Apple - Apple MacBook 12 pouces 2016


Apple MacBook 2016: smooth evolution

Aprox. 1424€

See specifications

New runway for the MacBook with a 2016 version that pays a slight technical refresh: newer processor, more generous battery, faster SSD ... and that's about it.

Our review


Last year, the Apple MacBook was a sensation thanks to its record finesse and weight. Two great qualities that were only possible with a few concessions: an underpowered processor, a keyboard with questionable comfort and a single USB Type-C port as a connector. A year later, this new version of the MacBook arrives, but no need to hope for a revolution. This time we have to be satisfied with a latest generation Core m3 processor, 8 GB standard on all models, as well as a faster SSD and a slightly more enduring battery. Let's see if these few changes make the difference.

Note: this 2016 version of the MacBook being identical to the 2015 model in terms of design and screen, only the "performance", "games", "Autonomy / mobility" parts of this test, as well as the heating level have been set up to date.


Externally, the latest from Apple has all the hallmarks of the boot laptops: a unibody aluminum chassis and the famous logo on the hood. The differences are seen when you open the machine. The screen benefits from relatively thin borders - but still less than that of a Dell XPS 13 - and the keyboard takes up the entire width of the chassis. The MacBook 12 benefits from first-class assembly and finish. We did not find any play or defect in the hull. Despite its finesse and low weight, it gives a good impression of solidity when handled.

The chiclet-style keyboard has a backlight with no less than 11 intensity levels. It takes up the whole width of the machine, which makes it possible to offer good-sized keys. If at first we are surprised by the short stroke of the keys, their convex appearance and their good positioning seduce us and offer this MacBook a keyboard of very good quality that will accompany you for long typing sessions. The touchpad uses Force Touch technology already crossed on the MacBook Pro. We are therefore dealing with a haptic and not a mechanical system. It is very pleasant to use, with a large sliding surface and offers all the shortcuts specific to Apple products.

Connectivity is the element that most differentiates this MacBook 12 from the rest of current production. The brand has in fact bet on a single USB 3.1 type C port which is also used to charge the device. Such a choice obliges the user to change his habits. Under load, it will not be able to connect any physical storage to the MacBook. And when it can do so, it will inevitably have to go through an adapter, because peripherals equipped with a USB port of this type are far from legion.

It will therefore go through wireless (Bluetooth (4.0) for input devices and Wi-Fi 802.11ac to use AirDrop for example). To connect the Mac with an external video output, again, no salvation outside of a 90 € adapter, which allows you to connect a monitor, a USB port and has a charging port. Even if we understand the will to innovate from Apple, it is clear that the uses and the peripherals are not yet adapted to this type of use. We would have liked the brand to incorporate at least one second connector.

Because of its configuration, the MacBook 12 does not need a fan and therefore does not emit any operating noise, while maintaining correct temperatures, even when it is under heavy load. There is thus a hot spot of 42.2 ° C at the front, just above the keyboard, and 45.2 ° C under the chassis.


Apple has implemented a glossy IPS panel with a resolution of 2,304 x 1,440 px. It offers a maximum brightness of 370 cd / m² and a contrast ratio of 987: 1. This MacBook is therefore on an equal footing with the MacBook Pro 2015, but is behind the Dell XPS 13. Results which nevertheless make it possible to obtain a good level of readability, whatever the ambient brightness. A good point then, and things continue in this vein when we look more closely at the colorimetry.

Delta E - the average difference between the colors displayed and the actual colors - is measured at 2.5. This is an excellent result which places it at the level of the HP Specter x360 (2.5), but behind the very good Dell XPS 13 (2.2). The color temperature is close to perfection (6627 K for a standard set at 6500 K). The gamma curve is also more than correct, with an almost stable result at 2.3, very regular on dark tones.

The configuration tested:

The configuration received in test includes an Intel Core m3 6Y30 processor, 8 GB of memory, an Intel HD 515 graphics chipset and a 256 GB SSD. Unlike the rest of the test, which is valid for all MacBook 12, only the declination here tested is affected by our comments on performance.


Here we come to the main difference with the Macbook of 2015: the presence of a latest generation processor. It is an Intel Core m3-6Y30, devoid of fan and equipped with two cores, for frequencies going from 900 MHz to 2.2 GHz. Apple has however set its operating frequency at 1.1 GHz.

The SSD, still made by Samsung, is faster, going from a maximum speed of 900 MB / s to 1.3 GB / s in reading. Note that this gain has very little impact on the practical performance of the machine.

So we launched our usual series of benchmarks, via a Windows 10 partition under Boot Camp (file compression, photo editing, video conversion, audio conversion ...). So many tasks that were executed a little faster, but with a fairly minimal difference compared to the 2015 version, as you can see in the graph below:

In practice, the MacBoook version 2016 remains a backup machine, ideal for typing text, surfing the web and playing videos, but not much more.


Even being under Windows 10, via Boot Camp and installing Steam, you should not really hope to play with the Intel HD Graphics 515 which acts here as an iGPU. The graphics power index is a little higher than on the model of last year, but that does not bring much.

Mobility / Autonomy

12 inches, 920 grams on the scale, maximum 1.31 cm thick ... Is it really necessary to specify that the MacBook - old as new model - is a model of compactness and ultraportability? This is certainly its biggest highlight, since it does not take up much more space than a tablet.

What changes in 2016, however, is the battery capacity, which goes from 39.70 Wh to 41.41 Wh. So in theory we should gain about 1 hour of autonomy. Our usual test under Netflix with Safari unfortunately tells us the opposite: the lifespan is almost the same as that of last year (7:04 on this model against 7h before). Note that this test was carried out with the screen brightness set to 200 cd / m² and with the headphones connected. In practice, as part of a more versatile use, mixing web surfing and office automation, we can however reach 9 hours of use, which remains a very good figure, better than that of the MacBook of 2015.


As with all of its models, Apple has taken care of the headphone output. Very powerful, it is free from extraneous noise and offers a beautiful stereo image.

The speakers are also convincing and it's a nice surprise given the size of the chassis. Located on the top of the chassis, between the screen and the keyboard, they offer a clear sound, devoid of distortion, even at high volume. The audio message is very well transcribed, even if the bass is absent. Listening to music is therefore possible under fair conditions.


Nothing very new under the Cupertino sun, since this 2016 version of the MacBook retains the defects and qualities of the first generation. We are always in front of an ultraportable light as a feather, very well finished and endowed with a very beautiful screen, but of which it is necessary to be aware of the limits: a single USB Type-C port, a very short stroke of the keyboard and processor a bit more powerful, but still a bit tight for advanced tasks. That said, if you are looking for a very discreet laptop with Mac OS, the MacBook remains a machine of choice.