GB SSD
Lenovo Ideapad 110s
HP Spectre (1PS11AV)
HP Spectre (2017)
Price $1,249 Amazon.com $1,150 Amazon.com $884 Amazon.com $190 Amazon.com $1,080 HP
Design
9
9
7
8
9
Features
7
9
7
7
8
Performance
8
8
8
7
9
Battery
8
9
9
6
7

Review

Apple's mini MacBook gets it right

Full disclosure: I've had a strong affinity for the 12-inch MacBook since it was originally introduced in 2015. Sure, it was underpowered and had an annoyingly flat keyboard. And it had only a single USB-C port -- then still something of an exotic novelty -- for both power and data connections. But I loved how slim and lightweight it was, its excellent high-resolution display, and how I could get all the useful features of OS X (now called MacOS) in something so easy to pick up and carry around.

However, it wasn't for everyone. Longform typists would be turned off by the lack of tactile feedback from the shallow keyboard, its Core M processor could chug even when just running a bunch of web browser tabs and everything from USB keys to HDMI cables now required an armful of dongles to use. 

Still, I persevered. In early 2016 I realized just how much I had grown to like this unusual laptop. I wrote:

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $1,299
  • Brand Apple
  • Type Core m3
  • Installed Size 8 GB
  • Edition OS X 10.13 High Sierra
  • Capacity 256 GB
  • Diagonal Size 12 in
See full specs

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