Any designers using 12" Macbook?

4 years ago from A Paul, Lead Designer

  • James FutheyJames Futhey, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Yes. I also own a 2014 15" MBP (plus I use a 2015 MBP at work).

    About a year ago I sold an older 13" MBP and used the money to buy a 12" MacBook.

    I leave one MBP at work, leave one at home, and take the 12" with me pretty much everywhere. It's the most portable machine I've ever owned (even tops my stint with the Surface). Plus, I still get amazed reactions from people when they realize it's “a real MacBook” with a retina display.

    It runs Sketch, Photoshop, Slack, & Webstorm (IDE) without any major hiccups. I'm sure if you pushed it you could get some performance lag in Photoshop or Illustrator, but I'm not a heavy user anymore.

    You notice that your Artboards in Sketch are re-drawn more often (this probably occurs on more powerful machines, but not often enough to notice). It's definitely noticeable, but I don't believe it negatively impacts my ability to work.

    The size is also something to get used to of you work on a MBP every day. It seemed small the first time I used it, and took about a week of occasional use before the keyboard spacing, and placement of trackpad felt natural.

    The CPU clock speed seems underwhelming, but it's not as underpowered as that might suggest. CPU clock speed is not correlative with CPU performance. You can see from it's benchmark scores (http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+M-5Y51+%40+1.10GHz) it's still pretty powerful. I play some games on it from time to time (like Civ V).

    The one major drawback that I've noticed, is that they seem to throttle the CPU/GPU to compensate for heat buildup in the device, since there are no fans to cool it. I imagine this strategy is used with other Apple products. However, this means that after prolonged use, your performance may end up getting halved until the core temperature drops back to normal ranges.

    10/10 would recommend as a second MacBook. However, for others, I might have some reservations about recommending this in place of a cheaper MacBook Pro. Anyone looking for a more portable option would probably be better suited with a 2013 MBP.

    Also, having used the 2015 and 2016 models, I can't say there is much of a difference in the two. If you can find a significantly cheaper 2015 model you might be happier going that route. The only difference is about a 10%-20% increase in CPU performance (depending on model).

    1 point