MacBook
MacBook (Early 2015) in gold with ISO keyboard
Also known as12-inch MacBook, Retina MacBook, MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015–2017)[1]
DeveloperApple Inc.
ManufacturerApple
Product familyMacBook
TypeSubnotebook
Release date
  • April 10, 2015; 9 years ago (2015-04-10) (original release)
  • June 5, 2017; 7 years ago (2017-06-05) (last release)
Introductory priceUSD $1299, CAD $1549, Euro €1449, GBP £1249
DiscontinuedJuly 9, 2019; 5 years ago (2019-07-09)
Operating systemmacOS
CPUIntel Core m, m3, m5, m7, i5 or i7
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
PredecessorMacBook (2006–2012)
SuccessorMacBook Air (Apple silicon) (indirect, fanless)
MacBook Air (indirect)
MacBook Pro (indirect)
Related

The 12-inch MacBook (also called the Retina MacBook, officially marketed as the new MacBook) is a discontinued Mac laptop made by Apple Inc., which sat between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in Apple's laptop lineup.

It was introduced in March 2015. It was more compact than any other notebook in the MacBook family at the time and included a Retina display, fanless design, and a Butterfly keyboard with lower key travel. It only had a single USB-C port, used for both power and data, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. It was released in 2015, revised in 2017, and discontinued in July 2019, a year after the release of the MacBook Air with Retina display.

Overview

The MacBook was announced at an Apple special event on March 9, 2015, and was released a month later on April 10. It employed Intel's Broadwell Core M processors at a TDP of around 4.5 watts to allow for a fanless design and a logic board that is much smaller than in previous MacBooks. It had a similar appearance to the MacBook Air, but was thinner and lighter, offered (at the time of introduction) more storage and memory, and a higher-resolution 2304×1440 Retina display, but lower processor and graphics performance.[2] The MacBook has at times been available in space gray, silver, and gold finishes.

USB-C on MacBook

The MacBook has only two ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a single, multi-purpose USB-C port; it was the first Mac with USB-C. The port supports transmission speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s, and can be used for data, and audio/video output, and charging; it was the first MacBook without MagSafe charging. Apple markets an adapter that can provide a full-size USB-A connector, and a "Digital AV Multiport Adapter" with a charging pass-through, full-size USB-A port, and HDMI output.[3] Although Thunderbolt 3 technology uses USB-C connectors, the MacBook's USB-C port does not support Thunderbolt. It was one of only two Macs, along with the 2012 Mac Pro, to not support Thunderbolt since it was introduced to Macs in 2011.[4] Thunderbolt devices, such as storage media and the Apple Thunderbolt Display, are not compatible. Shortly after the MacBook's introduction, various companies began announcing cables and adapters for the USB-C port.[5]

Despite its small size, it features a full-sized keyboard and a large trackpad. The MacBook introduced a new Butterfly keyboard, with traditional scissor mechanism keys replaced with a new, Apple-designed butterfly mechanism, making the keyboard thinner and, as Apple claims, individual keys more stable. The keyboard's backlight no longer consisted of a row of LEDs and a light guide panel, but instead used a single LED for each key.[6] It also introduced the Force Touch trackpad, a solid-state trackpad that measures pressure sensitivity, and replicates a click with haptic feedback. The trackpad was later brought to the Magic Trackpad 2 and the 2015 MacBook Pro. A similar technology (3D Touch) is also used in the Apple Watch and introduced with the iPhone 6S.

The aluminum enclosure is 13.1 mm at its thickest point at the hinge end.[7] The battery was custom-designed to fill the available space in the small enclosure. It uses a 39.7 watt-hour lithium-polymer terraced battery cell which was advertised to provide "all day" battery life. Apple claimed nine hours of Internet browsing or ten hours of iTunes movie playback. The battery was improved in the 2016 refresh, with Apple claiming ten hours for Internet browsing, and eleven hours of iTunes movie playback.[8] The MacBook did not include any beryllium, BFRs, or PVCs in its construction. The display was made of arsenic-free glass. It was made of recyclable materials such as aluminum and glass, meets Energy Star 6.1 standards, and was rated EPEAT Gold.

On April 19, 2016, Apple updated the MacBook with Skylake Core M processors, Intel HD 515 graphics, faster memory, longer battery life, faster storage[9] and a new rose gold finish.[10]

On June 5, 2017, Apple updated the MacBook with Intel Kaby Lake m3, i5, and i7 processors (previously known as m3, m5, and m7). It featured the second-generation butterfly keyboard, which introduced new symbols for the control and option keys. It also features faster storage and memory.[11] On October 30, 2018, Apple quietly eliminated two color options (rose gold and the original gold) and added a new color option (new gold) to match the Apple devices's 2018 color scheme.[12][13]

On July 9, 2019, Apple quietly discontinued the MacBook line.[14] On June 7, 2021, Apple announced macOS Monterey which dropped support for early 2015 model MacBook.[15] On June 30, 2021, Apple added the early 2015 model MacBook to its "vintage products" list, making it eligible for only limited product support.[16] On June 6, 2022, Apple announced macOS Ventura which dropped support for the early 2016 model MacBook. On June 5, 2023, Apple announced macOS Sonoma which dropped support for the 2017 model, marking the end of macOS updates to the family. On June 30, 2023, Apple added the early 2015 model MacBook to its "obsolete products" list, making it end of product support and discontinues all hardware service.

Design

A side view of the MacBook

Externally, the MacBook follows the design of the MacBook Air with a tapered aluminum enclosure. It has a flush screen with black bezels similar to the MacBook Pro. The Apple logo on the rear of the display is glossy and opaque, rather than backlit and white as seen on every Apple notebook since the 1999 PowerBook G3 and 2001 iBook.[17][18] It is the thinnest and lightest notebook Apple has produced to date, 0.52 inches (1.32 cm) at its thickest point, and 2.03 pounds (0.92 kg).

The letters on the MacBook's keyboard and the model name at the bottom of the screen bezel are in the San Francisco typeface, whereas previous notebooks made by Apple used VAG Rounded.[6]

Apple updated the word on its chin MacBook's typeface to San Francisco in the 2017 model.

Apple's introduction of a gold MacBook finish had been cited as an example of positioning itself as a luxury-style brand. The choice follows the introduction of the gold iPhone 5S after Apple found that gold was seen as a popular sign of a luxury among Chinese customers.[19]

Reception

Reception for the MacBook was mixed. Critics praised the design and overall quality of the product, with some regarding it as a potential successor to the MacBook Air, as the Air had an aging design and low resolution screen.[20] However, Apple continued to offer the MacBook Air while selling the MacBook at considerably higher price. Several described the MacBook as a limited first-generation proof-of-concept design for early adopters, and recommended against buying the MacBook until it reached greater maturity, and its price dropped sufficiently for mainstream adoption.[21][22][23][24][25][26] The slow performance of the Intel Core M processor was regarded as the new MacBook's main deficiency, relative to the cheaper and faster MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.[27] Among the other criticisms of the new MacBook are the lack of various popular ports, particularly USB Type-A ports, and that it only contains a single port which limits data transfer and overall convenience without the use of an adapter.[28]

The keyboard received considerable criticism as being poor for long-term use: developer Marco Arment described the notebook's build and small size as "absolutely amazing, revolutionary, and mind-blowing... until you need to use the keyboard for something."[29] He also criticised the trackpad as worse than on previous MacBooks, and said that he would be returning the model he had bought.[30]

A report by AppleInsider had claimed that the updated butterfly keyboard fails twice as often as previous models, often due to particles stuck beneath the keys.[31] Repairs for stuck keys have been estimated to cost more than $700.[32] In May 2018, two class action lawsuits were filed against Apple regarding the keyboard issue with one alleging a "constant threat of nonresponsive keys and accompanying keyboard failure" and accusing Apple of not alerting consumers to the issue.[33] In June 2018, Apple announced a Service Program to "service eligible MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge".[34]

Technical specifications

Model Early 2015[35] Early 2016[36] 2017[37]
Timeline Announced March 9, 2015 April 19, 2016[10] June 5, 2017
Released April 10, 2015[38] June 6, 2017[37]
Discontinued April 19, 2016 June 5, 2017 July 9, 2019
Unsupported[a] September 26, 2023 Security updates only
Vintage[b] June 30, 2021 July 31, 2022 not vintage
Obsolete June 30, 2023 not obsolete not obsolete
Production Model identifier MacBook8,1 MacBook9,1 MacBook10,1
Model number A1534, EMC 2746 A1534, EMC 2991 A1534, EMC 3099
Order numbers MJY32 (Space Gray)
MF855 (Silver)
MK4M2 (Gold)
MJY42 (Space Gray)
MF865 (Silver)
MK4N2 (Gold)
MLH72 (Space Gray)
MLHA2 (Silver)
MLHE2 (Gold)
MMGL2 (Rose Gold)
MLH82 (Space Gray)
MLHC2 (Silver)
MLHF2 (Gold)
MMGM2 (Rose Gold)
MNYF2 (Space Gray)
MNYH2 (Silver)
MNYK2 (Gold)
MNYM2 (Rose Gold)

On October 30, 2018 Gold and Rose Gold were discontinued and replaced by MRQN2 (Gold)
MNYG2 (Space Gray)
MNYJ2 (Silver)
MNYL2 (Gold)
MNYN2 (Rose Gold)

On October 30, 2018 Gold and Rose Gold were discontinued and replaced by MRQP2 (Gold)
Display 12" glossy widescreen LED-backlit Retina Display, 2304 × 1440 (16∶10), 226 px/in, with millions of colors (supported scaled resolutions: 2880 × 1800, 2560 × 1600 (default), 2048 × 1280)
Video camera iSight (480p)
Performance Processor 1.1 GHz 2-core Intel Core M-5Y31 Broadwell (Turbo Boost up to 2.4 GHz) 1.2 GHz 2-core Intel Core M-5Y51 Broadwell (Turbo Boost up to 2.6 GHz) 1.1 GHz 2-core Intel Core M3-6Y30 Skylake (cTDP Up mode, Turbo Boost up to 2.2 GHz) 1.2 GHz 2-core Intel Core M5-6Y54 Skylake (cTDP Up mode, Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) 1.2 GHz 2-core Intel Core M3-7Y32 Kaby Lake processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.0 GHz) 1.3 GHz 2-core Intel Core i5-7Y54 Kaby Lake processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz)
Optional 1.3 GHz 2-core Intel Core M-5Y71 Broadwell (Turbo Boost up to 2.9 GHz)[13] Optional 1.3 GHz 2-core Intel Core M7-6Y75 Skylake (cTDP Up mode, Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz) Optional 1.3 GHz 2-core Intel Core i5-7Y54 Kaby Lake processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz) or 1.4 GHz 2-core Intel Core i7-7Y75 Kaby Lake processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz) Optional 1.4 GHz 2-core Intel Core i7-7Y75 Kaby Lake processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz)
Cache 4 MB L3 cache
System bus 4 GT/s OPI (max. theoretical bandwidth 4 GB/s)[39]
Memory 8 GB 1600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM 8 GB 1866 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM 8 GB 1866 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
Optional to 16 GB of RAM at time of purchase only
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5300 with LPDDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory Intel HD Graphics 515 with LPDDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory Intel HD Graphics 615 with LPDDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
Flash storage 256 GB NVMe/PCIe 2.0 ×4, 5.0 GT/s[40] 512 GB NVMe/PCIe 2.0 ×4, 5.0 GT/s[40] 256 GB NVMe/PCIe 3.0 ×2, 8.0 GT/s[40] 512 GB NVMe/PCIe 3.0 ×2, 8.0 GT/s[40] 256 GB NVMe 512 GB NVMe
Input/Output Wi-Fi Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, up to 1.3 Gbit/s)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.2
USB USB 3.1 generation 1 over USB-C, up to 5 Gbit/s (for power, converts to USB Type-A and video out via separate adapter)
Audio Headphone audio jack (supports iPhone headset with remote and microphone)
Video out USB-C DisplayPort 1.2 Alternate Mode
(max. 4096 × 2304} @ 48 Hz or 3840 × 2160 @ 60 Hz [41])
USB-C DisplayPort 1.2 Alternate Mode
(max. 4096 × 2304 @ 60 Hz [41])
Keyboard Butterfly mechanism Second-generation butterfly mechanism
Power 39.7 Wh battery
29 watt USB-C power adapter
41.4 Wh battery
29 watt USB-C power adapter
Appearance Weight 2.03 pounds (0.92 kg)
Dimensions (width x depth x thickness) 11.04 in × 7.74 in × 0.14 in–0.52 in (280.42 mm × 196.60 mm × 3.56 mm–13.21 mm)
Colors Space Gray, Silver, Gold Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold; in 2018, Rose Gold and Gold (original) were replaced with a new Gold
OS Minimum OS X 10.10 Yosemite OS X 10.11 El Capitan macOS 10.12 Sierra
Latest release macOS 11 Big Sur macOS 12 Monterey macOS 13 Ventura

Supported operating systems

Supported macOS releases

OS release Model
Early 2015 Early 2016 2017
10.10 Yosemite 10.10.2
10.11 El Capitan Yes 10.11.4
10.12 Sierra Yes Yes 10.12.5
10.13 High Sierra Yes Yes Yes
10.14 Mojave Yes Yes Yes
10.15 Catalina Yes Yes Yes
11 Big Sur Yes Yes Yes
12 Monterey Patch Yes Yes
13 Ventura Patch Patch Yes
14 Sonoma Patch Patch Patch

Windows releases

Windows version Model
Early 2015-Early 2016 2017
Windows 8 [Note 1][Note 2] [42][43] Yes No
Windows 8.1 [Note 3] [42][43] Yes No
Windows 10 [Note 4] [44][43] Yes Yes
  1. ^ Windows 8 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 5.0 to 6.0. This includes OS X 10.11 and earlier.
  2. ^ Only 64-bit versions of Windows are supported for Windows 8 and later.
  3. ^ Windows 8.1 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 5.1 or later, running macOS High Sierra or earlier. Later versions of macOS no longer support Windows 8.1.
  4. ^ Windows 10 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 6.0 or later. It is the only supported version of Windows on macOS Mojave and later.

Timeline

Timeline of portable Macintoshes
Mac transition to Apple siliconiMac ProApple WatchiPadiPhoneMac ProPower Mac G5Power Mac G4Power Macintosh G3Power MacintoshCompact MacintoshMacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Air (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Air (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Apple silicon)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)MacBook Pro (Intel-based)iBook G4PowerBook G4PowerBook G4iBook (white)PowerBook G3PowerBook G3PowerBook 2400cPowerBook 3400cPowerBook 1400PowerBook 5300PowerBook 500 seriesPowerBook 190PowerBook G4PowerBook 150PowerBook 500 seriesPowerBook 500 seriesPowerBook 500 seriesPowerBook 500 seriesPowerBook 160PowerBook 140PowerBook 180PowerBook 180PowerBook 160PowerBook 160PowerBook 140PowerBook 170PowerBook 140MacBook Air (Apple silicon)MacBook Air (Apple silicon)MacBook Air (Apple silicon)MacBook Air (Intel-based)12-inch MacBookMacBook Air (Intel-based)iBook G4iBook (white)iBook ClamshellMacBook Air (Intel-based)MacBook (2006–2012)PowerBook Duo 210MacBook Air (Intel-based)MacBook (2006–2012)MacBook (2006–2012)PowerBook G4PowerBook 100Macintosh PortablePowerBook G3PowerBook G3PowerBook G3PowerBook G3PowerBook G3PowerBook DuoPowerBook DuoPowerBook DuoMacintosh PortablePowerBook DuoPowerBook DuoPowerBook Duo 230Macintosh Portable

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Mac products that were discontinued less than 5 years won't get macOS releases.
  2. ^ Mac products that were discontinued between 5 and 7 years ago but still support the latest macOS software release. Hardware support provided only through Apple Service Providers in the United States and Turkey.

References

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Preceded byMacBook MacBook (12-inch) April 10, 2015 Succeeded by-