Apple 12" MacBook (Early 2015, Space Gray)

Apple 12" MacBook (Early 2015, Space Gray)

Apple 12" MacBook (Early 2015, Space Gray)

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Product Highlights

  • 1.1 GHz Intel Core M (Broadwell)
  • 8GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300
  • 12" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • 2304 x 1440 Native Resolution
  • USB Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Force Touch Trackpad
  • Mac OS X 10.10 or 10.11
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Apple MacBook Overview

  • 1Description

With a Retina display and a thin, lightweight design, the space gray Apple 12" MacBook (Early 2015) provides both portability and performance. Measuring just 0.5" (13.1 mm) thin and weighing just 2 pounds, the MacBook is compact yet still has a premium feel, thanks to its unibody design.

The MacBook features a 12" Retina display with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2304 x 1440 native resolution, which results in 226 pixels per inch (ppi). The display also has a 178° wide viewing angle. To deliver the total Retina experience on the MacBook, Apple redesigned the pixels to create a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through. This enabled Apple to use LED backlighting that's 30 percent more energy efficient than the Retina display on any other Mac notebook, yet still achieves the same vivid level of brightness.

Inside the MacBook you'll find the fifth-generation Broadwell Intel Core M processor, which is designed with 14-nanometer process technology. This means that the chip is packed with more transistors than the previous generation, for higher density and more efficient performance. Since the Intel Core M only draws 5 watts of power and generates less heat than its predecessors, Apple is able to omit the fan. Instead, the logic board, which is 67% smaller than the one in the 11" MacBook Air, is seated on top of an anisotropic graphite sheet, which helps disperse any heat that is generated out, to the sides. No fan also means the MacBook will be virtually silent. Even with its miniaturized internal components, the new MacBook has an impressive capacity, featuring 8GB of fast, power-efficient 1600 MHz LPDDR3 onboard RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

Since the logic board is much smaller and there is no fan, Apple decided to use the remaining space in the new MacBook to install a custom battery. The result is 35 percent more battery capacity than before, which adds up to 9 hours of web browsing and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback (battery life may vary depending on usage).

In order to maintain its thin and light design, the MacBook features a universal connectivity standard that combines the essential functions you need every day in one dynamic port. The USB-C port offers charging, quick USB 3.0 data transfer for connecting to external devices and peripherals, and video output that supports HDMI, VGA, and Mini DisplayPort connections. It is all in a reversible design that's one-third the size of the current USB port.

The Force Touch trackpad features Taptic Engine, which provides a click sensation when you press anywhere on the surface. The sensory capabilities of the Force Touch trackpad allow you to tell your MacBook what you want it to do, based on subtle differences in the amount of pressure you apply as well as providing haptic feedback.

The MacBook also embraces 802.11ac Wi-Fi for fast wireless Internet access. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 technology, which allows you to connect wirelessly to supported peripherals and accessories.


12" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
The 12" Retina display on the MacBook doesn't just have a high resolution, but it's also paper thin. In fact, it is just 0.03" (0.88 mm). A specially developed automated manufacturing process forms the impossibly thin edge-to-edge glass that's only 0.02" (0.5 mm) thick. And Apple reduced the space between display components for a tighter, more integrated design. The Retina display has a 2304 x 1440 native resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. It also has a 178° viewing angle, thanks to its IPS panel.

To deliver the patented Retina experience on the MacBook, Apple had to innovate on every level, right down to the pixel. So Apple redesigned the pixels to create a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through. This enabled them to use LED backlighting that's 30 percent more energy efficient than the Retina display on previous models, yet still achieve the same level of vivid brightness.
Force Touch Trackpad
The Force Touch trackpad may look like other trackpads on the surface, but it's what is underneath that makes it distinct. Force sensors detect how much pressure you're applying and the Taptic Engine provides a click sensation when you press anywhere on the surface. Now the click that once was a single, mechanical function is just the start of what you can do with Force Touch. The sensory capabilities of the Force Touch trackpad allow you to tell your MacBook what you want it to do based on subtle differences in the amount of pressure you apply. This makes it possible to perform a variety of different actions in different apps, all on the same surface. And it can respond with haptic feedback you can actually feel, making your MacBook more usable and personal.

Traditional trackpads use a "diving board" mechanism, which requires room underneath for the downward motion of a click and makes it harder to click the part of the surface closest to the keyboard. With the Force Touch trackpad, force sensors detect your click anywhere on the surface and move the trackpad laterally toward you, although the feel is the same familiar downward motion you're accustomed to in a trackpad. The Taptic Engine also provides haptic feedback, so instead of just seeing what's happening on the screen, you can feel it, too. The trackpad sends a tangible response to your fingertip when you perform certain tasks, like aligning annotations on a PDF.

In addition to the intuitive Multi-Touch gestures you may be familiar with - like scrolling, swiping, pinching, and rotating - Force Touch brings an added dimension to the Mac experience. The sensitivity is customizable, allowing you to adjust how much pressure is needed to register a click. And the trackpad can even tell whether you're clicking with your thumb or another finger and automatically adjusts the sensitivity level.
Redesigned Keyboard
Traditional keyboards use a scissor mechanism, which tends to wobble around the edges. This creates a lack of precision when you strike anywhere except the center of the key. Apple needed to reduce key wobbling for a keyboard this thin; otherwise, striking a key off-center could result in the keycap hitting bottom before a keystroke registers. So Apple designed a butterfly mechanism, which is wider than the scissor mechanism and has a single assembly made from a stiffer material - allowing for a more stable, responsive key that takes up less vertical space.

The redesigned keys on the MacBook feature a larger surface area, a thinner construction, and a deeper curvature, creating a more defined space for your fingertip to naturally find and press the keys. These refinements may be subtle, but the feel is distinct and intuitive. Combined with the butterfly mechanism, this innovative design allows for much greater control when typing.

Since the keyboard is thin, Apple had to address how to backlight the keys in a way that took up less space while delivering an even cleaner and more refined look and feel. To do that, Apple removed the row of LEDs and the light guide panel that distributed light throughout the keyboard and instead placed an individual LED under each key. These LEDs are calibrated for uniform brightness, so every key and character looks clear and sharp with minimal light around the keycap. All while being engineered for as much energy efficiency as possible.
Thin, Lightweight Design
Each component inside the MacBook has been meticulously designed to get the most out of a thin and light enclosure. Apple started with an efficient 5th-gen Broadwell Intel Core M processor, coupled with fast Intel HD Graphics 5300, and optimized OS X to draw on the processor using as little power as possible. Because no fan is needed to cool the MacBook, it runs silently and without any moving parts, and it has more room for battery cells to provide all-day performance.

Since the Intel Core M chip draws only 5 watts of power and therefore generates less heat, no fan or heat pipe is required. Instead, the logic board is seated on top of an anisotropic graphite sheet, which helps disperse any heat that is generated out to the sides, all while your Mac stays virtually silent. The MacBook is made even more efficient by OS X features like Timer Coalescing, App Nap, and Safari Power Saver, which ensure that every task is performed using just the right amount of power.

With the MacBook, Apple was able to take what they learned from making thin yet powerful devices like iPhone and iPad and push that knowledge even further. Apple carefully arranged the processor, flash storage, and memory on a small yet highest-density logic board.

Even with its miniaturized internal components, the MacBook has an impressive capacity to store the files and run the applications you need every day. MacBook features 8GB of fast, power-efficient 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory. Combine that with 256GB of flash storage and you get a thin and light notebook with fast, efficient performance.
Custom Shaped Battery
To achieve all-day battery life, Apple needed to use every millimeter of space inside the slim MacBook enclosure. Traditional rectangular batteries leave unused space when placed in a curved enclosure, so Apple created a battery technology that allowed for an innovative terraced battery cell, custom shaped to fit the specific contours of the enclosure. The result is 35 percent more battery cell capacity. So all the available space in the enclosure is used, and you have all the battery life you need to get you through the day. This gives you up to 9 hours of web browsing or up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback (battery life may vary).


Dual-Core 5th-Gen Broadwell Intel Core M Performance
The 5th-gen Broadwell Intel Core M processor with 14 nm process technology provides fast dual-core performance. The dual cores can run at a stock speed of 1.1 GHz. The processor can be overclocked up to 2.4 GHz, thanks to Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. With a 4MB L3 cache and 8GB of onboard 1600 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, the MacBook provides fast and energy efficient performance.
To create a notebook as thin and light as the MacBook, Apple had to strive for efficiency in every detail, right down to how it connects to peripherals and power. So Apple contributed to a growing universal connectivity standard that combines the essential functions you need every day in one dynamic port. The USB-C port offers charging, quick USB 3.0 data transfer for connecting to external devices and peripherals, and video output that supports HDMI, VGA, and Mini DisplayPort connections. All in a small, reversible design that's one-third the size of the current USB port.
Fast Flash Storage
Part of what makes MacBook so responsive is that it's designed entirely around flash storage. Not only does this make MacBook Air much lighter and more portable than traditional notebooks, it also provides faster access to data. The flash storage is up to 9 times faster than a traditional 5400 rpm notebook hard drive.
Fast Memory
The MacBook features 4GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 RAM. Combine that with powerful processors and faster flash storage and you get a notebook that can run more memory-intensive applications at the same time - without compromising performance.
802.11ac Wi-Fi: Three Times Faster
With an emphasis on mobile, the MacBook is equipped with 802.11ac Wi‑Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. With AirPlay and Apple TV, you can wirelessly play video, show off photos, and enjoy music from your MacBook on your widescreen TV. And when your MacBook connects to an 802.11ac Wi‑Fi base station, such as AirPort Extreme or AirPort Time Capsule, your wireless performance is up to three times faster.

Operating System & Built-in Apps

Built-in Apps
The MacBook also comes with several built-in apps. You'll be able to take full advantage of iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Maps, iBooks, Safari, Mail, FaceTime, Messages, Calendar, Contacts, Time Machine, Photo Booth, Mac App Store, iTunes, Game Center, Preview, Notes, and Reminders. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are also free, but you'll have to download them from the Mac App Store. You'll need an Apple ID as well.

The Mac Experience

Environmentally Friendly Design
Apple worked to create a computer that is energy efficient, free of many toxins, and highly recyclable. Because Apple designs both hardware and software, the MacBook is able to use a highly efficient power supply that reduces wasted power. The computer is free of mercury and arsenic, and its internal components are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). When the computer reaches the end of its long life, you can rest assured that it can be recycled. It is constructed from materials that are highly desirable to recyclers. The MacBook Air has been awarded EPEAT Gold status for responsible manufacture, energy efficiency, and recyclability.
Tech Support
Have a problem with your Mac? Get support and advice at the Genius Bar, located at every Apple Retail Store. Apple also provides online tutorials, troubleshooting forums, and 90 days of phone support for users who aren't able to make it to an Apple store.
Optional AppleCare
Apple provides 90 days of free phone support and a 1-year limited hardware warranty on the computer. You can opt to add an AppleCare Protection Plan, at additional cost, which covers support and repairs for 3 years from the date of purchase. AppleCare can be purchased at any time within the first year of ownership of the computer.
In the Box
Apple 12" MacBook (Early 2015, Space Gray)
  • 29W USB-C Power Adapter
  • 6.56' (2 m) USB-C Charge Cable
  • 1-Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty with 90 Days of Free Telephone Support
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Apple MacBook Specs

    Processor Intel Core M Dual-Core
    Base Clock Speed 1.1 GHz
    Maximum Boost Speed 2.9 GHz
    Graphics Type Integrated
    GPU Intel HD Graphics 5300
    Size 12"
    Aspect Ratio 16:10
    Resolution 2304 x 1440
    Solid State Storage 1 x 256 GB Integrated PCIe
    Input/Output Connectors
    Ports 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
    Display 1 x VGA via Optional Cable
    1 x HDMI via Optional Cable
    1 x DisplayPort via Optional Cable
    Audio Integrated Microphone
    Integrated Speaker
    1 x 1/8" (3.5 mm) Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
    Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
    Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
    Webcam User-Facing: 480p
    Power Requirements 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz
    Operating System None
    Keyboard 78-Key Standard Notebook Keyboard
    Pointing Device Force Touch Trackpad
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 11.0 x 0.5 x 7.7" / 27.9 x 1.3 x 19.6 cm
    Weight 2.03 lb / .92 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 4.25 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 13.2 x 9.7 x 3.6"

    Apple MacBook Reviews

    12" MacBook (Early 2015, Space Gray) is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 93.
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Appleicious, but... Great design, performance but the single USB-C input for charging/USB/Diskwriter, etc. remains a big question mark for our use. I'm not sure why they even call it USB-C, because no other known USB device can plug in without the adapter. We purchased the USB-C to USB adapter, but when you need to install a printer driver AND connect the printer via USB, it is not possible. I also use an external hard drive, so you can't have the drive plugged in AND keep your computer charging at the same time. The more I think about this, the more of a mistake I think Apple has made.
    Date published: 2015-12-29
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from The 12-inch MacBook is a fine secondary Mac. I've been using the 12-inch MacBook with Retina display since its debut. Is it a good laptop? Yes, as a secondary back-up Mac. However, it won't be a suitable main Mac for any.The entry level, 13-inch MacBook with Retina display offers more oomph for the same price, while you can save money with either model ($ or $ ) of the MacBook Air or the non-Retina display MacBook Pro. That said, here's no denying the Retina display is gorgeous and the small design of the MacBook is an incredible feat of engineering. The laptop's display (with a 16:10 aspect ratio) is stunning and pops with clarity. The MacBook's physical resolution is 2304 by 1440 pixels. This means that, at standard 2x retina resolution, it's the equivalent of a 1152720 display. For some folks that's going to be too small.hat's why Apple ships the laptop with its default resolution scaled to emulate a 1280 x 800 display, which is about the same screen area as you'd find on an 11-inch MacBook Air. However, I prefer the More Space setting, which emulates a 1440900 display (think 13-inch MacBook Air pixel size).It will probably take a while to acclimate yourself with the new keyboard and trackpad. The MacBook's keyboard is 34% thinner than those on other Mac laptops. It uses an Apple-designed butterfly mechanism that's 40% thinner than a traditional keyboard scissor mechanism.Apple says the keyboard is four times more stable, providing greater precision no matter where your finger strikes the key. New stainless steel dome switches located beneath each key deliver a responsive feel when typing with no give on the sides of the keys.Since other keyboards wiggle a bit on the sides, this takes some getting used to. However, after about an hour, the new tactile experience had won me over. Also, every key on the new keyboard is individually backlit with its own single LED, which comes in handy in low (or no) light situations. (Alas, the Apple logo isn't backlight like with other Macs. You've been warned if that's important to you.)The MacBook also features the all-new Force Touch trackpad that features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive feel. This also requires a bit of adjustment, but it's a pleasure to use once have. Unlike the hinge-based multitouch trackpad it replaces, Apple's Force Touch unit doesn't move, but the effect of simulated clicks is so convincing that you'll think it's moving.You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click. That's a click followed by a deeper press, and can be used for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.With no moving parts or vents, the new MacBook was designed from the ground up to be the first fanless Mac notebook. I expected it to get warm with long use. However, in work stretches of an hour or so, it's remained comfortable enough that it can sit on my uncovered legs without discomfort.The MacBook features the new fifth-generation Intel Core M processor that runs at just five watts and Intel HD Graphics 5300. This makes it very energy efficient, but means it's no powerhouse.I can work with Pages, Safari, Mail, Pixelmator, and Calendar open simultaneously with no performance hits. iMovie also chugs along reasonably well. However, if you're a student, or are buying a laptop for a student, who's a serious gamer, Final Cut Pro X user, or Photoshopper, move on along, cause the MacBook isn't for you.The new laptop features a terraced battery design layered in individual sheets contoured to fit the MacBook's sleek, curved enclosure. Apple says the new portable has 35% more battery capacity than would be possible with traditional battery cells and delivers all-day battery life with up to nine hours of wireless web browsing and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback. I found the company's estimates to be accurate.Unfortunately, other things aren't so seamless with the MacBook. For one thing I miss the MagSafe connector that comes with all other Mac laptops. The connector is held in place magnetically so that if it's tugged for example, by someone tripping over the cord it will pull out of the socket without damaging the connector or the computer power socket, and without pulling the computer off the surface on which it's located.Perhaps Apple thinks the MacBook will run long enough on a full battery charge that folks generally won't use the power cord when working with the MacBook. I think that's a poor assumption, but Apple has made the move because of the next-generation USB-C port. A new industry standard, USB-C supports higher wattage charging, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) data transfer and DisplayPort 1.2 all in a single connector that's one-third the size of a traditional USB port. It's the word single that's the key here. Sharing a single port for all accessories as well as the power cord will be frustrating if you're using the MacBook as your main computer.Which is what it all boils down to: the MacBook is a fine (if pricey) secondary Mac, but won't work as the main computer for anyone who does tackles more than basic computing chores.
    Date published: 2015-12-22
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Compact Laptop PROs: Lightweight, no moving parts, excellent build quality, stylish color, beautiful retina display, and compact (great for travelers). Overall, great laptop for someone who does not do a lot - I only use it for basic internet use (browsing/researching), working on Microsoft Office, watching movies, etc. Not a whole lot of video games. CONs: Needed to purchase USB-C adapter, new keyboard needs some getting used to. New AC adapter does not have a power indicator light. B&H shipping was quick and reliable, as usual.
    Date published: 2016-01-25
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simplicity of Mac Lightweight, and the perfect computer for applications like Windows Office, and other medium intensive jobs... I purchased this because of my upcoming travel to Delhi, India this June; I was looking at something that was going to be visually appealing for photo editing and powerful enough to run applications like like Photoshop, and Lightroom. Originally the iPad pro was a nice contender but the keyboard being $ or something made it illogical to get a big iPad that didn't stand out from the iPad family. The Macbook has certainly been developed into a niche market of high-end performance in a mobile solution that compliments your device. If only there was an easier way to pair the iPhone, and Macbook for file sharing.
    Date published: 2016-01-26
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from The keyboard is the problem I bought the 12 MacBook for its lightweight portability, to replace my 11 MacBook Air after its hard drive crashed. I wanted the retina display, so I chose the 12 over another 11 MacBook Air. I've owned many Apple laptops and loved using them. The latest 12 MacBook is an exception. The keyboard lacks tactile feedback and I'm constantly having to go back to correct typing errors because I never know whether I've pressed a key or not. Compared to the keyboards on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the keyboard on the 12 is a terrible thing to adapt to. It's like trying to peck away on a hard tabletop. I'm praying that when Apple merges the MacBook Air and MacBook lines, they continue using the keyboard from the MacBook Air. Otherwise, I'll be grabbing another couple of 11 MacBook Airs to get that beautiful tactile feedback keyboard. I realize that some people think all this comes down to personal preference, but designers of great machines (including higher-end Macs) have always known that tactile feedback in keys helps anyone who's typing. I use a Logitech Ultra-thin keyboard with my iPad Mini, and it's far superior to the 12 MacBook keyboard because it has keys designed to give feedback to the user.
    Date published: 2016-03-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Windows Machine I was looking for traditional laptop which could run Windows. I am using DELL XPS13 which is awesome and I love it, and look for something else for my personal use. Then I ended up with this macbook 12 inch which I think quite awesome laptop even for Windows. I today use Windows 10 Pro which runs normally faster than OSX, and less buggy behavior in my day to day use. Battery life is not as same as on OSX, but normally runs more than 6 hours (I use Microsoft Office, Google Docs and Chrome, occasionally Lightroom). Overall, I really like this machine as its stable hardware and quietness.
    Date published: 2016-02-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent but slightly underpowered laptop A great, light and beautiful notebook that I fell in love with immediately. I got used to slightly different keys in about a day, a 12 inch very high quality screen did not require getting used to at all. With it's size and weight it can be both a MAC OS X laptop and an iPad at the same time... if it only had a removable keyboard and touch screen... and maybe even option to boot into iOS and OS X... am I dreaming? Perhaps, but one day... even without these featured this lovely thing is my favorite. Good job, Apple! Ah, and one more thing : please add magnetic power connector!
    Date published: 2016-02-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I didn't think I would like this as much as I do I am a power user. I really did not want to like the MacBook. I bought a Surface Pro 4 and a MacBook 12. Surface has much more horsepower (Core i5), but ram (8Gb) and drives (256Gb) are similar. I run high-end chess analysis software so many of the programs I run are Windows only. I also liked the pen and touch input options provided by the Surface Pro. After a few weeks, I find myself preferring the MacBook over the Surface Pro 4. The MacBook blinks on within 1 or 2 seconds every time I open the lid. Surface Pro may or may not turn on depending upon the day of week and if I am standing on one or two feet. Having to restart the MacBook is a rare event. I restart the Surface Pro about every 3 days. Battery life is an actual 7-9 hours with the MacBook. The Surface Pro will go the advertised 8 hours if it is sleeping for 4 of them. The MacBook is not without faults. Performing a number of tasks simultaneously will make the Core M slow to a grind. However, it is reliable, exceptionally portable, and works flawlessly 98% of the time. As for the pen and touch input: Windows applications are not optimized for touch input - some things are just too difficult to click on with your fingers. The novelty of the pen wore off in about a month. The MacBook is a good choice for 95% of users. Even for self proclaimed power users like myself.
    Date published: 2016-02-29
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