We don't need the 12-inch MacBook anymore

(Image credit: Future)

The 12-inch MacBook has been discontinued for a while now, but Apple has apparently sent out a survey to current owners of the tiny laptop looking for feedback. 

On its own, the survey, which was spotted by MacRumors through a tip from content creator Aaron Zollo , doesn't mean that much. It could be that Apple is just trying to see what would make folks that are hanging on to the 12-inch MacBook upgrade to the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, but it could mean that Apple is trying to find a way to bring back the form factor – but I really don't think it should. 

The 12-inch MacBook was definitely noteworthy when it dropped back in 2015. It was small, easy to carry around and it was stylish to boot. I know I wanted one back then just to show it off in my local coffee shop. But since then, laptops have been getting smaller and smaller, and that 12-inch MacBook doesn't seem quite as special as it did back then. 

I have the luxury of basically being able to carry around a different laptop for every situation, and when I need a laptop that's just super light and small enough to fit in a purse, the 12-inch MacBook isn't the choice anymore. It's the Pixelbook Go.

At its thinnest point, the 12-inch MacBook was just 0.14 inches thick, but towards the back of the laptop that expanded to 0.52 inches – which is actually thicker than the Pixelbook Go at 0.50 inches, and Google's ultra-portable was only a tiny bit heavier, though not enough to be noticeable. 

With a laptop this small, a Chromebook is just the way to go anyways. The Y-series processors that were famously packed in both the 12-inch MacBook and the PixelBook Go aren't really powerful enough to do any kind of heavy lifting, and Chrome OS is basically custom-made for lightweight workloads. 

And Apple would absolutely need to stuff a fanless processor in there in order to make the form factor work. Not that it wouldn't be able to do so. After all, the MacBook Air 2020 already has a fanless version of the M1 chip, so it's not inconceivable to put that in a 12-inch MacBook too. 

Apple MacBook Air (M1,2020) Rear Lid

(Image credit: Future)

Get some (MacBook) Air

But it's not like the 12-inch MacBook is that much smaller than the new MacBook Air anyways. The M1 MacBook Air is 0.63 inches at its thickest point, and measures 2.8lb, which, again, is barely heavier than the 2.03lb of the 12-inch MacBook. And it is so much better than the 12-inch MacBook. 

For starters, the MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which is double what the 12-inch MacBook offered – and the super thin laptop didn't even support Thunderbolt. That means you can – get this – charge the laptop while you also have it connected to another accessory.

I'm also not sure if Apple would be able to fit the redesigned keyboard in the 12-inch MacBook chassis, or if it would have to repurpose the dreaded Butterfly keyboard again. 

I get that there are a ton of people out there that absolutely love the 12-inch MacBook, and there's nothing wrong with that – but sometimes a design has to be left in the past, and I think this is one of those cases. 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.